It’s summertime, and that means lots of outdoor fun. But it also means paying close attention to your family dogs to ensure they stay safe in the heat. Keep reading for a quick primer on how to make this summer healthy and comfortable for the various non-human members of your family.
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Keeping Your Dog Safe In The Summer Heat
Dogs love to be outside, but they also get overheated quickly in temperatures in excess of 80°, particularly when humidity is high. And, if you live in the city, temperatures can get even hotter than what the weatherman scrolls across the screen.
Keep an eye on your pet, particularly when the sun is blazing. If you don’t have time to monitor their outdoor activities, Chicago Urban Pets can walk them for you so you don’t have to worry about heatstroke or other sun-related injuries.
Offer Lots Of Water For Hydration
How much water does your dog need during the summer? As much as he wants! According to Just Right, dogs need a minimum of one ounce of water for each pound of their weight. In other words, a 90-pound boxer needs at least 90 ounces of water. If they are super active, particularly when they are outdoors, they may consume one and a half to two times as much.
Steer Clear Of Pavement To Protect Dog's Paws
When you live in the city or suburbs, pavement is part of the package. But if possible, keep your dog’s delicate paws off of non-grassy areas. If you absolutely must expose them to asphalt, concrete, or aggregate, Shallowford Animal Hospital notes that there are many ways to keep them from experiencing a burn, including using paw wax or dog shoes.
Do Not Leave Your Dog (or other pet) In A Hot Car
Need to run an errand but your pup can’t go into the store with you? Leave them at home! Your car heats up much quicker than you think, and it only takes half an hour — even on a mild, 70° day — for your car to reach temperatures in excess of 100°. Each year, many otherwise responsible pet owners lose their beloved companions to heatstroke thinking that a cracked window is enough.
Don’t Shave Your Pet At The Groomers (before consulting your vet)
Dogs, cats, and other animals have fur for a reason. It keeps them warm during the winter but also serves as a way to protect them from the heat during the summer months. Furthermore, shaving your dog may leave them susceptible to sunburn. Talk to your veterinarian about whether cutting down their coat will provide relief or cause more harm than good.
Summer With Your Dogs Can Be So Much Fun!
Summer is a time for fun, but your pet won’t feel that way if they get overheated. The tips above, from hydrating your dog, to keeping your animal’s fur intact, are hot tips for a cool summer. If you still have questions, remember that your veterinarian is the best person to ask about issues specific to your pet.
Chicago Urban Pets is your personal dog walking, cat sitting, overnight-visiting pet care service. If you live in the City of Chicago, CUP has you covered summer, winter, spring, and fall.
Check out pricing here.
Guest Post: Nick Burton
There are two important factors to consider when taking a dog out for a walk. First, that they can go potty and second, to get exercise. As a city pet, our dogs are often constrained to the perimeter of our apartments. Going out often means taking your dog for a walk which can have you wondering how long should dog walks be?
The length of your dog walks depends greatly on the breed, age and health of your dog as well as their personality. Active breeds such as retrievers and hounds can benefit up to 2 hours of dog walking daily (not necessarily all at once), while smaller breeds such as bull dogs or terriers could be happy with 30 minutes of exercise daily.
It's important to remember that going outside doesn't' necessarily mean walking. You can take your smaller dogs to the park or outdoor café and simply hang out. Fresh air is good for both body and soul, even when it comes to our pooches.
Is 30 Minutes Enough For A Dog Walk?
Dog walking services are often at least 30 minutes, including getting your pup geared up and dropping them off. 30 minutes can absolutely be enough time for a midday dog walk, but you need to consider the full day. If you have an active breed that could benefit from more exercise, a 30-minute midday walk will not be enough unless you are taking them on a longer walk in the morning and evening.
Playing fetch at a nearby park or letting them run at a dog park are other ways to get that needed exercise. It's also a perfect solution if you are tiered upon returning from work.
If neither of these options fit your current schedule, hiring a dog walker to come walk your dog for an hour instead of 30min can make a real difference for your mental health and that of your pooch.
Get an idea of what dog walking costs in Chicago by checking out Chicago Urban Pets' Rates.
Can You Walk A Dog Too Long?
Just like the reality of under exercising our pets, walking your dog for too long is a real thing. As a dog owner, you need to ensure that you pick a breed that fits your energy level. A dog that is physically exerting itself can develop injuries and anxiety. Check out this cool Excersice Calculator from barkercise.com.
If you have a dog walker, make sure you communicate with them the length of walks your pup is used to having. For example, if your chihuahua normally only takes 10 min walks then hangs out in the park for the rest of the time, you don't want someone suddenly pushes Mr. Pickles to walk 30min. Instead, share what their routine is so that the dog walker can do the same things.
When hiring a dog walker you should be offered a complimentary meet&greet. At Chicago Urban Pets, the dog walker will take notes that are later input to your client portal for reference. Those notes can be updated at any time. Check out a visual of our client portal here.
How Often Should A Dog Be Walked?
If we are considering walking as a means to go potty, dogs 6 months and older normally need to go out 3x/ day. Mornings between 7am-9am, midday between 12pm-2pm and at night between 6pm-8pm. It is recommended that dogs don't go more than 12 hours at night between potty breaks so if needed, you might consider a quick potty before bedtime if their normal evening walk is on the earlier side.
Some families with smaller dogs choose to have an indoor potty area as well. This can include potty pads or a potty that has either AstroTurf or fresh grass. Indoor potty options for dogs though are often treated as a safety net rather than a status quo. Unlike cats, dogs have not been accustomed to being indoors all day. Taking your pooch out of the house is really important.
The Benefit Of Hiring A Dog Walker
As a dog walker I have firsthand experience to the benefits giving your dog more outdoor time during the weekday. If you work full time, it can be challenging to give your furry family member the attention they oh so greatly deserve.
Here are the benefits I've witnessed families experience by hiring Chicago Urban Pets:
If you have any questions about what it's like hiring a dog walking service feel free to contact us here.
All Sizes And Ages Of Dogs Love Attention
Having a dog when living in the city carries huge benefits for us and is often a mutually beneficial relationship. The challenge of it lies in exposure to outdoor time and exercise. Many of us work full time jobs, and although coming home to our pooch makes it all worth it, hiring a dog walker can really improve your dog's quality of life and health when spending many hours indoors.
So how long should dogs walks be when living in the city? This depends on many factors and is something you will have to consider for your dog. Whether your pup needs a short walk or a long one, all sizes and ages love attention and snuggles. Set up an initial consultation with Chicago Urban Pets to see if we are a good fit for you and your family.