Dog Walking Buddies

Hey all you Dog Walking Buddies!  Summer weather is sizzling across the country.  Nothing beats getting outside to enjoy it with your favorite buddies, two-legged and four-pawed.  When walking your pups in warm weather, remember to bring along enough water for all and a collapsible bowl.  Take some restful moments in the shade periodically to cool down.  Dogs get sunburns and dehydrated, just like we do.  Resting time will also give you and your walking buddy time to catch up on each other’s lives while not navigating walking hazards.  If temperatures are high, try to stay off asphalt and concrete.  Not only can these surfaces burn your pets’ sensitive paws, the heat also reflects up onto low-riding doggie bellies.  Also be aware that flat-faced pals (like pugs) cannot pant as quickly, and panting is how dogs release internal heat.  People sweat, perspire, and sparkle; dogs pant. 

Warning:  Watch your dog for excessive panting or difficulty breathing, increased heart and respiratory rate, drooling, mild weakness, stupor or even collapse. These are all symptoms of overheating according to Dr. Lila Miller, ASPCA Vice President of Veterinary Outreach.  More severe symptoms can also include seizures, bloody diarrhea and vomit along with an elevated body temperature.  If you suspect your pet is suffering from overheating, break up the buddy walking and take him/her to the vet immediately.

Don’t forget the summer bling!  Lots of canines keep up on fashionable trends, as do fellow walkers.  Bandanas are always trendy.  Nothing catches the eye like a spotted or black-furred mutt sporting the red bandana.  Or go with this year’s chic neon green, especially good on the chocolate or tan coated.  Walmart stocks a dozen or more colors of bandanas in their women’s accessories department; for retro navy and red, try the men’s department near the socks.  Bows are always adorable on the teacup and mini set – boy or girl, fresh grooming topped by a cute ribbon is always fetching.  Coordinating you and your walking buddy dogs is extremely trendy.

Speaking of fetching, remember to choose your dog’s toys carefully.  Though tennis balls are popular, they can be dangerous.  Hard balls chosen specifically for the size of your dog are a much better choice.  Tragedy lies in balls that can block the air pipe or be torn into edible, dangerous sizes.  Occasionally take along a ropey tug-of-war toy, good to use during lay down rest time with you and in more active play with you or a doggy buddy.  All of you with the nationally ranked Ultimate Frisbee pup players know to take along the current fave in disks.  Try to avoid taking your dog’s very favorite, play-alone toy.  Possessiveness never goes down well on buddy play dates. If you’ve got some extra bucks saved by your stay-cation, spring for a toy for your and your walking buddy’s dog.  Consider the sizes of the other dogs playing with your pet, and watch out for them too.

Have the best of times with your dog walking buddies this summer!

1 comment:

  1. Walking each morning with the dog walkers is one of the fun aspects of my early morning exercise routine. I'm between dogs at the moment, but I get to enjoy watching the dogs - who usually appear to be much more thrilled about walking at 7:00 am than their owners! But their owners are making the effort to be there both for themselves as well as their babies. And commenting on the dog's behavior or excitement as they start their day, gives all of us who share the road during our daily walks something to interact and talk about. It provides a bit of connection and community. And that's a nice way to start each day.