During the dog days of summer, a pup's boundless energy stops for nothing—including high temperatures. It's not always easy to give your dog the playtime he deserves when it's hot outside, especially if you're cooped up indoors. So, what's the best way to give your dog exercise in hot weather?
If you follow the most important dog summer safety tips, it is possible to get your dog outside for a little fun in the sun. There are also plenty of ways to have fun inside on those extra hot days. Here's how to burn off some energy, keep your pup safe in the heat, and have a great time doing it.
1. Adjust Your Playtime
There's no doubt your furry friend enjoys a long walk, but in the warm summer months, that may need to look a little bit different. Try exercising with your dog in the early morning hours or in the late evening, before the hot weather sets in.
At this time of day, your pup is less likely to get too warm, and it is safer for their paw pads. However, summer days can get very warm in the middle of the day and early afternoon, so the slight time adjustment in your routine can make a big difference for your furry family member. Bring along a water bottle so your pup can get a drink if need be, especially if the day starts to head toward high temperatures before you finish your walk.
2. Wear Booties For Walks
The summer sun can heat up the pavement, causing it to be too hot for your pup's paws, even if you adjust your walking time to earlier in the day.Remember: if the ground is too hot for the palm of your hand, it is too hot for your dog's paws. Always test the ground before you take them out for a walk to ensure it is dog safe. The hot summer sun can affect the asphalt and cement much faster than you would think.
3. Play With Interactive Dog Toys
Another way to get energy out in warm weather is to find some interactive toys for your pup to play with. These toys can be played with inside or in the shade and don't usually take too much physical activity but use a lot of brainpower. If your pup is using their brainpower, they're burning some energy. Some great interactive toys are puzzles, treat balls, shakers toys, and wobble balls.
4. Water-Related Activities
Nothing beats the heat quite like water. Placing ice cubes in your pup's water bowl throughout the day will keep them cool but won't burn their energy. Dog swimming pools are another summer-safe activity that will burn off some of their energy. If your pup is not a fan of the pool, you can set up a sprinkler or use a splash pad designed for dogs.
5. Doggie Day Care
Another option is taking your pup to doggie daycare. Some places have indoor activities like doggy treadmills and obstacle courses, while others have pools for your pup to swim in. With other dogs around, your own furry friend will never get bored!
6. Indoor Activities
There are so many indoor activities you can do with your dog. While it might not be ideal to let them run around in your home, you can play tug, hide-and-seek, or even give them a chew toy. Playing indoor games can release some of your pup's energy while saving them from the heat.
7. Training Time!
Always wanted to teach your pup a fun trick but never had the time? Hot summer days are the perfect opportunity to tackle those training goals, even if you just want to brush up on their "sit" and "stay" skills. Using their brain and working through obedience training tasks can provide just enough of a mental workout that it will burn off some of your dog's energy.
8. Take the Stairs
If you have stairs in your home, you have a perfect exercise location. Have a friend stand at the top of the stairs while you stand at the bottom. Take turns calling your dog and offering a treat. He'll be happy to run up and down, not realizing how much he is working. It's an easy way to tire out your dog and get some much-needed exercise.
9. Host a Playdate
If doggie daycare is not an option because of the heat or availability, a playdate with a friend or neighbor's dog inside can be an excellent way for your pup to socialize and let off some energy. They can wrestle, chase one another, and play tug.
10. DIY Obstacle Course
We've all seen the Tik Toks and Instagram reels of pups going through indoor obstacle courses. Now it's your turn to set one up for your pup. Not only will you get some social media-worthy footage, but your pup will also get in great exercise.
Signs of Heatstroke in Dogs
When exercising your dog in hot weather, always watch out for the signs of heatstroke. Here's what to look for:
- Heavy panting
- Rapid heart rate
- Disoriented behavior
- Bright red gums
- ?Diarrhea or vomiting
- Elevated body temperature higher than 104 F
- Collapse, seizures, coma
The best thing you can do for your pup is to get them as cool as possible. A cold compress and a hose will do the trick, but never use ice, as it can shock your dog's system. It is best to take your pup to the vet, even if you get them cooled off quickly. It never hurts to get an expert's assessment of how your dog is doing.
How do you get your pup's energy out when it's hot? Tell us over on our Wide Open Pets Facebook page!
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