This applies to all dogs but especially older dogs, dogs with long or thick fur and all dogs with snub noses such as pugs, bulldogs and Boston terriers. If the temperature is over 85 degrees, humid, or both, then think about walking at a slower speed and covering half the distance you normally would. Never run with dogs in extreme heat and watch for signs of overheating such as excessive panting, drooling and visible weakness.
Since these are the cooler parts of the day, this will make the walk more comfortable for both you and your dog. I’m a believer in vigorous exercise for healthy dogs, but this is the time of year to back off on exercise intensity.
Different dogs have different needs when battling the heat. Keep in mind that darker coats absorb more heat than lighter coats. Also, overweight dogs are at higher risk for dehydration. Dogs can’t sweat. They cool off by panting, so an overheated dog will drool excessively. It will become lethargic, its eyes will be bloodshot, and it may appear a little pale. If you lift its skin, it will take longer than usual for the skin to fall back into place.
Always carry water with you to cool your dog, or ask someone who’s hosing the sidewalk to give them a quick shower! If you’re going to be walking for more than 15 minutes then think about dehydration and carry cold water with you, ideally in a stainless steel water bottle. Most pet stores stock collapsible water bowls which fit easily into bags or large pockets, although dogs will quite happily drink out of your hand when they’re thirsty.
On a 75-degree day, the temperature inside a parked car can climb up to 115 degrees within an hour – even with the windows partially open. Your pet can quickly suffer brain damage or die from heatstroke or suffocation.