You know it’s important to get your dog to exercise, and going for walks is something you can both enjoy.
Unfortunately, the weather can sometimes put a damper on this activity.
Stormy weather is just one thing that can cause problems.
Another threat can be hot temperatures, but how hot is too hot to walk your dog?
And what are the dangers of walking your furry friend if it is too hot?
Continue reading below to find the answers to these questions and more.
What Happens If You Walk Your Dog When It’s Too Hot?
Being active in high temperatures can be dangerous for all living beings.
While the dangers can vary, the following are three of the top threats to your pup.
1. It Can Burn Their Paws
Burned paws are a common issue, often because owners don’t realize how sensitive doggy paws are.
Believe it or not, your pup’s paws are about as sensitive as your feet.
This means that if your bare feet cannot withstand the heat of a surface, neither can your pup.
And as they sweat through their paws, this makes them feel the heat even more in that area.
This can easily lead to burns and blisters.
If you notice your dog limping after your walk or licking at his paws, it’s typically a sign that his paws have been burned.
You can help treat this by putting their paws in room temperature water and then applying some moisturizer designed for this purpose.
2. They Can Get Dehydrated
Dogs are as susceptible to dehydration as humans.
And being active in high temperatures without drinking water is a sure way to make it happen.
When a dog is dehydrated, you’ll notice signs such as:
- Sunken eye
- Dry mouth
- Loss of appetite
- Weak pulse
You’ll also notice that they urinate more frequently than usual.
The best way to prevent canine dehydration is to avoid walking when it’s too hot and keep water close by for your fur buddy.
Keep in mind that hot surfaces do not just mean paved areas.
Grass and dirt can also retain a lot of heat, though grass typically cools off more quickly.
Still, it’s important to note that any surface has the potential of burning your puppy’s paws.
3. They Can Suffer From Heatstroke
The body is designed to sweat when its internal temperature is getting too high.
The sweat is released, evaporates, and cools the skin.
It’s a built-in mechanism to help living beings regulate body temperature.
Unfortunately, this self-regulation is a bit more difficult for dogs.
Unlike humans, they only sweat through their paws.
With such a limited space for escape, the heat stays inside their bodies. It can lead to heatstroke, which can be life-threatening.
Signs of heatstroke include the following:
- Vomiting and diarrhea
- Hyperventilation and excessive panting
- Rectal bleeding
- Dry gums
- Rapid heartbeat
If you notice any of these signs after being out in hot weather, it’s important to address the issue immediately.
Get your pup some water immediately and wrap him in a wet, cool towel.
Then, call your vet right away.
Be sure that you don’t use ice-cold water.
This can actually restrict your pup’s blood flow and lead to even worse problems.
Just keep it at a cool temp.
How Hot Is Too Hot to Walk Your Dog?
As a general rule, 68 degrees is the safest temperature for your canine pal.
That means 80 degrees is way too hot, but you don’t necessarily need a thermometer to determine if it’s too hot.
Remember, if it’s too hot for you, it’s too hot for them.
Vets suggest using the following test to determine if it’s safe to walk your dog.
- Place the back of your hand on whatever surface you’re getting ready to walk on.
- Hold it there for seconds.
- If you can’t keep it there, it’s too hot.
You can also place your bare foot on the ground.
If it’s too hot to keep it there for 10 seconds, it’s too hot for your dog.
5 Tips to Keep Your Dog From Overheating
If it’s too dangerous to walk your dog on hot days, how do you keep them active?
The following five tips can help.
1. Change the Time of Day
When possible, take your walks earlier or later in the day.
If you can get out before the sun has a chance to bake the earth or once it begins going down, you greatly decrease any heat-associated risk to you and your beloved pal.
Depending on your schedule, changing the time of day you go for a walk may not be possible.
You could consider hiring a dog walker, instead.
However, if that is not a possibility either, try the remaining steps instead.
2. Consider Booties
Dog booties are more than just adorable.
They are designed to protect your pup’s paws from heat, sharp objects, and more.
They also provide traction, so you don’t have to worry about them slipping along your path.
3. Change Your Path
Not every surface will be in direct sunlight.
If you can find an area with shade – and preferably some freshwater sources – you’ll be reducing your dog’s risk of overheating.
4. Keep Water on Hand
It should come as no surprise that you should keep water with you when you’re active.
Keep enough for you and your dog with you if you’re walking on hot days.
Set a timer to take breaks regularly to ensure you both get enough liquids.
5. Find Other Outlets
A walk is not the only way to get your doggy some exercise.
You could also consider setting up an obstacle course.
You could do this in an area of your yard that is shaded.
Or you could set it up indoors.
You can also keep it simple with indoor activities.
For instance, roll a ball around on the floor so your dog can chase it.
Anything you can think of to get them moving in your home can take the place of a walk on really hot days.