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Discussion Starter #1
I recently started working for a new pet service business, and the majority of what I'm doing is dog walking.

We're currently in the midst of a massive heat wave and it's got me concerned. Aside from the fact I'm not too keen on being outside all day in 90+ degree heat, I'm somewhat concerned for the dogs. A typical walk is roughly 30 minutes, and it's in a city setting where there's not much grass. The best we can do is a small paved bike path with some black woodchips and bushes. I've brought up my concerns about the heat to my boss, but I feel like he doesn't realize how dangerous it can be. He's a great guy but there are a lot of things about dogs he doesn't know. Every day I'm worried the dogs' paws might burn up, or that one of the brachy dogs might get sick. I did tell him we need inclement weather policies and he made some but in terms of heat it looks like he just said to walk in the shade (we cant walk in the shade the whole time) and to take breaks. I just...is that enough or am I being a worry wart?

I just know I don't walk my dogs or play with them outside in this heat for more than 10-15 mins unless it's in the sprinkler. What do you think? Should I press the issue or just let it go and try to be careful?
 

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This is the height of summer in Texas, July and August. Currently I take one of my dogs for exercise for 30 minutes sometime between 6 and 7AM.
I don't know how hot it gets in New Jersey where you are, though.

Here is a prior discussion:
http://www.dogforum.com/general-dog-discussion/walking-dogs-80-degree-weather-287922/


Something to think about: If it is a really, really hot day and you know that walking the dogs may be bad for their health that day and you walk them anyway, and something happens, it is possible that you may be held accountable along with your boss.
 

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If possible try to walk the dogs early in the morning when it is not too hot.
If there's no choice but you have to walk your in the hot weather, keep an eye on the dogs.
You will get the cue when they pant excessively or began to walk uneasily. Take more breaks and drink more water.
 

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Tracie, from reading your post it sounds like you already have the answer in your own mind. You feel you should treat them as if they were your own dogs. And you are being very responsible for doing the right thing. I guess if it were me, I would mention your concerns to the dog owners and let them decide what they want you to do. Unfortunately you and your boss may have different views and you will have to do what YOU feel is right. There are a lot of good responses on this thread that should help push you to do what you already know. I am sorry you have been put in this situation
 

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Is there anyway you can get a policy put in place that when the temp gets above, maybe, 93 degrees you'll only walk the dog for 15 - 20 min if the dog needs to be walked between 1 and 4 PM?

My own dog I'll only take out for 15 min during the hottest part of the day. I try and stick on no paved surfaces, and I test the pavement and asphalt before allowing him to walk on it. I've carried him the asphalt topped street and into the shade in order to prevent him burning his paws. I take him on longer walks in the morning and in the evening. My rule of thumb is that if I start to get overheated then he's also getting overheated even if he's not showing it.
 

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Thanks for the replies.

The problem with walking them at certain times of day is that the walks are scheduled for specific times. So the owner wants their dog to be walked at 11, 1, 2 4, etc. Also, there really aren't many places that they have the option of not walking on pavement or asphalt.

I think I will start shortening some of the walks if it looks like the dogs aren't doing well, especially for my brachy pair (a Frenchie and Shih Tzu/Pom). I did actually make a suggested policy for my boss that said senior and brachy dogs should only have 10-15 min walks at 90 degrees (I was originally thinking 85 but yeah...) and 95 for all dogs. I might just do it myself.

Thanks!
 

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I know not all dogs will wear them but could you invest in doggy shoes to protect their feet from hot surfaces. Especially on darker surfaces that absorb more heat id be worried about pad blistering.
They also sell cooling collars and vests which might be helpful as a option. I do agree though, brachy's and older dogs shouldn't be outside in the high heat.
Maybe you can explain it to him that dogs don't sweat other then through panting and to some extent their paws. And for them walking around in the heat is like a human walking in 80-90 weather in a winter coat without shoes, and in the brachy's case with a breathing problem.
Could you take them somewhere were theres water for them to play in to cool off? There are also some informational posters about dogs in summer, air temp to asphalt temp ratio, the noaa heat index is a good one to look at, ect (like the ones you see for how hot it can get in cars). Maybe showing him something like that to help explain why its not the best idea to be walking the dogs in high heat.
 

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I can only tell you, its very hot here too on the West Coast. If we don't get Samantha walked and exercised by 7:00 or 7:30am its not happening that day. She just does not do well in heat, and I will not push her. Not worth the risk, IMO.
 
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