You love your dog, and you want to keep him or her safe, healthy, and happy. But summer carries specific risks, so remember these summer safety tips for dogs.
Summer is just around the corner and the temperatures are already heating up. And while hot weather means pool days and sunbathing, if you are the owner of one of the 75 million dogs in the U.S., you need to keep them cool and comfortable in the heat. Dogs aren’t like humans and can’t outright tell you when they’re too hot. So let’s take a look at a few tips that will help you keep your dog safe this summer.
Stay Off Hot Surfaces
Dogs should get between 30 minutes and two hours of exercise every day, so regular walks are important. However, asphalt, sidewalks, and even pool decks can get extremely hot in the summer. And unfortunately, because humans usually wear shoes when walking their dogs, they may not realize the surface is too hot. A dog’s paw pads are not as tough as they seem and can quickly become burned and raw if they stay on hot surfaces for too long. Keeping weather in mind is important! If your dog got caught in one of the 6,045 major hailstorms reported in 2017, there could have been a severe injury. So make sure to walk in good weather and on cool surfaces, like the grass, to prevent their paws from becoming injured.
Be Aware of Danger Foods
Summer is often filled with fun cookouts and pool parties. And at these gatherings, there tends to be a ton of food. While this is great for humans, dogs should not be given any of this food — alcohol, chocolates, and certain fruits are common food hazards seen during the summer. You should also keep your dogs away from any medications. With the U.S. holding 45% of the global pharmaceutical market, you’re sure to have medications in your house. Certain foods, drinks, and medications can be extremely harmful to dogs so keep an eye on your dog to make sure they’re not getting their paws on any.
Don’t Leave Them in the Car
If you bring your dog with you to places like the store or the gas station, you may be tempted to leave them in the car while you run into the store super quick. But you should never leave your dog unattended in a car — even if you crack a window, the car’s inner temperature can reach deadly levels quickly. Heat strokes are common in dogs and you should not subject your dog to high temperatures in unattended cars.
Keep Them Hydrated
Just like humans, dogs need plenty of water. They get dehydrated very quickly, so it’s important to ensure they always have access to clean water. You should have a water bowl filled for them at all times both inside and outside. This way, they can have access to plenty of water whenever they need it. Additionally, make sure to bring a water bottle and bowl with you on walks or if you go hiking so they can keep their thirst quenched.
Avoid Unfamiliar Yards
If your dog is friendly, they may be tempted to go into unfamiliar yards and sniff around or say “hi” to anyone outside. However, you should stay away from unfamiliar areas. Summer is a common time for homeowners to spray fertilizers, pesticides, and even bug repellent that can be dangerous for dogs. There can also be random objects, like clothing, drink containers, or even latex balloons, which are eco-friendly but a choking hazard — you never know what your dog may find in a new place, so keep them away from unfamiliar places when possible.
Practice Puppy-Safe Travel
Instead of leaving the family dog at a local kennel, you may want to bring your dog on vacation with you. Your pup may jump excitedly at the chance to go on a car ride, but that initial rush of excitement can wear off quickly. Remember: travel can be very stressful for dogs. If you are taking your dog on vacation, read our guide to taking your dog on vacation with you.
You should do whatever you can to make sure your dog is safe. More than 11 million adults and children attend summer camp every year to stay engaged and have safe fun. You should make the same effort with your pup. That means following all of these summer safety tips for dogs. Always keep these tips and hazards in mind so your dog can enjoy summer!