Beat the Heat! How to Exercise Dogs in Hot Weather

exercise dogs in hot weather

Beat the Heat: Keep Your Dog Healthy and Active in the Miami

In Miami we are faced with sweltering heat year round and a dilemma: how to exercise dogs in hot weather safely. The boiling sun and tropical moisture can make any physical activity daunting. As animal lovers, Equipaws Pet Services stresses a consistent exercise routine for most pets, but we want your dogs to be able to play and exercise safely despite our hot and humid weather.

Our dog walkers provide daily dog walks and runs for our pack year round because we have found ways to beat the heat and keep our pups fit, healthy, and happy safely. We take all precautions when exercising and found the activities listed below have been very successful. Take a look!

How to Exercise Dogs in Hot Weather:

It’s Too Hot!: There’s never an excuse for lack of playtime. Inside your cool air conditioned home, get your dog active with a chew toy or ball. Most dogs loves to fetch, so throwing around a ball inside for a while is a fantastic way to keep them moving. Warning: move any breakable items!

Strut Your Stuff: The most common way to exercise your dog is walking and we live in the best place to do it! Take in the beautiful Miami evening, enjoy the cooler part of the day and soak in the paradise right outside your door. To get you started, here is a list of local parks that are very dog friendly:

  • Peacock Park, The Historic Barnacle Park & Marinas (Coconut Grove)
  • Brickell Key (Brickell)
  • Margaret Pace Park (Downtown)
  • Kennedy Park (Coconut Grove)
  • Tropical Park Bark Park
  • Key Biscayne’s Hobie Beach

All of these areas are close to or on the water, which provides gorgeous views and a healthy breeze. If you’re not interested in going far, head out to your backyard or neighborhood and hit the streets for a stroll.

dog runner Miami

Run Fido Run!:

If you have a fit pup like our sweet Leia (pictured) and enjoy dog running, give them a good challenge. A nice jog around the neighborhood is good for the fit pups’ soul. Be sure to stay in the shade and keep an eye on their breathing. Also practicing fast to slow intervals will allow them to catch their breath and enjoy a potty break. If running, be prepared with water for both you and your pup. If your dog is a beginner, start slow and work your way up with length of time and speed, and of course, always ask your veterinarian if you can start a running regimen.

 

hot weather play ideas for dogs

Take a Swim:

Lucky enough to have a pool like our sweet Lacey does? Take advantage and play fetch where your pup has to jump into the water to retrieve a toy. If your dog is hesitant, jump in with them! Swimming is a great workout for humans as well! If the pool isn’t your scene, take a dip in the ocean. Dogs love splashing around in the waves. Check local beaches that are dog friendly before going on your adventure. (Bark Beach at North Shore and Haulover Park, both located in Miami Beach, as well as Hobie Beach)  

 

hose down dogs

Hose them Down:

Our friend Rosco loves a good dose of water, and your pups might, too! Spray your dogs down before their run with a garden hose (make sure the water is cool before spraying) or for a lighter dose, try a spray bottle, which will give them a cool misting. Do this before and after walks or runs to prevent the development of heat stroke. Not all dogs prefer to be wet, but as their caretakers we must do what’s best for them despite how they might feel about water. 😉

Helpful Heat Products – Proper Preparation for Exercise:

  • Water bottle
  • Water bottle holder with clip
  • Pop up or adjustable bowl
  • Spray bottle
  • Towels (use to dry off dog)
  • Life jacket (if swimming in pool or ocean)

Remember, dogs, just as humans, get bored or lethargic if kept inside with lack of movement or activity. Not to mention, zero exercise can do a number on your pups’ health. In the heat of the summer or those hot fall days that find us, pup parents still need ways to get moving!  Dogs need new smells, sights, sounds, and activity just as humans do. Plus you get the benefits of the extra calorie burn too! Before beginning an exercise routine, consult with your vet on what is a healthy amount for your pup as this will vary with age, breed, size. You can also make your pups a tasty frozen dog treat to reward a job well done! Check out our frozen dog treat recipes here.

No time for a dog walk or run? Equipaws Pet Services’ dog walkers and dog runners are happy to help! Please call us at 305.794.3733 or email us with questions at info@equipawspetservices.com. We look forward to keeping your pet fit, healthy, and happy responsibly!

To Scoop Poop or not to Scoop, That Is the Question!

Miami pet sitter dog walker pooper scooper

To Scoop Poop or not to Scoop, That Is the Question! This parody of a famous Shakespearean line of the play Hamlet makes us think: why did Shakespeare never write about… poop… the way he wrote about roses?

“What’s in a name? That which we call a rose
By any other name would smell as sweet…” (Romeo and Juliet)

Well, obviously, when we think of things aesthetically pleasing, dog poop does not make the list. No wonder that some dog owners are not particularly fond of scooping it up. But isn’t pet waste also biodegradable and a natural fertilizer? Not necessarily…

What Are The Risks of Not Scooping Dog Poop?

We don’t live in an agricultural society anymore. Our dogs are not out there herding the sheep home or watching the cattle, roaming freely on large areas of green land. We live in big cities like Miami where green areas are smaller and they are often a public property to be enjoyed by pet owners and people with no pets, alike.

We walk our dogs in parks where people also bring their children, sometimes toddlers, to play in the grass and enjoy the fresh air. Toddlers don’t know the difference between dirt and poop, they just see it as yet another thing that they can stick their fingers into and taste. Some dogs do the same: for reasons unknown, they attempt to eat everything they are sniffing, which could be the doo-doo of a sick dog. That way, both humans and dogs are exposed to a higher risk of disease.

Dog poop is a pervasive way of contaminating water: it can be easily washed off into storm drains or nearby water streams, thus polluting it with harmful organisms such as Giardia, Salmonella and E. coli. Decomposing pet waste depletes water of oxygen and can release ammonia, which affects the well-being of fish and other water creatures. Yes, it’s that serious. And did I mention that stepping in doo-doo and possibly carrying it into a house, a car, or a shopping place is a tremendously unpleasant and embarrassing experience?

What Is Equipaws Doing to Help?

Why take a chance? With Equipaws, you will never worry that your doggie’s waste affects the environment in any of these ways. Our pet sitters are proudly equipped with biodegradable poop bags that are properly disposed of during or after the walk.  When we sponsor events such as the yearly 5K Run Fur Fun to benefit Paws 4 You Rescue for the adoption of homeless dogs in Miami, we offer the same biodegradable poop bags to the dog owners participating. And we constantly contribute to educating the public on this topic, either through articles such as this, or through talks, conversations and promotional materials. We are environmentally conscious and we would love to help you be the same.

What Can Dog Owners Do to Help?

We all enjoy strolling in a safe and aesthetically pleasing environment. All of us pet owners can easily help create and maintain it by cleaning up after our dogs. It may not be our favorite part of the walk, but it is so important for our community’s well-being. We want to treat our pets and fellow human beings with the same dignity and respect that we treat ourselves with and our private environment. That creates better relationships and it sets an example for others who are still learning or new to pet ownership.

The Pooper-Scooper Law

In most cities and states of the U.S. the law says that dog owners must clean up after their dogs, with fines ranging from $20 to $10,000 if they fail to do that. The Pooper-Scooper Law of Miami-Dade County provides that dog owners be fined $50 for public nuisance, should they fail to clean up their dog’s waste and dispose of it properly.

Bottom line, our beloved doggie’s doo-doo may never make the rhyme of a beautiful world famous poem, but a gorgeous, litter-free park might just be the inspiration for one. Let us all be partners in creating and maintaining an attractive natural environment that nourishes lifelong memories for children and grown-ups alike, and that can inspire a Shakespeare of our modern days.

Contributed by pet sitter Manuela Nelersa.

 

 

Happy Fourth of July! Pet Safety Tips

Happy Fourth of July Weekend!

The Fourth of July is one of our favorite holidays here at Equipaws Pet Services. In our humble opinion, taking care of our clients’ pets in between bites of barbecue, watermelon, and sips of lemonade is one of the best ways to spend this weekend. Because we accompany many pets on this holiday, we know firsthand how frightening can be for them. Even the bravest alpha dog may be affected by the excitement of extremely loud fireworks, gunshots going off in the air, and the sounds salsa (hey, it’s Miami).

We’re happy to share Petfinder’s beautiful graphic depicting the possible issues your pets may have to deal with this holiday and tips for avoiding them. Our main concern for this weekend as pet sitters is to keep dogs and cats indoors during fireworks; fireworks and furry kids don’t mix. They can spook our clients, or even cause injury or death in extreme cases. It’s important to walk your dogs earlier in the evening or morning to avoid the evening’s fireworks.

Another issue is proper identification and collars on pets; July fourth and fifth are the busiest days for animal control because so many pets run away scared. It’s important to have the right ID on your pets to facilitate reuniting with them. Of course, if your pets get lost you should:

-Call Miami-Dade Animal Services first and foremost.

-Set up flyers with photos around your neighborhood

-Post your pet’s photos online, on Lost and Found sections such as this one on Craigslist.

The key to a great holiday weekend is, as with most things animal or child-related, prevention. Please read the graphic below, absorb it, and have a wonderful July Fourth weekend!

”Keep