Our Miami-based dog sitters have Memorial Day penciled in as the beginning of summer fun, pet sits, and sharp rises in heat, which can be unbearable for humans. Imagine how that feels for dogs, who are covered in fur! As your dogs’ caretakers, we are responsible for keeping them safe during walks and runs in the coming summer months. We want to take a moment to talk about how we care for your pets in the heat, and hopefully help you keep your dogs cool when you take them out with you. Read on to learn about how to keep your dog cool in Miami while enjoying our beautiful outdoors. Remember, May is National Fitness Month. We want to help both you and your dog kick start your exercise routines!
Dog Runs and Dog Walks for All!
We firmly believe that dogs need daily exercise. They were bred to work with us for a living, despite what most of them seem to do these days (hello, snuggly couch potatoes). They need to be doing something constructive or else they get bored. Most pet parents don’t have the time to set up daily fun projects or to take their dogs on walks during lunch time, leaving their social dogs bored and alone. That’s where dog sitters and runners help.
Dog Sitters and Dog Runners to the Rescue!
We love giving your dogs their well-deserved exercise breaks! Our pet sitters keep on top of your dogs’ well-being at all times, but ESPECIALLY when partaking in strenuous physical activity like brisk walks and runs in the Miami summer months. Here are some tips we swear by when giving your pups great exercise.
- We always establish that your dog is in good physical condition before starting their fun new exercise routine. We heartily recommend a physical with your veterinarian before Day 1.
- All dog exercise starts of slowly with us. First we walk your pooch, then we progress to interval training where we alternate walking and running. Finally, we graduate to full on jogs or runs, depending on your dog’s needs. Some dogs don’t do well with full runs, others need to spring for minutes at a time. This is a customizeable schedule!
- We try our best not to exercise dogs heavily before feeding time, and we absolutely avoid heavy exercise after feeding time. Either instance could cause digestive problems. Water is given before and after.
- We constantly check weather conditions and we will not run a dog outside if it’s over 90 degrees. On less than cool days, our dog runners find a shady route and spray dogs down with water. We keep dog running to parts of the day that are less sunny. Long-haired dogs are evaluated on a case-by-case basis.
Because heatstroke is a real threat in Miami, and because it can set in very quickly, we focus on prevention by following the above procedures. Our dog runners and sitters are trained to keep a sharp eye out in our hot humid weather, and to recognize the signs of heatstroke. Please learn them; it is of the utmost importance to act quickly when you see the following symptoms:
- Heavy Panting
- Difficulty breathing
- Bright red tongue and mucous membranes
- Thick saliva and vomiting
- Dog becomes unsteady and has bloody diarrhea.
With proper care and prevention, your dog should never experience heatstroke. Once shock sets in, your dog’s lips and mucous membranes turn gray. This is often followed by collapse, seizure, coma, and death.
Follow our tips, your veterinarian’s advice, and exercise caution- and exercise will benefit everyone!
A founding member of the Equipaws family, Frankie can mostly be found working behind the scenes, helping co-create online branding, managing several social media accounts, designing brand collateral, writing copy, and managing events. She also fills in for pet sitters and dog walkers when needed in Palmetto Bay, Pinecrest, and South Miami. Her own small pack consists of Boots the Shih Tzu mix and Nutmeg the Chiweenie.