Taking Walks in the Summer with Your Pomeranian
Part of proper care is to keep your Pom moving in the summer, since it is year-round exercise that keeps a dog healthy. In addition, if a puppy or dog does not receive enough exercise and sensory stimulation, this can cause a buildup of frustration that often manifests as nervous behavior (pacing, feeling restless, destructive chewing, barking, etc.). Here are some tips so that you can still take your Pom for his 2 recommended walks per day:
As explained above, pavement and road surfaces easily reach high enough temperatures, so do please apply paw wax as needed (2 to 3 times per week) or place doggie shoes on your Pom.
Head out in the early morning (before 10 AM) and then again in the evening (after 6PM) to avoid the hottest part of the day.
Take a break at the halfway point and in the shade if possible. You can even make this a fun 'short picnic'. If you bring a portable cooling mat, some nice cold water (in a canine water travel container) to re-hydrate your Pom and a yummy treat, you can relax and cool off for 10 minutes or so before heading back.
Using a canine cooling harness (or bandana) can help your Pom walk without overheating.
Even with all of the precautions, be aware of the early signs of heat stress with canines. Heat stress is when a dog's body temperate rises to 103 Fahrenheit (39.44 C) and heat stroke is when it rises to the dangerous level of 106 F (44.11 C) or more. Signs include heavy panting, drooling, bright red gums, and/or inability to urinate. As it progresses, a dog may have trouble walking, have an irregular heartbeat and/or show signs of confusion. If not treated, the dog may experience kidney failure, go into shock, slip into a coma and this can even eventually be fatal.
If you think that your Pom is becoming overheated, you will want to immediately stop walking and carry him to a cool area. If you are far from home and cannot access an air conditioned building, seek shade. Take care to cool him down without shocking him with cold; wet down a towel (or your shirt or any fabric available) with water and place that over your Pomeranian. If fans are available, those should be placed so that air is circulated around the dog. Safety guidelines state that owners should try to cool off a dog in this way until his temperature has dropped below 103 F before transporting him to the veterinarian. It is recommended to have a canine thermometer at home and also to keep one in your carry bag when outdoors in the summer.