With temperatures rising, here are 8 tips to keep your dog safe this summer
- Know symptoms of over heating: this includes excessive panting or difficulty breathing, increased heart and respiratory rate, drooling, mild weakness, stupor or even collapse. If your dog’s gums are bright red or turning white that is a sign of heatstroke and you should immediately start trying to cool your dog down. Animals with flat faces, like Pugs and Persian cats, are more susceptible to heat stroke since they cannot pant as effectively. Be extra cautious with them!
- This one may seem obvious but it can be easy to forget with all of the summer festivities: make sure your dog always has access to fresh water and shade! I have a collapsible water bowl I take with me everywhere, but you can also get a special water bottle like this meant just for dogs.
- Did you know dogs can get sunburn too? So while giving them a summer trim might be a good idea, never shave them fully as their fur ads a layer of protection from the sun. Brushing cats more often will help with overheating as well.
Be sure any sunscreen you use is labeled specifically for use on animals!
- When temperatures are very high, avoid taking long walks especially on pavement. Grass can get hot too, but pavement can burn the pads of your dog’s feet. Ouch!
Dog booties like the ones in the photo are also a great way to help protect your dog’s paws!
- Summer is BBQ season! Good (human) food and lots of friends and family can lead to your dog being fed unsafe foods. Avoid raisins, grapes, onions, chocolate and products with the sweetener xylitol as these are all very poisonous for dogs.
- Never use fireworks around pets. They can cause burns and create trauma from the loud noises. Toxic pieces may also be left on ground for your dog to try and eat.
- Watch out for open unscreened windows. Dogs and cats alike love to look out windows and watch the world go by. If your windows don’t have screens it leaves opportunities for them to escape or fall and get injured.
- Never, ever leave your dog alone in the car. Even with windows cracked the temperature in the car will still rise to unsafe levels and it happens quicker than you might think