The UK has a temperate climate that sees cool, wet winters and warm, wet summers. The weather conditions can be changeable and change drastically between the morning and afternoon, so it’s important to be adaptable to whatever happens in the day. From rainy and cold to warm and sunshiny, we’ve compiled some of our tips for walking your dog year-round.
Walking your dog in the winter
Even if the weather is less-than-ideal, you should still take your furry friend on their walks to stretch their legs and get some fresh air. It’s useful to know the best ways to keep your dog safe while going for walks in the colder months.
How to prevent your dog running away
Keeping track of your dog, especially when they’re off lead is important. Using Curve Pet tracker pack can help you avoid ending up with a lost dog when the weather isn’t ideal. Using GPS tracking, a built-in Smart SIM and personalised alerts, this dog tracker will give you peace of mind when bringing them out to burn off some energy.
You can also get matching reflective vests for you and your dog so you’re seen in the night or invest in an LED collar for them. Not only will it keep your dog visible to drivers and other pedestrians but it’ll help you find them if they wander off.
Bring winter dog activities indoors
If it’s too cold to spend much time outdoors, bring their workout inside with a canine conditioning kit. Use agility equipment and balance boards alongside instructional videos to keep your dog’s joints and muscles in top shape.
Alternatively, playing fetch with your dog on the stairs or creating a treasure hunt game with their favourite treat will have them working up a sweat at home. Incorporating activities into your dog’s routine doesn’t just maintain their ideal weight, it’s also great for their mental health and wellbeing too.
Take extra care of older dogs
Whether it’s hot or cold, the temperature can be detrimental to older and ill dogs. If you’re the owner of an elderly dog with arthritis, spending too much time in extreme weather won’t be enjoyable for them. Take extra care in both hot and cold weather by going on shorter, more frequent walks and avoiding steep hills or too many steps. You should also avoid walks in the rain if you can.
Walking Your Dog in the Summer
In summer, the days are longer and hotter so you want to maximise your time outside – we don’t blame you! But with rising temperatures can come new challenges when walking your dog outside.
Is it too hot to walk my dog?
If it’s too hot during the day, try moving your walk times to cooler evenings or early mornings as well as shortening your walk time. A good rule of thumb that the RSPCA suggests for determining if it’s too hot is the 5 second test. If it’s too hot to leave your bare hand against the pavement for 5 seconds, then it’s too hot for your dog’s paws!
How to keep track of your dog
If you’re outside and the temperature starts rising, you can look out for signs of overheating:
- Heavy panting and excessive drooling
- Lethargy, drowsiness, or being uncoordinated
- Collapsing and vomiting
If you start to notice any of the above, act quickly to help your furry friend lower their body temperature gradually. Move to a shaded and cool area, pour cool water over them or use wet towels and allow them to drink small amounts of cool water. Bring them to your nearest vet to make sure everything is okay before bringing them home.
How to prevent heat stroke in dogs
Some types of dogs are more prone to heat stroke. Very old or young dogs, dogs with thick, heavy coats or dogs with short flat faces (like pugs and bulldogs) can be among the ones at risk, as well as dogs with certain diseases or on some types of medication.
Prepare ahead of time with a route plan that allows for lots of shaded breaks and bring plenty of water for both you and your dog. Before leaving, pack more water than you expect to need. Keeping it cool (but not cold so as to not shock your dog) will help bring their temperature down slowly and keep them hydrated.
How to protect your dog from the sun
Did you know that you can get suncream for pets, too? UVA and UVB rays can also be harmful to our pets. If your dog spends a lot of time outside, especially when the UV rating is high, then you should consider pet-friendly suncream.
- Aim for an SPF factor no less than 30
- Choose fragrance-free, safe and hypoallergenic ingredients and avoid creams with zinc oxide and para-aminobenzoic acid (PABA), as these can be harmful to dogs
- Remember to reapply every four-to-six hours if you’re staying out in the sun for long periods of time
- Always consult with your vet before introducing something new into your dog’s routine.
We know how important it is to make sure your dog’s getting the right exercise. Consult your vet for a more tailored approach to walking your dog on both ends of the temperature spectrum this year.