THE WEATHER

It is very important to consider the weather conditions before you plan a run. This is most important during the hotter parts of the year where you should avoid the hottest part of the day or running when it’s too hot.

 

Dogs overheat more easily than humans because of their fur coats and because they don't sweat. Long-haired breeds may feel cooler in the summertime after a haircut - but don't go too short since their coat also protects against sunburn. A small amount of evaporation and heat loss occur via panting, but this is far less efficient than our cooling mechanism which is via sweating. The higher the outside temperature and humidity get, the less efficient their

cooling mechanisms get.

Run in the shade when possible and in the sun you should avoid footpaths, asphalt or sand which can burn dogs' paws. These materials absorb heat from the sun and retain that heat for hours, even after the sun has gone down. To test a surface's temperature, use the 5 second rule.

If you help your dog to cool off by taking a dip or having a swim, bear in mind that their paws may be more susceptible to hot materials afterwards. This is because water softens the pads of a dog’s feet making it more likely that hot surfaces like boat pier's and the pavement will cause them to burn.

If you see any signs in your dog such as limping, not wanting to walk, a red or pink color change in the paw pads, licking or chewing at the feet, missing pieces of the pads or blisters, take your dog to see your veterinarian immediately.

Just as you would yourself, it is also a good idea to keep your dog protected from the sun. If he or she has pink areas of skin exposed to sun, consider applying some dog safe zinc cream or sunscreen. Some doctors advise using a sunscreen that is safe for human babies. 

View Petplan's helpul resource 'How hot is too hot?' to see what temperatures are ideal for your dogs size, age and breed.

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