How Long Should You Walk Your Dog this Summer?

How Long Should You Walk Your Dog this Summer?

Before we consider outdoor temperature, individual breed, age and size, or any of the many other factors that contribute to our answer, imagine an avg. duration of about 30 minutes. Most dogs require about 30 minutes of exercise or physical activity daily. Even then, there are countless factors that go into that conclusion! 

Question: Should you shave a double coated breed, for example- a Chow, to help him stay cool during the summer months? Find out the answer below!

 What is the Dog Breed?

Do you care for a small or toy breed? Maybe it is a medium sized Beagle, or a 100 lb. English Labrador? Each individual breed will have his own energy level and suggested exercise requirements! For example, a Border Collie is going to need much more interaction and mental stimulation than, say, a Pug. Make sure you research your breed’s individual exercise requirements!

  • Brachycephalic breeds (short skull- Pugs, English Bulldog, Boston Terrier, Boxer, etc.) can have a more difficult time regulating their body temperatures. Be cautious!

 What is the Temperature?

Dogs regulate their body temperatures differently than humans (perspire via panting), and can easily suffer heat injuries if it is too hot outside! Don’t force a walk if it is too hot outside, even if they beg for it. Be sure you know the signs of heat exhaustion, and the best ways to prevent it?

  • Sometimes, the sun can heat surfaces considerably, like sand or asphalt. This in turn can lead to burns on your pet’s footpads. Have you considered investing in dog booties?
  • If you are going to use a muzzle, use a basket muzzle! While they may not be pretty, you do not want to use anything that will restrict your dog’s ability to pant.
  • It can become more difficult for older dogs to regulate their body temperatures! Do not walk your aging pet as long as you would a younger dog.

 There really isn’t a universal temperature because there exists over 200 recognized dog breeds, each different. Anything above 90 degrees F (32.2 C) is generally considered too hot to walk your dog! Use your best judgement, and do not try to overdo your walks if it is hot.

 Signs of Heat Exhaustion:

Excessive Panting

Drooling

Bright purple, red, grey or bluish gums

Weakness or lethargy

Dizziness

Muscle tremors

Vomiting/Diarrhea

 Answer: Should you shave a double coated breed?

Sadly, many dog owners make this mistake every single year. After all, why would we wear a coat during the summer?

 A dog’s coat, or topcoat (the part not meant to be cut), evolved to help trap in cool air during the summer. It is an important part of regulating body temperature, and provides protection from both the sun’s rays and insect bites. Shaving that thick double coat can increase the likelihood your pet overheats.

Beagles are high energy dogs and should get between 20 to 40 minutes of exercise daily (or more). You might divide this up into two walks daily, and provide enrichment activities (socialization, games, anything that focuses on their hunting qualities) to keep your pup happy!