mercury rising and you are a dog lover? See Tips for Running with a Dog in Hot Weather.
Running with your dog is a great way of strengthening your bond with your dog. Not only do you get your exercise in, but your furry friend gets to burn off some of that energy too, leading to a great quality time together.
However, when the mercury rises, it’s crucial to take extra precautions to ensure the well-being and safety of your four-legged companion and know how to keep your pup cool and safe during those scorching hot days.
Let’s dive right in and unleash some necessary tips and techniques that are beneficial when it comes to running with dogs in hot weather.
Is your Dog Ready to run in Hot Weather?
Following are the necessary steps to check whether your dog is ready or not for running with a dog in hot weather
1. Heat tolerance
Heat tolerance is no joke when it comes to our furry pals. Heat tolerance in dogs refers to their ability to withstand and regulate their body temperature in hot weather. Just like us humans, dogs have their limits when it comes to heat. In general, you shouldn’t go out with your dog if the temperature is greater than 90 degrees Fahrenheit.
Some dog breeds are naturally more heat-tolerant, while others may struggle a bit more. It all depends on factors like their coat thickness, body size, and overall health. So, it’s important to keep an eye on your pup’s behavior during hot weather. The tolerance of different dogs to heat varies slightly.
2. Thickness of the coat
- The thickness of a dog’s coat plays a great role in its heat tolerance. Think of it like wearing a cozy winter jacket on a scorching summer day. Not the most comfortable situation, right?
- Dogs with thicker coats may find it more challenging to regulate their body temperature in hot weather. Their furry layer can trap heat and make them feel hotter than they actually are. That’s why some breeds with thicker coats, like Huskies or Saint Bernards, tend to prefer cooler climates.
- On the other hand, dogs with shorter or thinner coats, like Greyhounds or Dalmatians, respond a bit better in this situation.
3. Smaller Dogs
- Smaller dogs like Chihuahuas or Pomeranians have a higher surface area to volume ratio, meaning they have more skin exposure in relation to their body mass. This can make it a bit trickier for them to dissipate heat and cool down efficiently.
- On the other hand, larger dogs like Great Danes or Saint Bernards have a lower surface area to volume ratio, which helps them release heat more effectively.
4. Overall health
- A dog’s overall health plays a significant role in their heat tolerance. When a pup is in tip-top shape, its body functions at its best, allowing it to better cope with hot weather. A healthy dog will have a more efficient cardiovascular system, which helps regulate body temperature and keep them cool.
- Plus, good overall health means their organs are functioning properly, ensuring they can handle the extra stress that heat can put on their bodies.
- On the flip side, if a dog is dealing with certain health issues or pre-existing conditions, their heat tolerance may be lower. For example, dogs with respiratory problems or heart conditions might struggle more in hot weather since their bodies have a harder time cooling down.
- It’s important to keep an eye out for signs of overheating in our furry friends, like excessive panting, drooling, or lethargy. If you ever suspect your pup might be having a tough time with the heat, it’s best to consult with a veterinarian before you take them out.
Tips for Running with the Dog in Hot Weather
As we’ve learned about the heat-tolerant capacity of dogs, let’s now see how certain tips can be helpful while running with a dog in hot weather
1. Choose the right time
You shouldn’t go out for a walk with your doggo if the temperature is greater than 90 degrees Fahrenheit. Within the temperature range of 80-90 degrees Fahrenheit, you can go but you’d have to take great care of your dog and yourself as well.
Studies recommends running with your dog during the cooler parts of the day, such as early morning or late evening.
Therefore, if you decide to go out for a run with your doggo, choose the right time because you want to avoid the peak heat of the day. Early mornings or evenings when it’s cooler are ideal for both you and your furry friend.
2. Be mindful of hot pavements
Checking the pavement temperature before taking your dog out for a run in summer is crucial to keep those precious paws protected. You see, when it’s scorching hot outside, the pavement can absorb and retain heat, turning into a sizzling griddle that can burn your furry friend’s delicate paw pads. And we definitely don’t want that.
By checking the pavement temperature, you can ensure it’s not too hot for your puppy’s paws. One way to do this is by placing the back of your hand on the pavement for a few seconds. If it feels too hot for you, it’s a clear sign that it’s too hot for your dog too.
3. Consider Walking your Dog in Grassy Areas
Walking your dog in green areas during the summer is a lot better than walking him on the pavement during the summer heat. First off, it’s way cooler for their paws. The pavement can heat up like a frying pan under the scorching sun, which can be uncomfortable and even burn their precious little pads. But in grassy areas, the ground stays cooler and more paw-friendly.
Plus, these green spaces provide a softer surface for them to walk on, reducing the impact on their joints and making the whole experience more comfortable.
And let’s not forget about the extra perks of nature. Your dog will love exploring all the exciting scents, sights, and sounds that come with being in a natural environment. Being surrounded by trees and plants creates a calming and peaceful atmosphere.
If, for any reason, running with them in such a place isn’t possible, you can try using dog booties. They’re like little shoes for your furry friend, providing a protective barrier between their paws and the scorching pavement.
If your dog isn’t a fan of booties (some pups can be picky), you can also apply a pet-friendly paw balm or wax to their pads. It helps moisturize and create a shield against the heat.
4. Hydration & Shade
Hydration and finding shade are crucial when running with your dog in hot weather. Just like us humans, dogs can get dehydrated quickly, especially when they’re active and the temperature is high.
So, it’s essential to bring along water for both you and your furry companion. Keep a collapsible water bowl handy or use a portable water bottle with a built-in dispenser.
That way, you can give them frequent water breaks during your run to keep them hydrated and cool. And hey, don’t forget to hydrate yourself too!
When the sun is blazing, finding shady spots along your running route is like finding hidden treasures. It provides a much-needed break from direct sunlight and helps prevent overheating for both you and your pup. So, whenever you spot a nice shady area, take a breather, enjoy the coolness, and let your dog rest for a bit.
5. Watch for any Signs of Discomfort
Humans sweat a lot when they’re present in hot environments, unlike dogs who don’t sweat that much in the same environment.
They release the heat through panting. If the temperature gets too hot for the dog, he can start showing signs of heat-related illnesses like heat stroke, heat exhaustion, and heat cramps. Subjecting a dog to excessive heat can cause heat exhaustion, which creates a significant risk of it progressing to a heat stroke.
Signs and symptoms of heat exhaustion are:
- Bright red gums
- Rapid heart rate
- Excessive panting
- Elevated heart rate (above 103 degrees Fahrenheit)
if your dog experiences any of these symptoms then you should quickly bring him indoors or find a shady spot. Ensure that he has access to an ample supply of water and if possible, dampen their coat to help them feel a bit cooled down.
How Hot is Too Hot for Dog Running?
Well, there is no one-word answer that applies to all the dogs in the world. However, we can support studies to get an answer to it. Generally, Studies and veterinary experts recommend avoiding running with the dog if the temperature exceeds 85°F (29.4°C) at this point. After that, the chances of heat stroke and other heat-related issues like paw pad burn may occur. If the weather is too hot switch to indoor workouts which are a great alternative for running.
A study conducted by the Animal Welfare Research Institute (AWRI) suggests that temperatures above 85°F (29.4°C) can lead to heat stress and heat-related illnesses in dogs, with brachycephalic breeds (short-nosed breeds) being particularly vulnerable.
It’s important to remember that dogs are less efficient at regulating their body temperature than humans, primarily relying on panting to cool down. High temperatures and humidity can make it challenging for dogs to cool themselves effectively, potentially leading to unwanted situations.
5 Accessories for Running With Your Dog in Summer
Running with your furry friend during the summer can be a fantastic way to enjoy the season, but ensuring their comfort, safety, and well-being is paramount. To make the most of your summer runs, here’s a list of essential accessories that will keep both you and your dog in great shape:
1. Dog Water Bottel
Stay hydrated on the go with a leak-proof, water bottle-meets-dog bowl combo. This convenient accessory fits easily into a small running pack and dispenses water at the click of a button, making it perfect for staying refreshed during hot summer runs.
2. Cooling Vest
This innovative accessory uses a combination of shade and evaporation to regulate your dog’s body temperature. Just wet the vest, adjust the size, and you’re ready to explore while keeping your dog cool.
3. Dog Booties
To protect their paws from screaming asphalt, dog shoes are on-the-go choices when running on sunny days. It offers defense against paw pad burns, injuries, and chemical exposure, ensuring that your dog can enjoy outdoor activities safely and comfortably.
4. Dog Cooling Collar
The Cooling Collar is a must-have for keeping your dog cool during summer runs. It features a built-in leash hole for easy use while running. Simply wet it and attach it to your dog.
5. Doggy Ice Cream
It can provide a cooling effect, aiding your dog in managing its body temperature during hot weather. It’s not just about cooling down; these treats often have a high water content, assisting in keeping your dog well-hydrated, a critical aspect for their overall well-being during physical exertion in the heat.
Top 5 Dog Breeds For Running in Hot Weather
Certainly, here’s an expanded list of dog breeds that are well-suited for running with a Dog in Hot Weather, complementing the information provided:
- Chihuahua: This small breed is adaptable to warm climates due to its thin coat and petite size, originally hailing from Mexico’s hot desert regions.
- Australian Cattle Dog (Blue Heeler): Known for its hardiness and work ethic, the Australian Cattle Dog thrives in warm temperatures thanks to its short double coat, which provides insulation and protection from the sun.
- Ibizan Hound: With its graceful build and history of chasing prey in the hot sun, the Ibizan Hound is well-adapted to running with a Dog in Hot Weather and is a great choice for warm climates.
- Afghan Hound: Despite its long, flowing coat, the Afghan Hound can handle hot climates due to its single coat of hair. Originating from Afghanistan, this breed is familiar with temperature extremes, but regular grooming is essential.
- Yorkshire Terrier: The Yorkshire Terrier’s fine, single coat doesn’t trap heat, making it a suitable choice for warm weather. Smaller dogs like Yorkies often handle heat better than larger breeds.
Conclusion: Running with a Dog in Hot Weather
Our pups rely on us to take care of them, especially when it’s scorching outside during Running with a Dog in Hot Weather. So, be vigilant and attentive during your runs, and don’t hesitate to make pit stops in shaded areas or let your dog take a breather if they need it. And of course, hydration is key!
Keep that water bottle handy and make sure both you and your pup stay refreshed. Running with your dog is not just about the exercise, it’s about creating amazing memories together, even in the heat. So go out there, enjoy the sunshine, and let the good times roll!
Dr. Haider is a general doctor with a unique level of connection to our four-legged friends. He is a valued contributor to our Website (Leash and Lope). Dedicated to providing accurate to dog owners in understanding and caring for their lovely pets.