5 Tips to Keep Your Dog Safe This Summer
Summer brings many opportunities for fun activities with your dog, but it’s important to remember that there are extra precautions you need to take when it comes to pet safety. In partnership with We’re All About Pets, here are a few tips from the Baypath Humane Society to ensure your pup stays safe and healthy during the summer months.
1. Avoid Hot Surfaces
Sidewalks, roads, and trails can become very hot in the summertime, making them dangerous for your pup’s paws. If possible, take your walks early or late in the day to avoid these overly hot surfaces. You can always feel the pavement with your hand before taking your dog out for a walk—if it’s too hot for you to touch comfortably, it’s too hot for them.
Dog boots and paw protectors can also help keep your pup safe in the summer months. Dog shoes protect paws from hot surfaces, as well as sharp objects, and provide traction on slippery surfaces. They are useful when walking on salt or sand-covered surfaces, which can become irritating to paw pads, and are great for dogs prone to paw injuries like hot spots or abrasions.
When selecting a couple of pairs of shoes, make sure to measure your dog’s paws first to ensure a proper fit. Just as dogs come in all shapes and sizes, so do their shoes.
2. Keep Your Dog Hydrated
While on walks or at outdoor events, make sure that you have plenty of fresh water available for your dog at all times. Dehydration is dangerous and more likely to occur in extremely hot weather.
You can also consider serving dog-friendly popsicles. Many pet stores offer an array of flavors specifically made for dogs, including peanut butter banana, pumpkin apple, and even honeydew melon. Not only are these treats delicious and healthy for your dog, but they can also provide an enjoyable break from the heat of the summer day.
Supervise your dog when they’re consuming to make sure that they don’t bite off pieces that are too large or choke on any parts of the treat.
3. Watch Out For Ticks
Did you know ticks can go after dogs as well as humans? Ticks can pass along a variety of health issues, including Lyme disease, anaplasmosis, ehrlichiosis, babesiosis, Rocky Mountain spotted fever, and more. While many of these diseases are treatable, they can be debilitating if not caught in time.
If you and your dog are spending time outdoors, it’s important to do a thorough tick check after each outing. You can also consult with your veterinarian about preventative medication options.
4. Know the Signs of Heatstroke
When left in hot cars or outside for too long without access to shade and water, dogs can be at risk of heatstroke, a potentially life-threatening condition. Never leave them unattended in the car, even if only for a few minutes.
It’s also worthwhile to recognize the symptoms of heatstroke in dogs when you see them. Be on the lookout for any of the following:
- Excessive panting
- Red or pale gums
- Weakness and lethargy
- Vomiting and diarrhea
- Glazed eyes
- Seizures or unconsciousness
If you suspect that your dog is experiencing heatstroke, move them to a cool, shaded area immediately and call your vet right away.
5. Keep Up With Grooming
In the summer months, regular grooming is more important than ever. Frequent brushing helps remove excess fur, which can trap heat. This, in turn, can help to reduce your dog’s body temperature.
Bathing is key to cooling, as well. It also aids in preventing fungal infections and other parasitic infestations from developing on your pup’s skin. When selecting a shampoo for your pup, make sure to opt for one specifically formulated for dogs with natural ingredients. Remember to always use lukewarm water when bathing your dog, as hot water can cause discomfort or even burn them.
After you’ve finished bathing them, take care to dry their coat thoroughly with a towel before allowing them back out into the sun or heat.
By taking a few extra precautions for your dog’s safety, you can be sure that they will have an enjoyable summer.
For even more dog care tips, check out the We’re All About Pets website. You can also contact Baypath Humane Society with any questions or concerns you may have—we’d love to hear from you! Stay safe and enjoy the great outdoors with your furry friend this summer.