The best time to walk your dog

When is the best time to take your dog for a walk in Penrith this week?

We are forecast to have 4 consecutive days over 40 degrees this week in Penrith and Western Sydney in general.
So, with these extreme temperatures in mind, what can you do for your dog when it is so hot? And when is the best time to take them for a walk?

The best time to walk your dog

I have taken a closer look at the forecast for Penrith and have determined that the best time to take your dog for a walk is between 1am and 8am. If you are unable to walk your dog during this time – fine – don’t walk the dog at all.

Why is this?

  1. The ground is too hot. Driveways, footpaths and roads will simply be too hot for your dog’s paws. They will quickly heat up in the morning and retain that heat through the evening. If you cannot comfortably place the back of your hand on a surface for 5 seconds it is too hot for your dog’s paws. Your dog’s paw pads really can burn.

    Dog paw burn from hot pavement
    Dog paw burn from hot pavement
  2. The risk of heatstroke and death. Heatstroke occurs when heat generation exceeds the body’s ability to lose heat. Heatstroke is a very serious condition: it can lead to multiple organ failure and animals can die quickly if not treated. Humans have glands all over their body and sweat to regulate temperature – dogs do not. They only have a few in their feet and rely on panting to cool down. Walking on hot surfaces and physical exertion in very hot weather is therefore not conducive to losing heat and regulating body temperature.
  3. Walking dogs when it is under 25 degrees is ideal. The minimum temperatures during this heatwave are 22 degrees, and it will be very near 30 degrees by 10am each day. In western Sydney, Penrith, Liverpool, Fairfield, Richmond, Blacktown, Campbelltown, it may not dip back below 30 degrees by 10pm each day. The heat usually peaks around 3 to 4pm and then hangs around even when the sun has gone down.
  4. Some dogs suffer more than others. Just like people the old, the young and those who may already be sick are more likely to suffer from heatstroke. Thick and long-haired breeds, dogs who are overweight, and brachycephalic dogs (flat-faced dog like pugs, bulldogs etc) are also more at risk.
  5. There are other things you can do with your dog to keep them engaged and occupied on hot days. You really, seriously, do not have to walk your dog in this weather if you cannot go at an appropriate time.
  6. I’m a Canine Behaviour Consultant and I don’t even conduct dog training when it is this hot. It’s uncomfortable for people and it’s a strain on the dogs. No one can learn. And it isn’t worth the health risk to be conducting dog training. I really give you permission to skip a walk during the day!
Good times to walk your dog in Penrith this week
Good times to walk your dog in Penrith this week

 

Unless your dog is Daenerys Targaryen then they are not impervious to the effects of heat. Sit inside in front of your cooling system together and just chill out.

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