8 Essential Tips to Keep Your Dog Safe in the Summer
June 26, 2023 | 3 min read
Updated June 26, 2023
Published: June 14, 2023
Summary: In this blog, discover 8 essential tips to help keep your dog safe during the warm summer months.
The summer months have finally arrived, and with them comes the heat!
As the temperatures rise and the days last longer, you may find yourself spending time at the beach, going on vacation, swimming, and enjoying the odd cookout here or there - all with your pup by your side.
As a pet parent, it's crucial to ensure the safety and well-being of your furry companion. Dogs are highly susceptible to heat-related illnesses, such as heatstroke and burnt paws during the scorching summer months.
To help you keep your beloved pet safe and comfortable, we've compiled eight essential tips to follow. From protecting their paws to knowing when to go for a walk, these guidelines will ensure a happy and healthy summer for your four-legged friend.
Tip 1: Protect Your Dog's Paws
Your dog's paws are sensitive and can easily burn when walking on hot pavement or sand. To prevent burns and discomfort, follow these precautions:
- Walk your dog during cooler hours, early morning or late evening, when the ground is less heated.
- Test the ground. Place your hand on the pavement or sand for 10 seconds. If it feels too hot for your hand, it's too hot for your dog's paws.
- Use paw protectors or dog booties to provide an extra layer of insulation between your dog's paws and the hot surfaces.
Tip 2: Keep Your Dog Hydrated
Just like humans, dogs can quickly become dehydrated in the summer heat. To keep them adequately hydrated:
- Provide fresh and clean water at all times, ensuring it is easily accessible for your dog.
- Carry a portable water bottle and a collapsible bowl during walks or outings to offer your dog water when needed.
- Consider frozen treats. Some dogs can be fussy when it comes to drinking water, so giving them dog-friendly ice cubes or chilled watermelon can provide a refreshing and hydrating snack.
Tip 3: Provide Plenty of Shade
Dogs need a cool and shady spot to retreat to when the sun's heat becomes overwhelming. Here's how you can create a suitable shady environment:
- Set up a canopy or umbrella in your backyard to provide ample shade.
- If your dog spends time indoors, ensure there are shady spots available near windows or use curtains to block direct sunlight.
- Avoid leaving your dog in a car, even with the windows cracked open, as temperatures can rise dangerously within minutes.
Tip 4: Avoid Lots of Exercise
Exercise is crucial for a dog's well-being, but during the summer, it's important to be mindful of their limitations. Follow these guidelines:
- Try to take your dog on shorter walks, and, as mentioned above, make sure you only go in the morning or evening when it's cooler.
- Observe your dog closely for signs of overheating, such as excessive panting, lethargy, or disorientation.
- Take the time to engage in activities that provide mental stimulation instead of intense physical exercise in extreme heat.
Tip 5: NEVER Leave Your Dog in a Hot Car
Leaving a dog in a parked car, even for a few minutes, can be life-threatening. Remember these points:
- Even with the windows cracked open, the temperature inside a car can skyrocket in a matter of minutes. Within 30 minutes, the temperature inside a car can rise from 70°F to over 110°F.
- If you must run errands, leave your dog at home in a cool and comfortable environment.
- If you witness a dog trapped in a hot car, take immediate action by contacting local authorities or an animal welfare organization.
Tip 6: Watch for Signs of Heatstroke
Heatstroke is a severe condition that requires immediate attention. Learn to recognize these symptoms:
- Excessive panting or difficulty breathing
- Excessive drooling or foaming at the mouth
- Rapid heartbeat, vomiting, or diarrhea
- Weakness, staggering, or collapse
If you notice any of these signs, move your dog to a cooler area, offer water, and contact your veterinarian immediately.
Tip 7: Create Cool Spaces
A great way to help your dog beat the heat is by creating cooling spaces in your home and outdoor areas:
- Set up a kiddie pool or a shallow basin filled with cool water for your dog to splash around and cool off.
- Place damp towels or cooling mats in shaded areas for your dog to lie on.
- Use fans or air conditioning to maintain a comfortable indoor temperature for your dog.
Tip 8: Grooming and Sun Protection
Proper grooming and sun protection are vital to keeping your dog safe from the sun's harmful rays:
- Brush your dog regularly to remove excess fur and promote better air circulation.
- Consider a summer haircut for long-haired breeds, but consult with a professional groomer first to determine the best length.
- Apply pet-safe sunscreen on exposed areas such as the nose, ears, and belly to prevent sunburn.
By following these eight essential tips, you can ensure that your dog stays safe and comfortable throughout the summer months. From protecting their paws to creating cooling spaces and being mindful of their exercise routine, these guidelines will help you enjoy a happy and healthy summer with your beloved pet. Remember, a little extra care and attention can go a long way in keeping your dog safe from the heat and ensuring a fun-filled season together.