Bringing your four-legged pal along on a hike can make it an even better experience, but the heat is something to watch out for. With a little knowledge, you can make sure you keep your dog’s body temperature in check.
Keep Your Dog Cool During Summer Hikes
Once the heat is here, everyone can feel it. Your dog included. Although hiking is a super fun activity to do with your best furry friend, summer is a season to be particularly careful with them.
Before you even head outside, consider the temperature, the terrain you’ll be hiking on, if there will be water available and shade somewhere along the trail. All these factors can take a toll on your dog’s performance and well-being. Why? Because dogs plus too much heat can lead to them having a heat stroke.
Unlike humans, dogs release heat by panting. They don’t sweat through the skin like we do. When the heat is too much and panting is not enough to release it, their body temperature rises. This is a potentially deadly condition, if not corrected quickly.
Some of the signs of heat stroke are:
- Excessive panting
- A dazed look
- Increased drooling
- Hot skin
- Twitching muscles
Don’t let it get that far. Here are some tips to help you keep your dog’s body cool:
Panting uses a lot of moisture, so it’s essential that you provide your dog with plenty of fresh water. Dogs don’t always drink as much water as they actually need so you can try to sneak some water into their meal before the hike, by soaking the kibble a little. Carry plenty of water with you, but make sure it’s tepid. Really cold water requires more energy for the body to warm it up before digesting it, and hot water is obviously not an option.
Take Advantage of the Earlier Hours
Hiking in the morning is best because the sun is not as hot. Noon is the hottest time of the time, so it’s best to avoid taking your dog on a hike with you if you plan to do it around that time. Closer to the evening is also a good time to go for a short hike since the temperature has cooled down by then. Keeping your dog on a leash is recommended to prevent them from drinking water from rivers nearby, as it may be contaminated with leptospirosis, among other things.
Keep Your Dog Groomed
Your dog will be able to tolerate heat better after a good grooming. A bath and brush will remove any dead skin and hair that might be tangled, allowing the skin to breath better. Avoid shaving your dog as the coat can help protect the skin from sunburn. You can trim some of the hair to help them cool off a bit.
It’s always a beautiful time to enjoy the outdoors but there’s something special about summer. It only lasts a few short months, so make them count. If you’re looking for a true adventure, at Mile Hi Rafting, we can help you plan one you will never forget.