10-month-old lies down on walks in the heat - Golden Retrievers : Golden Retriever Dog Forums
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post #1 of 12 (permalink) Old 05-16-2019, 11:32 AM Thread Starter
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10-month-old lies down on walks in the heat

So Scully is now 10 months old and very healthy and happy! We keep her on the leaner side (she's 50 lbs) and she enjoys walks and off-leash hikes. Here's where we're starting to run into some issues:

She's been used to being in cold temps all fall/winter long here in Michigan and now that it's getting warm and humid, she's finding it difficult to walk outside for very long. I'm talking like a simple 1-2 mile flat walk on grass or trails. She'll start panting heavily and I give her water from her portable dish which she'll drink but then end up blowing bubbles in and wants to just lie there. I'm worried for when it gets actually hot here like in the 80's this summer. I'm pregnant and figured I'd be the one most affected by the summer heat but now I'm thinking our poor pup may be. We have A/C thankfully and we got her a nice gel cooling mat and she has a little fan but I'm worried about not being able to exercise her adequately this summer.

The good thing is that I've noticed her tolerance has improved because in April when temps climbed into the 50's and the sun was out she'd pant and need to lie down on walks but now she's fine with 50's. Now what triggers her is 60's with sun or 70's even without sun and just high humidity. I don't want to push my poor puppy to walk and I worry about heatstroke with the panting. She loves walks and I don't think this is her just being a headstrong adolescent - I think she's really too hot. I took her to the vet and they checked her paws and blood and everything looks fine. No sensitive joints etc that they can find. She does love swimming and it cools her down so maybe that will be our main summer exercise for her and we'll just go through a lot of ear solution. But I wish we had an easier daily exercise solution for her where she could be comfortable.

I was also thinking that maybe she hasn't shed much of her winter coat off yet? Not sure how applicable that is for a 10 month old, though. (We'd never shave her obviously and I've heard too many negative stories about furminator treatments at the groomer.) Brushing her a couple times a week I haven't noticed an increase in hair. That's all I got! For now, I'll be that lady on the side of the road you see waiting patiently
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post #2 of 12 (permalink) Old 05-16-2019, 12:07 PM
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I don't really have any good advice for you, I'll let the smart people here offer that, but I just wanted to say your description of Scully sounds just like our 7 year old Pebbles. She DOES NOT LIKE warm weather and never has.

As soon as the temps get into the 60's she is reluctant to go on walks.
As soon as the temps get into the 70's she will refuse to do anything other than a short walk.
Upper 70's and beyond, she will sit and REFUSE to walk.
80's+ and the A/C is on? She'll stick her head out the door, sense the heat, and refuse to go outside.

She's trim (kinda - constant battle...) and healthy just hates the heat and is lazy.

Joe
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post #3 of 12 (permalink) Old 05-16-2019, 02:01 PM
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Stop trying to walk in the sunshine, it needs to be first thing in the morning, before 8 or 9 a.m. or closer to sunset. It takes time to acclimate and if it's not that much fun, it will be a struggle to keep her moving. Humidity is especially hard on dogs, be aware of how much it can affect them even with temps in the 70's or 80's which may not bother you much. We have had people come to this forum before in the process of losing a healthy young dog to heatstroke just from morning exercise in high humidity that didn't bother the rest of the family. As I recall this was someone in the gulf coast area but it's a brutal way to lose a dog. I am sure you are careful, just push your times to avoid sun.


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post #4 of 12 (permalink) Old 05-16-2019, 07:05 PM Thread Starter
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Thanks, Kristy! Great advice. Our routine is such that after she goes out first thing at 7am to pee, she comes back in for a meal and then asks to go outside to poop around 10:30am (never first thing in the morning) and so our substantial exercise times fall in mid to late morning. Will try augmenting this to see if she'll do her business/exercise earlier. I don't take her out from noon-3ish just because of how my days pan out with work etc anyways and knowing it's just going to get hotter will keep it that way. She does do fine on our evening walks thankfully.

I guess I naively expected her to be able to handle light exercise if she was kept hydrated and took breaks but at least right now it's just too much. Maybe she'll acclimate as the summer goes on but we will definitely prevent her from being in the high humidity for very long. If I'm uncomfortable I can't imagine what it feels like for a furry dog. (Even though I know their double-layer coats aid in body temp regulation)

Thanks again for your input. I do check her gums etc when she's been lying down for signs of heatstroke etc.

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post #5 of 12 (permalink) Old 05-16-2019, 07:47 PM
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In summertime you might consider starting your day 30 minutes early and bump up breakfast and the walk. I just read through Otter's post and it made me think of my parents' Golden (They live in my neighborhood and Sailor spends a lot of time with us) she has very thick undercoat and has never liked the heat, even more than my own dogs. She is one who will quit as well and can be quite stubborn. My mom just walks her super early, my dad usually walks her late in the evening then. (She has them well trained ) Something else to consider would be looking for an airconditioned dog training facility and take her to an extra class during warmer months. That would compensate for not doing as much walking outdoors.


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post #6 of 12 (permalink) Old 05-16-2019, 08:00 PM
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Last summer when mine was a fuzzy puppy we ended up having the ac on way more than we normally would have. She was hot. Today it got to 80 and she didn't want to play out as long at noon as she normally does. I agree, early morning and evening walks durning hot weather. Goldens get hot with all of their fur.
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post #7 of 12 (permalink) Old 05-17-2019, 12:54 PM
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I agree with what has already been said... some dogs just seem to "run hot" and are more sensitive to the heat, and better walked in the cool of the day.

That said, you may want to take a look at some of the "cooling coats" that are made for canine athletes. Some are more effective than others, and you should monitor your dog, at least at first, to make sure they don't get TOO cold, but Clean Run has some very good options.
https://www.cleanrun.com/category/do...mats/index.cfm

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post #8 of 12 (permalink) Old 05-17-2019, 07:14 PM
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I also just got out my little kitty pool. Mine loves to splash in it while running in the yard.
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post #9 of 12 (permalink) Old 05-18-2019, 10:37 AM
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I'm in South Carolina and have always been careful about heat with my Golden. He gets too hot when it gets in the upper 70s. We're muggy too in summer and in July and August it gets too hot period -- there is no cool of the day to be found. We've done rain walks (not monsoons lol) and he loves that when it's hot. I'm lucky because we have a pool, so exercise is around 9:00 to 9:30 a.m. and in water in the summer. If you don't have a pool, mine also loved a kiddie pool and sprinkler toys before we had out in-ground pool.

My poor baby is very sick now and not expected to live long. It makes me so sad. He'll be nine on June 14.

On a funny note, when we first got him I worried he got cold in the winter in South Carolina. haha

Scully is beautiful!
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post #10 of 12 (permalink) Old 05-19-2019, 04:55 AM
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When it gets hot we plan our walks where there is water. If she likes swimming, it's a good idea for her to cool off. We avoid walking during the hottest periods of the day. I see you are walking in the woods, maybe it's not just the temperature, but the humidity too, that makes her uncomfortable.
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