Summer is officially here! The warmer weather has settled in and most of us are heading to the pool or beach. If you are a dog owner, you are probably thinking about taking your pup along with you on road trips, vacations, or just across town to the dog park.
While we love the idea of taking your furry friend along with you to enjoy the summer, it’s important to remember summer dog safety tips you should practice to keep your pet safe and healthy.
Health Concerns for Dogs in the Summer
The summer time is a fun time for dog owners for many reasons. For one, it stays light out a lot longer, allowing for extra play time outside. Also, the warm weather makes it perfect for dogs to play and swim in the water together. With the joys of summer also comes the health risks and concerns as the temps rise. Here are some concerns and risks you should be aware of in the summer months for your pup.
- Heat Stroke – This occurs when your dog’s body temperature rises dangerously high. This is most likely to happen when dogs are left in a car with the windows rolled up and no A/C on. This is extremely dangerous and should never be done.
- Sunburn – Dog owners have often wondered, “can dogs get sunburn?” and the answer to that is yes, just like people, dogs can burn in the sun. Light-colored or thinly coated dogs have a higher risk of getting sunburn. Just as a sunburn can cause irritation for us, it causes the same symptoms for your dog. When going out in the sun, be sure to apply sunscreen to their paws, ears, nose and around their mouth. This will help to reduce the likelihood of sunburn.
- Dehydration – The summer is hot and dogs need a lot of water. Prevent dehydration by providing your dog with unrestricted access to fresh, cool water both indoors and outdoors. Give them ice cubes and frozen chicken or beef broth to encourage them to hydrate. Another way to keep them hydrated is to add a little water into their dog food, which adds moisture right into their diet.
- Fireworks – In the past we’ve discussed why dogs do not like fireworks, but if you do not have your pet somewhere safe during the fireworks (and preferably not at the fireworks with you) there is a chance your dog might run away if they are left outside. Many dogs have a fear of fireworks and when you do not provide a safe, quiet space for them to retreat to, they can become anxious and scared.
- Parasites – As the weather warms up, the bugs come out—and not all of them are harmless when it comes to your pets. Ticks, fleas, mosquitoes, flies, and other insects are at their peak during the summer. If your dog is not properly treated, they run a risk of contracting a sickness. Talk to your vet about what treatments and prevention plans are right for your dog.
Summer Dog Safety Tips
You want to have a fun, healthy summer with your pup and we want you to as well! Keep them happy and healthy by practicing some of these summer dog safety tips:
- Never, ever leave your dog unattended in a hot car.
- Make sure to protect your dog from parasites with proper vaccinations.
- Keep their little paws cool by keeping them off hot pavement and asphalt.
- Supply them with endless fresh water.
- Protect them getting sunburn by applying sunscreen on their paws, ears, around their mouth and anywhere else where the fur is thin.
- Keep them on a leash if you don’t have a fence. They can get curious real quick and make a run for it!
We hope these summer dog safety tips will be a helpful reminder to you of the risks during these months. The more precautions you take, the less likely you will have to face an injury or sickness with your beloved friend.
About the author
Lora Shaw is currently the Vice President of Operations at Pet Palace.