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As with humans, dogs are prone to the effects of summer heat along with other dangers that are sometimes more prevalent during the hot season. If you own a dog, you’ll want to take all the necessary precautions to keep both you and your dog out of harm’s way in the summer to ensure the continued health of the canine member of your family. Here are a few ways to keep you and your dog safe this summer.
Watch for Signs of Medical Problems
Heatstroke can affect both people and dogs, and signs that your dog might be experiencing this serious medical condition include heavy panting, excessive drooling and a frequent need for resting. Other health problems can also arise from the heat, so it’s important for you and your dog to drink enough fluids that don’t have diuretic problems to avoid dehydration. Adding ice to water can further help increase fluid intake for both you and your dog. MSN.com also recommends watching for signs of heat exhaustion in your dog, such as pale gums and a bright pink tongue, and it’s best to take a picture of these areas on your dog each day to look for any subtle changes that may be of concern.
Avoid Hot Asphalt
Asphalt that lines many paved walkways can become extremely hot when the harsh sunlight and high temperatures prevail. The asphalt’s temperature can become substantially hotter than the air temperature. Walking on hot asphalt can be painful for your dog’s feet as well as for your own feet if you choose to go barefoot or aren’t wearing shoes with thick soles. If you happen to come across asphalt that’s likely to be hot when you’re out with your dog, you can try carrying your dog across it if they’re small enough or placing booties on their feet to keep them protected.
You already know the importance of wearing sunscreen to protect your skin from the sun’s harmful UV rays, but your dog could also be prone to sunburns if you own a breed with short or light-colored fur. Just like with humans, dogs can get skin cancer from prolonged sun exposure if nothing is on the skin to protect it. Sunscreens for people don’t work well for dogs, but there are pet-safe sunscreens that do an adequate job of preventing sunburns for dogs. Regardless of the breed that you have, it’s a good idea to apply at least a small amount of pet-safe sunscreen to your dog’s nose to prevent this sensitive area from burning. Cooling vests and other lightweight outerwear are available for dogs and can additionally be worn to prevent sunburns.
Watch Out for Other Dogs
Pet owners often let their dogs outside more frequently during the summer, and this can pose certain dangers for you and your dog if another dog gets out of their yard and decides to attack. You should consider carrying dog repellant spray to use on any aggressive dogs that you may encounter. It’s also important to try to place an object between you and the other dog while blocking access to your own dog so that the aggressive dog will have more difficulty causing bodily harm. Continuously striking the eyes, ribs or groin area of the aggressive dog may also be enough to ward off a dog attack. If you or your dog happens to get bitten or injured in any other way from an aggressive dog, it will be to your advantage to contact a personal injury attorney to determine if a lawsuit against the dog’s owner should be filed.
Check for Parasites
Certain parasitic creatures can latch onto your dog’s fur or skin, and some of the parasites are also known to look for human hosts. It’s important to check your dog as well as yourself for any fleas or ticks after you’ve been outdoors. Mosquitos can also be problematic for dogs and people during the summer, and you can look for repellants in stores that are safe for humans and dogs or try making your own with lemons or other ingredients that can keep mosquitos at bay.
The summer season can be a less hazardous time of year for you and your dog if you make yourself aware of the possible dangers and take the right precautionary measures. Doing whatever it takes to stay safe this summer will allow you and your dog to enjoy many more summers to come.