Tips for a Safe Summer with Dogs
Summer is heating up and people are eager to get out for fresh air, sunshine, adventures, and fun with their dogs! When heading out this summer with your dog, we want to share ways to keep your pup safe in the summer weather.
While we may love taking our pups with us whenever we can, in the summertime this may not be the best choice. If you have errands to run, stops to make, or cannot take your dog into the place you are visiting, it is best to leave him at home.
A quick trip inside the grocery store could quickly become deadly to a dog left in a parked car, even with windows cracked or parked in the shade.
Dogs may have fur to help protect them from the sun, but many dogs are still at risk of sunburn, particularly dogs with lighter coats, thin coats, or where skin is exposed such as the belly, ears, or nose.
Protect your dog from the sun with:
- Dog-safe sunscreen
- UPF t-shirt or vet
- Doggie goggles, sunglasses, or visor
- Portable shade such as an umbrella, sunshade, or collapsible canopy
- Also great to help a dog stay cool
If you are out and about with your dog during the summer, make sure you have ways to keep him cool! Helpful products to keep your dog cool include:
- A collapsible bowl for hydration on the go, along with plenty of drinking water
- Cooling mat or vest for extended periods outside
- Cooling bandanas are also an option
- Frozen bone, chill fill, or KONG toy
- Protective boots for hot ground or pavement so your dog’s paws stay safe
- See this handy infographic to tell when the pavement is too hot for your pup's paws
Know the Signs of Heatstroke
Heatstroke means a dog has lost the ability to regulate its body temperature and is overheating. This is a medical emergency! It is vital that dog owners recognize the signs of heatstroke and can act accordingly. While all dogs have risk of heatstroke, short-nosed, long-haired, and very young or very old dogs are at most risk of heatstroke.
Signs of heatstroke include:
- Excessive drooling (may be thick or gray in color)
- Heavy panting
- Rapid breathing
- Bright red gums and tongue
- Elevated heart rate
- Difficulty balancing (may stagger or wobble)
If you are concerned that a dog is suffering from the heat:
- Get the dog to a cool, shaded area
- Wet towels with cool water and drape over the dog (do NOT use ice) or pour cool water over the dog
- Refresh frequently
- Allow small sips of cool water
- Transport to the closest veterinary hospital
Prevention is key! Heatstroke is often deadly to a dog. While understanding the signs of heatstroke and how to respond, taking steps to prevent it from occurring is best.
- Exercise your dog early in the morning or later at night when it is coolest
- Avoid physical activity outdoors during high heat
- Enjoy indoor activities instead such as puzzles, hide & seek, or training sessions
- Make sure your dog has plenty of fresh water available all day
- Provide shade when outdoors
- Never leave your dog outside in the heat of the day
- Do not leave your dog in a car alone
- If you will be outside for an extended period of time (such as a sports game, picnic, or hike) on a hot day, leave your pup at home
We wish everyone a safe, happy, and fun summer with their dogs!