Summer is here and this week is set to be a scorcher. Whilst many of us love the summer and spending time outdoors, this isn't always the case for dog owners.
The warmer days bring lots of opportunities to walk our dogs in many areas and for some dog breeds, the long walk on a summer day is fun and exciting.
Unfortunately, there are some dog breeds such as the English bulldog and the Brachycephalic dog breeds that don't enjoy the sun as much and walking them during a hot day can impose danger to their health as they overheat quickly and have difficulty breathing.
When walking your dog you should try and avoid the hotter times of the day and instead, walk them early in the morning and later in the evening when it has cooled down. This also applies to locations of where to walk your dog.
When walking your dog during summer it is recommended to pick locations and routes whereby you're more likely to have a breeze or locations that have nearby water like a river or lake. Please note- you must always follow guidelines when allowing your dog to swim in outdoor water areas. There are some locations where dogs are not permitted to go into the water as it is deemed unsafe.
Listed below are some helpful tips on where to walk your dog during summer.
Forests or woods
Generally, it's a lot cooler walking in the woods or the local forest as the trees provide a lot of shade which helps to keep the ground cooler. Often, the ground is moist because of the damper conditions and therefore making the area cooler to walk your dogs safely.
Walking by the coast is a wonderful day out because you have the gorgeous scenery as well as the cool breeze coming off the sea. This is a perfect location to walk your dogs during the summer. You must always check that your local beach or the beach you intend on visiting allows dogs.
Lakes and rivers
Even if you live further inland, you can plan a walk near a river or lake. Before heading off you must check that the area is dog-friendly.
Walking your dog near a lake or river is not only enjoyable for the adults but your dog will love it too, especially if they love being in the water! Take a ball with you and if your dog is comfortable and trained, throw the ball into the water and encourage your dog to fetch. Not only does this provide exercise, but it will also cool your dog down if they become too hot.
As well as considering a safe location to walk your dog during summer, it is also vital that you provide your dog with plenty of water breaks during their walk. There are lots of really good dog water bottles available to buy online or at your local pet shop.
Another important point is making sure your dog is safe if you have to travel in the car. Dogs can get car sick like humans and they can also overheat if they're not provided with enough shade and ventilation. Opening your windows and making sure your dog is safely strapped in is the first point. If you’re lucky enough to have a sunroof, then take a quick temperature check and if it's too hot with the roof down, then this can be dangerous to your dog also.
Lastly, wherever you choose to walk your dog, you must always check the area is safe for dogs and that you take plenty of refreshments for everyone including your dog. If your dog starts to pant rather quickly, then slow the pace of the walk down or take a rest in the shade and allow your dog to have a drink of water and cool down.