How To Exercise Your Dog In Hot Weather
The sun is beating down from the cloudless sky, the air is still, and one step out the door sends droplets of sweat down your temple. Such a scenario is every Singaporean’s (and Malaysian’s, too) worst nightmare — worse still if you own a dog that is bursting with energy. While it is important to make sure your pup gets sufficient exercise, a lengthy walk on a hot day could put your dog in danger of heatstroke or dehydration. Here’s how you can safely tire your hyper dog on a hot day.
1. Avoid The Mid-Day Sun
Early mornings and late evenings are the best times to walk your dog. These are the coolest times of the day and thus are most suitable for long, 30-minute walks. Take advantage of these timings to jog, cycle, and play with your pup while keeping an eye on its stamina. If your dog can’t hold its pee throughout the day, it is fine to take them out for quick bathroom breaks in the afternoon, but do be mindful of the heat. Heated pavements can burn your canine’s paws so it is good practice to touch the pavement with your hand first before bringing your pup out.
2. By The Water
For pups who love a good dip, taking them to the beach, a doggy swimming pool, or even just playing with a hose will cool them down while acting as fun exercise time. There is nothing like a good round of fetch in the water or a breezy run by the beach. Do avoid taking them out at noon and remember to bring along plenty of drinking water.
3. Take Breaks
If you must take your dog out in the hotter parts of the day, one method of caution is to allow for plenty of rest time. Go for a slow 10-minute walk and try to stay under the shade. If you notice your dog panting harder than usual, quickly find a shady place to allow your dog to recuperate.
4. Cooling Measures
A quick rinse before going out will do wonders in terms of keeping your dog cool. Upon return, you can shower your dog again as a quick way to cool it off, or lay out a big, wet towel for it to lie on. Dogs cool off from bottom to top, so prioritising their underside will cool them down faster.
5. Indoor Exercise
There are a number of indoor options that don’t require a whole lot of space. Tug of war is a great game that will get your pup active, without necessarily requiring you to break a sweat. You can also hide treats around the house and get your dog to sniff around and find them. Alternatively, you can spend the time training your dog, either personally or with professional trainers.
Ultimately, monitoring your dog’s behaviour is the way to ensure your pup stays safe on a sweltering day. Every dog’s tolerance for heat is different, so take time to understand your dog’s needs and remain vigilant.