Keeping Your Dog Safe and Cool This Summer!
It’s no secret summer is one of the best months for doggy and human fun. There are more adventures to be had, more sights to be seen, more smells to be smelled, and more trails to be explored!
But along with summer come a few hidden dangers we as pet parents need to be aware of. So, how can you help make this the best summer ever for you and your dog?
Let’s find out!
Hydration and Shade Are Key
Generally, when humans get hot we sweat. And if we get really hot, we are able to find an air-conditioned space or simply seek out shade.
If we are thirsty we can go to the fridge and grab a cool drink or even just turn the faucet for some fresh water.
Unlike humans, dogs can’t sweat to keep themselves cool, and they rely on us for fresh water and access to shade when the temperatures are high. This is why it’s so important to make sure your dog has access to fresh water and plenty of shade whenever you leave him outside on his own.
When walking your dog on extra warm days, My Dog Spot suggests heading out earlier in the mornings or later in the evenings so the temperatures are cooler.
And of course, never leave your dog alone in a hot car.
Even when the temperatures outside are as mild as 70°F, the temperatures inside of your car can quickly spike to 90°F in under ten minutes, which can easily cause heatstroke in a dog left unattended.
Symptoms of Heatstroke in Dogs
Heatstroke in dogs is not uncommon and all dogs can be susceptible to it. Still, some dogs are more at risk than others.
Dogs with flat faces like the English Bulldog or Pug, for example, can be more prone to suffering heatstroke due to inherent respiratory issues.
Larger dogs and dogs with very thick fur may also be more susceptible to suffering heatstroke.
The good news is that heatstroke is almost always preventable so long as you offer your dog fresh water, plenty of shade, and monitor him for any signs or symptoms of heatstroke when out and about on walks, hikes, or errands.
The symptoms of heat stroke in dogs include
- Excessive panting
- Thick or stringy drool
- Dry or very red gums
Never put your pet into cold water if you think he is suffering from heatstroke, as doing this could cause your dog to go into shock.
Instead, get him to a cool place as soon as possible, provide him with fresh water, wrap him in a cool, wet towel, and get him to the nearest veterinarian as soon as possible.
Now, is heatstroke all you need to worry about when it comes to your dog and the summer months? Of course not. There is also the issue of hot asphalt and cement!
Beware of Hot Asphalt
Asphalt can be dangerous to our pets since its black color soaks up and holds onto the heat, but all pavement can pose a risk to your dog’s sensitive paws when the weather is especially warm.
So, how hot is too hot for your pet’s paws?
Test it out. Most experts recommend placing your own bare hand or bare foot flat down on the pavement or asphalt for 10 seconds.
If you find that the asphalt is too hot for you, then it is certainly too hot for your dog.
Worried about hot asphalt?
Doggy booties are an adorable and fashionable way to keep your pup cool and safe during summer walks. But remember, not all dogs are crazy about dog shoes, and getting your pooch used to wearing something on his paws may take some getting used to.
Now let’s talk about flea, ticks, and snakes!
Keep an Eye Out for Fleas, Ticks, and Snakes
If you’re an active pet parent who loves taking your fur baby along on camping trips and hikes, remember to keep your eyes peeled for fleas, ticks, and snakes.
While fleas and ticks are a problem all year round for dogs in California, they are more prevalent during the spring and summer months for a number of reasons.
For starters, the warm, moist environment makes for the perfect breeding ground, so these dangerous pests run more rampant during the warmer season.
You and your pup may also be out and about more often during the summer, which means your dog will have more contact with these tiny bloodsucking creatures during his summer adventures.
We recommend ensuring your pup has been treated with flea and tick preventatives before embarking on any wild adventures outdoors.
For more on how you can keep your dog safe from fleas and ticks, visit us here!
And speaking of outdoors, owners should be aware of snakes. Rattlesnakes are especially active during the warmer months and are often found on trails, in long, grassy fields, and sometimes even in our own backyards.
My Dog Spot always recommends keeping your dog on a leash when walking in unfamiliar areas and keeping your eyes focused ahead for any slithery creatures.
If your dog does get bitten by a rattlesnake, the wisest thing to do is drop everything and get your dog to the nearest emergency vet.
Swimming Safety and Doggy Life Jackets
Many dogs love water and enjoy swimming! Others, however, are not natural swimmers and can be prone to drowning without proper supervision.
Always introduce your dog to water slowly and carefully, and never leave your dog unattended in a pool or larger body of water.
To make water even safer for your pet during the summer months, we recommend looking into getting your dog a doggy life vest!
To Shave or Not to Shave – Summer Hair-Cuts For Your Pooch
Do you want your dog to stay nice and cool this summer?
Then don’t shave him!
Dogs who have thick, dense coats like huskies or Australian Shepherds actually have natural-made insulation from heat and cold.
So, while your big, furry dog may look like he is roasting under all that fur during the summer, the truth is that his coat is actually helping to keep his body temperature regulated during the heat.
Shaving your dog during the summer in an effort to keep him cool may actually leave him more susceptible to heat-related dangers like sunburn and heatstroke.
For that reason, if you want to keep your dog cool, set aside the clippers and get out the fresh water, provide him with shade, and monitor his exercise and playtime.
How Else Can You Keep Your Dog Safe This Summer?
We always suggest refreshing your dog’s water bowl every day with cool, fresh water. Sometimes a dog won’t drink if his water is old, dirty, or warm.
Remember, fresh water and plenty of shade are key in keeping your pup stay safe and happy this summer, along with monitoring him for symptoms of heatstroke and making sure he stays up off of hot asphalt and concrete.
Do you have other ideas on how you can keep your dog safe this summer? Let us know in the comments below!