5 Tips to Help Your Dog Enjoy Summer Safely
Keeping Your Dog Healthy In the Summertime
All adult dogs and puppies love the summer. There’s nothing like a good romp in the park or a fun roll on the grass in the warmth of the sun. However, once the weather starts to radically heat up, there are certain risks involved for dogs when they are out in the heat. Here are some suggestions as to how you can keep your dog healthy and happy in the days of summer:
. Keep your dog cool — When the temperature reaches the point where it is uncomfortable for humans, think about your dog who is wearing a fur coat all day. If you are in the habit of taking your dog for daily walks, do so only in the early morning or late evening so that you don’t find yourself and your pet outside during the hottest part of the day.
. Shortened walks — Choose shady paths for walking your dog and take along plenty of water. Expect to take frequent breaks perhaps on a bench under a nice shady tree, or just sitting on the grass in the shade and resting together. Furthermore, if you normally take a nice, long walk with your dog, plan on shortening your walks when the heat is excessive. Dogs don’t like to give up, so your furry friend will keep charging ahead as long as possible when walking, without realizing that they are risking heat exhaustion, or in the worst case scenario, heat stroke. You are the human, and it’s up to you to protect your dog from the elements.
. Keep your dog hydrated — Staying hydrated is crucial for both dogs and humans at all times, but particularly in the summer. Always take plenty of water with you for yourself and your dog on walks and if you choose to take them along while hiking, and be sure to offer it to him on a regular basis. This is where collapsible dog bowls are a great idea.
2. Hot Concrete
. Check surfaces — Test the surfaces of concrete, asphalt, and sand before letting your dog step on them in the heat. If the area is too hot for your feet, then it is definitely too hot for your dog and could burn his paws. Do not allow your dog to walk in this area and take him somewhere where the ground is cooler.
. Pad burns — We all know that you love your dog and wouldn’t hurt him for the world. But sometimes even the best of owners make mistakes. You really have to be careful when it comes to hot surfaces or your dog could end up with pad burn. This is what happens to a dog’s paws when they walk on hot pavement or asphalt. This can be very, very painful for your dog, and should receive immediate medical aid.
. Walking safely — To avoid pad burns, walk your dog on grass or dirt paths. Do not walk your dog on black asphalt, as it becomes extremely hot and can burn their paw pads instantly. If you want to ensure that your dog will not suffer from this condition, you can put puppy boots on them to protect their paw pads.
3. Hot Cars
. NEVER leave your dog or puppy alone in a parked car in the heat for any period of time. The inside of a car can reach 120 degrees F in mere minutes, even if the windows are left open. This exposes your dog to the risk of brain damage or death from heatstroke or heat exhaustion. It is even worse for puppies, who are much more vulnerable.
4. Provide Shelter From the Sun
. Adequate shelter — Follow this rule. When the temperature rises higher than 80 degrees F, any dog that is kept outside must have access to appropriate shelter. This means an area properly shaded by trees, a roof, or a tarp.
. Heatstroke — This is extremely serious and can be deadly to dogs. If left untreated, heatstroke can cause permanent damage to your dog.
Symptoms of Heatstroke
a. Pale or white gums and a bright red tongue
b. Rapid, loud breathing, or difficulty breathing
d. Weakness or fatigue
e. Thickened saliva
5. Alternative Dog-Friendly Activities to Beat the Heat
There are tons of fun activities you can do with your dog in the warmer months. Much more than just swimming and leisurely walks in the shade. A good idea is, before you start any new outdoor activities with your dog, take them to the vet and have them get a physical exam and bloodwork. That way you can rest assured that your best friend is all ready for summer fun in the sun.
. Swimming — Normally, most dogs love swimming, but keep in mind that they are not natural-born swimmers. If your dog enjoys swimming and loves the water, fantastic! Never, under any circumstances force your dog to swim, or toss them in a pool or other body of water against their will. That’s not giving your dog a fun time, but causing trauma.
This is supposed to be a happy, fun time for your dog. If they truly love the water, then taking them for a nice, cold swim on a hot day is considered a wonderful treat. Normally, a dog can safely swim in a pool, lake, and even a river, as long as you keep an eye on them and are prepared to help instantly at the first sign of danger.
You can even buy a child’s wading pool, or a dog pool for your pet and fill it up. A nice, safe afternoon spent cavorting in the shallow water can easily help keep your dog active and cool, and very happy.
. Sprinkler — Most dogs are absolutely wild about getting to romp about and play in the water. While your ordinary, rotating lawn sprinklers will suit the purpose, sprinklers designed for canines can convert your backyard into a doggie water park much to your pet’s delight. Just remember to not leave your dog unattended under these circumstances. Watch out for them and you can both have a blast!
. Dog friendly beaches — Nowadays, there are a great many beaches that welcome pets, either during off hours, or at certain times of the year. You should apply a pet-friendly sunscreen to protect your pup from sunburn, particularly a problem with pink-skinned dogs, and keep a vigilant watch over your dog. Also, obey the leash laws because this makes things more pleasant for everyone.
In fact, there are so many fun-filled summertime activities that people can do with their dogs, that it would be impossible to list them all even if we wanted to. The point is that you can have a rollicking good time with your dog outdoors in any season. Just use your common sense and watch out for them so that they stay safe and happy.