Summer safety tips for dogs

Summer is a hard time for dogs. Here are some summer safety tips so your dog stays happy and healthy this summer.

1. Hydration is Key

Keep your dog hydrated with constant access to fresh water.

Always ensure your dog has access to fresh, clean water, especially during the hot summer months. Carry a portable water bowl and bottle when going out. Dehydration can quickly set in during hot weather, so frequent water breaks are essential.

2. Avoid Hot Surfaces

Protect your dog's paws from hot pavements.

Pavements and sand can become extremely hot and cause burns to your dog's paw pads. Test surfaces with your hand; if it's too hot for you, it's too hot for your dog. Walk your dog during cooler parts of the day, or use protective booties to shield their paws.

3. Provide Shade

Ensure your dog has access to shaded areas.

Whether you're at home or outdoors, make sure there's a shaded spot where your dog can escape the sun. Use trees, umbrellas, or portable canopies. Indoors, create cool areas by closing blinds or curtains and using fan.

4. Never Leave Your Dog in a Parked Car

Avoid leaving your dog alone in a car.

The temperature inside a parked car can rise rapidly, even with the windows cracked, leading to heatstroke or death. If you must run errands, leave your dog at home or have someone stay with them in the car with the AC running.

5. Use Sunscreen for Dogs

Apply dog-safe sunscreen to exposed skin.

Dogs can get sunburned, especially those with short hair, light-colored coats, or exposed skin areas like the nose and ears. Use a pet-safe sunscreen and apply it to vulnerable areas. Reapply as needed, especially after swimming or sweating.

6. Avoid Strenuous Exercise

Limit intense exercise during peak heat.

Reduce the intensity and duration of exercise on hot days. Opt for gentle walks in the early morning or late evening when temperatures are cooler. Avoid running or playing fetch during the hottest parts of the day.

7. Keep Parasites at Bay

Protect your dog from fleas, ticks, and mosquitoes.

Summer is peak season for parasites. Use vet-recommended flea, tick, and heartworm preventatives. Check your dog regularly for ticks, especially after being outdoors, and remove them promptly if found.

8. Cool Down Your Dog

Help your dog stay cool with water and shade.

Provide a kiddie pool for your dog to splash in, or use cooling mats and vests. Indoors, use fans and air conditioning to create a cool environment. Offer ice cubes or frozen treats to help lower your dog's body temperature.

9. Be Aware of Heatstroke Signs

Recognize and respond to heatstroke symptoms.

Watch for signs of heatstroke, including excessive panting, drooling, lethargy, vomiting, and uncoordinated movements. If you suspect heatstroke, move your dog to a cool place, offer water, and wet their fur with cool (not cold) water. Seek veterinary help immediately.

10. Travel Safely

Ensure your dog is comfortable and safe while traveling.

When traveling by car, keep the AC on and take frequent breaks for water and bathroom needs. Never leave your dog unattended in the car. If flying, check airline policies for pet safety and choose direct flights to minimize stress and exposure to heat.

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