How To Safely Exercise Your Dog (Indoors & Out) On Hot Summer Days

While the long days of summer allow us more time outdoors with Fido, there are dangers that all pet parents need to look out for. The hot, humid days are perfect for the beach (without Fido) but are not great days to take your beloved dog for a hike.

Dogs can quickly overheat and suffer from heatstroke, which can be fatal. Temperatures continue to rise across the country with heat records being shattered. The safest place for dogs and their humans on these steamy days is indoors.

Check out some tips below on ways to safely exercise your dog- both outdoors and indoors – this summer.

Photo: Pixabay

Summer Safety Tips For Outdoor Activities With Your Dog

There is nothing better than going for a walk with your dog on a sunny day, but make sure to take precautions to keep Fido happy and healthy.

    – Avoid walking during the hottest part of the day. Instead, take early morning or late evening strolls when temperatures are cooler.

    – Watch out for hot pavement which can burn your dog’s paws. Test the temperature by using the five-second rule. Place the back of your hand on the pavement and if you cannot hold it there for 5 seconds it is too hot for your dog to walk on, so head to the grass or try dog boots.

    – Never leave your dog in a hot car, even for a quick errand.

    – If your dog loves water, get a doggie pool or put on a sprinkler to beat the heat.

    – Purchase a cooling vest or cooling pad to help keep them comfortable.

    – Keep a close eye on Fido to make sure he isn’t showing any signs of heat exhaustion.

Photo: Pixabay

Symptoms of Heatstroke in Dogs

Veterinarian Veronica Higgs with PetMD by Chewy shared that there are three different types of heat-induced illnesses with heatstroke being the most severe. She said the first stage involves muscles spasms due to dehydration. If the dog remains in the hot sun, the condition advances to heat exhaustion where the dog may show signs of weakness or vomit. The last and most fatal stage is heatstroke with the following symptoms:

  • Bright red gums
  • Excessive drooling
  • Heavy panting/breathing
  • Increased heart rate
  • Lethargic
  • Disoriented or uncoordinated
  • Vomiting
  • Seizures

If your dog is displaying any of these signs, contact your vet immediately.

Photo: Pixabay

PetMD states that the two main causes of heat stroke in dogs are, “dogs left in cars (even on seemingly cool days) and dogs exercised in hot, humid weather.”

According to Veterinarian Higgs, “Heatstroke can occur very quickly and result in death in under an hour, especially if the pet does not have access to shade, water, and rest.”

How Dogs Sweat

Dogs are covered in fur and unable to sweat the same way we do. Instead, they sweat through the pads on their paws. This alone is not enough to keep them cool, so they have another way of cooling off – panting.

American Kennel Club states, “Sweat plays a very small role in cooling down your dog. Dogs rely on panting to control most of their temperature regulation. When dogs pant, moisture from their tongues, nasal passages, and the lining of their lungs evaporates, cooling them down as air passes over the moist tissue.”

Photo: Pixabay

Even with panting, dogs can quickly overheat. Some dogs are more at risk like seniors and brachycephalic (flat-faced) breeds with short noses.

The safest place for Fido on those hot and humid days is indoors with fans or air conditioning on. However, that doesn’t mean it has to be a boring day. Check out some fun ways to stimulate Fido’s mind and body that will have him wagging his tail for more.

Engaging Indoor Dog Activities

Let the fun begin…

Engage your dog’s mind and body with these entertaining indoor activities:

Photos: GreaterGood

Snuffle Mat

Place your dog’s favorite treat in a snuffle mat watch as your dog searches with his nose for those tasty snacks.

Chew Toys

Dogs love to chew, so give Fido somethings that is appropriate to chew and good for him. There are countless chew toys for all size dogs and even some for those tough chewers.

Chewing not only fights boredom but helps strengthen your dog’s jaw, clean their teeth, and reduce mild anxiety.

Make Frozen Treats

Seedless watermelon is a great summer treat for humans and dogs. The tasty snack is perfect for making dog-friendly popsicles that will help keep Fido hydrated.

Hide-and-Seek

This is a fun game to play with your fur kid. Simply hide in another room, closet, or area of the house and call your dog and see if they can find you.

You can make it more challenging by whispering your dog’s name or having more than one person hide at a time.

Puzzle Games

Just like how mind puzzles are good for humans, dog puzzle games stimulate your dog’s mind and offer tasty treats as a reward.

There are different levels of difficulty so dogs of all curiosity levels can play. Sit back and watch as Fido uses his instincts and intelligence to solve the puzzle.

Trick Training

Have you always wanted to teach your dog to “roll over” or “sit pretty”? Well, there is no better time than now. Check out YouTube videos of dog trainers teaching dogs tricks with positive reinforcement and then grab a handful of treats and get to work.

Before you know it, Fido will be impressing you and all your friends with his new tricks.

Share this article with your friends and family to keep all dogs engaged and safe during the scorching days of summer.

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