Summer Pet Safety Tips: Your Guide to Have Fun with Your Dog this Summer!

Summer Pet Safety Tips: Your Guide to Have Fun with Your Dog this Summer!

Summer is the perfect time to enjoy the great outdoors with your furry friend. However, the heat and other seasonal factors require some extra precautions to ensure your dog stays safe and healthy. Did you know dogs can suffer from dehydration, heat exhaustion or heatstroke if they overheat? They can even get sun burn and injure their paws! Don’t worry - there are still plenty of ways to enjoy summer with your pup by your side.

Here are some essential summer safety tips to help you and your dog have a fun and worry-free summer.

  1. Stay Hydrated

Just like humans, dogs need plenty of water to prevent dehydration, especially in hot weather. Always carry a portable water bowl and fresh water for your dog when you're out and about! At home, ensure your dog has constant access to clean, cool water. You may find adding water to their kibble or including wet food with meals can help maintain hydration too!

  1. Avoid the Heat Exposure

Avoid walking your dog during the hottest part of the day, typically between 10 a.m. and 4 p.m. Instead, try early morning or late in the evening walks when temperatures are cooler. Before heading out, check the ground temperature with the back of your hand. Hot pavement can burn your dog's paw pads. If it's too hot for you, it's too hot for your dog. Walk on grass whenever possible, or consider dog booties to protect their feet.

  1. Provide Shade & Ways to Cool Off

When spending time outside, try to avoid peak hours in the sun and ensure there's plenty of shade available. Whether you're in your backyard, at the park, or on the beach, make sure your dog has a cool place to rest. Portable dog tents or umbrellas can provide much-needed relief from the sun. You can also purchase a cooling mat or cooling collar that is often kept in the freezer until needed. They are both great options to help keep your pup comfortable and cool!

  1. Never Leave Your Dog in a Parked Car

Even with the windows cracked, a parked car can become dangerously hot in minutes. Leaving your dog in the car can lead to heatstroke and death. If you can't bring your dog with you, it's safer to leave them at home.

  1. Keep Up with Grooming

Regular grooming helps keep your dog's coat in good condition and can prevent overheating. While it might be tempting to shave your dog, it's not always recommended as their fur provides some protection against the sun. Instead, brush them regularly to remove excess fur and mats.

  1. Apply Dog-Friendly Sunscreen

Sun protection for pets is just as important as it is for us! Dogs, especially those with short or light-colored coats, can get sunburned. Apply a dog-safe sunscreen to their nose, ears, and any other exposed areas. Although it may be easier and tempting, using human sunscreens can be harmful to dogs. There is difference in the SPF and the active ingredients found in K9 suncare options since the products designed for humans are often toxic to our pets. Generally, Titanium dioxide is considered a safe active ingredient in sunscreens for dogs, but when in doubt, your local store or vet should be able to provide a recommendation.

  1. Be Cautious Around Water

While many dogs love swimming, not all are natural swimmers.  Always supervise your dog around water, whether it's a pool, lake, or the ocean. Use a doggy life jacket or buoyant neck collar if you're boating or if your near water with a pup who isn’t a great swimmer. Pet safety around water can ensure you all can join in on the fun!

  1. Prevent Parasites

Summer is prime time for fleas, ticks, and mosquitoes, which can carry diseases harmful to dogs. Ensure to regularly check their coat for any signs of these unwanted pests. We know many pet parents are shying away from using typical topical treatments. There are great non chemical alternatives that are safe and effective and can be used on both of you while enjoying time outside!

  1. Provide Cool Treats

Help your dog stay cool with homemade frozen treats. Try freezing dog-safe fruits like blueberries or strawberries in water or low-sodium broth. There are also many recipes for dog-friendly ice creams and frozen snacks that your pet will love.

 No matter the activity, being aware of the signs of heatstroke in dogs, which include excessive panting, drooling, rapid heartbeat, lethargy, and vomiting are crucial to a safe summer. If your dog shows any of these symptoms, move them to a cooler place, provide water, and seek veterinary attention immediately. By following these summer safety tips, you can ensure your dog stays healthy and happy during the warmer months. Remember, your dog's safety is your responsibility, and with a little preparation, you both can enjoy a fantastic summer together!

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