During the dog days of summer, your pup wants to enjoy the sunshine just as much as you do.
Blue skies and warm weather are great for spending time together, but when planning activities with your dog it’s important to keep their safety in mind.
Here are some things to think about so summer days are nothing but fun:
Summer Safety Tips for Dogs
Summer is perfect for enjoying some quality time outdoors.
In their enthusiasm to play, your dog certainly isn’t thinking about heat stroke or parasites, but you should be aware of these dangers.
With your help, your pup can enjoy the summertime safely.
Take Precautions for the Heat
When the weather is warm, overheating—and an emergency veterinary visit for potentially-fatal heat stroke—is a possibility for dogs.
The risk is higher for dogs with short noses (like Boxers or Bulldogs), puppies, seniors, and dogs with health problems, but it can happen to any dog.
To prevent this…
- Avoid the hottest part of the day by planning your pup’s walks and outdoor activities during the mornings and evenings
- Ensure shade is available for your dog—a cooler place they can sit down to rest
- Keep plenty of clean drinking water available
- Avoid strenuous exercise on hot days
In your yard, add a sprinkler or kiddie pool. Since dogs can’t sweat, splashing in the water is an alternative way to help keep them cool. Plus, watching your dog play in the water can provide hilarious fun for everybody!
If your dog ever seems tired or is panting excessively, give them a break in the shade and offer water so they don’t overheat. If they don’t bounce back to their usual selves, call your veterinarian.
Mind the Hot Pavement
When it’s hot outside, the streets and sidewalks your pup walks on heat up too. This can lead to burns on a dog’s paw pads.
To avoid this, walk your pup in the early morning and evening when it’s not so hot. If you must walk midday, look for grassy or wooded areas.
If needed, consider purchasing sturdy booties to protect your dog’s paws.
Never Leave Your Pup Alone in the Car
The CDC reports that the temperature inside a car can rise by nearly 20 degrees within 10 minutes—even with a window cracked open! For periods longer than 10 minutes, a car can get much, much hotter than that.
For that reason, leaving a dog in a car in warm weather is not just a bad idea that can be fatal, but also illegal in several states.
Parasite Prevention Is Important
Unfortunately, small critters—like fleas and ticks—enjoy the warm weather just as much as you do. In fact, they thrive in warm climates.
Talk to your veterinarian about the best parasite prevention for your summer activities. That way, your dog won’t bring home any “uninvited guests.”
Look for Doggie Sunscreen
If your pup has light-colored or thin fur, they’re at risk for sunburn. Yes, dogs can get melanoma, just like humans can.
For a dog-safe option, look for products specifically designed for dogs. When applying, pay special attention to the top of the nose and any other areas where your pup’s fur is very thin.
Practice Swimming Safety
Swimming is a low-impact exercise that can help your pup stay cool in the summer.
However, there are a few things to keep in mind.
Some pups love water, while others don’t want to get near it. If your dog falls into the latter category, find other activities for them to enjoy on dry land.
If your dog likes to be in the water, that’s great! Just remember that not all dogs are natural swimmers. And even strong doggy paddlers can get tired quickly or have trouble finding their way out of a pool.
Always supervise your dog when they’re in the water.
Keep Safety in Mind at the Beach
Many dogs love a day at the beach just as much as their human companions do. There are a few things to keep in mind for a safe day at the beach.
First, double check that dogs are allowed and if leashes are required.
Beaches come with powerful, direct sunlight, so be sure to have a shady place your dog can rest and have plenty of clean drinking water available.
Don’t let your dog walk on very hot sand. Hot sand, like hot pavement, can burn their paw pads.
Supervise your dog if they go swimming. Be sure to avoid strong currents, and consider getting a doggie life vest for them.
Also, try to discourage your pup from drinking sea water, as excessive salt intake can result in an urgent veterinary visit.
Many families enjoy taking their pup with them on their summer vacation. If that sounds like you, there are a few ways to ensure your pup’s travels are smooth and safe…
- If driving out of state (or traveling by plane), check to see if your dog requires a health certificate for travel. Many veterinary offices can provide this simple document, but be sure to call ahead of time.
Also, keep in mind that some airlines may not allow pet travel during hot weather, for safety reasons.
If you are traveling out of the country, check the requirements well ahead of time. The paperwork for some countries takes several months.
- Check that your dog is microchipped.
This is a small chip inserted just under the skin near the shoulders. It acts as a permanent form of identification (although not as a GPS or tracking unit), to help identify your pup and return them to you if they ever get lost and are missing their collar and tags.
- Manage car sickness if needed.
Your veterinarian can prescribe a safe and effective medication to prevent nausea and vomiting.
Use Your Best Judgment
It’s better safe than sorry, so when in doubt, keep your pup indoors on very hot days—other than necessary but short walks to use the bathroom.
With safety in mind, summer can be a blast for you and your pup, and a time to make some really special memories.
From our family to yours,
Fromm Family Pet Food