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08 Jun How to exercise your dog in the summer

It’s getting to that time of year when the weather starts heating up and we start spending more and more time outside. But for your dog, the heat of summer can be overwhelming and as a good doggy parent you need to make sure you know how to keep them cool and still get enough exercise. 

Here are our top tips for exercising your dog in the summer.

Go for walkies early in the morning and in the evening

The easiest change you can make to your dog’s exercise routine is to change the times you walk with them. The coolest times of day are in the early morning and the evening – and thanks the extra hours of sunshine you won’t need to take a torch.

Always avoid the hottest times of day between 11am and 3pm.

Choose grass over tarmac

Tarmac can get really hot in the sun, and very quickly. Unless your dog wears booties, walking on hot tarmac can burn their feet, causing them serious pain and risking infection. If you have to walk on tarmac, test it with the back of your hand first – hold it there for five seconds. If it’s too hot for you, it’s too hot for your dog. 

Instead, aim for grassy and wooded areas – they will always be cooler and much more comfortable for your dog.

Walk to dog friendly water

Duck Toller Retriever wet

Whether it’s a lake, river, or the sea, including a dog friendly water source on your walk gives them the opportunity to get wet and keep their body temperature cool. Make sure you find out whether the water source is safe for dogs by checking with local dog walking groups on social media. Some water sources can contain algae and toxins that can be harmful to your dog, so do your research first!

Walks in the woods

cockapoo walking in the woods

Woods and forests are perfect spots for a dog walk on a hot day. The natural shade provided by the trees keeps the ground cool and they will often have natural streams perfect for your dog to take a dip in. Check out a map of your local area – you might be surprised how many wooded areas are near you!

Bring water for your pooch

Make sure you bring out water and a container your pooch will drink from, like this collapsible water bowl, and offer it to them throughout the walk. This helps stop them getting dehydrated and might even discourage them from lapping up that sludgy puddle water…

Little and often

When the mercury is high you should consider keeping exercise short and frequent. This includes walkies, playtime, and any other vigorous activity. Make sure your pup is fully recovered from each activity and is drinking plenty of water in between.

Walk, don’t run

Walking a white dog

Keep exercise low intensity – rather than running with your pooch or having them run alongside your bicycle, take a leisurely walk. This will keep them from overheating and becoming dehydrated, both of which can have severe consequences.

Keep track of your dog’s exercise and weight

It can be easy to do too little or too much exercise in the summer – and combined with delicious titbits from the BBQ, your pooch might just end up putting a few extra pounds. By using a PitPat dog activity monitor to keep track of their daily activity levels and weight, you’ll be able to make sure they are getting enough daily exercise and maintaining a healthy weight.

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