Retkeily koiran kanssa kesähelteillä

Hiking with the dog in the summer heat

Tips for camping with a dog in the heat

The summer heat brings its own challenges to hiking and moving around with a dog in general. People also suffer from extreme heat, but dogs' heat tolerance is often even weaker, because they can't sweat like us humans. Here are a few tips for those planning summer trips with a dog.

Exercise in the cooler moments of the day

Go very early in the morning or late at night. You can also hike at night; Finnish summer is bright.

Direct your trips near bodies of water

The dips in the water along the route cool off nicely and the dog can also drink from the clean fresh water. Especially the routes along the banks of larger bodies of water are usually also cooler and windier.
Remember that the fur of long-haired dogs in particular should also be dried after swimming, so that moisture does not get trapped under the fur and cause skin problems.

Take advantage of the shadows

Prefer routes that run in the shade of trees. Familiarize yourself with the route in advance and avoid large open and dry areas where there is no possibility of getting into the shade.

Remember to hydrate

Take enough water with you and/or plan the route so that you can replenish your water reserves along the way. In hot weather, you should also consider giving your dog an electrolyte supplement that can be mixed with water. Electrolytes are minerals that help maintain the body's fluid balance. With them, the dog stays better hydrated than with water alone.

Shorten trips and/or postpone the date

Even if the trip was planned hard and waited for a long time, circumstances may require shortening the route or postponing the trip to a later time. In extreme heat, the most comfortable place for a dog is not necessarily on a hike.

Take care of paws and fur

Hot surfaces (especially asphalt) and stress can damage the skin of the dog's sensors. You can use protective paw wax for the paws and, if necessary, also protective slippers. It is also worth spending some time caring for the fur of long-haired dogs: the old, thick undercoat should be brushed off before summer hikes.

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