Summer is the time of year where many of us are most active outdoors. Vacations and beach days are at our fingertips, but can often lead to humans having fun while the dogs are left home. It’s important to remember how to achieve fun and training progress with your dog even in the heat. Beat the heat with your dog by following these three ways to make the most out of summer with your dog.
Beat the Heat Tip #1: Take Advantage of the Time of Day
Try to walk your dog in the mornings and evenings and supplement an afternoon play session with a walk through one of Charlotte’s many dog friendly stores including places such as Great Outdoor Provision Co., Blackhawk Hardware, or even one of Charlotte’s many breweries such as Blue Blaze Brewing. Summertime is a great time to get things done around the house and complete big projects, which often require a trip to a home improvement store, such as Lowe’s. These stores are generally very dog friendly, and offer a cool place with minimal distractions for you and your dog. Always make sure to call ahead before taking your dog anywhere to ensure that the specific location you wish to visit is dog friendly. You can also try taking your dog for a swim at a nearby lake or a shaded trail with safe and easy access to clean water. It’s important not to let the heat be an excuse to keep the dog inside all day; they deserve the same amount of exercise regardless of the season.
Beat the Heat Tip #2: Utilizing your Time Indoors
Working on tricks and different skills with your dog will also mentally fatigue them while giving them a job to do. I often take the hottest part of the day to work on a fun trick or more advanced obedience instead of a game of fetch outside. Some of my favorite tricks to teach indoors are cleaning up toys, acting shy, and walking on your feet. These tricks will mentally fatigue your dog much faster than a run outside all while keeping them safe from the heat. Here at KeenDog, we have made several training tutorials on unique tricks we like to teach. Here at two great options for you to try with your dog: How To Train Your Dog To Bounce Off A Wall and Training Lizzie The Foot Trick and Hug Trick. Feel free to find us on YouTube and follow along.
Beat the Heat Tip #3: Always be Safe
Although most cases of dog deaths by hot car go unreported, several hundred have been reported in 2017 alone. Safety is our number one priority when it comes to dogs in cars during the summer, if it is more the 75 degrees outside it is not safe for your dog to be in a car without air conditioning. Also, be conscious and park your car in the shade to help with keeping it as cool as possible. Remember to always be mindful of the heat and check the temperature of the ground before taking your dog on a walk, regardless of the time of day. You can check the temperature of the ground by placing the back of your hand on the concrete, and if you can’t tolerate it for 5-10 seconds, your dog shouldn’t walk on it. Also stick to shaded routes. Wooded hiking trails offer more shade and cooler temperatures than a neighborhood street. Always have fresh water with you, and take plenty of breaks.
Summer means making memories with your family, friends and your dog – just be safe about it and beat the heat!
– Nina LaValley, KeenDog Trainer