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Summer Exercise Ideas for Your Dog

It’s officially been summer for a few weeks now but it’s been unusually hot for longer than that. If you’re like me, you want to continue to keep you dog exercised and in shape during these hot summer months, but doing so outside is often out of the question.

So what can you do to keep your dog fit, happy and tired during the next few months?

Here are a few ideas.

Give your dog a walk or light jog very early or much later at night. If you do this, take care to keep your dog off pavement, hot sidewalks and sand. Carry water with you to make sure your dog stays hydrated.

Play fetch in a shady, grassy area. Just make sure to give him plenty of rest and water breaks.

Take short hikes on shaded hiking trails.DogTread treadmill at Rocky's Retreat

Walk or jog on an indoor treadmill. Remember though that human treadmills may not be the right choice for your dog. If you would like more information on human treadmills versus dog treadmills, read this article.

If you have access to indoor stairs, use them. Have one person stand at the top of the stairs, another at the bottom, and take turns calling your dog. Use treats if your dog is food motivated.

Set up an indoor obstacle course for your dog to navigate. This will not only tire him physically but mentally as well.

Try indoor play dates with one of your dog’s good friends.

Use canine conditioning equipment to create an indoor Dayzee Puppy Push Upsstrength training program. If you need help creating a strength and conditioning training program, please contact us.

Last but certainly not least – swimming. By far the best full body workout you can give your dog and the best way to exercise him in the summer. While I would stay away from central Florida lakes this time of year, many people have pools, or there are dog friendly beaches (but watch the hot sand) and other areas where you can take your dog. We also have an indoor pool (no concern about weather) and can teach your dog to swim if he doesn’t know how.

What can you do to make sure your dog doesn’t get overheated?

Keep a close eye on your dog. Be aware of signs such as excessive panting to prevent dehydration.

  • Give them frequent breaks and lots of water.
  • Limit exercise duration and intensity.
  • Know the symptoms of dehydration and heatstroke. These signs include heavy panting, drooling, lethargy, pale, dry or sticky gums, sunken eyes, loss of skin elasticity. More serious signs include rapid heartbeat, difficulty breathing, lack of coordination, vomiting, dark red or purple tongue, and seizures.
  • Use sunscreen on short coated or white colored dogs.
  • Don’t shave your dog’s coat. Their coats provide protection from the sun and heat. It’s preferable to simply groom them regularly or give them a light trim.

Just because it’s very hot outside doesn’t mean that your dog’s continued exercise and fitness regimen should be overlooked. It’s just the time of year when we need to get a bit more creative!

Dog swimming