I had a person jump on me about exercising my dogs in this heat. Ok, here is what we do. We play fetch, and I watch closely for indications of exhaustion. With it being hot, we usually play maybe for just a few minutes and Rush calls the game. She may fetch 2-6 balls, Boo fetches maybe 12 balls and that's it. Back into the house with the air on and a fan just for them. Are we doing the wrong thing by allowing them to play? We are very, very aware of their behavior, watching their panting, water available at all times, and nothing excessive is allowed. Please let me know if this is not right, I would never ever want to harm them in any way. I explained this to the person and she all but accused me of abuse. Now I'm stressing out about this and thought you all will be honest and let me know if we should stop fetch until the heat lets up. Keep in mind, as you know the lab personality, they WANT to play, we are not forcing them. They let US know they want to do it. Your opinions please.
I think what you are doing isn´t excessive at all. The only thing you didn´t mention is at what time you are doing it, if it is from noon til 4 PM then it might be risky, but if you do it early in the morning or late evening then it should be fine. As you mention you are not forcing the dogs and they want to play.
No you're not doing anything wrong. No one knows your dogs as well as you do so the first thing you listen to is your own common sense. The precautions you already mentioned demonstrate that you're doing just that. People 'jumping' on me to do things the way they do when they don't know the dogs usually don't get a high rating for their opinion from me...
You know that you were keeping a close eye on them and that they still need to be active... You were being a good dog parent. Some people... UGH!
We had Emmett at the dog park on Sunday and it got up over 90... We were at the dock and he was in and out of the water but I was still watching him. We didn't stay out too long, more for me than him LOL!
There was another couple their with two dogs (I think they were lab mixes or just small labs) and the guy says that one of the dogs just isn't acting all peppy like normal, I looked at him and said "it's over 90 you do realize that right?" He says "Yeah but she's the water"
I said "Have you felt the water? Even it's warm so it's not as refreshing as it normally would be"
What TIME are you playing? I run mine around 4PM but by then we've usually had a thunderstorm with some rain and the temps are on their way down for the evening.
I watch my dogs' tongues here. Some of mine seem to heat up faster than others. Tongue gets very wide, spoonlike. I did some field work this am when it was only 70F here and quite pleasant, and by the time we were done (no more than normal work), the one girl's tongue was getting wide. Her body temp was 103.7F. Not terrible for after exercise, imo, but I wanted to take it as a reference point. Her mom went down to heat exhaustion/stroke 2 years ago and was over 106 (v dangerous) within minutes, so be careful out there.
WindyCanyon Girls, August 2014
People will always comment, trust you knowlege of your dogs and monitor them. All dogs are different so some people apply what their dog is like to others.
I run with Rocky. I KNOW what he can take and what he cannot. but one summer I was told off by two people (different times) that I was a bad owner for bringing him running. I monitor him like crazy - he was fine.
On hot days I see people running with their dogs. My first instinct is to comment but I stop myself and look at the dog - and you know, almost always they appear just fine. some dogs are fine even on a warm day.
Charlie (foster) and Rocky
Yep, like the others have said, what you're doing sounds fine to me. You know your dogs best, and you're keeping an eye on them for signs that it's time to stop.