So it seems like the summer might finally be on it’s way and even if it’s cloudy, the days are definitely warming up.
As a professional dog walker, making sure your dogs are safe on our walks is of the utmost importance. In the summer making sure we all stay cool and hydrated on our dog walks is critical.
Take a moment or two to think about how you’ll make sure your dog stays safe and cool this summer.
Here are my top tips:
1. Always take plenty of water with you on a walk
Heat stroke, just like with us humans can be very dangerous for dogs and if untreated can leave lasting damage so make sure your dog always has access to water and stays hydrated.
If you do need to walk out in the hot sun, always take a supply and small bowl with you so you they can stop for a drink when you do.
2. Always check the temperature of the ground to avoid pad burn
Pad burn is a very real concern for all dog owners in the hot summer sun. Walking your dog on ground that is too hot can cause significant discomfort to your dog and severe burns to their pads.
To prevent these burns, try walking the dog on dirt or grass and avoid walking your dog on black asphalt/ tarmac as it gets very, very hot and can burn the pads instantly.
Always test the pavement surface before you let your dog walk on it. Hold your hand or foot on it for 30 seconds. If it is too hot for you, then it is definitely too hot for your pup.
3. Walk in the early morning or late evening
It’s an obvious one, the temperatures are cooler at these times of the day and so the risk of over heating is much less for your dogs at these times of the day. You can have the bonus of having your dog walk with a beautiful sunrise or sunset that you might not otherwise have seen, and if you live by the coast head to the beach at times when the dogs are allowed!
4. Hit the beach, or a river walk
Most dogs love to have a splash around in the water and what better way to stay cool than to take a dip. Around the North Shore, Hibiscus Coast and Riverhead areas we have some amazing beaches and rivers that are ideal dog walking spots with lovely cool water that the dogs love to splash around in.
5. Stay shady
If the thought of a soggy dog doesn’t fill you with joy, or you don’t have easy access to these kinds of walks, try to stay in the shade. Around Albany, Orewa and Kumeu we are lucky enough to have some wonderful dog friendly bush and forest walks which are great places to head with the sun gets too hot for your pooch.
6. Remember to keep cool at home
In the hot Auckland heat it doesn’t take long in the summer for your houses to get way too hot for dogs who are at home alone during the day. Make sure they have plenty of water and if possible leave windows open, fans and air con on for them. Keeping blinds and curtains closed on windows that have full sun can make a big difference too.
7. Cooling mats
Cooling mats can be a great idea to have around the home for your dogs in the summer. They help to take the heat away and stay a cool surface to lie on. You can pick them up for as little as $20 from places like Bunnings, KMart and animates.. although the pet shops tend to charge a bit more
The home-made version of this is pretty simple and easy to do, just get a wet towel for your dog to lay on!
8. Make some frozen treats!
Many dogs love ice cubes so this can be as simple as getting some water ready to freeze. You can give them as treats on their own or put them in the water bowl. You can freeze broth too which dogs love. Just have a google on frozen dog treats and you’ll find a heap of different ideas to try for your dogs