Training and Safety Tips for Protecting Your Dog From The Summer Heat
I was over at a client in Southwest Ranches this week working on their Dog Guard Out of Sight Dog Fence System. It was really hot and I actually had to stop for the day because, no matter how much water I drank and how many breaks I took, I was becoming overheated. That is not good for us humans and really bad for our dogs. Many times we just jump in the pool or have our dog jump in the pool. I have talked about this in the past and plan to offer future blogs on this, but what if there is no pool? What if you dog needs to have some outside time and the sun is just beating down.
I have already talked about dogs in pools, maintaining correct hydration, and a host of other topics that you and your dog need to deal with in our summer heat. The problem that you must face is that your dog needs exercise and he needs to get outside.
Your dog needs his exercise and this summer seems to be one of the hottest that I can remember in a long time. These are two facts that you have to live with down here in South Florida. What you must do is to deal with these facts in a safe way. I have some suggestions and rules that I have provided my clients over the last nine years that seem to work pretty well.
In the summer, it is already over 80 degrees by 10AM and can get way over 90 degrees by the afternoon. Many times, it doesn’t get down to the 80’s again until 6PM and doesn’t drop into the 70’s until 10 in the evening. The best thing to do is to set up a rigid schedule that can get your dog outside and manage his heat safety. Here is my recommendation on summer outside playtime.
- Until 10AM in the Morning: Play outside once for a maximum of 15 minutes.
- From 10AM until 5PM in the Afternoon: Play outside once for a maximum of 10 minutes.
- From 5PM until 9PM in the Evening: Play outside once for a maximum of 15 minutes.
- After 9PM at Night: Play outside once for a maximum of 30 minutes.
Make the “middle of the day” playtime not as “active” as the other times. You can throw the Frisbee, but not for the entire time. Activities like rolling a ball to fetch or a brisk walk (on leash if necessary), or simply wandering around the back yard together would be appropriate in the middle of the day. Always make sure that there is plenty of water and take water breaks even if your dog isn’t rushing the water bowl.
One last thing… If your dog is on medication or is older in years, dehydration can come far sooner than with other dogs. You might want to cut down the outside times I have listed above by 25% to 50%. If you see your dog begin to become listless or lethargic in any way, bring him inside at once. If he continues to be unusually quiet for one to two hours after you have brought him inside, call your veterinarian immediately.
We can play outside in the heat, but we must be safe about it.
For more information about summer heat for dogs or Dog Guard Out of Sight Dog Fence Training, please contact The Best Out of Sight Dog Fence Trainers in Southwest Ranches and South Florida.