Summer Dog Safety: Make Sure Your Dog is a Puddle Jumper!
Summer is in full swing, and that translates to plenty of outdoor time with your dog! We always hope that fun is on the agenda, but if you don’t take a few precautions, danger, illness and even worse things can tag along. Here are a few summer dog safety tips to keep in mind when spending time outdoors with your dog (from pets.webmd.com):
Summer Dog Safety Tip 1: Beware of sunburn
Yes, dogs can get sunburned, especially the short-haired, close shaven, light colored ones. Be sure to rub some doggie sunblock (avoid sunblock made for humans) on your four-legged buddy at least 15 minutes before sending him out into the sunshine. And make sure when he is outside that he has a shady spot to rest.
Try to avoid peak heat times (usually 10 am-3 pm) whenever possible. Since it gets light much earlier in the morning, take longer walks then. The evening usually cools down a bit too, so it is another good time for walks.
Summer Dog Safety Tip 2: Provide Access to Water
Provide outside water bowls that don’t tip over and keep them filled often. Try creating a raised water bowl using a planter and fill it with ice. Then put your dogs water bowl inside the planter. Fill the bowl with water. This keeps the water and bowl cooler longer and make it easier for your dog to drink from, since he won’t have to bend down to access it.
When going on walks, be sure to bring a water bowl and a spray bottle for those quick drinks and refreshing “showers!”
I have a Cool Pooch Sport Water Bottle that works great! It has a small bowl at the top that can be used for your dog’s drinks, then you can use the straw to access water for yourself. The water supplies are kept separate this way, and you can carry just one bottle for you and your dog.
Summer Dog Safety Tip 3: Avoid Puddles
Train your dog to be a puddle jumper! Many dogs love to romp, play and often drink from puddles, but standing water is an open invitation to bacteria and parasites (such as giardia or leptospirosis) which can be deadly to your pet. Further, the water can contain antifreeze or other chemical runoff that, if consumed, can make your dog quite ill or even cause death.
Summer Dog Safety Tip 4: Watch Out For Heat Stroke
Be aware of the signs of heat stroke in your dog. He will pant for a while to cool down, but if he cannot stop panting and his gums turn white or blue and he seems lethargic, then be sure to seek veterinary care and attention immediately.
It’s fun to spend time outdoors with our dogs, but it’s important to keep in mind that they overheat easier than we do. The rules for summer dog safety are similar to those for humans: Avoid overexposure to heat and sun, drink plenty of water, and watch for signs of heat stroke.
Keeping these factors in mind for us and our dogs will help everyone have a great summer!