Perils of Dog Walking in the Summer

When the spring and summer approach, you get the urge to enjoy the great outdoors. What a perfect time to take the dog or dogs out for a jog or nice, long walk. Dogs love all the sights, sound and smell of nature as much as you do. However, when it comes to the heat of summer, there are precautions you should take regarding the health and safety of your pets.

You must remember that a dog does not sweat like we do in order to cool itself – their cooling mechanism is through panting. If the dog is overheated, it can be affected with heatstroke, which can be fatal. As long as you are prepared, your daily summer dog walks will be all about fun.

Dogs should always be walked on a leash. Many people trust their well-behaved dogs by letting them walk freely without realizing – it only takes a moment for that good dog to chase a squirrel, person, another dog or anything of interest to him. Always restrain dogs when going for walks.

Be aware of the surroundings and area where you frequent walking your dog. Curb your dog around other dogs on the path that may not be so friendly and be cautious of any preying animals such as coyotes – and hawks and other large birds can prey on small dogs as well.

Dogs should be protected with heartworm preventatives as well as ticks and fleas. It has been noted that the mosquitoes, fleas and ticks are in abundance this year due to the unseasonable winter and spring weather. Many bike lanes and walking paths are among a lot of trees and brush where many of the critters dwell and as your dog walks close enough where they exists, the parasites attach to the pet and make a home.

If it is extremely hot out, take frequent short breaks with your dog, especially if it seems to be panting excessively. Always have plenty of water for you and your dog. They have collapsible bowls available for this purpose for pets. Keep your dog away from puddles which can have toxins from outdoor elements. Dogs seem to be attracted to standing water, which can cause severe illness.

Avoid walking on blacktop or other hot surfaces that can burn the pads of your dog. On the other hand, don’t allow your dog to “graze” on grass and around flower beds that can be treated with chemicals and pesticides. Keep your walks with your dog short during excessive heat and hydrate him often. If you note the dog is walking slower, getting lethargic and breathing heavily, it may be a sign that you need to end your walk and find a cool pool or tub of water in order to get relief for your overheated pet. Enjoy the time with your dog by taking necessary precautions for safety – for both of you.