Evanger's Quick Tips for Exercising With Your Pet In the Heat

Your dog is itching to go outside for a walk. And while you’re ready for a little exercise as well, the thermostat is on the rise. While it’s not necessary to avoid outdoor activity entirely during the summer, it is a good idea to adjust the duration and intensity of exercise in accordance with the temperature. 

Photo by Rebecca Menapace [calendar contest entry]
As a rule, early mornings and evening hours are best suited for your outings – whether it's a walk, hike or even tossing the ball around in the yard. Did you know that pets with white-colored ears are more susceptible to skin cancer? Also, short-nosed breeds are prone to breathing difficulties since these pets have poor panting mechanisms. Keep dogs like Shih Tzus, Boxers, Lhasa Apsos, Pugs and Bulldogs away from the heat as much as possible. 

Dogs don't sweat like people do. Most of their sweat glands are located around their paws. If Fido hasn’t stepped in his water bowl and you see wet footprints on your floor, it’s a red flag that your pooch is overheating and needs to be relocated to a cool spot. Also be sure to walk your dog on grass if possible since asphalt becomes very hot and can burn their delicate paws. Never leave the house without an adequate supply of water to prevent both of you from dehydrating.

Your best exercise bets are:
· Taking your dog to the lake, bay or ocean for a swim.
· Going on a hike or trail run early in the morning or late in the day.
· Taking shorter hikes, and find shaded trails and campsites.

Be sure to avoid:
· Having your dog run alongside your bicycle. If you do this from time to time, please don't do it in the summer.
· Hike trails that aren't shaded. Aside from the heat, you might come across rattlesnakes that love to bask in the hot sun. 

Heat exhaustion is common in dogs. It can happen your own yard, or on a walk. Remember that dogs cool themselves by panting. When panting fails to reduce the body temperature, your pooch will develop heat stroke. 

Signs include:
· Heavy Panting
· Rapid Breathing
· Salivation
· Fatigue
· Muscle Tremors
· Staggering

If you feel your dog is experiencing heat exhaustion, take him to a cool, shady place, and apply wet towels or cloths to help cool down his body temperature. Try to give him small amounts of water. Then call your vet immediately. 

Your dog’s diet plays an important role in adequate hydration and muscle recovery after exercise. Feeding canned food provide high quality, easily digestible nutrients that help keep muscles and organs functioning in peak condition, while also keeping cells hydrated. For a boost in nutrition and hydration for your furry exercise partner, try Evanger’s Signature Stews made with USA farm grown meat and vegetables, slow cooked in a savory broth.

If you apply common sense and taking these exercising tips into account, you’ll be well on your way to keeping your pet happy, well exercised and healthy in the heat.