Keeping cool and exercise in the heat

(9 Posts)

We live in Texas, it's not yet 8am and about 29C. Today it will reach about 35C or more. We have a 12 month old rescue dog that looks like a dalmatian (mostly white short hair). She's fine in the house as we have air con but when we walk it's really hot and she pants a huge amount. When we get back, she lays on the tiled floor in the kitchen and pants like a panic attack victim. She doesn't get up for the rest of the day. Do you think we are walking too much (about an hour and a quarter) in the hot weather? She's been fine walking this much when it was cooler.

I can't walk at night as, well, this is Texas and you don't. Also dh is away a huge amount and I have dcs. I walk as early as possible (ie right now, as soon as the kids are on the school bus) and it doesn't really get cool before about 7pm but this is the beginning of summer. Do you scale back exercise when it's really hot? She hates water btw - we go to a bark park with a pond and she won't go in - won't even walk through a puddle!

Also apart from frozen kongs, any bright ideas for keeping cool in the garden? I can get dog ice cream which we might try....

Gooner123 Thu 05-Jun-14 14:24:04

When it gets that hot here (I'm in south Germany) I tend to take the dogs out very early and then again very late, but if that's not possible then a much shorter walk in the afternoon, in as much shade as possible, always taking water with us, and then back to lying on the cool tiles again!

But yes, when it's that hot we do a lot less walking outside and a lot more lying around in the garden or under the fan in the living room grin

SpicyPear Thu 05-Jun-14 14:31:42

I would definitely try a cool coat (Hurtta and Ruffwear also make good ones) but also split up her walks. For example two or three 20 min walks rather than a big long one. Also I would make sure you know the signs of heat stroke in dogs as they can get very ill very quickly.

Lilcamper Thu 05-Jun-14 14:36:01

A damp towel for them to walk across on the floor can help too.

iseenodust Thu 05-Jun-14 14:41:49

Our lab loves to eat ice cubes. Yes we do much shorter walks when it's really hot. He used to just sit down & refuse to budge, with the exception of a beach.

SteveBrucesNose Thu 05-Jun-14 15:46:00

I have ruffwear cool jacket things for my Dalmatians in the Middle East and it seems to work. I avoid midday sun on account of the vets warning us about skin cancer risks with short white haired dogs, and we always take a litre of water per dog per hour of being outside anywhere.

I just typed a big thing about frozen kongs and then re-read your OP about them. All we've found to do is them plus leaving the downstairs bedroom door open with the AC on so they are in and out all the time. But we're jn a secure complex with access control so rather different to Texas. And yes to previous poster about lots of shorter walks

TheWholeOfTheSpoon Thu 05-Jun-14 15:58:46

Our bulldog loves it when I chuck a couple of bags worth of ice on the deck on a hot day. He just lies on it and eats them. Due to his breed, he is at risk from overheating anyway and we live in an area that has very hot summers, so any walks during the day have to be around local lakes so he can jump in and out the water to cool off. He also loves the mix of the a/c and the tiled kitchen floor!

Thank you all. I love the cool coat idea and think I will get one. I will try to break down her walks but the humidity is so high here it gets pretty unpleasant. She does like ice in her water bowl and hadn't thought about throwing down some bags in the shade in the garden, great idea (plus it will water the lawn!).

Our back door is open all the time I'm at home - our garden is very very secure so she's in and out all day with an eye on squirrels. I've stopped crating her when I go out as she's not chewing much and she can lay on the tiled floor rather than on the cushiony insert in her crate.

Interesting about the water Steve. She will drink from a puddle on a walk but not from the doggy water fountains in our neighbourhood - even at home she prefers water from the birdbath to the fresh in her bowl....

Wish we were closer to the beach with the fresher air and breeze and cool sand for hot paws - but thank you all for great tips!

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