Summer Safety For Your Furry Family: Dog Walking Tips + Paw Balm Recipe
Your dog doesn't care that it's summer and hot out. They want to go for walks! Here are some tips that our dog walkers have learned, and that pet parents should consider when walking their dogs in the summer:
Adjust Your Dog Walking Schedule Seasonally
Avoid walking your dog during the hottest part of the day. If you need to walk your dog midday, try to find a shaded route and bring water for both you and your pup. Taking 5 to 10 minute breaks in the shade throughout the walk can help keep your dog cool for longer excursions (Yes, your dog will love getting to sniff under that old elm tree down the street). There are even cooling bandanas and cooling vests available, in all dog sizes, that can help more heat sensitive dogs enjoy the stroll safely.
You Are Wearing Shoes, But Your Dog Isn't
Pavement, sand, and asphalt can get extremely hot in the summer sun, causing burns and/or discomfort to your dog's paws. You can protect your dog's paws by walking on grassy areas, using protective booties or scheduling walks during the cooler times of the day.
Walking on hot surfaces can also be very drying to your dog's paw pads. We recommend using a paw balm to avoid cracking, and keeping your dogs paws moist and soft enough for excellent snuggles.
Hydrate, Hydrate, Hydrate
Just like humans, dogs can get dehydrated quickly in the heat. Bringing a water bottle and collapsible bowl to keep your dog hydrated throughout the walk is important. In the hottest part of summer, we recommend offering your dog water every 15 minutes, preferably in the shade. You can splash any extra water on their belly to help them cool down.
Heatstroke can be a serious condition that can lead to organ failure and even death. It's important to stay tuned into your dog's body language as a preventative, and be knowledgeable about the symptoms.
Symptoms can include:
Refusing to Walk
If you notice these signs, help your dog cool down and immediately seek veterinary attention.
Dogs with light-colored fur or thin coats are more susceptible to sunburns. Use a pet-friendly sunscreen to protect your dog's skin. Don't forget your dog's nose! The most common sunburns we see are little doggy noses that are unprotected.
Remember to always check weather conditions before your walks. Consult with your veterinarian for more specific advice on how to keep your dog healthy and happy during the summer months.
Wanna make your own paw balm? Here’s a quick and easy recipe:
Dog Paw Balm Recipe
2 tablespoons of coconut oil
2 tablespoons of shea butter
2 tablespoons of beeswax pellets
1 tablespoon of olive oil or sweet almond oil
Optional: 5-10 drops of dog friendly essential oil
-In a double boiler or a heat-safe bowl placed over a pot of simmering water, melt the coconut oil, shea butter, and beeswax pellets together.
-Once fully melted, remove the mixture from heat and stir in the olive oil or sweet almond oil. If using, add the essential oil as well and mix thoroughly.
-Allow the mixture to cool slightly but not solidify completely.
-Pour the liquid balm into small containers or tins, and let it solidify at room temperature. You can also pour it into a squeeze tube for easier application.
Once solid, the paw balm is ready to use.
How to use:
-Take a small amount of paw balm and gently massage it onto your dog's paw pads. Focus on any rough or dry areas. (Be sure to cover all the little ‘toe beans’ and the spaces between the toes)
-Allow the balm to absorb into the paw pads for a few minutes. You can distract your dog with treats or a toy to prevent licking.
Remember to consult with your veterinarian before introducing any new products or treatments to your dog, especially if they have any existing skin conditions or sensitivities.
Have amazing plans for you and your pooch this summer? Share with us on Twitter, Facebook, and Instagram by tagging #MamaWalksDogs. Got ideas, suggestions, or wanna share your experience? Comment below!
With Puppy and Kitty Love,
Lily the Dog Mama