Dog Walknig, Gold Coast, Walking Tips

Walking Dogs on Hot Days


by Mel Deutsher


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A Guide by Mel from All For Furry Friends

The golden sun rays, the clear blue skies, and the scent of blooming flowers – summer is undeniably a season of joy and outdoor adventures. However, for our furry friends, those scorching summer days can pose unique challenges, especially when it comes to their daily walks. As the pavement heats up and the temperatures soar, it becomes paramount for every dog owner to reconsider and adapt their walking routines.

Lets look at wakling dogs on hot days, specfically during summer in this article

Walking dog at carrara

Enter Mel from All For Furry Friends. With years of experience navigating the sunny lanes and breezy beaches of the Gold Coast, Mel understands the intricacies of walking dogs during the hotter months. Guided by her expertise, this article seeks to shed light on the best practices for summer dog walking, ensuring safety, fun, and comfort for our beloved canine companions.

Join us as we journey through the dos and don’ts of walking dogs on hot days, exploring the art of choosing the perfect time, selecting shaded paths, and even treating our pups to a refreshing dip in the ocean. With Mel’s insights at the helm, let’s make every summer walk a delightful and safe experience for our four-legged friends.

The Risks of Hot Days

Summer, with its vibrant energy, can be deceptively inviting. But beneath the allure of those bright sunny days lie potential hazards for our canine companions. Mel, from her extensive experiences with All For Furry Friends on the Gold Coast, often shares tales of how an ill-timed walk or an overlooked precaution can quickly escalate into an alarming situation for a dog.

Scorching Pavements: Burnt Paws and Blisters

One of the most overlooked dangers is the heat of the pavement. Just as we wouldn’t want to walk barefoot on sizzling asphalt, our dog’s paws are susceptible to burns. Mel recalls instances where dogs returned from walks with tender, blistered paws, a direct result of the scorching ground.

Dehydration: Not Just Thirst

A dog can dehydrate much faster than humans, especially in hot weather. Without ample water breaks, a dog can quickly become thirsty, leading to more severe symptoms like sunken eyes, dry gums, and lethargy. Mel emphasizes the importance to know the signs early to prevent more severe complications.

Heatstroke: A Silent, Swift Danger

Heatstroke in dogs can be deadly and can onset rapidly, especially in high humidity. Symptoms range from heavy panting, glazed eyes, and a rapid heartbeat, to more severe ones like vomiting, a deep red or purple tongue, and unconsciousness. According to Mel, every dog owner should be aware of these signs and take immediate action if they suspect heatstroke.

Overexertion: Pushing the Limits

On a hot day, dogs might not show immediate signs of distress. Some, especially the high-energy breeds, might even seem eager to continue their play or walk. However, this can lead to overexertion, which, combined with the heat, can have harmful repercussions. Mel’s mantra? “Always better to err on the side of caution.”

Walknig dog by water on the Gold Coast

Hot Cars and Short Stops: A Deadly Combination

While not directly related to walking, it’s worth noting the risk of leaving a dog inside a car during summer, even for a few minutes. The temperature inside a parked car can skyrocket rapidly, making it a furnace for the trapped dog. Mel stresses the importance of never leaving a dog unattended in a car, no matter how brief the stop might be.

Best Time to Walk Dogs During Summer

Ah, the allure of a sun-drenched day, beckoning both humans and their furry companions outside. But when the mercury rises, especially during peak summer, the timing of our outdoor adventures becomes paramount. Mel, with her trove of experiences from All For Furry Friends on the Gold Coast, frequently shares insights about timing dog walks to make sure both enjoyment and safety.

Mel walking a dog in the shade on grass at Broadbeach

Early Bird Gets the Cool Breeze

The early morning, just as the sun casts its first golden rays, is a prime time for dog walking. The ground hasn’t had a chance to heat up, the temperatures are cooler, and there’s a certain serenity that only dawn can offer. Mel often highlights how morning walks can be invigorating, setting a positive tone for the rest of the day for both the dog and the owner.

Evening Strolls Under Twilight

As the sun starts its descent and evening approaches, another window of opportunity opens. The ambient heat from the day begins to dissipate, and the ground gradually cools down. Mel notes that evening walks can be more relaxed, often accompanied by the calming sights and sounds of a world preparing to wind down.

Avoiding the Midday Heat

Midday, especially during peak summer hours, is when the sun is at its zenith, emitting intense heat. The pavements can become scalding, and the risk of heat-related complications for dogs increases significantly. Mel strongly advises against walking your dog during this time, emphasizing that a shift in routine for the summer months can be a lifesaver.

Using Technology and Nature’s Cues

In today’s digital age, various apps and websites provide real-time temperature updates, UV index readings, and even pavement heat estimates. Mel recommends utilizing these tools to make informed decisions about walk your dog timings. Moreover, nature itself provides cues – if the chirping of birds reduces and they seek shelter, it’s likely too hot for a walk that can lead to heat stroke.

Flexibility is Key

While mornings and evenings are generally cooler, there might be days when even these times are unusually warm. Mel always stresses the importance of flexibility. If a scheduled walk time feels hotter than usual, it’s okay to delay it or make it shorter. It’s all about adapting to the day’s conditions.

Recognizing the Importance of Shade

When it comes to summer walks, shade is more than just a reprieve from the sun; it’s a sanctuary that can transform a scorching walk into a pleasant experience. Mel, from her extensive dog walking sessions on the Gold Coast with All For Furry Friends, often highlights the invaluable role shade plays during hot day adventures.

Shade: Nature’s Cooling Mechanism

Shade provides immediate relief from direct sunlight, reducing the ambient temperature and offering a cooler environment. Mel likens it to us donning a sun hat; just as the hat provides a barrier against the sun’s rays, shade acts as a natural barrier, protecting dogs from the intense heat.

Why Shade Matters

  • Paw Protection: While shaded grounds still retain heat, they are considerably cooler than surfaces exposed to direct sunlight. This difference can be crucial in preventing burns or discomfort to a dog’s sensitive paws.
  • Temperature Regulation: Dogs, especially those with thick fur, can overheat rapidly in direct sunlight. Shade provides a break, helping them regulate their body temperature more effectively.
  • Hydration: Shade can reduce the rate at which dogs dehydrate, ensuring they can enjoy their walk for longer without feeling parched.

Selecting Shaded Routes

Mel emphasizes the significance of planning routes that maximize shade:

  • Tree-lined Streets: Opt for streets that boast tall, leafy trees, casting wide shadows over the pavement.
  • Parks with Canopies: Large parks often have areas dense with trees, offering a canopy of shade. These areas can be ideal for summer dog walks.
  • Built Structures: In urban areas, tall buildings, underpasses, and alleys can provide unexpected but welcome shaded spots.
  • Gold Coast Gems: Mel often shares her list of favorite shaded spots on the Gold Coast, from breezy beach alcoves to serene woodland paths.

Time & Shade

While early mornings and late evenings are cooler, mid-morning and early evenings can still be hot but offer longer shadows. Mel suggests leveraging these extended shadows for added shade during walks.

Combining Shade with Rest & Water Breaks

It’s not just about walking in the shade but also using shaded spots as resting points. Mel recommends combining shade breaks with cool water stops, allowing dogs to rest, rehydrate, and cool down before continuing.


Navigating the golden landscapes of summer with our loyal canine companions is one of life’s simple pleasures. The warm breeze, the inviting beaches of the Gold Coast, and the pure joy radiating from our dogs as they revel in their outdoor adventures – these moments are undeniably precious. However, as Mel from All For Furry Friends often reminds us, with the beauty of summer comes a set of responsibilities.

Our journey through the intricacies of summer dog walks has illuminated the nuances we must be mindful of: from selecting the coolest times of day, seeking the sanctuary of shade, to the indispensable act of keeping our dogs hydrated. These aren’t mere routines or chores; they’re acts of love, ensuring that our four-legged friends remain safe, comfortable, and joyful.

As you embark on your sun-kissed adventures, let the insights shared guide you. Let each walk be a testament to the bond you share with your dog, where their well-being shines as brightly as the summer sun. And should you ever find yourself in doubt, remember Mel’s golden rule: attunement, adaptation, and anticipation are the keys to a successful summer dog walk.

Here’s to celebrating the sun, the sea, and our faithful companions. May every step you take on the Gold Coast’s sprawling sands and shaded trails be filled with memories, laughter, and boundless love.

Mel Deutsher

With years of experience working with dogs and animals, Mel provides professional and personal care for all engagements.

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