Living in areas such as the desert climate of Arizona can be extremely difficult. This is because you do not know for sure when is it too hot to walk a dog. For instance, you may get so used to living in high heat that you may not even realize what is normal temperature and what is too much for your furry friend for a walk or other outdoor activity.
Let’s assume the temperature outside seems normal to you, and therefore, you think your dog may also feel the same. However, the sidewalk at warm temperatures would be extremely hot for your dog to walk with his feet unprotected. Imagine yourself walking on a hot sidewalk without any slippers or shoes barefooted. How would you feel? These are the same sensations your four-legged friend will feel as well.
You may be wondering what you should do in that scenario. Well, there is nothing to get worried about. In this article, we are going to provide a comprehensive guide regarding this matter. But, before jumping into knowing when is it too hot to walk a dog, let’s first understand the dangers of walking your dog in high temperatures. So, let’s get started!
Risks Associated with Walking Your Dog in Extremely Hot Temperatures
We humans tend to confront a number of issues whenever we go out in extremely hot weather conditions. Humans are at risk of facing problems such as sunburns or a more severe issue like heat stroke in hot temperatures. This can be the same case with your dog.
Dogs are also at a risk and can range from mild discomfort to more serious conditions such as overheating, dehydration, burning their paws and heatstroke.
According to the Animal Health Foundation of the American Kennel Club, dogs who are outside for an extended period of time during high temperature weather conditions are at a major risk of dehydration. More severe conditions such as heat exhaustion, and even death due to cardiac arrhythmias are also possible.
Well, we humans can easily say and convey our feelings to others. However, it is difficult to understand what our little furry friend is going through. People end up understanding their dog’s condition too late, and due to that, they face unfortunate consequences.
In order to help you to take prompt action, here are signs to watch for:
Signs of Heat Stroke
If you have taken your dog out for a walk in hot temperatures, then you must monitor how his condition changes. You need to constantly observe your dog and identity if there are any signs of heatstroke, which, as we mentioned above, is common in extremely hot temperatures.
There are multiple signs of overheating in dogs. These include dehydration, immoderate panting, and lethargy. The first thing you need to do when you identify these signs is to take your dog indoors. Make sure to cool him down in every way possible.
Most probably, the situation will get better, and your dog will return to his normal state. In case he does not, do not waste any of your time and immediately take your dog to the nearest veterinary care center.
Other signs of heatstroke in your dog may include rapid pulse, breathing difficulties, weakness, and fever. These are some of the serious signs, and you need to take quick actions in case you identify any of them. Let’s now discuss how to know when is it too hot to walk a dog.
When is it Too Hot to Walk a Dog?
Have you ever felt symptoms from weather conditions becoming extremely hot? You become weak and lose energy, you may get a headache or even fever, You are drinking much more often because your system is dehydrating much quicker than normal.
You may have to take off from work and get back home to rest. Well, obviously this implies that the weather on that day is too hot for you to go out. The same will apply to your furry.
Therefore, don’t take him out for a walk in such conditions. In such a case, you did not need any test or any equipment to identify whether the temperature is too hot to walk your dog or not. It’s based on how you feel.
However, there may be times when you are unsure if the weather conditions are appropriate to take your dog out. What should you do in such a scenario?
Well, there is a simple test that you need to conduct in order to identify if it is a good idea to take your dog out for a walk or not. All you need to do is to put your flat foot or the back of your hand on the pavement for a period of ten seconds. If you can comfortably keep your hand or feet for more than ten seconds, then you are good to go.
However, if you find it challenging to bear the hot surface for even ten seconds, avoid taking your dog out for a walk!
Still, some people remain unsure after doing such a test. In that situation, it is better not to take your dog out for a walk. The best thing you can do in that regard is to adjust to the conditions. We will discuss that later on.
This test and your own feelings are a great way of telling how the condition and severeness of the weather are for your dog. However, there is one more thing that you need to take into account. It is the behavior of your four-legged friend. Notice how your dog is behaving and reacting to the hot weather conditions.
If he is normal, then there is nothing to get worried about. But, if he starts to behave abnormally, then you need to be cautious. He may be reacting differently due to the hot temperatures making him highly uncomfortable.
Dogs at Risk when Exposed to High Temperature
We have discussed ways to determine when is it too hot to walk a dog. But, it is also important to discuss the types of dogs that are more affected by high temperatures.
Short-nosed or brachycephalic dog breeds are considered to be more risk adverse to high and hot temperatures. Pugs, Boxers, and Bulldogs are a few examples of such dog breeds.
In addition, other dogs such as Akitas and Huskies, which are considered double-coated breeds, are also prone to major risks associated with high temperatures. It is because of their thick fur which makes them more suitable to cool weather conditions.
Some dog breeds are not normally sensitive to high temperatures. But, with that being said, you should still understand the health condition of your dog to determine if warmer temperatures are not detrimental to his health.
If you are unsure, take your dog to the veterinarian for a check-up. Ensure that he does not have any type of issues such as heart disease, obesity or pulmonary issues. In case if he does, then you have to exercise extra care for your dog. You should not take any risk and take your dog out for a walk if you have the slightest doubts about the weather condition.
How To Keep Your Dog Active in Hot Weather Conditions?
The first thing you can do if the conditions are too hot is to adjust the schedule. During daytime, the weather would most probably be too hot. It will be difficult for your dog to walk on the pavement or sidewalk. In that case, you can either take your dog out for a walk early in the morning or later in the evening.
Another option is to walk your dog on grass rather than on concrete pavement in hot weather conditions. The grass is much cooler than hard surfaces.
Moreover, you can allow your dog to run around in your house. If you have more than one dog they may play together. However, if you own just one dog, make a point to play with him and use his favorite toys to get him motivated.
Along with the above-mentioned recommendations, you should keep the following tips in mind:
- Always bring water and a bowl when taking your dog out for a walk
- Buy Doggie a Splash Pool or a Cooling Bed to keep him cool
- Never engage your dog in intense physical activity during periods of hot weather conditions
- Always take prompt actions when your dog shows signs of heatstroke
I hope this guide proves beneficial for you. Remember, just beat the heat and take care of yourself and your furry friend!