We like to travel a lot and 99% of the time our dog is traveling with us. Living the active lifestyle is a must for all of us and the best times our family has had together has been out and about. Our dog has always been lean and one can clearly see muscle on him, ever since his puppy days. I’ve never been worried about our exercise being too much for him to handle, quite the opposite.
The best thing about spending a year in California? Hiking and mountains. No question about it! We’d hike for hours, up and down the mountains. Our dog was in heaven! Winter time the weather was perfect and there were no rattle snakes around. We bought a hiking guide and off we went!
One morning we rushed to the mountain top to see the sunrise. It was early but already +26 C and clear skies. We had packed good amount of water for us and our dog. As we walked on I realized our dog was not quite himself. Usually he likes to lead and pull the leash in a way that would make any dog trainer shake their heads. This time he was staying behind and kept stopping. I gave him more water and we stopped and took a break in the shade.
We decided to take a shortcut down the mountain and call it a day. Our dog seemed better and didn’t want more water. He walked back to our car and everything seemed fairly normal. At home he slept the whole day and wouldn’t touch his food. Later at night he started eating and drinking normally. We took couple rest days and I didn’t think more of it.
Ever since that one hike our dog has been sensitive to heat. Even after moving back to colder atmospheres he seems not able to take long walks once it’s t-shirt weather outside. I spoke with our vet about dogs and heat stroke afterwards. I learned that after our dog suffered a heat stroke his risk for getting it again is way higher than before. This is why we now limit exercise on hot and humid days. We also use electrolytes to support hydration on a warmer day and after exercise. This is something all dog owners should do, heat stroke or no heat stroke.
Our pup is perfectly happy and healthy, we simply need to be prepared and pay attention to his body fluid balance and hydration at all times. High priorities in our family? Electrolytes, A/C, water, nutrition – and common sense.