July 21st
Is It Too Hot To Walk Your Dog?

Credit: DogExpressExercise is essential for any dog, and what dog does not enjoy going for a walk. A warm summer day may seem like the perfect time to go for a walk or a bike ride with your pet. However, before you step out, you may want to keep an eye on the temperature! A breezy day with temperatures of around 25 degrees Celsius may seem comfortable but imagine if you were walking barefoot on sand or pavement! That’s how it feels for your pet and their little paws on a warm day.

Pets like dogs and cats have sensitive paw pads, and hot pavements, streets or even artificial grass can cause burns or discomfort. The overall warmer temperature can also increase your dog’s body temperature and lead to heat exhaustion or even a heat stroke which could be fatal.


Heatstroke happens when a dog’s body can’t cope with an internal rise in temperature. Dogs can only sweat to cool down on areas not covered by fur, such as their paws and nose. When they are hot, dogs mostly cool down by panting, but sometimes this isn’t enough. As their body temperature rises, it damages their tissues and organs, making them unwell. In severe cases, heatstroke can cause a dog’s organs to fail and lead to death.

If you want to keep your dog safe and healthy, consider following these tips on a hot day:

  • Before you consider taking your dog out for a walk, place your palm or barefoot on the pavement for five seconds to check the temperature. If it’s too hot for you, it’s too hot for your dog.
  • Take your dog for a walk during the cooler times of the day - either early morning or evening. Avoid going on walks in the afternoons - the hottest time of the day.
  • Invest in those little dog booties! Your pet dog will definitely benefit from having a protective layer on its paws. Buy the ones with rubber soles for the best protection. That said, the booties can also heat up if you’re outside for longer periods of time.
  • Stick to a route that has lots of trees for shade. Shade would keep the pavement temperature cooler.
  • Ensure to carry a bottle of water and a bowl and offer it to your dog several times during the walk.
  • Take short breaks during your walk. If you see your dog is lagging behind you or looks tired, immediately stop and rest in a shaded area.
  • The simplest alternative to walking on pavement would be to walk on grass or dirt to avoid injury or burns to your dog’s paws.
  • If you are considering going on a bike ride with your dog, it’s essential to understand their physical capability. Depending on the size and weight of the dog, along with warmer temperatures, it may not be the best activity to do together.
  • If your dog shows signs of heat exhaustion or heat stroke, seek immediate veterinary assistance.

If it’s too hot to go outside, try some of these indoor enrichment ideas:

  • Snuffle Mat
  • Toy play time with different kinds of toys
  • Teaching new tricks
  • Food/treat dispensers
  • Puzzle toy
  • Lick mat
  • Teach “find it”
  • Safe socialization
  • Roll treats into a towel
  • Sit and hangout, give attention or let them lead with what they want to do
  • Muffin tin puzzle
  • Hide treats/kibble in a muffin tin with a ball covering it
  • Foraging bin
    • Get a short but large bin, fill with toys and treat dispensers, and sprinkle treats/kibble throughout the bin, so the dog has to sift through the toys and move things around to get to the good stuff!
  • Shred Time!
    • If a dog can safely destroy a toy without ingesting it, let them. Destroying toys or shredding things can help relieve stress, which is fun! As long as the dog can be convinced to leave the toy/activity easily with a high-value treat so it can be removed and disposed of safely, this can be an enrichment option.
  • Destruction Boxes
    • Cardboard, paper towel/toilet paper rolls, drink trays. Make sure the dog can be safely distracted from the enrichment item to do this option.

Infographic Credit: DogExpress