July 5th, 2012
Tips to Keep Your Dog Safe in the Summer
Depending on where you live, summertime can be hot, very hot. And humid as well. Some dogs tolerate it better than others, but still not as well as we do. That being said, summer is still a great time to be out with your dog enjoying the long hours of daylight. But there’s still a risk of heat overexposure, so you need to exercise caution and be mindful of the following:
- Do your homework before shaving your dog – you may not be doing them a favor by thinning out their coat. Coats not only provide protection against cold, they also protect against heat. Plus, dogs can get sunburned, just like us. Short-coat breeds and light colored dogs are more susceptible than long-coated dogs or those with dark color fur/hair. However, both have exposed areas that can be sunburned, such as their nose, ears, and belly. Shaving them may leave even more areas exposed to the sun.
- Ensure your dog is well hydrated – always provide fresh, cool drinking water for your four-legged friend.
- Walk your dog during the cooler part of the day, like in the morning or evening. Be mindful of the surface where you walk your dog. Black asphalt can burn your dog’s paws when hot from the sun. If possible, let your dog walk in the grass.
- Protect your dog from ticks, fleas and other pests.
- Avoid crowded summer events.
- Try swimming your dog. Swimming is great exercise and can also provide relief from summer heat. Remember though, not all dogs are born to swim; some need to be taught. Exercise good water safety.
- Never leave your dog in the car. On an 80-degree day, the temperature inside a car rises to over 100 degrees when turned off – even with the windows cracked.
- For dogs that like to be outside, make sure to provide a shady place to rest. Dog houses trap heat, so the shady place should be under a tree or other open area.
- Know the signs of heatstroke. It may save your dog’s life…
As long as you know summertime dangers, know what to look for, and how to protect your 4 legged family members you’ll be able to ensure you and your dog can enjoy summer activities without any of the dangers.