Summer is great. The sun is shining, the birds are singing and everyone seems to be a little cheerier. I was lucky enough to be heading off to the forest with Pippa and Lola to enjoy the day. Once again the girls were thrilled to see each other.
The sunny days can be hard on dogs. Dogs only sweat through their paw pads. They primarily cool down by panting. Simply put, their cooling system isn’t as efficient as a human’s.
Luckily, there are a few things we can do to help them out so we can all enjoy these gorgeous days. Here are a few of the things we keep in mind when planning our adventures.
- Hike early in the morning
Pretty simple concept, get outside before the hottest part of the day and enjoy the morning dew!
- Hike in the shade of the forest
Not only do trees shade the ground below, but they don’t absorb heat the same way buildings do. You can count on the forest being a few degrees cooler than the city.
- Hike near water sources
Water sources obviously provide an opportunity for your dog to replenish fluids. But water sources also cool the surrounding air. Water doesn’t absorb the sun’s energy as quickly as earth. So water (and the surrounding air) will keep the cool of the night a little longer.
- Stop often for breaks and water
Some dogs (like Pippa, bless her) love running in the forest. She won’t stop unless I do! Taking lots of breaks gives her the opportunity to cool down. Listen to how much your dog is panting, if it speeds up. Take a break and offer water. A small amount of water often is better for your dog than a lot of water all at once (bloat prevention).
So with these points in mind; Lola, Pippa and I headed to Millstream Park and hiked up Brothers Creek Trail. Brothers Creek Trail is one of my summer favorites. You can find a few spots to sit by the creek, if you know where to look. It was a great way to enjoy a Friday morning, I’m sure Lola and Pippa would agree.