If you live in a place where winter feels like it lasts far too long, than the moment warm weather arrives and summer is finally here it’s hard not to spend time outdoors with your dog for long periods of time especially when the days are longer and filled with sunshine. However, with heat comes danger to our furry companions. Therefore, to get the summer started on a safe note I have compiled a list of a few summer safety tips to keep your furry friends safe and happy.
1. DO NOT LEAVE YOUR DOG IN A HOT CAR: – I wish this one didn’t have to be on the list, but every summer we seem to hear about a preventable tragedy. It takes minutes for your car to become dangerously hot for an animal. If you plan to shop please leave the furry friend at home in a cool place!
2. Provide Pets with Water and Shade: – If getting into a cool place isn’t an option please remember to provide your pets with enough water and a shaded place to relax. Just like humans our furry friends need to stay hydrated and cool.
3. Take Senior Dogs on Short Walks: If you have an older dog then the heat and humidity can be hard on their joints. Please take them out for shorter walks and keep them indoors during heat waves. Take them out for shorter walks in the morning or evening when the sun’s rays are not as intense.
4. Be Aware of Dog Parks: Although dog parks can be great places for socialization they might not be a great place for dogs that are not accustomed to large groups and especially smaller dog breeds. I suggest smaller dogs are kept away from dog parks and can be taken for walks in small dog groups.
5. Exercise with your Dog: Although summer is a great time to get outdoors and get fit your dog may not be able to keep up if you are running fast or speed walking. Be in tune with your dog’s pace to slow down if necessary or leave them at home.
6. Sidewalks Can Hurt Paws: Limit the time you take your dog outside on sidewalks. Since the ground can heat up quickly your dog’s body heat can rise and their sensitive paws can get burned. Remember you are wearing footwear so you might not be able to notice how hot the pavement is on your feet. Again, it’s best to take walks in the morning or evening to avoid burned paws.
7. Heat Stroke and Distress: Dogs are sensitive to heat like humans. But even more so as they have fur and some types of dog breeds even have heavy fur or double coats. Be aware of signs of heat stroke and distress: heavy panting, lethargy, disoriented, confused, moving slowly, etc. These may be signs of distress to watch for. Contact your veterinarian if you are worried.
8. Lastly, I know most pet parents take great care of their canine, feline, and other furry friends and spending time with them outdoors can be relaxing and fun. Remember to keep you and your pet safe and happy by taking proactive steps and safety measures before situations can happen to make it more enjoyable for both of you.
These are a few summer tips you can follow to keep your dog happy and everyone safe this summer.
Lastly, the most important point is – if you see something, say something. Report dogs left in hot cars to your local SPCA and you could save a life!