Pet Safety: The best time to walk your dog in summer

DOG WALK TIPS Gloss and TossSummer safety for walking your dog.

As a Leaping Bunny cruelty free hair care brand, we are committed to NO ANIMAL TESTING AND NO ANIMAL CRUELTY.

During hot weather conditions, it’s important to take certain precautions, make schedule adjustments, and stay informed about our pets’ safety. Many of our colleagues, friends and family have dogs and we know how much dogs love their walks. But dogs also love pleasing their owners. The unfortunate thing here, is that dogs will go on walks even if they’re uncomfortable out of loyalty and love!  As owners, we have to be aware (and kind) when it comes to harsh weather conditions be they hot or cold. So walk your dog in the early morning (most experts agree before 9am) or late at night (after 7pm ideally).  ABC 7 shared some asphalt temperature information as well.


When it’s 77 degrees outside,,,,,,

 asphalt measures 125 degrees in the sun, and can take 3-4 hours to cool down despite how cool it may feel outside.  

At 125 degrees skin and tissue damage happens in 60 seconds.

At 131 degrees – YOU CAN FRY AN EGG.

Asphalt absorbs heat all day. Its cooling rate is slow and only begins when the sun retreats.  So while the air may feel cooler the walking paths an still be extremely hot.

REMEMBER:   As humans, our bodies are erect so that only our feet would notice the heat. Our head and shoulders are generally 4-6 feet ABOVE THE ASPHALT and a dog’s body runs parallel to the ground and is much closer in its entirety than we are. This means, they are absorbing more of the  heat than we do as humans. Also our shoes keep our feet protected.

Now we know many of you will only “see it to believe it” but take a look at this chart from an institute in Florida measuring different surface temperatures throughout the day.  It’s interesting to note that between 1pm and 7pm the air temperature is only a few degrees cooler yet the asphalt temperatures are still 100 degrees or more, and blacktop surfaces soar to over 120 degrees.

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PAWS DOWN!  Dogs absorb and release heat through their feet. Add to that a coat of fur, and they have to work extra hard to stay cool. So if their walking surface is hot, it makes staying cool very challenging (if not impossible) and puts them at risk for heat exhaustion, strokes, and death. In speaking with our friends at Leaping Bunny, Born Free, and Cruelty Free International here’s the deal:  Place the BACK OF YOUR HAND onto the surface where your dog will be walking for 10 seconds (no that doesn’t mean in the shaded areas). If you can not leave the back of your hand on the surface for 10 seconds – it’s too hot for the dog.

Cesar Milan says:  “I’m a believer in vigorous exercise for healthy dogs, but this is the time of year to back off on exercise intensity. Take your dog for a walk in the early morning or late at night.”

Other keep cool tips include:

Keep plenty of water around, and add more water bowls here or there if needed.

Dogs cool from the bottom up. A wet towel can help them stay cool and keep their bodies hydrated.

Put ice in a bowl and fill with water, and place a fan near the bowl so it can blow cooler air in the direction of your pet.

Watch for warning signs like excessive panting, immediate stopping, resistance to going along, discomfort on feet, drooling, mild weakness or even collapse.

We at Gloss & Toss suggest always keeping helpful information with you at all times like your dog walker’s name and number, the name and number of the closest animal hospital to where you live (or where you may be traveling), and any other safety related or contact information.

While some may think they’re doing their pets a favor by being true to that daily walk, there’s a level of sensitivity and compassion that goes into loving and caring for our pets, and keeping them safe and out of harm’s way.



Expert Sources for this article include:

  • Cesar Milan
  • Humane Society
  • Leaping Bunny
  • Born Free USA
  • Cruelty Free International


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