Recognizing When It's Too Hot to Walk Your Dog

Your dog needs regular exercise to stay healthy. However, on some days, the temperature outside gets so hot that it is dangerous to walk them around. To keep them safe, you need to be able to recognize when it is too hot to go for a walk and know how to protect them from the heat. 

 

We’re about to dive into these facts. You’ll learn, “When is it too hot to walk your dog?” and “How can I keep my dog safe when it’s hot out?” 

When Is It Too Hot to Walk Your Dog?

There are two temperatures to watch out for when you take your dogs for a walk. These are the temperature outside in general, which is what you will see on a weather report, and the temperature of the pavement, which can be much higher. 

 

For walking outside, you need to be cautious when the temperature starts to get around 70°F. At this temperature, the risk of a dog developing heatstroke starts to appear. While it isn’t likely they will develop heatstroke at this temperature on normal walks, it is possible. The chances of heatstroke increase as it gets hotter, with temperatures around 80°F starting to present a very serious risk. 

 

Several factors increase this risk. Taking your dogs on walks on humid days and days without wind is more dangerous. If your dog is larger or has health problems, it also faces a greater risk. 

 

The other temperature to watch out for is the temperature of the pavement. The temperature of the pavement is different from the temperature of the air, with pavement tending to heat up even further as it bakes under sunlight. On a sunny day, the air temperature may only be around 80°F, but the pavement may be around 130°F. 

 

Related: Do Dogs Need Sunscreen? A Pet Parent’s Guide to Dog Sun Protection

A dog goes for a run in the shallow water at a beach

How to Walk Your Dog in Hot Weather

In the summer, it may be incredibly hot for multiple days in a row. Your dog still needs some exercise during this time, so you will need to find some way to walk them despite the heat. 

 

To do this, you need to approach the situation carefully. You can use a few key tactics to keep your pet safe despite the heat. 

Walk in the Early Morning and at Night

If the high temperatures for the day are too high to walk your dog, you can try going when it isn’t so hot out. The early morning hours and the hours around sunset often see much cooler temperatures. This could be what makes the difference. 

Get Your Pet Shoes

If the pavement is too hot for your pet’s feet, you can take steps to protect them. Specifically, you can get your pet a pair of shoes or boots. These work exactly like human shoes and effectively provide a barrier that insulates your pet’s feet from the hot ground. 

 

Remember, these shoes may take some getting used to before your pet will use them. Try them out a few times indoors before you take them out for a spin. 

 

Need a way to carry your pet around so they don’t have to touch the ground? The PupTote™ 3-in-1 Faux Leather Dog Carrier Bag will let you bring them anywhere without worrying about the temperature of the pavement. 

Change Where You Walk

Where you walk can have a big impact on the heat and exhaustion your dog will feel on the walk. A walk up hills or on rough terrain will cause them to work harder and heat up faster than a gentle walk along level ground. Meanwhile, walking through a shaded path in the woods will generally be much cooler than a hot walk on the pavement. Look into the area around you and plan an alternate path for hot days. 

 

In addition, stick to grass when you can. Studies have shown that on a day when the temperature of pavement is around 150°F, the temperature of grass is closer to around 100°F. This massive temperature difference will help protect your pet’s paws.

Bring Water on Your Walk

Both you and your dog will be prone to dehydration if you go for a walk on a hot day. The hot day will sap the water from your bodies and leave you thirsty for more. If you don’t drink anything on your walk, you’ll both end up dehydrated. 

 

So, make sure to bring water with you. Bring a water bottle and a portable dog bowl. Then, you can take a break on your walk, fill the bowl up, and let your dog stop to drink. You can even throw down a cooling blanket for them as you take a break. 

 

Don’t forget to bring something for yourself as well! If you don’t drink, you’ll end up in just as much danger as your furry friend. 

 

You should also be aware of the signs of dehydration in dogs. These include excessive panting, decreased energy, a dry nose, and other indicators. Knowing these will let you know when your pet is in dire need of water. 

 

Related: Summer Paw Safety Guide: Six Ways to Protect Your Dog’s Paws from Hot Pavement

A cute spotted dog sitting inside a van

Don’t Leave Your Dog in a Hot Car

Your dog may love car rides. Looking at them all snuggled up in their cozy car bed may make you hesitant to disturb them. You may even consider leaving them for a moment while you run an errand. 

 

You should never do this. Never leave your dog in a hot car, even if you only plan on being gone for a few moments. If you’re delayed at all, it can lead to serious injury or even death for your dog. Play things safe when it is hot out, and don’t leave your dog in the car. 

 

In the summer, you may end up driving your pet more often than you walk them. Let the PupProtector™ Back Seat Dog Car Cover help keep your pet comfortable on these rides while protecting the seats in your car. 

Stick to Indoor or Water Activities

Indoor activities are great for the summer. They let your dog work out its energy while staying in a cool building. 

 

If you really have to go outside, try to aim for activities that involve water. A trip to a dog-friendly pool or the beach will allow them to have fun outside while using the water to keep their temperature down. These are a few of the many fun summer activities that your dog can do to keep cool. 

Keeping Your Pet Safe in the Heat

When it is hot outside, it can be dangerous for your pet. You need to take steps that will keep them safe and follow best practices that will avoid heatstroke. Making a little effort in this regard can be the key factor in preventing disaster from striking. 

 

Related: Summer Survival Guide: 8 Tips for Keeping Your Pet Cool

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Paw Team

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