10 Tips for Safely Walking Your Dog in the Heat | BrilliantK9 icon

10 Tips for Safely Walking Your Dog in the Heat

dog playing in the water and wearing a BrilliantK9 mesh harness

At BrilliantK9, we understand how important walking your dog is to their health. In fact, one reason many people get a dog is because the increased exercise is good for humans too, and walking your dog is a great way to increase your movement each day. But when it gets too hot outdoors, it becomes unsafe for pets and pet parents. However, it’s still essential to make sure your dog gets enough exercise, which helps manage their energy levels and keeps them healthy.

What do you do when the outdoor temps spike upward? You absolutely don’t want to cause your beloved dog any harm, and you know they need to be walked. Here are some tips we compiled to help ensure your dog’s safety while walking in the hotter months.

Check Out These Tips for Walking Your Dog in the Summer

Tip 1: Keep your dog cool.

It’s essential to keep your furry friend as cool as possible while out for a walk.  There are several ways to do this, such as choosing to avoid pavement, or selecting the coolest route. One of the most effective ways to help keep your dog cooler during summer walks is to use their summer clothes. You wouldn’t think of wearing your winter clothes out for a summer walk, right? Neither should your dog need to worry about it. Try switching to a mesh harness that allows airflow to help keep your dog cooler. You can still keep your dog safely harnessed, but the BrilliantK9 mesh harness is much cooler than other designs. 

Tip 2: Avoid walking your dogs during the hottest part of the day.

Even during the hottest days of the year, there are times of the day that are less hot. Careful planning can help you avoid walks during the hottest hours of the day. Try to take your walks in the early morning hours or later in the evening. In general, before 9 am and after 6 pm are the coolest times of the day. The temperatures are cooler, and so is the ground, so your furry family member’s feet can be more comfortable too.

Tip 3: Seek out shady areas for your walk.

When the sun is blazing overhead, be careful about where you take your dog. It’s best to keep them out of the direct sunlight during the hottest parts of the year. Natural paths are great options for summer walks, or just sticking to the side of the street that is most shaded. Try to find routes where you can at least stop in shady areas. If your dog wants to go lay down in a grassy area, let them. This is one way they can regulate their body temperature.

Tip 4: Avoid hot pavement or concrete.

You may think that temperatures below 95 or 100 degrees should be safe for your dogs. But if the outside temp is 85 degrees, the pavement can be as hot as 135 degrees! Wow! That is way too hot for your dog’s paws. Concrete is generally not as hot as pavement, but either surface can cause serious burns to your dog’s paws. When it’s hotter outside, it’s best to avoid asphalt and concrete surfaces altogether.

Tip 5: Check the ground temperature before your walk.

While the ground may seem safer than asphalt or concrete, it can be too hot for sensitive paws too. Always check the ground temperature before heading out the door with your pet. Just touch the back of your hand to the ground and hold it there. If it’s too hot for you to hold it against the ground for five seconds, it’s too hot for your pup’s paws. You may want to invest in dog boots or paw protectors for your pup to wear during the hotter months. They can help prevent burns.

Tip 6: Take slower walks.

You may notice your dog taking it slower on your walks when it is hotter. This can be a huge difference from the energetic way they usually zoom around. When it is hot, it’s best to encourage them to take it slower. Running can make them hotter and increase the risk of heat stroke in dogs. Set a slower pace for yourself and your pup while giving them some time to sniff out new scents. They will communicate with you when they are done. If your dog starts to pant or continues trying to lie down, they are probably telling you that it’s too hot for them. Go slowly and know when it’s best to turn back.

Tip 7: Take shorter walks.

Summertime is a good time to adjust your walking routes. Along with choosing the best time of day for a walk, you may also want to consider taking shorter walks. During cooler parts of the day, take shorter, less intense walks with your dog. Your hilly hikes should become gentle strolls as the temperatures go up. Your dog and your own body will thank you for it!

Tip 8: Keep your dog well hydrated.

Proper hydration is critical for you and your dog, and especially during hotter weather. Some parks and especially dog parks have dog-accessible water fountains. But it’s always best to be safe and carry water and a bowl with you. This way, you can offer your dog fresh water frequently.

Tip 9: Know the signs of heatstroke in dogs.

Heat exhaustion is a real thing for dogs, just like it is for humans. Pets can suffer heatstroke too. It can be dangerous, serious, and life-threatening. Dogs don’t have sweat glands like humans, instead, they have to pant to cool their bodies down. If that isn’t enough, the heat starts to build up in their bodies and causes heatstroke. Certain dogs are more susceptible to having heatstroke, including dogs that are older, obese, or battling some type of illness. Signs to watch for include:

  • Excessive drooling
  • Excessive panting
  • Difficulty with breathing
  • Signs of fever (nose is dry and hot)
  • Gums that turn bright red, purple, bluish, or gray
  • Fast pulse
  • Weakness
  • Muscle tremors
  • Dizziness
  • Vomiting
  • Diarrhea
  • Lack of urination

If you suspect your dog may be exhibiting signs of heatstroke, call your vet immediately as it is an emergency.

Tip 10: Special care for senior dogs and flat-faced breeds.

Certain breeds need a bit more care than others. It’s essential to keep a pup cool and comfortable while walking them. Flat-faced breeds such as Pugs, Boxers, English Bulldogs, and French Bulldogs have shorter muzzles that can make it more difficult to pant or breathe. This can make it more challenging to stay cool. Flat-faced dogs, pudgy, and senior dogs can overheat easily during walks. These types need walks that are short and sweet.


Walking your dog in the summer can require a bit more planning and attention to ensure your dog stays safe and healthy. You and your pup can still enjoy your daily walks. A BrilliantK9 mesh harness can be part of your exciting and fun walks as the temperatures go up! We have sizes to fit any breed of dog, and numerous fun patterns along with custom embroidery options to personalize them. We can help you measure your dog to ensure a great fit. Make sure to order your pup a mesh harness today!

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