But can you imagine running in that same heat, while wearing a fur coat? What if you were unable to sweat, but only able to cool off through panting? What if you loved to run, but didn’t understand the concept of slowing down in the heat??
Heat stroke is a real risk for dogs, and as the mercury rises, we should be on the look-out for any of these symptoms:
- Cut back on the distance/time in the heat.When the temperatures are chilly, Matilda could run 8-10 miles and still have the energy to head to the dog park. But on really hot days, she’ll wear out a lot faster and it’s just too risky to take her on too long of runs. I cut back on the distance with her and I try to pay close attention to how she’s doing. Is she dragging behind? Appearing to pull towards the water or shade? I take plenty of walk breaks if she seems to want them.
- Access to water: I always run on trails that have access to water. Fortunately, running around the Chain of Lakes offers us several water fountains and easy access to the lakes for a quick swim to cool down. But if you don’t have access to water, I recommend bringing it along with you.
- Adjust the time of day of your run: Run your dogs early in the morning before the sun gets high in the sky and the temperatures begin to rise. Early morning is preferable to evening as the asphalt and sidewalks won’t be as hot.
- Summer hairstyle: If your dog has a thick coat or longer hair, consider shaving its coat once cooler night time temperatures have passed. Matilda is a vizsla, which is a very short haired breed, so we don’t have to worry about this, but I’m sure it could help with other breeds.
(Stay tuned for another post when it gets colder about running with your dog in the COLD!)
Previous Tilda Tuesdays:
Tilda Tuesdays: Grooming Your Vizsla