As the temperature rises during hot summer days, it's essential to prioritise your furry friend's well-being when it comes to outdoor activities like walking. Dogs are susceptible to heat-related illnesses, and walking them at the wrong time can put them at risk. In this blog, we will discuss the best times to walk your dog in hot weather to ensure their safety and comfort.

Understanding the Risks: Before delving into the ideal walking times, it's crucial to understand the risks associated with walking your dog in hot weather:

  • Paw Pad Burns: Pavements and beaches can reach scorching temperatures and burn your dog's paw pads, causing pain and discomfort.

  • Heat Exhaustion: Dogs are prone to heat exhaustion and heatstroke, especially in high temperatures. Signs include excessive panting, drooling, weakness, rapid heartbeat, and vomiting.

  • Dehydration: Dogs can quickly become dehydrated in hot weather. Lack of water intake coupled with physical activity can lead to severe health complications.

Best Time to Walk: To ensure your dog's safety and minimise the risk of heat-related illnesses, consider the following optimal walking times during hot weather:

  • Early Morning: The coolest time of the day is usually early morning, just after sunrise. Temperatures are generally lower, and the pavement is cooler, reducing the risk of paw pad burns. Aim to walk your dog before 9am to enjoy the cooler temperatures.

  • Late Evening: As the sun sets and temperatures begin to cool down, the late evening hours provide another suitable time for dog walking. Plan your walk after 6pm to take advantage of the diminishing heat. Remember, it's still essential to check pavement temperature before heading out.

Tips for Walking Your Dog Safely in Hot Weather: In addition to choosing the right time, here are some additional tips to ensure your dog stays safe and comfortable during walks in hot weather:

  • Hydration is Key: Always bring water for both you and your dog during walks. Offer regular water breaks to keep your pup hydrated.

  • Use Shaded Routes: Opt for routes with ample shade, such as tree-lined paths or trails with covered areas. This will provide relief from direct sunlight and help keep your dog cooler.

  • Protect the Paws: Before heading out, check the pavement temperature by placing the back of your hand on the ground for a few seconds. If it's too hot for your hand, it's too hot for your dog's paws. Consider using paw protectors or booties to shield their paws from burns.

  • Monitor Your Dog: Pay close attention to your dog's behaviour during walks. Look for signs of discomfort, excessive panting, or fatigue. If your dog seems overwhelmed by the heat, find a shaded spot to rest or consider ending the walk early.

  • Adjust Exercise Intensity: Modify the intensity and duration of your dog's exercise during hot weather. Opt for shorter, more relaxed walks or engage in indoor activities like mental stimulation games.

Conclusion: Walking your dog during hot weather requires careful consideration to ensure their safety and well-being. By choosing the right time, such as early morning or late evening, and following essential precautions, you can provide your furry companion with a pleasant and safe walking experience. Remember, your dog's health and comfort should always be a priority, so be mindful of their needs and adjust accordingly. Stay cool, stay hydrated, and enjoy those walks with your beloved four-legged friend!

Need a new lead, collar or harness for your walk? Shop for dog leads, collars and harnesses from VetPharmacy now!

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