Summertime means long days, warm weather, and getting out and about as much as possible to enjoy all that the season has to offer. From swimming to hiking or even lounging around in the backyard, your pup loves to join in on the action to be a part of the fun.
All of us dog lovers love to bring our pets along for the ride, but the dangers that also come with this season can have an impact on your dog’s wellbeing if you’re not careful. So sit back, relax, and sip on that ice tea as we discuss the best summer safety tips for dogs and pet owners.
Never Leave your Pet in a Parked Car
If you remember nothing else, remember this. This rule is extremely important and could be a matter of life and death for your dog. Every year, pet owners make the terrible mistake of leaving their dogs in a parked car—even just for a minute. On a 90 degree day, temperatures in a car can soar as high as 160 degrees in less than 10 minutes, rapidly turning your vehicle into a death trap. A crack in the window or parking in the shade does not prevent temperatures from rising to dangerous levels so don’t rely on that if your pet is with you.
Remember, dogs do not sweat or handle heat like us humans do. They are only able to cool off by panting or sweating through their paw pads. In a short amount of time exposed to heat, a dog can experience irreversible brain or organ damage, suffocation, and heat stroke. So if Fido is along for the ride, plan ahead so he or she is never left in the car.
Don’t Leave Your Dog Outside for Extended Periods of Time
With the high temperatures related to summer, dogs are very susceptible to overheating if left outside for long periods of time without the proper cooling elements available. If your dog needs to be outside, always make sure your dog has a lot of water readily accessible shaded areas to relax and cool off. If you have space, putting a “kiddy pool” out back with just a shallow splash-friendly level of water in it will be heaven for your dogs on a warm day.
Some dogs, typically short-nosed dogs, have a much harder time being outside in the heat. Their noses make it difficult to breathe in air, causing them to overheat faster than the longer nosed breeds.
If you notice your dog is lethargic, exhibiting signs of excessive thirst, or is salivating heavily, then it is best to get them inside to a cool place and visit the veterinarian as fast as possible. Other symptoms may include lack of appetite, fever, rapid heartbeat or heavy panting.
Protect Your Pet from Fleas and Ticks
Whether you’re planning on going for a hike, visiting the mountains, or even taking a walk outside this season, making sure your dog is prepared to ward off flea and ticks is essential. These tiny pests can carry many diseases including Lyme disease and flea allergy dermatitis. Using a monthly spot flea and tick treatment can help prevent these pests from harming your pet and keep them safe during those warmer months.
Keep a Close Eye on Your Pet’s Paws
The summer sun can cause the asphalt and concrete to rise to temperatures that could burn your dog’s paws. To avoid scorched paws, it is best to walk your dog in an area where it is shady or grassy and find times that are cooler such as the early morning or late evening. Try touching the pavement to see how hot your hand gets—if it’s too hot for your hand to be comfortable, then it’s too hot for your dog’s paws.
With the sunny days and hot heat, it is important to remember that our furry friends can be significantly affected by the rising temps. By making sure that your pet is safe and cool this summer you and your dog can enjoy all the fun this time of year brings!