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When Is It Too Hot To Walk My Dog?

June 7, 2017 | Charleston, Dog Walking, Helpful Tips, Pet Health, Pet Safety


When Is It Too Hot To Walk My Dog

When Is It Too Hot To Walk My Dog?

Dogs need exercise every day and a lot of pet parents ask us “when is it too hot to walk my dog?” during these hot days. Summers in Charleston (along with spring and fall days) can get quite hot. It can be easy for your dog to overheat, so it’s vital for you to understand what heat your dog can safely handle.

What Temperature Is Too Hot For A Dog Walk?

There is not a hard and fast temperature that makes it too hot, but a good rule of thumb is 90 degrees and higher is too hot. On days with very high temperatures, the best idea is to modify your walk times to be early in the morning or late in the evening. These times of the day are cooler and you won’t have the direct sun beating down on your pup. An even better gauge than just the temperature is feeling the sidewalk or road you will be walking on. We use the 5 Second Rule: Place your hand on the pavement and if it is too hot for you to hold there for 5 seconds, it’s too hot for your dog to walk on it.

How To Keep A Dog Cool On A Hot Day

Even on hot days, it’s still inevitable that you’ll have to take your dog outside to go to the bathroom. There are lots of things you can do to keep them cool even when the temperature is boiling. Find shadier paths to walk instead of walking in the direct sun. It’s best to have your dog walk on the grass or dirt instead of pavement so that they don’t burn their paws. Plan out your path so that you can have stops every so often in grassy or shaded areas so their paws can get some relief. It’s also important to limit the time outside, so once they take their potty break, head back home.

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Dogs That Overheat Easily

Every dog is different, but there are certain factors that can make your dog overheat easily. Your dog’s breed can help you determine if they may not do well on a hot day. Dogs that are short-faced, such as Boxers, French Bulldogs, English Bulldogs, Pugs, Pekingese, Boston Terriers, and Shih Tzu’s are dogs that typically overheat very quickly in hot temperatures. Overweight dogs are also much more likely to overheat and have a higher risk for dehydration. Another factor to consider is your dog’s coat color, as darker coats will absorb more heat than lighter coats.

Signs Your Dog Is Too Hot

Most dogs are good at telling you it is too hot for them – you just need to know what to look for! When you first go outside, give your dog a minute or two to adjust to the temperature change. If they act like they want to go back inside, that’s a great sign that they know it’s too hot outside. Once you get going on your walk, watch to see if your dog is high-stepping. When the ground is too hot for their paws, they will be uncomfortable and will try to minimize the time their paws touch the ground. You can also check their paw pads every so often to see if they feel warm or cool. If they are warm, then it’s better to head home and go back out when it’s cooler.

Plan For The Summer

We’re just getting into the crazy hot days of summer here in Charleston, so now is a great time to start adjusting your dog’s walking routine. Plan for walks in the early morning and late evening to ensure your dog stays cool. If your schedule doesn’t work for that new routine, give Charleston Dog Walker a call! We’d love to make sure your dog gets all the exercise they need and still stay cool!

 

Charleston Dog WalkerCharleston Dog Walker provides professional dog walking and pet sitting in your home that is customized to your pet’s needs. We’re so happy you found us (and we know your pet is, too!) and we would truly be honored to be your pet care provider. Give us a call at 843-580-2212 or contact us to get more information about how we can help your pet!

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Picking The Right Leash For Your Dog

April 27, 2017 | Charleston, Cool Pet Products, Dog Training, Dog Walking, Helpful Tips, Pet Products, Training

How To Pick The Right Leash For Your Dog

Have you ever wondered how to pick the right leash for your dog?  As someone who walks all breeds and sizes of dogs every day, I’ve learned a lot about leashes. Every dog parent should know what leash options are out there and what is the best fit for their dog.

How to pick the right leash for your dogThe most common types of dog leashes are:

  • Standard Leash
  • Chain Leash
  • Adjustable Leash
  • Multi-Dog Leash
  • Retractable Leash

The Standard Leash

The standard leash is, by far, our favorite type of leash to use when walking a dog. They are typically made out of thick nylon or leather. You can get them in a variety of lengths, normally anywhere from 3 feet to 9 feet long. We’ve found that dogs typically walk better on a shorter standard leash (3 – 4 foot is ideal), which gives you more control over what the dog is doing while you walk. We prefer nylon leashes to the leather, as they are more comfortable to hold. Just make sure that the leash you buy has a sturdy metal clasp to attach to the dog’s collar and that the leash is made of a durable nylon and not a thin fabric.

The Chain Leash

The chain leash is very similar to the standard leash, except that is made of metal instead of nylon or leather. A chain leash has two main benefits – it won’t get smelly, and it is harder for a dog to chew through it. If you have a dog who likes to chew on the leash as they walk, or hold it in their mouth, using a chain leash is a way to train them not to do that since it’s very unlikely they will want to have a metal leash in their mouth. Most puppies go through a phase of wanting to hold the leash as they are learning proper leash training. Make sure to correct them so they know that it’s not ok, and then you shouldn’t have to worry about this problem anyway. Chain leashes can be uncomfortable to hold and they can be heavy for a dog, so we tend to not recommend going with a chain leash.

The Adjustable Leash

The adjustable leash looks like a standard leash, but with extra rings and hooks. This allows you to shorten or lengthen the leash as needed. This could be useful as your dog grows since you can start them out with a shorter leash and work up to a longer leash when they walk well.  We tend to always favor shorter leashes, though, so we stick with the standard leash option.

The Multi-Dog Leash

The multi-dog leash looks like a very appealing option for someone who has more than one dog, as it allows you to have both dogs on a separate leash, all controlled by one main leash. If you have tiny dogs, this may be a good choice, but we wouldn’t recommend this for someone with larger dogs. The main drawback is that a multi-dog leash doesn’t allow you to have direct control over each dog. It also shifts the weight distribution away from you, making it easier to be pulled by the dogs if they both try to pull towards the same thing. If a squirrel runs past, you may be on the ground before you know it!

The Retractable Leash

The retractable leash is one of the most common types of leashes used today, but it is by far the one we dislike the most. Retractable leashes are much easier to break, whether it stops retracting or snaps. Most of them also use a cord for the retractable part, which can cause serious injuries to you or your dog. The cord can easily cut you if your dog starts to run or if it gets tangled around you. Google retractable leash injuries and you’ll see just how dangerous these can be. Retractable leashes also are terrible for leash training. They give the dog too much control and don’t allow you to teach them how to walk properly beside you. While it is important for a dog to stop and sniff on their walks, they can easily do that with a standard leash when they are walking properly.

There certainly are a lot of leash options out there, but our tip pick will always be the standard leash. It allows you to have the most control while you walk, it is comfortable to hold and helps you to train your dog how to walk well beside you.

 

Charleston Dog Walker provides professional dog walking and pet sitting in your home that is customized to your pet’s needs. We’re so happy you found us (and we know your pet is, too!) and we would truly be honored to be your pet care provider. Give us a call at 843-580-2212 or contact us to get more information about how we can help your pet!


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