Here we are, July 1st, and the new season is just 60 days away. Time to get your dog (and you!) off of the couch and into a good conditioning program. Of course you respond, “What about the extreme heat we are experiencing this year?” Yes, this has been an extremely warm early summer in most parts of the country. Very hot weather can injure an out-of-shape dog.
So how do we work our dog in extremely hot weather? The answer is, you don’t! That is, you don’t condition mid-day when temps are at high levels. Get up early and be working your dog by 5:00 am or before the sun gets too high above the horizon.
Things to consider:
1. Have plenty of water with you. By plenty, I mean at least 2 gallons. Pour water over the dog prior to starting the work out. If you have a pond nearby to cool your dog off, all the better.
2. Give the dog frequent breaks to let him/her drink. Not too much at any one time. Pour more water over the dog. 3. Monitor your dog’s temperature. Normal is between 99.5 and 102 degrees. Don’t let it get above that.
4. Look for signs of heat stress. Staggering, glassy eyes, uncontrolled panting, drooling and panicky behavior are sure signs.
5. Like in normal training, keep the sessions short (20 - 30 minutes max) and frequent; every day if possible or at least 3 days per week.
6. Swimming is great exercise and is easier on your dog’s joints. Especially good for older dogs.
Getting you and your dog prepared now will insure you both will be ready to go once the season arrives.
See you again next month,
CJ & Shawnee