Dogs need to go outside no matter what the weather is like, but when is it too hot to go for a full walk?
As summer approaches, we need to take extreme heat and humidity into consideration. How hot is too hot? If there are weather advisories regarding extreme heat, it is too hot to take your pup for a long walk. Shorter potty breaks are a safer choice. Take into consideration how hot the sidewalks are and if there is a shaded place to walk your dog. Senior and young puppies are more sensitive to the heat than young adult dogs. Thick coated breeds such as Shelties and Akitas are prone to heat stroke. Pugs, English Bulldogs, Shih Tzus and similar push nosed breeds aren’t able to pant as efficiently as other breeds and as a result can’t cool themselves down quickly. This can cause respiratory distress.
Dr. Carrie Phelps, DVM states that shorter, more frequent walks are recommended in hot temperatures, allowing for better recovery and not getting dogs too overheated.
Signs of heat exhaustion:
- excessive panting
- drinking large amounts of water
Signs of heat stroke:
- bright red tongue and gums
First aid measures include spraying the dog with a cool water mister bottle, applying wet cool towels to the dog’s neck, chest, tummy and between the legs. Do not use ice. Encourage them to drink, but don’t force them. Call your veterinarian.
When’s the best time to walk your dog in hot temps? The same as when it is best to do gardening and other work outdoors. Early in the morning and after 7:00pm.
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