The usual summer challenges are back : heat, ticks, tall seedy grasses, pollen, humidity. Snakes. Mosquitoes. Plus pandemic.
This year we are developing some new habits as well as sticking to ones developed over the years. The goal is to help my two German Shepherds stay comfortable and safe outside. Me too.
Nowadays our walks start much earlier than in other seasons. It’s important to get out when it’s cool. They are often shorter because of the heat. We try hard to seek out less used places because of the coronavirus.
A good plan includes looking for dirt paths and avoiding long grasses which can house ticks, seeds and snakes. We always choose shady over sunny locations or places with partial shade. Sometimes we can find a stream or lake for a refreshing dip.
Staying off the concrete maybe important to keep your dog’s feet from getting burned. We carefully watch if the dogs signal they’re done by slowing down, looking back, or turning around – their nonverbal cues.
Dogs can get hot faster than we do. It’s important to remember that it’s harder for them to cool down. Heat exhaustion is an important enemy to watch out for. Imagine how you might feel if you wore a jacket during your walk or run.
Carry a water bowl and make sure plenty of cool, fresh water is always available. Stopping to drink every half hour is a good plan.
Have fun, stay safe!