Keeping our furry friends healthy requires much dedication. That’s why it’s so important to take your dogs on daily walks. To learn the importance and some great tips, follow this link.
Walking your dog may present dangers along the way. These can include extreme temperatures and the things our dogs can find along the way.
Let’s see how these dangers can affect our dogs and some helpful hints to avoid them.
Be Careful With Extreme Weather
When it comes to the weather, we need to be careful with extreme heat conditions and cold conditions. What are some things to keep in mind?
When it’s hot:
- Temperature. It is safe to walk your dog in weather up to 68℉ (19℃). Higher temperatures increase the risk of heatstroke.
- Terrain. Asphalt absorbs and reflects heat making it extremely hot in warm temperatures. Concrete can also get hot, especially in the summer. Both of these surfaces can be damaging to a dog’s paws, causing heat irritation.
- The sun. Dogs can also get sunburns. Lighter-coated dogs have sensitive pink skin underneath can burn.
- Keep your dog hydrated by taking a bottle of water for both them and you.
- Walk your dog in the morning or evening when the sun is less intense.
- Buy doggy summer shoes and sunscreen.
When it’s cold:
- Hypothermia. When dogs’ body temperatures drop below 35 degrees Celcius, they enter the first stages of Hypothermia. Symptoms to watch for include muscle stiffness, slow breathing, and slow heart rates.
- Frostbite. When exposed to cold for a long time, the body restricts blood vessels to the extremities. Dog paws and noses are the most commonly affected areas. Watch for whimpering as they walk that indicates pain on their paw pads. Their feet may turn grey or blueish.
- Irritants/Toxic Chemicals. People use things like salt to get rid of snow. Irritants and other chemicals can stick to their paws, causing pain and/rashes. Be mindful of any redness or sensitivity on their feet and noses.
- Limit the amount of time spent outside in the cold.
- If your dog isn’t naturally coated for winter, consider clothing to keep them warm.
- Buy doggy winter boots.
Finding Things Along the way
Another danger is that, while on walks, your dog decides to eat or drink things that they shouldn’t.
Be aware of the following:
- Toxic foods to dogs. Foods, like raisins and grapes, are harmful to the kidneys causing vomiting and kidney failure. Other human food to be aware of include chocolate, onions, and avocados.
- Dog poop. Unfortunately, eating poop is a habit for dogs. It’s clear why this is unhealthy, its poop, and it contains parasites and diseases.
- Puddles of Water. Idle water along your path can be where mosquitos breed, which can transmit heartworms. They can contain parasites and bacterias, like leptospirosis, which can be deadly.
- Stay alert to your surroundings.
- Plan your walks with your dog by choosing routes that are cleaner.
- Keep an eye on your dog for any change in mood or behaviors.
Pet Ponderosa’s Helpful Services
These are just some of the dangers to keep in mind during your daily walks. If you see any signs of your dog being affected by some illness, seek help from animal hospitals, like VCA Hospitals.