Summer is here and that means more time outdoors with our faithful four-legged furry companions. To ensure your pup has a fun and safe summer, follow these 8 tips.
1. Stay Up-To-Date on Heartworm
Summertime is mosquito time. With mosquitos comes the threat of heartworm infections for dogs. Heartworms damage the ability of a dog’s heart to function properly, which turns into heart disease. Left untreated, the disease leads to heart failure and death. To prevent heartworm disease, give your dog any one of various types of preventative medicine. If your dog has heartworms, take them to a vet for treatment to kill any heartworms.
2. Always Have Water
Dogs, especially breeds with thick fur or dogs with flat faces like pugs, can get dehydrated quickly. Make sure to always have plenty of fresh, clean water on hand. Set out a few more bowls of water than usual especially outside. Sometimes dogs don’t want to take a break from playing to go inside for a drink, having a bowl of fresh cool water in the yard makes hydration quick and easy.
3. Be on the Lookout for Overheating
If your dog excessively pants, drools, or seems weak, they may be dehydrated. Immediately get them inside a cool place and give them plenty of cold water. Elderly and young dogs are especially susceptible to heatstroke and dehydration. You can also help your dog stay cool with frozen dog treats or even ice cubes to crunch on!
4. Never Leave Your Dog in a Parked Car
Never leave your dog in a parked car during summer — ever. As you surely know, parked cars get dangerously hot quickly. When temperatures are reaching +80° F, even a parked running car might not be able to keep cool in the sun. Plan ahead, and if you can’t bring your dog into the shop, leave them safe at home.
5. Enjoy Pools and Lakes Saftely
Keep a close eye on your dog near any body of water, especially if your dog is a weak swimmer. Some dogs are afraid of water. Either slowly introduce your dog to water and make sure there is a floatation device nearby, or simply do not bring them into the water. If your dog swam in a pool, be sure to rinse them off with a hose or shower after to remove chlorine and other chemicals that may cause irritation.
6. Secure Your Windows
Your dog loves a warm summer breeze just at much as you do. Enjoy open windows safely by ensuring your screens are secure and can handle the pressure of a paw or two resting on it. If you can’t secure your window screens, opt for opening windows that are out of reach or in a room you can block your dog from entering.
7. Avoid the Asphalt
Asphalt can reach temperatures of 150°F in mid-afternoon and remain dangerously hot until 6 p.m. or so. This is far past the pain and safety threshold for dogs — so keep them off the asphalt and other dark, hot surfaces. Opt for walks in the grass, or get some heat-safe booties to protect your dog’s paw pads.
8. Be Mindful When Shaving Fur
While many dog breeds find sweet relief with a summer haircut, there are equally as many breeds whose fur is naturally designed to keep them cool during summer and warm in winter. Shaving your dog’s hair can interfere with its built-in temperature regulation. First, check with your veterinarian to find out if your dog could benefit from a trim, and talk to your groomer about the best cut for summer activities for your dog.