Summer is HERE! Time for ice-cream, walks on the beach, pool parties, and BBQ's just to name a few! With warm weather here, we have to consider our dogs during this time as well! They might not enjoy or handle the heat and things that come with it as much as we do and it is important to remember to keep them safe from potential warm weather hazards!
Let’s take a look at some warm weather hazards and how to protect your dog from them:
1. The car: Our cars could turn into ovens in the summertime! Temperatures inside a vehicle rise quickly – twenty to forty degrees in thirty minutes. This could kill your dog quickly. Even if the AC is on and windows are open, DO NOT leave your dog in the car!
2. Dehydration: Dogs can quickly get dehydrated from the heat. Make sure your dog has plenty of access to water, even if they are inside with the AC on. Pets overheat faster than us because of all of their fur! Bring extra bottles of water on walks and don’t depend on parks rest stops.
3. Too much direct sun: You should limit the amount of time your pet spends playing or even laying in the sun. If your pet is outside, make sure there is a place for him or her to shelter from the sun and take a rest.
4. Paw burns: The sidewalks get hot quickly in the summer, especially black streets because black absorbs more heat. Before your dog goes for walks, test the heat of the ground. If your hand or bare foot can’t last more than 10 seconds on the ground, then it is definitely too hot for your pet. Booties are always a good option if hot cement or asphalt is unavoidable.
5. Overexercise: Exercising daily is an important part of your pet;s health, but make sure to do it properly. Try walking your pup first thing in the morning or late at night when it's cooler. Trade exercises like running or playing fetch, for swimming or running through sprinklers to keep cool.
6. Drowning: People assume all dogs know how to swim, but that isn’t always the case. Make sure to never leave your pup unattended by the pool and introduce them slowly to the water. Try using a life vest or flotation device in the beginning. After swimming, rinse your dog off to remove chlorine or salt from his fur and don;t allow your pet to drink pool water because it contains harmful chemicals. Remember that a doggy pool is always a good option!
7. Falling out of windows: Opening a window to get some air is fine, but make sure your windows are screened and that your pet cannot fall out of it. Keep doors closed to prevent your dog from getting out and make sure all screens are tightly secured.
8. Over-shaving: Trimming your dog's hair is okay but never shave them! The layers of your dog’s coat protects them from overheating and sunburn.Sunscreen or insect repellent is a good idea but make sure it is made specifically for pets!
9. Insecticides and citronella: Insecticides and citronella are popular this time of year to keep pesky mosquitoes and other bugs away, but they can be potentially dangerous to your pet. Make sure to keep them out of reach to prevent ingestion, which could be deadly. If you think your pet ingested anything poisonous call the ASPCA Animal Poison Control Center right away at (888) 426-4435.
10. Harmful BBQ food: Some foods found at BBQs are dangerous to your furry friend. You might be having fun and not paying attention to what your pup is doing, and they could potentially eat something they shouldn't, including alcoholic beverages, onions, chocolate, or anything with the sweetener xylitol in it. It is never funny to give a dog alcoholic beverages. It could lead to intoxication, comas, or even death. Avoid feeding your dog human snacks because any change of diet can give your pet severe digestive issues.
Use these tips to enjoy the summer safely with your pup!