Ultimate Dog Walking Guide – Every Do & Don’ts of Dog Walk

April 16, 2024
Ultimate Dog Walking Guide - Every Do and Don'ts

Table of Contents

UAE summers bring scorching sun and sky-high temperatures, transforming dog walking from a casual stroll into a potential heatstroke hazard. Worry not, pawrents! This guide will equip you with the essential dog walking tips to navigate summer walks with your canine buddy, ensuring they stay happy, healthy, and cool throughout the season.

First, let’s understand the challenge. UAE summers are brutally hot, with temperatures often exceeding 40°C (104°F) and relentless sunshine. This intense heat poses significant risks to dogs, who can easily overheat and suffer heat stroke. But fear not! With proper preparation and adjustments, you can transform summer walks into pawsome adventures for both you and your furry friend.

So, buckle up and join us as we explore the secrets to conquering the summer scorch and creating unforgettable walking memories with your beloved pooch!

A dog walking on a sunlit beach with a professional dog walker in the UAE.


Why Preparing for Summer Walks with Dogs in the UAE is Crucial

The scorching UAE summer presents unique challenges for dog walking, making preparation critical for both safety and enjoyment. Here’s why:

Heatstroke Danger:

  • Extreme temperatures: UAE summers regularly exceed 40°C (104°F), putting dogs at high risk of overheating and heatstroke. This can be life-threatening.
  • Limited heat dissipation: Unlike humans, dogs sweat minimally and rely on panting to cool down. In extreme heat, this becomes insufficient, leading to rapid body temperature rise.
  • Pavement dangers: Hot asphalt and concrete can burn sensitive paw pads, further exacerbating overheating.

Other Risks and Discomfort:

  • Dehydration: Rapid panting leads to rapid water loss, increasing dehydration risk.
  • Sunburn: Thin-furred dogs are susceptible to sunburn, especially on noses and ears.
  • Respiratory issues: High heat and dust can irritate airways, causing discomfort and breathing difficulties.
  • Reduced enjoyment: Panting, discomfort, and lethargy can quickly turn a walk into a stressful experience for your dog.

 Importance of Preparation

Preparing for safe and enjoyable summer walks with dogs in the UAE is absolutely crucial for several reasons:

  1. Preventing Heatstroke: The extreme temperatures and intense sun during UAE summers put dogs at high risk of overheating and heatstroke, which can be life-threatening. By being prepared, you can significantly reduce this risk and keep your furry friend safe.
  2. Ensuring Comfort and Enjoyment: Unprepared walks during the scorching summer can be incredibly uncomfortable and stressful for dogs. Imagine panting heavily, feeling your paws burn on hot asphalt, and struggling to breathe in the heat. By taking precautions, you can ensure your dog experiences safe and enjoyable walks with less panting, overheating, and discomfort.
  3. Protecting Their Health: Beyond heatstroke, the sun and heat can cause other health problems like dehydration, sunburn, and respiratory issues. Being prepared helps you protect your dog from these threats, keeping them healthy and happy.
  4. Building Positive Summer Memories: Instead of negative experiences fueled by heat and discomfort, preparing for summer walks allows you to create positive memories with your dog. They’ll associate walks with fresh air, hydration, and fun, fostering a stronger bond and a more enjoyable summer routine.
  5. Reducing Stress and Anxiety: The anticipation of a potentially uncomfortable walk can cause anxiety for both you and your dog. By being prepared, you eliminate this stress, allowing you to relax and enjoy the walk together.

In conclusion, preparing for safe and enjoyable summer walks with dogs in the UAE goes far beyond just being careful. It’s about prioritizing your dog’s well-being and happiness, ensuring their safety and comfort during the challenging summer months. It’s about creating positive memories, strengthening your bond, and making summer walks something you both look forward to.


Timing Your Walks Wisely

The UAE’s relentless summer sun dictates when your dog’s paws hit the pavement. Timing your walks strategically is the first line of defense against heatstroke and ensures a pleasant experience for both you and your furry friend. Here’s how:

  1. Avoiding Peak Heat Hours:

Imagine walking on hot coals for 30 minutes. That’s essentially what midday summer sun feels like for your dog. The hottest hours, typically from midday to late afternoon (roughly 11 am to 5 pm), pose the greatest risk. During this time, the sun is at its peak, temperatures soar, and asphalt sizzles, making even short walks dangerous.

      2. Embracing Early Mornings and Late Evenings:

Instead of battling the midday blaze, schedule walks when the sun is gentler. Early mornings before sunrise offer the coolest temperatures and a refreshing breeze. Alternatively, late evenings after sunset allow your dog to enjoy cooler ambient temperatures and avoid the harsh afternoon sun. Remember, even as the sun dips, asphalt retains heat, so wait for it to cool down before venturing out.

      3. Considering Humidity Levels:

Don’t be fooled by a slightly lower temperature reading! Humidity plays a crucial role in how your dog feels. High humidity reduces their ability to pant effectively, hindering their natural cooling mechanism. During periods of high humidity, even earlier mornings or later evenings might not be safe for extended walks. Consider shorter walks with ample water breaks or opt for indoor alternatives like playtime or training sessions.

Bonus Tip: Monitor weather forecasts and adjust walk timings accordingly. A sudden heatwave might necessitate even earlier or later walks than usual.

By timing your walks wisely, you ensure your dog avoids the peak heat, experiences lower temperatures, and pant with ease, making summer walks safe and enjoyable for everyone involved. Remember, prioritize your dog’s comfort over any set walking routine.


Protecting Your Dog’s Paws

Think about it: how would you feel walking barefoot on hot asphalt? That’s the reality for your dog during a UAE summer walk without proper paw protection. Let’s explore the dangers and solutions:

 A dog experiencing paw burns from walking in the summer heat.

  1. Hot Pavement and Asphalt: The Enemy of Paw Pads

The UAE’s unforgiving summer sun turns sidewalks and asphalt into searing surfaces, reaching temperatures that can easily burn your dog’s delicate paw pads. This can lead to pain, blistering, and even permanent damage.

      2. Testing Pavement Temperature: The Five-Second Rule

Before setting off, perform the “five-second rule”: place your hand flat on the pavement. If you can’t comfortably hold it there for five seconds, it’s too hot for your dog’s paws. Seek  out cooler alternatives like grassy areas, dirt paths, or shaded sidewalks.

      3. Options for Protecting Paw Pads: Keeping Your Pup Pawsitive

          Fortunately, several options can help shield your dog’s paws from the scorching heat:

    • Dog Boots: These provide the most protection, but choose breathable mesh options for summer to avoid overheating.
    • Paw Balm: Formulated specifically for hot weather, paw balm creates a protective barrier on the pads.
    • Cooler Surfaces: Prioritize grassy areas, dirt paths, or shaded sidewalks whenever possible.
A Dog wearing paw protection boots for a safe summer walk

Hydration is Key

Dehydration is a major risk during summer walks. Here’s how to ensure your dog stays hydrated:

  1. Carry Ample Fresh Water: Always pack a portable water bottle and a collapsible bowl for your dog. Aim for at least 1 ounce of water per pound of body weight per hour of walking.

Dog walker in UAE ensuring that the dog stays hydrated with fresh water during a fun walk

       2. Frequent Water Breaks: Don’t wait until your dog is thirsty. Offer water breaks every 15-20 minutes, even if they don’t seem interested.

        3. Cooling Vests or Bandanas: Cooling vests or bandanas can provide an extra layer of hydration and cooling, especially for short-nosed breeds or dogs prone to overheating.


Avoiding Overexertion and Heatstroke

Even with precautions, heatstroke can occur. Be aware of the signs and take immediate action:

  1. Shorter Walks and Slower Pace: Ditch the marathon walks. Opt for shorter, more frequent outings during the summer and adjust the pace to your dog’s comfort level.
  2. Signs of Heatstroke: Excessive panting, glazed eyes, vomiting, difficulty breathing, and excessive drooling are all red flags.
  3. First-Aid Measures and Contacting a Vet: If you suspect heatstroke, immediately move your dog to a cool, shaded area, offer water (avoid ice baths!), and wet their fur with cool water. Contact your veterinarian immediately.

Additional Summer Walking Tips

While the core principles above are essential, don’t underestimate the power of these additional summer dog walking tips to truly elevate your pup’s enjoyment:

  1. Sun Safety for Every Shade:
    • Sunscreen: Even short walks can expose sensitive areas like noses and ears, especially for thin-furred breeds. Invest in dog-safe sunscreen made specifically for pets and apply it before heading out. Remember, reapplication is crucial, especially after water breaks or sweating.
    • Seek Shade: Prioritize walking routes with ample shade from trees, buildings, or umbrellas. Consider using a stroller or carrier for smaller dogs who tire easily under the sun.
    • Time it Right: Schedule walks for cooler times of the day, like early mornings or late evenings, when the sun’s intensity is lower. Avoid peak heat hours, even if it means adjusting your own routine.

     2. Navigating the Concrete Jungle:

    • Mind the Reflection: Glass buildings and other reflective surfaces can disorient and even frighten dogs. Stick to areas with natural shade and familiar surroundings.
    • City Slicker Gear: Consider lightweight, breathable booties for walks on hot pavements, especially sensitive paw pads. Additionally, reflective gear can enhance visibility during low-light walks.
    • Urban Oasis Exploration: Seek out parks or green spaces within your city that offer shade, grassy areas, and potentially even cooling water features like fountains or dog parks with splash pads.

     3. Keeping Cool and Comfy:

    • Cooling Gear: Explore cooling vests, bandanas, or even hats specifically designed for dogs. These can provide an extra layer of protection and comfort during walks.
 A dog wearing a cooling vest and standing inside water to beat the heat during walks
    • Frozen Treats: Offer your dog frozen fruits or specially made dog popsicles after walks to help them cool down and rehydrate.
    • Post-Walk Pampering: After a hot walk, provide your dog with a cool bath or wet towel rubdown to lower their body temperature and soothe any potential paw irritations.

     4. Proactive Pet Care:

    • Hydration Hero: Not just during walks! Ensure your dog has constant access to fresh, cool water at home, especially before, during, and after walks. Consider using a portable water bottle and bowl for on-the-go hydration.
    • Vet Checkups: Schedule regular checkups with your veterinarian, especially before the summer season. Discuss any breed-specific concerns or summer walking plans with your vet for personalized advice.
    • Listen to Your Pup: Pay close attention to your dog’s behavior during walks. Signs of fatigue, excessive panting, or overheating require immediate action. Find shade, offer water, and seek veterinary attention if necessary.

By incorporating these bonus tips into your summer dog walking routine, you can transform scorching strolls into pawsitive experiences filled with happy memories, tail wags, and a cool and comfortable pup by your side. Remember, a little planning and preparation go a long way in ensuring your furry friend enjoys the season safely and happily!

Frequently Asked Questions

 Consider paw balm formulated for hot weather, creating a barrier on the pads. Prioritize cooler walking surfaces like grass, dirt paths, or shaded sidewalks. Remember, even a short walk on hot pavement can burn their paws, so be cautious.

Excessive panting, glazed eyes, vomiting, difficulty breathing, and excessive drooling are all red flags. Be aware of your dog's behavior and act immediately if you suspect heatstroke. Move them to a cool, shaded area, offer water (avoid ice baths!), and wet their fur with cool water. Contact your veterinarian immediately.

Never use human sunscreen on your dog! Choose a dog-safe sunscreen specifically formulated for their sensitive skin. Focus on areas like the nose, ears, and any exposed skin patches. Remember, reapplication is crucial, especially after water breaks or sweating.

Yes! Many parks offer water features like fountains or splash pads, perfect for cooling off your pup after a walk. Popular options include Mushrif Central Park (Abu Dhabi), Zabeel Park (Dubai), and Al Qudra Lakes (Dubai). Remember to be mindful of other park users and clean up after your dog.

If you're unsure, consult your veterinarian for personalized advice based on your dog's breed, age, and health condition. They can offer specific recommendations and address any concerns you might have. Additionally, consider Pawland's dog walking services! Our experienced walkers are trained in summer safety protocols and can ensure your furry friend enjoys safe, enjoyable walks even during the hottest months.

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Pawland Team
We are a team of passionate pet lovers and experienced writers dedicated to providing top-quality content for pet owners. With years of experience in the pet industry and a deep love for animals, we strive to create informative and engaging articles that help pet owners provide the best care for their furry friends. From health and nutrition to training and behavior, we cover a wide range of topics to keep pet owners informed.

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