4 Tips to Stay Fit with Your Dog This Summer
Dr. Sarah Dougherty, VetInsight
Summer is here – that time of year for family fun in the Great Outdoors. And those adventures should by all means include our playful pooches, but how can we make sure they’re safe if we bring them along? Your dog days of summer will be happy, refreshing, and active if you just keep these 4 tips in mind:
1. Stay cool.
Pay attention to the outside temperature. It’s mission critical to avoid the hottest times of the day and direct sunlight, which means you might need to become an early bird—or a night owl (this is where your Whistle GO Explore Night Light comes in handy!). Dogs don’t sweat like we do, so it can be much harder for them to regulate body temperature to keep from overheating. Always carry lots of water for both you and your dog.
2. Get wet.
Swimming builds muscle strength without impact on the joints, so it’s a great form of exercise for older dogs or those with arthritis. If you can’t spend time at a beach, river, or lake, just splash around in a kiddie pool or run through the sprinklers. Playing in the water is beneficial as both exercise and relief from the heat.
3. Go for a hike.
A good hike provides optimum exercise that benefits both you and your pet. If you have forested trails near you, use them to seek shelter from the summer sun. Dirt trails are always cooler than pavement or asphalt, and they eliminate the risk of burning sensitive paw pads.
4. Paws and reflect.
Move over, goat yoga. Bond with your pup through some warm-and-fuzzy sun salutations, and release pent up stress. Come to the mat with an open mind and sense of humor. Rest assured, you’ll reap the benefits (and extra kisses) when it’s too hot to play outside.
* * * * * * * * * *
No matter what we do, we must always be mindful of our dogs’ specific capabilities and limitations. It’s a good idea to consult your vet before starting up a new exercise plan, just to make sure it’s in line with your dog’s fitness level.
When you do venture outside, be prepared. Make sure your dog is protected against fleas, ticks, and heartworms, and carry a small pet emergency pack containing:
- First aid kit
- Emergency medication for bee stings
- Tick puller
Remember, if you have any questions or concerns about your dog as you beat the heat, use the Whistle Chat with a Vet feature in the app – our VetInsight veterinarians are available for live chats, emails, or phone calls. Happy summer!