Dog Days of Summer – How to Keep Your Pups Safe

Summer is a great time to spend with your pup, but it’s important to keep in mind that while we’re out enjoying the summer festivities, the hot weather can pose some serious risks to their health and safety. We have outlined some of the top dog safety summer tips to keep your pup safe and healthy during the warmer months.

Stay Hydrated!

Just like humans, dogs need plenty of water to stay hydrated during the summer. Make sure your pup always has access to fresh, clean water, especially when you’re out and about, ideally bringing water from home or a bottle of water. Dogs may not drink unfamiliar water due to their natural instincts and preferences. Dogs have a strong sense of smell and taste, and they can detect subtle differences in the chemical composition or minerals of water. Additionally, avoid public water sources and unsafe options such as stagnant ponds or contaminated streams. In some cases, dogs may also experience gastrointestinal upset when they drink water that is different than what they are used to, which can further discourage them from drinking unfamiliar water. Bring a portable water bowl with you on walks or hikes, and consider freezing some water in a travel bottle to keep it cool during long car rides.

Watch Out for Heatstroke

Heatstroke is a life-threatening condition that can affect dogs when their body temperature rises to a dangerous level. There are several causes of heatstroke in dogs, including exposure to hot and humid weather, being left in a parked car, or excessive exercise in hot weather. Symptoms of heatstroke in dogs can include excessive panting, drooling, vomiting, diarrhea, lethargy, and collapse. In severe cases, dogs may experience seizures or even organ failure. If you suspect your dog is suffering from heatstroke, it’s important to act quickly. Move your dog to a cool, shaded area, and offer them water to drink. You can also use cool water or a damp towel to help bring down their body temperature. However, it’s crucial to seek veterinary care immediately, as heatstroke can be life-threatening, especially considering the potential for health issues in dogs. Treatment may include intravenous fluids, oxygen therapy, and medications to address any underlying complications. With prompt treatment, most dogs can recover from heatstroke, but prevention is key to keeping your furry friend safe during the hot summer months.

Can My Dog Get Sunburnt?

Yes, dogs can get sunburnt, especially those with light-colored fur or exposed skin. Sunburn can cause pain, discomfort, and even increase the risk of skin cancer in dogs. To prevent sunburn in dogs, it’s important to limit their exposure to direct sunlight, especially during peak hours. If your dog must be outside during the day, provide them with plenty of shade, such as under a tree or a covered patio. You can also consider using a pet-safe sunscreen on areas with thin fur or exposed skin, such as the nose, ears, and belly. It’s essential to use a sunscreen specifically formulated for dogs, as human sunscreens can be toxic to dogs. Additionally, you can invest in a lightweight, breathable shirt or hat to provide additional protection.

Taking Your Dog In The Car

Taking your dog in the car during the summer months requires extra precautions to ensure their safety and comfort. First and foremost, never leave your dog alone in a parked car, even for a few minutes. The temperature inside a car can quickly rise to dangerous levels, even with the windows cracked, which can lead to heatstroke or even death. When traveling with your dog, make sure the car is well-ventilated, and bring plenty of water for them to drink. You can also consider investing in a travel crate or harness to keep your dog secure and prevent them from distracting the driver. Plan frequent stops to allow your dog to stretch their legs, use the bathroom, and cool down. If your dog shows signs of distress, such as excessive panting or drooling, pull over to a safe area and provide them with water and shade.

Primetime For Parasites

Summer is a prime time for fleas, ticks, and other parasites that can cause serious health problems for dogs. Fleas and ticks can cause skin irritation, anemia, and transmit diseases such as Lyme disease and Rocky Mountain spotted fever. Mosquitoes can also transmit heartworm disease, which can be fatal if left untreated. To prevent these parasites, it’s important to keep your dog up-to-date on their flea and tick prevention medication, which can be prescribed by your veterinarian. You can also consider using a pet-safe insect repellent when spending time outdoors. Regular grooming and bathing can also help remove any parasites that may be present on your dog’s fur. Additionally, it’s essential to keep your yard clean and free of standing water, which can attract mosquitoes and other pests.

By following these top dog safety summer tips, you can help ensure that your furry friend stays happy, healthy, and safe during the warmer months. Remember to keep an eye on your pup, provide plenty of water and shade, and seek veterinary care if you notice any signs of illness or distress.