\\\ Summer Beach Dog Walks
Dog Walking In Hot Weather
Should I Change My Dog Walking Times During Summer?
Dog walking during the summer months brings new challenges for dog owners up and down the country whatever the location.
Owners who go out to work have set routines and these times can be hard to change, but when the sun shines and temperatures start rising it’s important to consider your dogs’ needs.
Walk times need to be changed so that dog walks are taken when it is as cool as possible, earlier in the morning and, later in the evening.
Dogs get very sore paws walking on concrete paths and roads, due to how these surfaces retain heat. It is best to try and find some grassy areas, even roadside verges are better for your pet to walk on than tarmac paths, helping your pet’s health.
Beaches, especially sandy beaches can become very hot during the midday and afternoon and if you find it hot walking without shoes on a beach, then you will know what it must feel like for your pet.
Walking at midday has to be avoided. Shorter dog walks in shadier conditions are better and with lots of water available at the end of the walk. However, if you hire dog walkers, this is when they are most active.
Your dog walker may suggest a change of venue more suitable in warmer weather and should explain the reasons why. Some dog walkers can alter walking times by being flexible depending on how many charges they have and work with you to get the best for both your dog and their business. This includes coastal dog walkers who walk dogs on beaches for their owners.
Breeds that suffer the most in hot sunshine are long-haired breeds and those dogs with flat faces. These pets need extra care and attention, as well as senior dogs.
Should I Walk Dogs On Beaches During The Summer?
The simple answer is yes. The midday and early afternoon sun are at their strongest and most fierce. Dogs can easily suffer heat exhaustion and sunburn just as humans do and need to be in the shade at these times. This becomes difficult when on holiday, perhaps with your family and friends where you want to enjoy days out around our beautiful coastlines. A balance has to be struck, coupled with some beach shore locations being better to walk at low tide when there is more sand and shingle exposed than at high tides, where at high tide some beaches may be pebbly. Tide times do need checking daily to get the best out of your holiday locations.
Providing dogs with shade on beaches is a must if staying a few hours, and provide them lots of fresh drinking water in a bowl. Seawater is very salty and only adds to your pet’s quest for more freshwater if they’ve been swimming.
There are pet companies now producing dog canopy’s especially for your dog to lie under on the beach, or if out walking in exposed areas for the day. If you cannot purchase one of these, then a large shade umbrella on the beach is an alternative where they can share space with you. It is ideal to let them lie on a rug or old towel so they keep off the hot sand underneath them.
Other coastal areas operate strict dog control, preventing dogs from being on beaches during summer months, generally 1st May to 30 September in popular locations. The alternative is often to walk them along the promenades which are generally constructed of concrete which become extremely hot and should be avoided.
You can read more about beach restrictions
Finding sand dune areas that often are situated at the back shores of our beaches can be fun where they are not flat and often ‘dip up and down’ providing some areas when you can sit in shade with your dog.
Before you go on holiday, it’s a great idea to give your dog a good, long extra brush to get all the excess hair out and to take brushes with you. Long-haired breeds suffer far more in hot weather than short-haired and after swimming and frolicking about in salty seawater will need a good bath afterward. Once your pet is dry give them a good brush to help keep their hair thinned down during hot weather.
If you are staying in rented holiday coastal, beach accommodation, you may not want to keep your dog on its own, in the new, strange property whilst you are out and about enjoying yourself. Each dog reacts differently in these circumstances and it may be a difficult decision whether you do this. Leaving your dog means making sure they have a cool and safe space in the home with accessible fresh water and toys available and not leaving them too long, especially on the first couple of occasions. Dogs should never be left in conservatories that act similar to cars and cause severe overheating.
Signs of heat exhaustion are seeing your dog panting heavily, that’s when you know they are likely to have heat exhaustion, getting up and down from where they are sitting, in a bid to try to stay cool. The best way is to lower the temperature and if that means moving off the sunny beach and being in the shade for an hour or more, then it’s best for your pet’s health. Continued restlessness, panting, and drooling become a pet emergency, and important to talk to a vet.
Parking your car in shade at a beach location can be a premium, not only keeps your steering wheel cool for you but lowers the temperature for your dog who may be travelling in a confined rear space when boarding.
Being on a beach for a few hours means eating a lunchtime picnic on the beach which is always fun, however, your dog may not need to be given a big meal at lunchtime. During hot weather, it’s better to feed your pets earlier in the day and later. We all know dogs love to sniff your food and it does become difficult not to feed them with your titbits, but this really isn’t good for your dog. Packets of dog treats can be useful where they chew for a little while to keep them busy as you eat, and then when back at home, they can enjoy a bigger meal in more comfort.
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