Summer Safety Tips for Your Dog
Keeping your family safe is your #1 priority, and that includes your pets. During the Summer it is important to make sure that you stay hydrated, sunblocked and seek shelter when the temperature outside gets overbearing. But sometimes we overlook these things when it comes to our furry companions. Listed below are some reminders and tips on how to keep your beloved fur baby safe this Summer.
Getting your dog some dog socks or shoes can help prevent your dog from burning their feet on hot sidewalks or pavement. Of course, some dogs don’t like wearing things on their feet so, trying out different types of dog shoes can be helpful to determine what makes your dog comfortable.
- If your dog refuses to walk with shoes, try going on outings with your dog in the earlier part of the day or later in the evening, reducing the risk of heat exhaustion and burnt paws. The midday sun can be dangerous for your canine companion, so if you do have to take them out in the afternoon make sure they are adequately protected.
- Different breeds and types of dogs can be more susceptible to heat stroke. The Dog Breeds that need extra precaution are short-nose breeds (like pugs or boxers), light or white-colored dogs (they can easily sunburn as well), older dogs, and dogs that are overweight.
- Make sure to always have clean water for your dogs in the summer to help prevent overheating and dehydration. Try to avoid letting your dog drink water from lakes, rivers, and oceans. The salt in the ocean water will quickly dehydrate your dog and can cause vomiting which could lead to heatstroke.
Never leave your dog in a car on hot days even if the window is cracked. On days where the temperature outside is only 70°, studies have shown that the inside of a car can increase to 100° in 30 minutes, which is extremely dangerous for your dog (and children). This means that if the outside temperature ranges from 80–100° in the summer, car temperatures can quickly climb to 130–172°! If you won't sit in a car that hot without A/C don't make your pets do it.
- If your dog is experiencing signs of heat stroke it is a good idea to take their temperature. If their temperature is 104° or higher you want to start gradually cooling them down immediately! Start by spraying them or submerging him in cool water, try to do this slowly so your dog doesn't go into shock. You'll want to take your dog to the veterinarian as soon as possible to make sure there isn't any damage to their organs. If your dog starts vomiting, is lethargic, or has labored or noisy breathing don't try to gather things to cool your dog down, seek medical attention immediately.
Some early warning signs of heatstroke are:
- Heavy panting
- Excessive drooling
- Balance problems
- Bright red gums
Always do a thorough check for ticks once you get home from hikes, camping trips, or walks that take you through thick brush. Ticks carry nasty diseases and can be very harmful to you and your pets. If you find any here's how to remove them.
- Foxtails are rampant in the summer and are very dangerous for your pets. If you have been in an area where there are an abundance of foxtails, please check your dog at the end of the day. Foxtails can make their way deep down into the ear canal so using a light to look into your animal's ear can be helpful in locating the foxtail.
Common places and symptoms of foxtails are:
- Ears: Shaking head or scratching incessantly.
- Eyes: Red swollen eyes, or discharge.
- Nose: Frequent intense sneezing or discharge.
- Feet: Swelling, redness or limping.
Human food isn't always bad for dogs, but BBQ food can be. With summer comes more parties and events that tend to provide foods that can cause some serious health issues for your pet. Many of our summertime favorites such onions, grapes, desserts, and others can be toxic to pets. Also remember that many of our fun BBQ foods have skewers or toothpicks that dogs don't notice.
- Many pets love the water, while others don't. Before taking your dog to the lake, make sure they can swim and enjoy it. There are certain breeds of dogs that cannot swim or have difficulty doing so. If you want to take your dog on a boat with you, bring along a dog flotation device just in case!
This list is not meant to discourage you from enjoying the outdoors with your dog, but by keeping these things in mind you and your canine companion can enjoy many adventures together.
Have a Happy Summer!