Monday, July 21, 2014

SociaBulls: On Warm Weather Walking

Since we made it through this, you'd think we would be prepared for anything, though this summer has brought on new challenges with the summer heat kicking in and making walking hard for many of our pups. Our city dogs are used to walking through all types of weather and challenges, here are some things the group has been doing to keep things comfortable for everyone:

Gearing Up
We've become experts at gearing up for cold weather, and many of the pups have also found gear to help keep cool. We've tried Ruffwear's Swamp Cooler Jacket that we wrote about here which has kept our pups a bit cooler. We've heard it really helps the dark-colored dogs who normally get so hot in the sun. We also know a lot of members have been wetting the pups' bandanas to keep them a bit cooler.

Water Breaks
Our water breaks are a formality during the colder months (and during the really cold walks we skip them altogether), though they are a necessity for this warmer weather. We let the pups linger a bit longer, and in the warmer weather we might even take two water breaks.

Early and Slow
Just like when I was in marathon training and we need to plan around the heat of the day, for SociaBulls we plan our walks earlier before the heat has really reached its peak. Extra bonus: less people and dogs are out so there aren't as many encounters.
We will also choose shortened routes and make sure we aren't walking on as much hot pavement which could hurt the pups' feet.

What are some other things you do to plan for walking in warmer weather?

This is what also happens at water breaks
Join our Chicago SociaBulls Facebook page for more photos and information about group walks. And check out the Hikabull page where we first learned about the benefits of group walking.


KS said...

Our summer walks tend to be shorter and we look for shaded walking spots. We also walk early and take water breaks, as well - although that's pretty much our year-round norm :)

Hannah@Eriesistibull said...

We move our walk time from 4pm to 6pm in the summer to beat the heat (as a bonus, it also makes it easier for weekend travelers!). We also take longer (and sometimes 2) water breaks to cool off in a shady spot. We try to plan our routes during the summer in areas with shadier paths. And we use Musher's Secret on days when the pavement is hot to protect paws.

Rachel @ My Two Pitties said...

Good tips! Our 2 favorite hikes run along a creek so the dogs make the most of the built in cooling and drinking access. I walk along the trails and they follow in the creek:)

On other hikes, I bring a backpack with water bottles and a portable dish. Thermos's with ice water are awesome too.

Though luckily it doesn't get too hot here so we can go out any time of day:)

OG said...

We stop a lot and sit down. And since Petey will ONLY drink from the doggie water fountain upon exiting the park, I carry a water bottle nestled in a carrier/dish for him

jane said...

Hello! I was wondering if you had any info on the equipment used by the last dog - with the I need space tag on his leash. Our pittie, Frankenstein, has a vest that says that and uses a gentle leader which he still tries to pull off. That one looks a bit thicker. I'm always curious about other ppl's equipment that they use with their dogs that "need space". Any info on what they use would be much appreciated.


Unknown said...

Hi Jane! That last dog you mentioned with the "I need space" leash sleeve is my dog, Kiwi. She is wearing a Halti Optifit. I got it at the recommendation of a trainer who likes the Halti better than the Gentle Leader - she thinks if offers better control and dogs tend to accept it better. I've never used the regular Halti, but I find the Halti Optifit very similar to the Gentle Leader, just more padded. Kiwi still tries to take if off :)

The leash sleeve I got from Patience and Love on Etsy. It's listed under Gear on the DINOS website.

Hope this helps!

jane said...


Thank you so much! Kiwi is such a cute name for a beautiful pup!

Frankenstein would probably appreciate the extra padding. His anxiety makes walks stressful sometimes so we're trying to make him as comfortable as possible while doing so.
Thanks again!

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