Vancouver is without a doubt one of the nicest places to be in the summer. But our beloved summer sun can still be dangerous to our furry friends. That is why Release the Hounds takes every precaution to prevent heat related illnesses and injuries. From pick up to drop off, we do everything in our power to keep your pups safe and happy.
1. Van Safety
Leaving a dog in a car during the summer is a very serious matter. Dogs can overheat and even die in a short time in a hot car with no ventilation. Therefore, we take multiple precautions to make sure every dog is safe while driving around with us. Each of our vans have air conditioning, tinted windows to help keep the sun out, and temperature gauges in each van so we know exactly how warm it is in there. In addition, all our vans are GPS tracked so we know how long the vehicle has been sitting in one spot with the A/C off. There are no hot dogs in this van!
2. Hot Pavement
Hot asphalt is another hazard most people don’t realize during hot days. The pads on your dog’s feet can be quite sensitive and walking on the hot pavement can cause burns, blisters, and bleeding. Luckily there is an easy way to check if the sidewalk is too hot for your pup. Hold the back of your hand to the road or sidewalk for 5 seconds, if it is too hot for you, it is too hot for your dog. On hot days we check all paved roads before walking on them with your dog. If it is too hot, we will walk on the grass or go a different route instead.
3. Hiking Trails
We are always selective on where we hike with your dogs, and especially so during the summer months. Since dogs have very limited ways of cooling themselves off, we select trails with lots of shade and ideally a body of water like a river or pond where the dogs can go for a dip to cool down.
It is important to keep everyone hydrated in the summer sun. It’s for this reason that we keep jugs of fresh water in the van so every dog can have a drink before and after the hike. We also ensure that each dog stops by the river or pond during our hikes to cool down or have a drink if they choose.
5. Sun Related Illnesses
No matter what precautions you take, some dogs are more susceptible to sun related illnesses such as heat exhaustion, heatstroke or dehydration. Our staff are very well versed in the symptoms of heat related illnesses. So we keep a close eye on each dog and check them over regularly for symptoms. What’s more is that aach of our walkers are trained in pet first aid through Walks ‘N’ Wags. This allows our staff to handle any emergencies quickly and appropriately.
Your dog’s safety is and always will be our top priority. That is why we are constantly updating our knowledge, policies, and procedures to ensure every walk is the best walk possible!
Written By: Rachelle Biever CPDT-KA