Summer is almost here and it’s time to head outdoors and have fun with your two-legged friends and your four-legged friends. The warmer months are awesome because they mean longer walks around the neighborhood, a trip to the beach, and maybe even some frisbee chasing!
But while summer is a really fun time of year for dog owners and their dogs, it’s not all fun and games. Like humans, dogs are susceptible to heat stroke, dehydration and more.
If you want your summer to be not only fun but safe for your four-legged pal, then follow these summer safety tips for dog owners:
Shade is Everyone’s Friend
If your dog likes to spend a lot of time outdoors in your backyard, be sure that they have a shady spot to lie down in. Dog houses are the worst places for dogs in the summer because these tiny spaces actually trap heat. If you have no shade trees in the back, you may want to set up a pup-up gazebo for instant shade.
Be mindful that even thought there may be shade in your backyard, on really humid days, your dog should not be outside for long periods of time. Dogs cool themselves by panting and when there is high humidity, they cannot cool their bodies enough. On very hot and/or humid days, it’s always safer to leave your dog inside an airconditioned home.
Forgo Taking Your Pooch on Errand Runs
Never ever leave your dog inside of a locked vehicle during hot days. Temperatures inside a parked car can reach 100 degrees in just 20 minutes. Best to leave your pup at home in the air conditioning.
Avoid Long Walks
Dogs still need plenty of exercise during the summer. But on very hot and humid days it’s best to keep walks quite short. Even better, walk them either very early in the morning or late in the evening when temps are much cooler.
And speaking of walking, avoid exposing your dog’s paws to hot asphalt or hot sand for prolonged periods. Your baby’s paws can easily become burned. Again, best to walk early morning or later in the evening before the sun has had time to bake sidewalks and sand.
Be Mindful of Your Dog’s Breed
Not all dogs are built the same, and therefor not all dogs react to hot summer days the same. For instance, breeds like Bulldogs, Boxers and Pugs have short heads and snouts and can’t pant as efficiently as other breeds. This makes it hard for them to cool themselves in the summer.
Let Them Splash Around!
Want to make your dog really happy? Get them a little kiddie wading pool and fill it up with nice cold water so they can dive in and cool off when they need to.
And speaking of water…
Hydration is Key!
Just like your body is mostly made of water, your dog’s is as well. He or she also needs plenty of fresh, cool drinking water this summer to stay hydrated and healthy!
Keep Them Off the Grass
When walking your dogs around the neighborhood, be mindful of which neighbors’ lawns have been chemically treated, as these chemicals can be toxic to pets. Usually these yards will have a little white or green flag as a warning to children and pets.
Flea and Tick Prevention
Be sure to provide coverage for fleas and ticks this summer. Both may carry heartworm or Lyme Disease. Speak to your veterinarian about the best protection for your pup.
Protect Your Pup from Sunburn
Some dogs, particularly those with short hair, white fur and pink skin, can get sunburned just like people. Best to limit the amount of sun exposure your pup gets during the day and apply dog-friendly sunscreen to ears and nose before going outside.
Be Cautious at the Ocean
If you live near the beach or plan on taking your dog on your family vacation to the beach, be sure to always speak with a lifeguard for water conditions. Dogs are easy targets for sea critters like jellyfish and sea lice.
Also, do not let your dog drink seawater. The high salt content will make him sick. Always bring fresh, cool water with you for your pup.
And finally, never force your dog into the water. Some dogs take to the water and others have a natural aversion. Respect your dog’s instincts. If your dog does love frolicking around in the waves, watch him carefully and don’t let him overdo it. Swimming against waves is hard work and your dog can become tired and vulnerable very suddenly. Never leave your dog unattended in the water and a doggie life vest is always a good idea.
Be Mindful of Heatstroke
Heatstroke can be a serious and even fatal event if a dog should experience prolonged exposure to heat. The following are some signs to look out for:
- Excessive panting
- Excessive drooling
- Bright red gums and tongue
- Difficulty maintaining balance
The following are signs of advanced stages of heat stroke:
- White or blue gums
- Uncontrollable urination or defecation
- Labored breathing
If your dog exhibits any of these signs, try to immediately cool them down by getting them into the shade, gently spraying them with cool water and letting them lick ice cubes. Dogs that do not improve within a few minutes, meaning their temperature has not come down to 100 to 102, should be taken immediately to the vet or emergency clinic.
Summertime can be a lot of fun for you and your best 4-legged friend. Just be sure to follow these safety tips so your dog can be as healthy as they are happy.
Cool Off with Big Savings
What happens if your dog does experience heat stroke? Are you in the financial position to get them the care they need? Let’s face it, vet bills, let alone emergency clinic bills, can really be costly. When you see that number, you can feel like you’re the one suddenly with heat stroke!
A pet insurance plan can help you give your beloved pet the care they need while also protecting your wallet. Depending on the coverage, you may be able to receive reimbursements of up to 90% of the bill. These kinds of savings can definitely help you keep your cool!
Pet Insurance Review was started by pet lovers. We truly want to help pet owners find coverage that will help them take the best care of their pets, without worrying about expenses. We bring you only the best providers in the country today so you can rest easy.
Get a free quote today so you can enjoy your summer.
- Williams, K. BSc, DVM, CCRP. Ward, E. DVM. Heat Stroke in Dogs. Retrieved from: https://vcahospitals.com/know-your-pet/heat-stroke-in-dogs
- Catalano, S. DVM. (2020). Why Do Dogs Pant? Is Your Dog Panting Too Much?. Retrieved from: https://www.petmd.com/dog/behavior/evr_dg_why_do_dogs_pant
- Nelson, J. 7 Dog Breeds That Don’t Do Well In The Heat. Retrieved from: https://iheartdogs.com/7-dog-breeds-that-dont-do-well-in-the-heat/
- Burke, A. (2020). Is It Dangerous for Dogs to Drink Salt Water? Retrieved from: https://www.akc.org/expert-advice/health/dogs-drinking-salt-water/