How To Keep Your Pet Fit As Temperatures Rise

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With May soon coming to an end and the hottest parts of the year on their way, it is a good time to talk about pet safety in the heat. As pet owners, we always want what is best for our pets, making sure they are as happy and healthy as possible. If you want to live a healthy lifestyle it is important that you are eating good food, drinking water, and exercising. Those four basics are applicable to everyone, including our pets. It is equally important that they get good food, water, and exercise. But as the temperature and humidity increase, it can be difficult to safely get your pet the exercise that they need to stay healthy. 

How hot is too hot for dogs? 

If your dog’s temperature ever hits 104* F or above, this is considered extremely dangerous and they are likely having a heat stroke. If they do start having a heat stroke you need to quickly move them into the shade or an air-conditioned room and give them small amounts of water often. After they recover a little it is good to take them to the veterinarian for further examination. And while dogs don’t  technically experience a heat stroke until 104* F it is best to not get close to that. It is safer to assume that 80-90* is getting excessively hot for extended outdoor activity. 

Alternative options

  1. Go outside early or late

    1. If you know it’s going to be super hot on a particular day, you should consider scheduling walks/exercises for your dog in the early mornings or the late nights. That’s when it’s the coolest and therefore safest to do outdoor exercise. This is an obvious solution and easy to do, just make sure to schedule it in if you are busy. 

  2. Inside exercise

    1. This option works better for smaller dogs, but consider doing some indoor exercise. If you have a little bit of space you can try playing fetch or just play around with your pets inside. This way you can exercise any time of day regardless of the weather. 

  3. Look for shade

    1. If your living arrangements aren’t conducive to indoor exercise, consider going to an area with a lot of trees or a covering. Going to a forest and hiking is a great option for getting exercise in the shade. You can also see if any local basketball courts have a covering and run around there!

  4. Treadmill

    1. This one might sound a little funny, but we promise that it works! If you have a treadmill in your house you can put your dog on their leash and then attach the leash to the handlebar of the treadmill. This allows your pet to get tons of steps in and walk as fast or slow as they want. But with this option, it is extremely important that you stay with your pet the entire time! Leaving them on the treadmill unsupervised is extremely dangerous and negligent. Additionally, you need to start at pace zero and slowly move up by the smallest increment possible. 

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