Hot dog? Six potentially cooler places to walk your dog in summer

hot dog
Rens Hageman
Rens Hageman

Summer dog walks can be very rewarding, but on the hottest days of the year they can also be difficult if not impossible to achieve safely. You should never walk your dog when it is very hot, which may mean taking them out very early or very late or in extreme cases, not at all on some days.

However, some specific types of environments may be notably cooler than others in the same area; and knowing about these can open up a few more options for you, and make it easier to find safer summer walks for your dog. This article will tell you about six potentially cooler places to walk your dog in the summer, which you might want to check out.

On the coast

A packed beach in summer with no shade and full sun won’t be any cooler for you or your dog than anywhere else, and hot, dry sand itself might be dangerously too hot for your dog’s paws and mean that you can’t walk on it at all. This latter is particularly something to bear in mind if you head out for a walk on wet sand but then have to work out how to get your dog back safely if the sand dries out and becomes too hot.

Also, some beaches don’t allow you to walk dogs on them at all during the summer or at certain times of the day in hotter weather, and this tends to be beaches that are very popular with visitors and tourists and where dogs might be a hazard or a problem.

However, near to the coast rather than on the beach there might be a whole range of cooler options to allow you to walk your dog in more comfort and greater safety than in surrounding areas.

Costal paths and headlands are one such place, but you do need to factor in the potential dangers in some such areas, which will not always be fenced off.

Always keep your dog on a lead on costal paths, and even so, pay them proper attention to ensure they don’t wander too close to the edge and risk slipping or even for some dogs, considering jumping down.

Headlands can be great for cooler dog walks too and tend to attract a breeze, but once more keep your dog on a lead, this time to ensure they don’t disturb nesting birds or other wildlife.

Near to water

Even if you’re nowhere near the sea, you will often find that expanses of inland water and streams, rivers and so on can all provide opportunities for cooler dog walks in summer.

Larger bodies of water like lakes and reservoirs often have paths around them and will pick up a little breeze over the water. Even canal towpaths can be a little cooler, and are often shaded too. Streams and rivers again will tend to be a little cooler along their shores, giving you a few more options.

Always bear in mind the various facets of safety with dogs around water you need to consider, and also, don’t allow your dog to paddle or particularly, swim unless you’re sure this is safe. Blue-green algae, pollutants, underwater hazards, and a range of other things all need to be considered first.

In a valley

Valleys will sometimes have an air temperature a few degrees lower than their surrounding areas, and some will get quite a brisk breeze going through them as well. They might also be a little more shaded, although this does depend to a great extent on the time of day.

In the woods

If there’s woodland or forested areas near your home, these will often be an absolute beacon for dog owners in the summer months.

The tree cover means that the temperature under the canopy will always be a little cooler than outside, and the surface and ground itself will tend to stay at a comfortable temperature for your dog’s paws.

Check that any such areas are public access and that you can walk your dog safely there, and stick to any paths and follow signage if you don’t know the area to ensure you and your dog stay safe and don’t get lost.

Hill walks

Not all hill walks will be a cooling experience for summer dog walks, and if there is no shade, this can be a very poor idea. Also, factor in the added effort of walking uphill and how this might heat your dog up more rather than keeping them cooler in some cases!

However, some hilly or mountainous areas will result in quite a brisk breeze and lower temperatures on the hill rather than in the surrounds, which can take the edge off the worst of the heat and allow your dog to remain safe and comfortable.

On marshland or wetlands

Some areas of marshland or wetlands will have nesting birds and other wildlife, and these should be avoided if indicated, or if they’re home to rare species. Aside from this, if you keep your dog on a lead and properly controlled, wetlands and marshlands that are open to dog owners can provide a final option for summer dog walks that are a little cooler underfoot and often, in terms of the air temperature too. On this flipside, some such areas provide the perfect environment for ticks to thrive, so try to find out more about tick hotspots ahead of time so that you can avoid them, and always check your dog over thoroughly for any passengers they may have picked up when you get home!

(Article source: Pets 4 Homes)

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