How hot is too hot?

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How hot is too hot?

Postby Deniselynn » Sat Jul 15, 2006 11:13 pm

Chicago is experiencing a heatwave with temps in the mid to upper 90's and heat index reaching 108 tomorrow. I haven't been walking the dogs because they get worn out running around a few minutes in the yard. Do any of you exercise your dogs in that kind of heat?

On an added note, I am going crazy trying to find things for them to do. Molly is a couch potato so she isn't that bored but Logan is driving me crazy! A treadmill could really come in handy right now!

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Postby Leslie H » Sat Jul 15, 2006 11:35 pm

I haven't worked my dogs since Friday am. We walked about a mile this evening, I was more pooped than the dogs. Humidity plays a very important role in fouling up a dog's ability to cool off.

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hot weather

Postby dr961 » Sun Jul 16, 2006 1:04 pm

Leslie H wrote:I haven't worked my dogs since Friday am. We walked about a mile this evening, I was more pooped than the dogs. Humidity plays a very important role in fouling up a dog's ability to cool off.

***Leslie is right--be really careful about exercising dogs in the heat, and be aware that humidity is also a factor. Right now the midwest is getting really hot weather, around 100, so the only time for walks is really early morning, before 8am if possible. If you live where there are a lot of brick buildings and concrete, it will still be hot even after dark.

All I'm doing now is taking the dogs for couple of leisurely walks daily, morning and late at night, with more sniffing than real exercise. The mental stimulation of sniffing around seems to satisfy them ok. In this weather it pays to be safe. If your dogs seem really wacked by the heat, wet them down to help cool them off.


Postby pittiepride » Sun Jul 16, 2006 1:11 pm

I was always told a rule of thumb for working horses, and I don't know how true it is was that if the humidity and temperature was over 100 then you can't work them.


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Postby Misskiwi67 » Sun Jul 16, 2006 1:52 pm

The only work my pups are getting is a baby pool in the back yard. The high energy pup rolls around in it, the others appreciate the extra water. They play when they want, but it seldom lasts very long.

When it cools down to about 80 in the evenings I will take them for a walk if theres a breeze, but its short and sweet because we're both ready to keel over from the heat before its over.

Tug-o-war inside, along with lots of chewies (kongs and bully-sticks) keep them busy when I have stuff to do.

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Postby aaronchpmn » Sun Jul 16, 2006 2:47 pm

desert life is a lil dificult on the kiddos this time of 8 this morning it was 84 so theres no way we go on a morning run at all.... the thing about it here tho is that the city isnt industrial or commercialized so at night it drops in degrees by the 5's every hour.... at 8 2nite it'll be around 60-70 which is good enough for a run...and they do fine... a treadmill indoors is awesome if your dog isnt terrified of it...and i agree, during the day they just get tons of chewies.... i'll take few kongs and put in some peanut butter and freeze it overnight for them to struggle with all day

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Postby Leslie H » Sun Jul 16, 2006 2:54 pm

Dogs are more limited than horses, IMO, due to the horse's ability to sweat. Carla once posted that if the dewpoint is over 70, you shouldn't work your dogs.

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Postby Sariss » Sun Jul 16, 2006 4:09 pm

It's been in the high 90s this week. Daisy isn't going for walks now. The only walks we go on are to the lake so she can swim.

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Postby Vanella » Sun Jul 16, 2006 9:15 pm

Dogs are more limited than horses, IMO, due to the horse's ability to sweat

I was just going to post that same thing. It's been over a 100 for a few weeks where I live, but it's a dry heat, not humid. I work my horses in the a.m. around 8 but even if they get a workout in the heat of the day, they are in a covered arena, the work-out is limited to 20 minutes and they get a cool down.

Rocket on the other hand gets winded quickly (he is 12) and would much rather lay under the fan inside all day. We've been taking short walks at night IF it cools down.

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Postby bahamutt99 » Sun Jul 16, 2006 11:41 pm

It reached 107 here today, and we stayed inside. I didn't take the dogs out for more than potty breaks until the evening, and then we put Dutch (our friend's dog that we're watching) out on her chain for a bit. I figure if I'm uncomfortable, its not the right conditions to be working my dog. We worked early in the morning before the bad heat started up.

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Postby amelie » Sun Jul 16, 2006 11:46 pm

if it is too hot for me, then the dogs don't do much, except swim in the pond out back. i am not very heat tolerant.

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Postby Red Chrome » Mon Jul 17, 2006 11:20 am

My dogs deal with 105 degree weather with no problem. They lay ont he couch ion front of the air conditioner until it cools off enough to load them in the car and go swimming. 8) That's the only exercise they get inthe heat.

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Postby FransterDoo » Mon Jul 17, 2006 12:24 pm

We were up at my mom's this weekend and it toppped out at 100. Both of the dogs would go out and wander around the backyard for 10 minutes tops and then come back in and lay on the cooler hardwood floors.

I figure they'll tell me when it's cool enough to play/run big. PLus I'm not a big fan of heat so I'm all into going to runs later at night.

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Postby Leslie H » Mon Jul 17, 2006 5:41 pm

Don't forget that especially the high drive bullies are more than willing to work or play themselves into heatstroke.
I learned recently that cooling a dog off by just hosing it down briefly actually causes the fur to act as an insulating layer that traps heat. If you need to cool a dog, run cool water over the parts of their body w/the least hair, and the most blood vessels close to the skin; groin, belly, underarms.
Here is a post written a while back by Californian John Tuuri (sp) I think
Prepping dogs for performance in the heat
Posted by John on 6/30/2005, 10:07 pm
It's now over 104 degrees at my place, and even though the humidity is low, it feels like being in a black car when you're outside.
Dogs do not tolerate heat as well as humans, because they lack the ability to sweat. They can only pant to cool themselves. Here's the most important stuff for exercising or training in the heat, and this stuff applies equally to dogs and people.
Proper conditioning- endurance athletes should be thin, less fat equals less heat retention. For pits, this means in ADBA show condition, pretty much. If you're shooting for 30-40 minutes in action, you should not be dragging weights, etc., you should be running the dog. A well-conditioned dog will tolerate heat better than a couch potato, all other things being equal.
Acclimatize- This is the process of getting used to the heat. The body undergoes physiological changes when placed under heat stress, and these take 10-14 days, with the bulk of the changes happening at around 5 days.
Hydration- This is where the most problems are. Dehydration really screws up body chemistry, reducing both aerobic and anaerobic output. Plus, you can't MAKE the dog drink. Water with about a 4% concentration of glucose (sugar) is actually better than pure water, because it is absorbed much faster. It also reduces the body's use of glycogen (intra-muscular sugar), giving you a longer "run time" on a tank of gas, so to speak. A little bit of sodium also helps recovery.
Pre-hydrating- This is basically packing the cells with water to be used later. If you do it too early, you will just make urine, but done right before the workout, the body will shut down urine production, and "burn" it. Pre-hydrating will give you a jump start on DE-hydrating, which is inevitable in hot weather. I put chicken broth in the water, the dogs seem more excited about that than straight water. Not too much, though, it's VERY high in sodium.
Post-workout recovery- LOTS of fluids, esp. with a sodium. In a recent study, subjects achieved greater post-exercise fluid retention with salty chicken noodle soup and broth than with water or a sports drink. Optimal post-exercise rehydration requires high fluid volume replacement (more than 150% of water weight lost) and high fluid sodium content. Plain water is a poor choice for post-exercise fluid replacement as it reduces thirst drive and has little or no sodium. Make sure the dog is thoroughly re-hydrating after EVERY workout!
One last trick- You can pre-cool your body, too. Some endurance runners use this technique, for about 20-30 minutes they ice themselves, reducing their core temps a little. Not sure how LONG this is effective for, but if you're looking for an edge...
I raced mountain bikes for years, competing in many 3-5 hour races in 100+ temperatures. During training, I always had a dog or two with me, even in the heat. They CAN do it, but you must train in the heat to get good results. And you must be careful, since your dog has no way of telling you he's hurting, until it's BAD.
As most people who've trained for competitive sports can tell you, supplements are sketchy at best. Personally, I think they are useless. The only PROVEN "supplements" are steroids and other performance-enhancing drugs, which, of course, are illegal. Supplements WILL drain your bank account, though, they are quite expensive.

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