We've just enjoyed the longest day of the year, and across Canada, the temperatures are warming up. Summer is a great time to get out with your best friend and enjoy the great outdoors. With a bit of planning, you can be ready to enjoy all that summer has to offer! The heat can also put your pup at risk.
Hot Days = Hot Paws
Try to plan your walks for early morning or late evening, missing the heat of the day. If you are walking on pavement, hold your hand on the ground for 5 seconds. If it's too hot for you, it's too hot for your dog's feet.
Consider both temperature and humidity when planning activities. Remember that the humidity increases the heat for our furry friends. Your dog can tolerate more heat if there is a place for them to swim and cool off.
Your dog needs access to fresh, clean water year-round (of course!), but this is even more important in the summer months. Dogs don't cool off by sweating as we do. They sweat a bit from their paws, but they primarily cool themselves by panting. They need to be well hydrated to help stay cool.
Nothing beats a hike in nature on a beautiful day. Check out your local trails and National and Provincial parks for new places to explore. The shade of the trees on a forest hike can make the hottest days manageable. Remember to obey all leash laws to keep your dog, wildlife, and delicate flora safe.
If you love to canoe or kayak, consider bringing along your furry co-captain! Many dogs can learn to calmly and safely join you on a paddle. Set up a spot on your boat with a bed or blanket, somewhere your dog can comfortably rest. Ensure whatever you choose is something you don't mind getting wet!
Start on dry ground to let your dog get used to the boat's movement, then move to shallow water to put your skills to the test. Remember always to have a lifejacket on you AND your dog. Even the strongest swimmers can end up in trouble if a boat capsizes.
If you enjoy biking, you might consider bringing your furry sidekick along. Many dogs enjoy the chance to run and can learn to either run beside your bike or be out front and pulling. Before trying strenuous exercise, talk to your veterinary team to ensure your dog is healthy and ready for a new challenge.
If your dog will be out front pulling, get a proper harness that doesn't restrict their movement and properly distributes the impact of pulling. Start slow and build up! Dogs can be capable of running great distances once they are properly trained and conditioned.
Keep Cool on Hot Days
Plan ahead for summer days by making some frozen treats for your dog. Fill a kong or other food puzzle toy with some of their favourite treats and food, add yogurt or peanut butter to fill the gaps, and pop it in the freezer. This delicious frozen treat will be perfect for keeping your buddy cool on a hot summer day.
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