6 Summer Safety Tips For Dogs
Everyone is peeling off the winter layers - from hoodies to legwarmers - and headed outside for sunshine and green grass, including our dogs. While we love to see the temperatures rise, with warm weather also comes a certain degree of responsibility for our pets to keep them safe. Here are 6 tips to keep your dog safe this summer.
Keep Them Covered
Just like humans, dogs are susceptible to cancers, including skin cancer. Skin cancer is one of the most common cancers dogs can develop. For the most part, it's preventable, but that means you have to help your pup avoid sun damage. Keeping his hair long to cover his skin is helpful, but make sure to brush him often so he stays comfortable during the summer. But, of course, there are parts that are not covered by fur and are exposed to the sun, like his nose. For that, you need to use sunscreen. Ask your veterinarian for recommendations for your dog.
Keep Them Shaded
If your dog likes to spend time outside, make sure there are plenty of shaded areas in your yard. With a good tarp or overhang, your dog can keep cool as well as avoid harmful UV rays from the sun. If you decide to put up a shade sail for your next barbecue, you might even consider keeping it up all summer to accommodate your pup.
Keep Them Idle
When it's uncomfortably hot, try to walk your dog in the early mornings and late evenings when it's coolest. For the time in between, keep exercise and outdoor time to a minimum. If your dog must go outside, be aware of the temperature of the pavement. We wear shoes, so we tend to forget how hot cement can get during the summer. That heat can be very painful on puppy paws. Either give your dog booties or walk in the grass.
Keep The Water Dish Full
In all other seasons, it's easy to feed and water our dogs and walk away for the day, but when it's hot, the water bowl needs to be filled constantly. If you happen to be spending a lot of time outside on a hot day, make sure you have access to ice for your dog's water bowl. For a little extra comfort, consider keeping a spray bottle filled with water to spray some heat relief your dog's way.
Keep Them Out of the Car
As long as you're in the car with the air conditioning running, your dog should be OK in the car, but never, ever leave him in there alone with the engine off. Even when it's 72°F outside, inside a car it can be deadly for a dog. If you have to go somewhere you can't bring your dog, leave him at home.
Signs of Heat Stroke
Older dogs are susceptible to heat stroke. Even the slightest exertion at the wrong temperature can be life threatening for an old dog. If you notice he seems weak and is panting a lot, try to cool him down with a cold, wet towel or fill the kiddie pool for a quick bath to bring down his temperature. Vomiting and redness around the eyes are also symptoms of heat stroke. If you notice those, call your vet.