It's officially summer, day three. And it's freaking hot here in SoCal; and as many of you know I am NOT a fan of freaking hot, not even mildly hot. For one it's just too hot to do anything and two; it's just too hot. Okay enough whining; time to get down to "how hot is too hot?" It irks me to no end when I see people out at 3:00 in the afternoon; 95 degrees running along the sidewalk with their dog. Typically the dog looks like it's about to keel over; have they not noticed this?
My rule of thumb when taking a dog out for a run or walk for that matter is; first; feel the surface that the dog is going to walk on, take your shoe and sock off and stand barefoot for a solid minute. Hot? Freaking hot? Even when the sun is out and it's not 95 degrees, the surface of asphalt can really heat up. You should always do the barefoot test first.
So the surface may be sort of hot but seem okay to walk on. What most people don't consider is the heat that rises from the asphalt or concrete or anything for that matter. The little guys suffer the worst here, the closer they are to the ground the hotter it is.
The heat in general knocks me out; but it also knocks out my dogs. Yesterday I made sure that they went out for their run nice and early before the searing heat hit us. By the afternoon it was pretty warm and I really didn't know where everyone was, so I had a walk around the house. There were dog bodies laying in three different rooms but all in the same position. They were on a bed of some sort either human or dog, flat out on their side with their heads hanging over the edge. It was pretty cool in the house with so they were all just chill'n.
Many of my clients have asked me if dogs are bothered by the heat because their dog had seemed very low key. My answer is yes and to enjoy this short down time. As soon as the cooler air hits they will be back to their old energetic self. Having a little break from a high energy dog is sort of nice for a while. Many dogs have lessened appetites during the hot months of summer; I've never noticed this with my guys but they definitely drink a lot more. It is very important on these days to make sure they have lots of nice fresh water to drink.
Consider coat color as well; dark colored dogs suffer much more than light ones in the sun. You must factor that in when taking them to enjoy the great outdoors. My dark gray girl suffers from the heat much more than my blonde boy. So watch the dark colored dogs and make sure to keep them nice and cool in the shade, pool or AC on the hot days of summer.
Dogs are smart, give them the option of AC or no AC and they'll choose the cool indoors when given the chance. I feel bad for dogs that cannot get cool indoors when the temperatures soar up into the high 90s. Even the shade is hot when the temps are that high. Honestly I hate the idea of outside dogs at anytime of the year and try to educate as many people as I can about "outside dogs."
So pour yourself a tall one, fill up the bowl with fresh spring water and relax on hot dog days of summer.