Your dog needs physical activity every day, not just the days with bluebird skies and a cool breeze. Dogs need to go for walks even on days with bitter cold or blazing heat. Walking your dog in summer comes with unique challenges, however. Here are a few tips to make sure that you Goldendoodle stays happy, healthy, and safe during summertime walks.
Bring the basics
There are a few things that you need for a walk regardless of the temperature outside. Pack a small bag or backpack with disposable bags, a small dish for clean water, and clean, cool water. Keep your Doodle on a leash during walks, especially if your community has leash laws.
Always carry water
If you’re walking your dog in summer, you need to carry water. Dogs can’t sweat to keep cool like humans can. They rely primarily on panting to dump body heat and water to lower their body temperature.
Clean, cool water keeps your Goldendoodle cool and it prevents heat stroke. Consider investing in an insulated water bottle, or fill a water bottle with ice to keep your dog’s water cold on your walk.
Timing is everything
Go for walks early in the morning or late in the evening. Basically, avoid mid-day walks when UV radiation exposure and temperatures are at their highest. Choosing cooler temperatures for walking your dog in the summer is key in preventing heat stroke or heat-related injuries.
Choose the right trail
Consider the terrain when walking your dog in the summer. Things like the surface and amount of shade influence whether or not it’s safe to walk your dog.
For example, grass, boardwalks, or dirt trails won’t be as hot as pavement, sand, or hard walking surfaces. Hot surfaces can burn the pads on your dog’s paws.
Look for shaded areas if you’re trying to walk your dog during the day. Do you have lots of trees in your neighborhood, or are your sidewalks exposed to direct sunlight throughout the day?
Your Goldendoodle may be your favorite running partner, but keep the speed low when temperatures are high. It’s difficult for your dog to cool off quickly once he starts overheating. Save setting a new PR for cooler temperatures.
Time for a haircut
Consider a summer cut for your Goldendoodle. You may love your Goldendoodle’s thick, curly coat, but it’s hard for your dog to stay cool under all of that hair. It’s totally safe to cut your Doodle’s coat short during the warmer parts of the year; a summer cut is actually recommended by many groomers.
Is your dog healthy?
Consider your dog’s age and fitness level before taking him out for a walk in in the summer heat. Older dogs may not handle the heat as well as they did when they were young pups. Dogs that are overweight or obese may have troubles, too.
Goldendoodles handle the heat just fine, but some dogs with flat faces — pugs, french bulldogs, boxers, and the like — can’t breathe as well in hot weather, especially during physical activity.
Be even more mindful for dogs that are susceptible to heat; keep walks short and avoid walking in high temperatures.
Never leave your dog in a hot car
It’s something that everyone knows, but it’s something that always needs reiterating. Dogs are left in hot cars every year. This can result in permanent disability or death. Never leave your dog in a hot car, not even for a few minutes.
Cars can reach fatal temperatures in just a few minutes on a summer day.
Think about your safety, too!
Your dog’s safety is important, but so is yours. Wear a hat, sunglasses, sunscreen, and protective clothing, and make sure you bring enough water for yourself as well as your dog.