The weather is warming up and that means more outdoor playtime for you and your pooch. Check out these HOT tips to keep your dog cool, happy, and healthy this summer.
Hot Weather Hazards
Even though dogs have built-in mechanisms to help keep them cool (panting, for example), they can still quickly overheat. Here are some things to consider when spending time outdoors with your furry friend.
- Make sure your pup has plenty of fresh water and shady spots to hang out in when spending time outdoors—don’t rely on dog houses for shade as they can trap heat.
- Be wary of hot surfaces, such as asphalt and metal truck beds, which can trap in body heat and even burn your pup’s paws.
- Schedule walks and playtime for early mornings or evenings when the heat from the sun is less intense.
- Give your dog a summer haircut to help keep her cool, but don’t shave her—dog’s coats protect their skin from sunburn and help regulate heat.
- NEVER leave your pet in the car even for a few minutes—in only 10 minutes the temperature in your car can increase by 20 degrees.
- Dogs, especially those with flatter faces like French Bulldogs, are susceptible to heatstroke. Know the warning signs (rapid panting, excessive salivation, confusion, and lethargy) and cool her down immediately if you think she is experiencing symptoms.
Other Outdoor Safety Tips
Hot weather isn’t the only thing to consider when keeping your dog safe this summer. Outdoor and water safety are also important to your pup’s health.
- Read the labels on any plant or lawn products and keep your dog away if necessary, as many can be harmful to dogs if ingested
- Barbeques are fun for humans and dogs alike, but make sure to keep alcohol and food items away from your pup, especially onions, grapes, and chocolate, which can harm her digestive system
- Never use fireworks around your pets, and if possible keep your dog safe in a quiet and enclosed environment inside during use
- Unless your pup is an experienced swimmer, don’t leave her unattended near water and never throw her in
- Ensure your dog is not drinking pool or ocean water, as the chlorine and salt can make her sick
With these tips in mind, you and your dog can have the best summer ever!