When is it too hot to walk your dog? Advice because searing heat puts pets at risk
Dog overheating in hot weather is a real problem for every one of our furry friends, especially with heat waves becoming more regular each year. Our four-legged friends don’t have enough sweat glands and don’t have the ability to remove layers of clothing.
Instead, they cool themselves by panting, sticking out their tongues, and finding shade. And with today set to be the hottest day of the year so far, with temperatures up to 29C here in Leicestershire, cooling down isn’t easy to do.
During the summer months, when temperatures peak, owners are advised to take their puppies out before 8am or after 8pm, while providing plenty of cool water and cool shaded areas throughout the day. According Kennel Club Pet Insurancesome dogs are more prone to overheating than others.
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- Overweight dogs
- Brachycephalic breeds, such as French Bulldogs and Pugs
- Dogs over 8 years old
- Young dogs under 6 months old
Those with long or thick coats are also more susceptible, but every dog is at risk when the weather warms up.
When is it too hot to walk your dog?
The Kennel Club states that as a general rule, stick to walking your dog at or below 20°C. Anything above that, especially if it’s sunny, can lead to overheating. and very rapid dehydration of your dog.
“Any temperature above 25°C is a definite NO when it comes to walking! Respect the rule to walk below 20°C to be safe,” says the organization.
Just as we feel hot sand burning our feet on the beach, dogs feel the same sensation on hot sidewalks. If you take off your shoes and socks, stand on a sunny patio or sidewalk, and it’s hot, it’s way too hot for the delicate pads of your pup’s feet.
Burnt pads are extremely painful. They can lead to open sores that can become infected.
Dogs are not efficient creatures for cooling off. Trotting in hot weather with a coat of fury has been compared to humans wrapping a quilt around their bodies in the summer sun.
Signs your dog is overheating
Excessive panting is the telltale sign that your dog is overheating. If left unchecked, this can lead to the following symptoms:
- Become restless and show discomfort
- Excessive drooling
- increased heart rate
- Loss of coordination, seizures or muscle tremors
If your dog is panting excessively, immediate action should be taken to avoid the above symptoms. Remove your dog from the heat source and place him in a cool, shaded area.
You can also place a wet towel over his body and offer him cool water to drink at any time. Do not pour water on it, as it may cause shock.