The summer’s a great time for going out and having fun with your dog, but there are a few risks that come along with the heat. Here are 5 tips to help keep your dog safe in the summer.
Provide adequate access to shade & water
A dog needs to drink a lot more water during the summer to keep cool. Give your dog access to fresh, clean water at all times. When you go out for a walk bring a bottle of water along for them, and if you’re going out for an extended period, freeze it to keep it cool.
When your dog is outside, make sure they have a shady spot to rest. Although doghouses provide shade they’re not designed to stay cool. They’re not insulated like our homes, and they end up trapping hot air inside. On really hot days keep your dog indoors to help them keep cool and safe.
Don’t let your dog drink from the ocean, saltwater is toxic to dogs. Bring along plenty of fresh water when you take your dog to the beach. Deposit Photos © EBFoto
Keep your dog’s paws safe from the heat
Walking on hot asphalt, gravel and pavement during the summer months can burn your dog’s paw pads. Before heading out on a walk, place your hand on the ground; if it’s too hot for you to hold your hand there for 10 seconds it’s too hot for your dog’s paws.
To help protect their paws, avoid walking your dog on pavement during the hottest hours of the day. Take your daily walk in morning before the pavement heats up, or opt to walk your dog in grassy or wooded areas.
Dog paws can burn and blister in the summer. Keep your dog’s paws safe by walking them in the evening after it’s cooled down. Deposit Photos ©simply
Never leave your dog alone in a hot car
Don’t leave your dog unattended in a parked car. Dogs can’t regulate their temperature as efficiently as we do in the heat, and when they’re in a car they end up recycling all that hot air through panting.
When it’s hot outside it only takes a few minutes for the temperature inside of a parked car to get to 120 degrees. The temperature will continue to rise steadily each minute, and cracking the windows has minimal effect when it comes to cooling it down.
Not only is leaving your dog alone in a car dangerous for their health, it’s illegal in many states. And in many of those states citizens are granted immunity when it comes to any damages incurred in the process of freeing a dog from a car.
Never leave your dog alone in a hot car, it only takes a few minutes for the temperature inside of a parked car to reach 120 degrees. Deposit Photos © belchonock
Avoid strenuous exercise on hot days
Dogs can’t regulate their temperature as well as us, so they’re at a greater risk for suffering from heatstroke. and in serious cases it’s lethal. You can lessen that risk by avoiding strenuous exercise with your dog during the hottest parts of the day. Take your dog for their walk during the evening or morning hours, when it’s cooler outside and less humid.
When it’s hot, keep your exercise sessions shorter. Keep an eye on your dog and watch out for any signs of heat stroke, including:
- Excessive panting
Flat-faced breeds, such as Bulldogs & Pugs, are particularly vulnerable to heatstroke because their panting is less effective when it comes to cooling down. If you suspect your dog may be suffering from heatstroke take them to the vet immediately.
When exercising with your dog in the heat be sure to watch for signs of heatstroke including excessive panting, drooling and dizziness. Deposit Photos © belchonock
Protect your dog from summer pests
Mosquitoes, fleas and ticks are all in peak season during the summer, and they each pose different health risks to our pets. If your dog spends a lot of time outdoors you’ll want to check them for fleas & ticks regularly. The sooner you catch and remove a tick from your dog the less likely they are to have transmitted any tick-borne illnesses.
If your dog spends a lot of time outdoors, especially near wooded areas, you’ll want to do a thorough check for ticks when they come back in. Never use insect repellents made for humans on your dog, they’re toxic to pets and can cause serious neurological damage. Talk to your vet to find out which preventatives are best for your dog safe this summer.