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Keeping Paws off Hot Pavement

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 Recently, we got a huge response to a photo about not walking your dogs on hot pavement that we shared with our followers all over the social media world. It was encouraging to see how many of you shared and commented on it, because it shows us that our readers truly love their pets and are doing what they can to spread the word about important pet issues like this one.

So now that we know we should keep our pup’s paws off of the hot pavement if it’s too hot for our own feet, what do we do? They still need exercise, so it’s time for us to pass along some tips for making sure your dogs stay healthy and strong all summer long. (Remember to keep an eye out for signs of heat stroke!) Read on for some tips to keep your pets paws off the pavement…

[heading style=”2″ color=”#996633″ style_color=”#996633″]Walk in the morning or evening.[/heading]

It makes sense that if you’re going to take your dog for a walk on the pavement in the summer, it’s best to do it early in the morning before the sun has had a chance to heat it up, or later in the evening once it has lost some of the day’s heat. Perform a spot check with your own bare foot to ensure the sidewalk is cool enough. Cooler air doesn’t mean cooler sidewalks, especially in the evening, as pavement retains heat a lot longer than the air does.

Go to the park. [heading style=”2″ color=”#996633″ style_color=”#996633″]Go to the park.[/heading]

Hitting a doggy park is a great way to exercise your dog without stepping foot on the pavement. Make sure there are shady areas to rest in, and bring plenty of water. Watch those sidewalks going to and from the park though! (If you absolutely must walk on a sidewalk or road, get your dog some booties to protect their paws .)

[heading style=”2″ color=”#996633″ style_color=”#996633″]Go for a swim.[/heading]

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This not only provides exercise, but cools them off too. Check out this link for some advice on pool chemicals and how they relate to your dog taking a dip in the pool. No matter where you and your dog decide to take a dip, give them a rinse after every swim to prevent health problems. Be sure your pet is well-trained on getting out of a pool safely, and if your pet is a breed that has difficulty swimming, be sure you provide a personal flotation device (PFD). We like the Ruffwear K-9 Float Coat Dog Lifejacket, but there are many different types on the market that are highly effective.

[heading style=”2″ color=”#996633″ style_color=”#996633″]Teach dogs to use a treadmill.[/heading]

It takes some training, but it’s well worth the time invested. Sure, it’s not as fun for them as a walk outdoors, but it’s a far sight better than letting your dog pack on some summer pounds or dealing with a bored dog chewing up that book you left on the couch. Watch this step-by-step video on training your dog to walk on a treadmill. He even shows dogs struggling against the idea, and how he helps them through it.

If you’re looking for a great treadmill, we recommend the PetZen treadmill. They are the best quality on the market and will make working out easy if you have a high-energy dog or live in an area with a hostile climate. 

[bt_youtube url=”http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=YTuu6eZ2cKk” width=”600″ height=”400″ responsive=”yes” autoplay=”no”][/bt_youtube]

If you’re the handy sort, you could even build your own carpet treadmill! (Please, never leave your dog alone around or on a treadmill. Always supervise.)

[bt_youtube url=”http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=aLo37xk298M” width=”600″ height=”400″ responsive=”yes” autoplay=”no”][/bt_youtube]

[heading style=”2″ color=”#996633″ style_color=”#996633″]Leave your dog home when running errands.[/heading]

Your dog doesn’t need to go to Petsmart or Petco (or anywhere other than the veterinarian) during the hot summer months. Sorry – they just don’t. The problems far outweigh the benefits, so during the hot summer months, just leave them at home. You have shoes – you can do the running around for them. 

[heading style=”2″ color=”#996633″ style_color=”#996633″]Play indoor games.[/heading]

Just 20 to 30 minutes of play time will burn energy, decrease boredom and strengthen the bond between you and your dog. Try playing a game of hide and seek! Hide a favorite toy, and then lead your dog around on a hunt to find it. Another fun option would be to hide yourself and let your dog find you. It’s not only good exercise, but it’s another chance to practice other commands if you want to go that far.

No matter what alternatives you use to exercise your dog this summer, be sure to provide your pet with sunscreen (we like Epi-Pet Sun Protector Sunscreen Spray) and be on the lookout for Signs of Heat Stroke in Pets. Help us keep pets safe this summer by passing along our tips to your pet-loving friends.

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