It might be still snowing in Minnesota in April but here in Southern California, it’s already getting too warm for hiking with dogs when the sun is at the highest. I am already carrying Xena’s cooling vest, Swamp Cooler, in my backpack. Another item I carry during warmer months is a light cotton bandana.
A bandana is not only for looking stylish. It can be used as a protective gear. Tie it around your pup’s neck for covering. When it gets hot, pour water on it to keep him cool. While you take a break, you can pull the wet bandana over his head. Xena likes it. If you live in a dry climate, I recommend this.
The key is doing this before your dog gets overheated and never reaches that point. Overheating is extremely dangerous. Here are some signs your dog might be overheating.
- Panting heavily
- Seems lethargic
- Refuses to drink water (possibly dehydrated and overheating)
- Keeps walking over to the shade and lays down
- Digs the ground to find cooler soil
When the signs are showing, please don’t ignore. Find a shade and help them bring their body temperature down by pouring water over their neck and head. Avoid icy water though since icy water constricts the blood vessels.
For more information on how to hike with your pup in warm weather, please check out my previous post on this topic and adventure safely.