As a dog owner, I can personally tell you there is nothing more rewarding than giving your pooch the time of his or her life whenever and wherever you can. Seeing their tail wag and their whole body shake is almost like seeing a child’s face light up on Christmas morning after receiving that special gift he or she’s been waiting on all year long. That aside, now that summers here if you are anything like me and my pooch, you’ll likely be out there taking advantage of everything the season has to offer.
While the summer offers ample opportunities for fun and excitement, it doesn’t also pose plenty of risks. The best way to give your pooch the time of his or her life starts with making sure they stay safe during your outings. And, the very best way to do just that is by following my own 14 personal safety tips.
1. Never Leave Them In The Car
Okay, you’ve likely heard this before or at least already know not to leave your dog in the car. Despite this fact, there are still too many pet owners that are doing so. Whether it is because they forget or get in a hurry, it doesn’t matter. What you need to know if that this is a huge no and that’s why it is at the top of the list. It literally only takes minutes for a dog to overheat and suffocate in a parked vehicle on a summer day. 78 degrees outside might not sound like a lot, but in the shade, temperatures can reach as high as 90 degrees. Parked in the direct sun and you can expect temperatures of anywhere from 150 to 160 degrees. If you don’t plan on taking your dog in with you everywhere you are going or fear that you might forget them in the vehicle, it will be best just to leave them at home, as hard as this might be.
2. Fresh Drinking Water And Shade
Think about how much you sweat and how much water you consume on a hot, summer day. While your dog might not appear to sweat as much, you have to remember that they are also wearing a coat. This means that your dog will not only get hotter than you, but he or she will always be much thirstier than you. If you are consuming one or two bottles of water every hour then your dog will likely need twice as much, depending on its size.
On top of this, your dog really only has two ways to cool himself down. And, those two ways are water and panting. This is why it is imperative to ensure that fresh drinking water is always close at hand. While dogs do like bathing in the sun, you’ll always want to keep them in the shade whenever possible to help avoid potential heatstroke.
3. Keep Those Paws Cool
Have you ever run your hand across a metal rail on a hot, summer day? It’ll be so hot that you won’t be able to grip it for more than a few seconds. Heck, the concert can get just as nearly as hot. Imagine walking on it barefooted because that is pretty much what your pooch is doing. You’re going to want to try to keep your dog’s paws off the hot asphalt as much as possible or they are going to end up burnt. Not only can this potentially burn their feet, but it is going to lead to increased body temperature and eventual overheating.
This means it also isn’t a good idea to stick your dog in the back of the truck and drive around with him back there, regardless of the air exposure. That bed will still be exposed to the sun and thus build up heat that can damage your pet’s paws. Either invest in some pet socks, our dog balm, shoes or consider sticking to the grass.
4. Watch Out For Sunburn
Did you know that dogs can get sunburnt just like humans? That’s okay because a lot of pet owners didn’t know this. They can keep burnt and it’ll be just as painful for them as it is for a human. That being said, don’t just make the assumption that human sunscreen will do the trick because it isn’t always sufficient. The best thing to do will be to speak with your vet can get suggestions.
5. Never Assume Your Dog Is An Expert Swimmer
Most people make the assumption that dogs are expert swimmers. Unfortunately, this isn’t always the case. And, some dogs that aren’t expert swimmers will immediately take to the water and jump right in. This is because it is just in their basic nature. You don’t need to be an expert to see that this is a recipe for disaster. You’ll always want to keep a close eye on your doctor when he or she is around or near water. Just because your dog jumps in without hesitation doesn’t necessarily mean that he or she is a good swimmer.
6. Always Leash Your Pooch
Summertime means all sorts of exciting sights, scents, critters, and new places to explore. You never want to lose your pet or have him or her run into danger because they got distracted in an unfamiliar environment. In addition to this, not every dog can always be trusted. You never know the nature of your dog and how he or she will act around others, so it is best to just keep them on a leash at all times to avoid any unwanted incidents.
7. Get Your Dog A Personal Pool
Do you have a dog that loves water? Just loves drinking it and being in it? Well, dogs that naturally love the water are going to naturally love it even more during these hot months. They might even rely on it more and there is no better way to deliver it than in the form of a personal pool. A small, kid-sized pool will be perfect for your pooch. You can even stick it in the trunk and take it to the park with you if you plan on making frequent visits.
8. Be Careful Around Fireworks
Summertime means parties, noise, and likely fireworks. Fireworks might seem harmless to your dog, but they can easily cause them to become startled. Not only will they make your dog bark, but it might stress them to the point where they’ll want to run away from home. Consider investing in a thunder jacket to help ease the anxiety or consider keeping your pet indoors if you have neighbors that are going to shoot fireworks.
9. Watch Out For Snakes
Depending on where you live, there is a risk that you’re going to encounter snakes during the summer. So, you’ll want to be very careful with your dogs. You cannot let them roam during the summer since there is a risk that they’re going to run into a scaly predator. When you let your dogs go outside to use the bathroom, you should keep a closer eye on them. Make sure that they’re going to be safe at all times.
Don’t let them roam since it could result in them getting bit by a snake. It could be deadly so it is pertinent to keep a closer eye on your dogs during the summer.
10. Walk Appropriately
Your dog still needs to go for walks during the day. However, you’ll need to change your schedule during the summer. You need to make sure that you’re not walking your dog at the hottest time of the day. Instead, you should wait until the sun goes down. Give it time to cool off before grabbing the leash and taking Fido for a stroll. This will decrease the likelihood that they’re going to become overheated during the walk.
11. Prepare Your House
There is a good chance that you’re going to have to leave for work. If this happens, you need to make sure that your house is going to be a safe environment for your pooch. Otherwise, you’re going to run into major issues. If you don’t leave the air conditioner on, there is a good chance that your house is going to be too hot and that could cause your dog to become overheated. If you have to leave your dog at home, you should leave the AC on.
A cooling vest or mat may help as well. Either way, it is pertinent to keep your home cool so your dog doesn’t become overheated and dehydrated while you’re at work.
12. Grooming Helps
Remember that some dogs are hotter than others. Dogs with long hair (especially long haired brachycephic breeds) tend to be significantly hotter than their short-hair counterparts. As a pet owner, you need to do everything you can to keep your dog cool and this includes grooming them. If you cut your dog’s hair and get rid of those mats and tangles, you’ll be able to keep him significantly cooler.
13. Look For Signs Of Overheating
Ultimately, you’ll want to look closely at your dog. Is his tongue hanging out more often? Is he panting more than usual? This could be a bad sign. If your dog seems weak or agitated, it is time to get him medical assistance. You need to understand the signs of overheating so you can get a vet’s assistance when your dog needs it the most.
14. Use Flea And Tick Prevention
Ticks and fleas are more active in the summer than any other season. In some locations, ticks and fleas will begin to become problematic for dogs. This is the perfect time to start utilizing a flea and tick preventive. What exactly is a tick and flea preventive medicine? Well, it is a combination of medications or herbs that kill the parasites. If you are not familiar with the dangers of tick and flea infestations, you need to start doing research immediately.
Ticks are known for causing various types of diseases in dogs. These diseases range from Rocky Mountain Spotted Fever to Anaplasmosis, to Canine Ehrlichiosis, all of which can pose dangers for your furry friends.
Flea infestations, on the other hand, can cause several allergy dermatitis, tapeworms, anemia, and bartonellosis. The only way to keep your dog safe from these parasites is to utilize a preventive. You will have several options to choose from. These options are available in topical and oral form, as well as a collar.