Summer can be a wonderful time to be outdoors with your dog exercising or just having fun. However, it is important to understand that the warm temperatures can be dangerous to both you and your dogs. Some of the most common weather hazards include heat stroke, dehydration and sunburn—all of which can be prevented. As always, watch your dog for signs of illness and call your vet right away if any problems arise. We want to help keep your dog safe, so here are some important things you may want to know to prevent summertime hazards:
Outdoor Play: Try to avoid long walks and strenuous exercise on hot, summer days. Not only is there a risk of heat stroke, dogs can also get sunburns. Consider using sunscreen. If you plan on spending prolonged times outdoors, try to find a shady spot and provide plenty of water. Leisurely walks can be enjoyed during the cooler times of the day, like first thing in the morning or late at night. Also, remember that the pavement gets scorching hot and your dogs paws should be protected.
Events: It might be best to leave your dog at home when going to large outdoor festivals and parties. Large crowds can be overwhelming to some dogs and could increase the chances of injury, dehydration and exhaustion. If you do bring your dog to these events, watch out for toxic foods on the ground and remember that fireworks and other loud noises can frighten dogs into running away.
Swimming and Water Activity: Be sure to stay near your dog while playing or swimming in a lake, river or ocean. Contrary to common belief, not all dogs are good swimmers. Also remember, like with people, even the most experienced swimmer can become a victim of undertow, jellyfish or other hazards. While the salty ocean water can be refreshing it can also cause dehydration, vomiting and diarrhea. Water in lakes, ponds and rivers may contain parasite and bacteria so be sure to provide plenty of fresh, clean water for drinking. If you bring your dog on a boat or canoe, a life vest is just as important for your dog as it is for you. Falling or jumping overboard is always a possibility.
Bottom Line: Keep an eye on your dog. Don’t leave him/her unattended. It is important to always exercise common sense and proceed with caution to help keep your dog safe, regardless of the season. Summertime comes with its own set of hazards, so make sure you are familiar with the risks, it will be much easier for you and your dog to enjoy the summer.