When is it too hot to walk a dog?

asked 2016-07-18 00:29:24 -0500

Do you guys walk dogs when temperatures get above 90 degrees in the summer? I've heard conflicting things. Tomorrow is going to be the hottest day yet, at 97 degrees, and I don't know if it's just wayyy too hot to walk my client; a two year old beagle. We walk on a dirt path in a shaded area so her paws won't be an issue (no hot pavement), but is it too hot anyway? Do you guys have a general rule about this? And obviously the walk would be shortened considerably

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I have learned from my vet do not have dogs outside if temperature is under 32 degrees and over 65 degrees their paw pads can burn and that hurts their paws a lot.

Betty and Logan  W.'s profile image Betty and Logan W.  ( 2018-02-05 12:32:26 -0500 ) edit

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answered 2016-07-18 10:07:27 -0500

I live in Texas, so I have to have a hot weather policy. Heat stroke in dogs is unusually common here in Houston, especially at dog parks and daycare facilities. As a result, I am overly cautious, if the heat index is over 100 degrees, walks will only be conducted if there is a safe path to do so (no concrete, asphalt, etc.). Additionally, the walks are shortened to 15 minutes outside, with the rest for a cool down period and water break inside. As long as you are cautious and monitoring the dogs for signs of heat stroke, you should be fine.

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answered 2016-07-19 15:17:41 -0500

It depends on the dog. Like the other Rover sitter above, if the heat index is above 100 I don't walk. If it is extremely hot or overly humid, I gauge how the dog is doing on the walk. My other concern is the pavement temperature. I try to stay to grass areas but in some of the neighborhoods pavement and asphalt are unavoidable. I place my bare hand on the asphalt and see if I can stand it for 10 seconds. If I cannot, then it is too hot for the dog paws. Depending on if it's borderline or not I may consider either using a protective salve (available in many pet stores) on their paws or carrying smaller dogs over the asphalt to a grassy area. Cold weather/long hair/ thick coated dogs I am especially cautious with. Check for uneasiness in their breathing, excessive drooling, whimpering, "high stepping" on the pavement, etc. There are lists of heat stroke symptoms online and I'd definitely check one of those out and possibly keep them with you. If it's over 90 degrees I often scale back the walk and seek shade when possible.

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answered 2016-07-18 08:39:00 -0500

When extreme weather hits, I tell my clients that the walks will be shortend and I will attempt to walk them on grass and find shade when ever possible. I always pay close attention to my pup and gauge them against the day and their age and activity level. Hot and cold weather can be challenging, but manageable.

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answered 2016-07-18 06:43:04 -0500

Hi Sarah: I'm not aware of any "one size fits all" type plans/rules for dealing with weather. I think you have a logical approach by shortening the walk - I do that too. When it's really hot, or really cold (and depending on the dog) I'll do a short walk and then play time indoors afterward. [Like a half walk/half drop in visit] Basically, you need to play it by ear with each different client...the dog's breed, health, age/energy level all come into play. A 5 year old Weimaraner would love walking on hot days, just as a 5 year old Husky would love walking when it's freezing or below. Reverse the seasons, and you'll most likely get the opposite. Some older dogs don't enjoy being out in extreme heat or cold at all, and others are not phased by it. I'm always upfront about how weather affects walks at the meet & greet, and all of my clients are very understanding. As long as you are doing what you think is best for the dog's health and safety, you won't have to worry.

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answered 2017-06-16 16:27:03 -0500

I know this is a long ago question, but I'd like to add a technician's point of view here. Heat index over 100 and I cancel walks. If they would like me to still come let the pup out for potty break, I'll certainly do that - but outdoors becomes dangerous. I would hesitate to see what the dogs energy is like and play it by ear. Old, obese and otherwise compromised animals tend to fair really poorly in heat that high. I can't tell you how many dogs come into the ER after "only being out for like a half an hour...."

http://www.humanesociety.org/animals/resources/tips/pets_safe_heat_wave.html?referrer=https://www.google.com/ (This is a really good article about heat stroke and keeping pets cool from the humane society.)

If it's hot, but bearable, take frequent stops for water breaks. There are so many collapsible bowls out there, it's easy to pick one up.

Also, great advice about keeping to dirt paths and no concrete for paws. The salve available at various pet store only works slightly. And then you have to remember to clean off paws when you get back to home, because dogs do sweat from their feet. Besides panting, it's the only biological avenue they have of cooling down.


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answered 2018-09-11 02:41:00 -0500

I change my hours of availability for walking to early morning and late evening I live in the desert hot in the day and cool at night ...might I suggest on hot days not walking from 10 am to 5 pm you can still fit 4 or 5 half hour walks in I walked a dog at 7 am and another at 8 today it was 105 degrees to day

I know it is harder to make money but 4 walks is better than none when it gets closer to fall weather I will change my hours

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