Summer is already here. And that means only one thing; long and sunny days. Ideally, the temperatures will continue rising, coming to an all-time high in July. Northern Virginia can sometimes be unbearable between the high temperatures and the humidity. Given the extremes it can reach, it’s easy to forget that even our four-legged companions can be just as miserable as us. As the days get hotter, your dog will need extra care to keep cool. And since training doesn’t stop just because it’s summer, it’s important to know what measures to take when training your dog. So, here are a few secrets to beating the Northern Virginia heat with your dog.
Check ground temperatures
Spending the summer outside training your dog on basic obedience is fine, but it’s crucial to ensure the conditions are ideal. If the street or sidewalk pavement feels hot to your touch, it’s also too hot for your pup. While your shoes protect you from the hot grounds, your dog isn’t as lucky. Just like your feet can burn when walking on hot pavement, your dog’s paws might also suffer serious burn injuries when exposed to the hot pavement for long periods.
Ensure your dog stays hydrated
Just like you, your dog will also feel the summer heat the same way and constantly experience dehydration. Ensure that your dog has enough water all the time. If you are training outside, carry their bowl and water with you. You can keep the water cool by adding ice cubes to it. Your pup could also use the ice cubes as a treat to crunch on during training.
Utilize the mornings and evenings well
Consider early morning or late evening training sessions since that’s the time of the day when it’s likely to be the coolest. Taking advantage of that time could mean staying out longer to maximize the training.
Minimize sun exposure
Generally, summer in Northern Virginia is characterized by high temperatures during the day. The hottest time of the day is between noon and 3 PM. Avoid training your dog at that time. If you have to, limit the training to a few minutes.
Look out for signs of dehydration
Dogs don’t sweat like we do and instead pant. As they pant, dogs tend to drool. However, drooling shouldn’t be excessive. Obviously, some dog breeds drool more than others, so it’s important to know where your dog belongs. When training outside in the heat, keep an eye on your dog and watch out for signs of dehydration. If a dog is dehydrated, it will become lethargic, appear pale, and have bloodshot eyes. To reduce the risk of dehydration, always ensure that your dog has a water bowl when outside.
Watch out for heatstroke signs
Dehydration isn’t the only thing you have to watch out for. Heatstroke can occur without you realizing it; sometimes, it can be fatal. Signs of heatstroke in dogs include excessive panting, glassy eyes, bright or dark red tongue or gums, and in severe cases, the dog may collapse. If you notice such signs, take your pup to the vet immediately. Usually, older dogs and those with shorter snouts are more likely to overheat than others.
Feed your dog well
If you are training outside in the summer, your dog will use more energy because of the heat. In such a case, ensure that you keep their energy levels up by feeding them a high-protein meal.
Allow your dog to rest
If you are outside for long periods, ensure that you give your pup ample time to rest between training sessions. Pick a shady spot, let them lie down for a while, and have water readily available.
Consider freezing treats
Positive reinforcement is an integral part of any dog training session. This involves feeding your dog treats when they get a command right. However, during the hot summer weather, you simply can’t feed your dog the same treats you feed them. Well, you can, but they are much better when frozen. Freeze your usual treats like vegetables and fruit mixes to create fun new snacks. Of course, check with your vet or a professional dog trainer on which veggies and fruits are safe for your dog.
Groom your dog
Summer means reducing the layers to beat the heat; your dog needs that too. The less fur they have, the better and more comfortable it will be for them to train outside. Good dog grooming helps a dog look great and feel his best. However, during summer, good grooming will keep your dog feeling easy and breezy.
Summer Professional Dog Training Sessions in Northern Virginia
As the temperatures continue to rise, staying outside during the day becomes less and less comfortable. If you have a dog that requires training, you just can’t halt the training until summer passes. If, for any reason, you can’t train your pup or don’t want to risk training them outside, consider dog training companies like Off Leash K9 Training.
Off Leash K9 Training has world-class facilities and a kind and compassionate team who will stop at nothing to ensure your dog receives the best training. The team is also well-versed in training your dog despite the hot weather. Our dog training sessions involve personalized training for 4 weeks if you want basic training and 8 weeks if you prefer advanced obedience training.
We also offer a 2-week board and train option and a 1-week freedom board and train for dog owners who would rather drop off their dogs. Our training team has handled all kinds of training, including aggressive dog training, therapy dog training, and puppy training, so you can be sure your dog will be in good hands. So, if you are wondering where to take your dog this summer, contact us today for a free consultation.