Summer is a wonderful time for you and your dog to spend time together outdoors. You may enjoy exercising with your dog, playing fun games, or taking your dog along with you to summer events. However, it is important to understand that hot temperatures can be very dangerous for dogs. It's important to keep your dog cool and protect him from the hazards of the summer season.
The most common hot weather dangers include heat stroke, dehydration, and sunburn. Fortunately, all of these can be prevented. Watch your dog for signs of illness, and call your vet right away if any problems arise.
Be prepared for the summertime. Here are some of the most important things you need to know about summer hazards and prevention so you can keep your dog safe all summer long.
- 01 of 05
Steer clear of long walks and strenuous exercise on hot, sunny days. Avoid prolonged sun exposure. Not only is there a risk of heat stroke; dogs can get sunburns, too. Make sure there is plenty of shade available. You may also consider sunscreen for your dog.
If you are planning to spend time outdoors with your dog, find a shady spot and provide plenty of fresh, cool water. Try to take leisurely walks during the cooler times of the day, like the morning or evening hours. Also, be sure to protect your dog's feet from getting scorched by hot pavement.
- 02 of 05
Never leave your dog in the car unattended. Despite the many warnings, each summer brings numerous accounts of dogs that become sick or even die of heatstroke because they were left in a car. Even if it does not seem that hot outside, the temperature inside the car can rise to dangerous levels within minutes.
If you absolutely must bring your dog with you on errands, make sure you bring another person who can stay in the running, air-conditioned car with your dog. Otherwise, do your dog a favor and leave her at home.
- 03 of 05
It might be best to leave your dog at home when going to large outdoor festivals or parties. A large crowd can be overwhelming and it increases the chances of injury, dehydration, and exhaustion. Plus, there's bound to be a lot of unhealthy or even toxic food and trash on the ground that your dog might try to eat.
Remember that fireworks and other loud noises can frighten dogs into running away or otherwise injuring themselves. If you do bring your dog to events, keep her close by and watch out for potential hazards.
- 04 of 05
Swimming and Water Activities
Water safety is sometimes overlooked by dog owners. Contrary to common belief, not all dogs are skilled swimmers. Remember that even the most experienced swimmer can become a victim of an undertow, jellyfish or other hazards. Stay close to your dog while playing or swimming in a lake, river or the ocean.
Also, prevent your dog from drinking the water. Saltwater can cause dehydration, vomiting, and diarrhea. Water in lakes, ponds and rivers may contain parasites and bacteria that can infect your dog. Always provide plenty of fresh, clean water for drinking.
If you bring your dog on a boat or canoe, a life jacket is just as important for your dog as it is for you. Falling or jumping overboard is always possible. Any dog that spends time near water should have her very own pet life vest.
- 05 of 05
Parasites and Pests
Spending time outdoors means more exposure to various parasites and pests.
- Always check your dog for ticks after spending time outside.
- Keep your dog on flea prevention to avoid flea-related issues.
- Because mosquitos carry heartworm disease, your dog must be on heartworm prevention if you live in an area where mosquitos are present.
Parasites are not the only concern. An encounter with a skunk can be quite a hassle. Even more dangerous are snake bites, which commonly occur in spring and summer. Stings and bites from insects such as bees, wasps, scorpions and spiders are also risks.
Keeping Your Dog Safe
Bottom line: always keep an eye on your dog. Don't leave her unattended. It's important to exercise common sense and proceed with caution to help keep your dog safe, regardless of the season.
Summertime comes with its own set of hazards, so make sure you are familiar with the risks. Learn what warning signs mean trouble. When in doubt, call your vet right away. When all is said and done, it will be much easier for you and your dog to enjoy the summer of you prepare properly.