Summer is a time for fun in the sun, but it can also pose risks to our furry friends. As the temperatures rise, it's important to take extra precautions to ensure our dogs stay safe and healthy. Here are some summer safety tips for dogs to keep in mind.
Keep your dog hydrated
Just like humans, dogs need plenty of water to stay hydrated, especially during the hot summer months. Make sure to always have fresh, cool water available for your dog, both at home and while you're out and about. If you're going for a long walk or hike, consider bringing a portable water bowl and some extra water with you.
Never leave your dog in a hot car
Even with the windows cracked, a car can quickly become dangerous for dogs in hot weather. If you're running errands or going out for the day, it's best to leave your dog at home in a cool, air-conditioned environment.
Avoid hot pavement
Pavement and concrete can get extremely hot in the summer sun, and can burn your dog's paws. To avoid this, try to walk your dog on grass or dirt paths whenever possible, and avoid taking them out during the hottest part of the day. If you do need to walk on pavement, check the temperature with your hand first to make sure it's not too hot.
Watch for signs of heatstroke
Dogs can easily overheat in hot weather, which can lead to heatstroke. Symptoms of heatstroke include panting, rapid breathing, weakness, and vomiting. If you suspect your dog is suffering from heatstroke, move them to a cool, shaded area, offer them water, and seek veterinary care immediately.
Protect Them from the Sun
Dogs can get sunburned just like humans, especially on their noses, ears, and other exposed areas. To protect your dog from the sun, provide them with plenty of shade, and consider using pet-safe sunscreen on their nose and other sensitive areas.
If your dog spends time outside, make sure they have access to shade to protect them from the sun. Consider setting up a tent or using a dog house.
Be Careful Around Water
Swimming can be a great way for dogs to cool off in the summer, but it's important to keep them safe around water. Make sure your dog knows how to swim before letting them in the water, and always supervise them closely. If you're taking your dog to the beach, be aware of strong currents and riptides, and never let your dog swim too far out.
Be mindful of parasites
Summer is prime time for fleas, ticks, and mosquitoes, which can transmit diseases to dogs. Be sure to use a veterinarian-recommended flea and tick preventative and check your dog regularly for ticks.
Watch for toxic substances
Summer often means more time spent outdoors, which can lead to exposure to toxic substances like antifreeze, pesticides, and certain plants. Keep your dog away from these substances, and seek veterinary care immediately if you suspect they've ingested something toxic.
By following these summer safety tips for dogs, you and your dog can enjoy all the fun and adventure that summer has to offer!