Hiking with your dog can be an incredibly exciting and bonding experience. However, it’s important to be aware of the potential dangers of hiking in the summer, especially in high-heat climates like Arizona. One of the biggest dangers is overheating. Dogs can quickly overheat when hiking, especially if they are not used to the heat. There are a few things you can do to prevent this from happening, like hiking at a cooler time of day, bringing plenty of water, protecting your dog with apparel, and understanding that heat will affect every dog differently. With a little planning and preparation, you can make sure that both you and your dog have a safe and enjoyable hike.
What Is So Bad About Hiking In The Summer Heat?
As any dog owner knows, our furry friends love to join us on hikes and outdoor adventures. However, it’s important to be aware of the dangers of hiking with your dog in the summer heat. When it is hot, dogs can overheat, become dehydrated, suffer from heat stroke, burn their paw pads, and more. That’s why it’s important to be aware of the warning signs and things to look out for if your dog is starting to overheat.
One of the first signs that your dog is overheating is excessive panting and drooling. If you notice your dog panting more than usual or if their tongue and gums start to look dry and cracked, it’s time to take a break and give them some water. Don’t be afraid to feel your dog’s gums. If they feel tacky, it’s a good indicator that your four-legged companion is dehydrated.
You should also keep an eye out for signs of weakness or lethargy, as these can be early indications of heat stroke. If your dog starts stumbling or slowing down, find a shady spot for them to rest right away. And finally, be sure to check your dog’s paw pads regularly for any sign of burning or blistering.
Should I Not Hike With My Dog In The Summer?
Despite the risks, there are still plenty of ways that you can enjoy a summer hike with your dog. First, start early in the morning or late in the evening when it’s cooler outside. Second, make sure to bring plenty of water for both you and your dog, and take breaks often to give your dog a chance to rest and drink. Keep an eye on your dog for any signs of discomfort, and be prepared to turn back if necessary. Finally, make sure that you are properly grooming your pet during the summer months, like brushing out excess fur. With a little planning, you can enjoy a safe and fun hike with your furry friend this summer.
Tip #1: Start Your Adventure Early
Hiking with your dog can be a great way to bond and explore the great outdoors together, but it’s important to take care to avoid overheating. Dogs don’t sweat as humans do, so they rely on panting to regulate their body temperature. This can become less effective in very hot weather, leading to heatstroke. To avoid this, start your hike early in the morning before the temperature gets too high. This will give you a chance to enjoy the cooler temperatures and avoid the risk of your dog overheating.
Tip #2: Bring Plenty Of Water!
When hiking with your dog in the summer heat, it is important to take precautions to prevent your furry friend from overheating. One of the best ways to do this is to bring plenty of water for both you and your dog to drink. It is also important to stop for water breaks frequently so that your pup can take a drink and cool off. If you notice that your dog is panting heavily or seems sluggish, it is a good idea to find a shady spot and give them a break from walking and let them have some water. It is important to remember to bring fresh water for your dog. If you are hiking in a spot with a natural source of water, your dog may attempt to drink from this natural source however, if you let your dog drink from a river or lake, this increases their chances of being exposed to harmful bacteria.
Tip #3: Remember Your Pups Paws!
Dogs’ paws are just as susceptible to burns from hot surfaces as our own feet are. Because dogs walk on all fours, their paw pads are more likely to come into contact with hot pavement or sand. As a result, it’s important to be mindful of your dog’s paws when hiking in warm weather. One way to do this is to regularly check their paw pads for any redness or swelling. If you notice any signs of discomfort, be sure to give your dog a break and allow them to cool off in the shade. You may also want to consider investing in pet booties, which can help protect your dog’s paws from hot surfaces.
Tip #4: Groom Your Pet For Adventure
Be sure to groom your dog regularly during the summer months. Regular brushing removes the dead undercoat, which will help air circulate through the fur better. Shaving your dog for the summer might seem like it should keep them cool, but it can have the opposite effect. Dog fur is insulating- it keeps them cool in the summer and warm in the winter. Removing the bulk of the fur can interfere with the dog’s natural ability to regulate its temperature.
Tip #5: Understand That Heat Affects Breeds Differently
While some dogs are naturals when it comes to hitting the trails, others may not be so well-suited for long walks in the heat. In general, smaller breeds tend to have a higher tolerance for heat than their larger counterparts. While some dogs are naturals when it comes to hitting the trails, others may not be so well-suited for long walks in the heat. In general, smaller breeds tend to have a higher tolerance for heat than their larger counterparts. However, even small breeds can be susceptible to heat exhaustion if they are not properly acclimated. For example, small dogs with flat faces, such as Pugs or Bulldogs, are not typically good candidates for hikes in hot weather. On the other hand, Breeds like the Alaskan Malamute and Siberian Husky were bred for colder climates and may overheat quickly on a warm day. When choosing a hiking companion, it’s important to consider both breed and individual temperament.
Time To Explore With Your 4-Legged Trail Pal
Summertime is a great time to get out and enjoy the many hiking trails our state has to offer. If you are looking for hiking inspiration, there are plenty of helpful websites and guides that highlight the top trails to hike with dogs. However, it’s important to remember that the summer heat can be dangerous for dogs if proper precautions aren’t taken.
By following these tips, you and your furry friend can have a safe and enjoyable hike together. If you have any questions or concerns about hiking with your dog, please don’t hesitate to contact us today! We would love to help make sure that both of you have a great experience on the trail.
For more helpful pet information, like 5 tips for finding pet-friendly hotels or the signs and treatments for dogs with seasonal allergies, head over to the Continental Animal Wellness Center Blog. There, we expand on these topics, along with everything from preventative care to ways to have fun with your pet!