5 Tips to Keep Your Dogs Safe This Summer

As the weather starts to heat up and we take our dogs out to play, there are various factors that can put them at risk, but equipped with a little knowledge, we can avoid a lot of common issues. Here are 5 that we think you should be aware of.

#1: Don’t Let Your Dogs Drink Salt Water

We all like to take our dogs to the beach to play, but with all the activity and excitement, our dogs can get easily dehydrated. If a dog drinks a little bit of saltwater, it can lead to diarrhea and vomiting, but if a dog drinks too much, it can lead to saltwater poisoning, which can be fatal.

If you see that your dog is drinking salt water, or if you suspect they swallowed a significant amount, it’s a good idea to induce vomiting if possible. According to Vetted PetCare, the most noticeable symptom of saltwater poisoning is odd or off behavior, which can include confusion, lethargy, or non-responsiveness. If you think your dog may have saltwater poisoning, or you notice any of the above symptoms, you should call your vet immediately, as saltwater poisoning can easily be fatal.

The best policy is to bring plenty of fresh water for your dog when you go out to the beach and to give them plenty of opportunities to drink water before playing in the ocean. Additionally, you should give your dog a water break every 15 minutes, as they can get thirsty very quickly while playing out in the sun.

#2: Don’t Leave Your Dogs in the Car

What if you leave the window cracked? Still, do not leave your dogs in your car unattended. Studies from the American Veterinary Medical Association (AVMA) have shown that cracking a window changes the temperature increases in a parked car very little. A parked car in 70-degree weather can hit 100 degrees in 20 minutes. On hotter days, it can become as hot as 140-degrees in less than an hour.

All dogs can get heatstroke, and breeds such as Pugs and Bulldogs can suffer negative effects even sooner. According to the American Kennel Club (AKC), hundreds of pets die from car-related heat stroke each year.

If you need to go out in your car with your dogs, it’s best to leave someone in the car with your them in air conditioning to keep them safe.

#3: Keep Your Dogs Hydrated

As the temperature rises and there are a lot of opportunities to play with your dog outside, the risk for dehydration also increases.

Dogs will naturally lose water all day long by sweating through their paws, peeing, and pooping. If your dog isn’t feeling well and is vomiting or has diarrhea, this will decrease their water supply even quicker. According to WebMD, symptoms of dehydration include lack of energy, no interest in eating, sunken eyes, and/or a dry mouth.

In addition, WebMD states you can use these two methods to check your dog for dehydration:

  • Lift the skin on the back between your dog’s shoulders. It should sink back to its normal place right away.
  • Gently press on your dog’s gums until the pressure creates a light spot. The normal color should come back right away when you remove your finger. Also, the gums should feel slick and moist.

If you think your dog might be dehydrated, call your vet immediately.

To prevent your dog from becoming dehydrated, make sure you provide plenty of fresh water for them to drink in easily accessible locations, and make sure to clean their water bowls every day and refill water frequently. Spill-resistant water bowls can also help to make sure they don’t dump their water supply all over the floor. If they’re playing outside in the sun, you should always bring water for them to drink.

#4: Don’t Shave Your Dog

With rising temperatures, you might be tempted to pull out the clippers and trim your dog, however, this will likely do more harm than good.

According to the American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals (ASPCA), dog’s coats provide a layer of insulation to keep them warm during the winter but also to keep them cool during the summer. Dogs Naturally mentions that dogs will shed their inner coat of hair when it gets warm to allow for more air circulation while the outer coat protects them from the elements and from sunburns.

So, if you want to keep them cool and want to give them a trim, it’s best to leave it to the professionals and to take your dog to a groomer where they can bathe your dog and blow out the shedding undercoat, and perhaps take a little off the top of the outer coat. You can also help your dog by brushing them regularly to help remove the shedding undercoat and keep air flowing naturally through your dog’s fur.

#5: Prevent Paw Burns by Avoiding Hot Surfaces

According to Banfield Pet Hospital, pavement, asphalt, wood, metal, sand, and car or truck surfaces can become very hot in summer months, sometimes exceeding temperatures of 145 degrees. Data from The Journal of the American Medical Association states that at 125 degrees skin destruction can happen in 60 seconds.

Before walking your dog, you can check the ground temperature to see if it’s good for your dog to walk on. Banfield Pet Hospital recommends, as a rule of thumb, if you cannot leave your bare hand on the surface for longer than 10 seconds, it’s too hot for your dog to walk on. When you do walk during hot weather, you can prioritize walking on cool, grassy surfaces.

Additionally, you can get a paw wax for your dog, such as Musher’s Secret, which will protect your dog’s paws in hot and cold weather. If you’re planning on walking in hot temperatures, you could also invest in a set of booties for your dog in case the ground temperature gets too hot.

Closing

The heat can pose a lot of issues for our dogs, but armed with these tips, you can enjoy the summer with your pups a little more safely. If this was helpful to you, consider sharing this post with others!

Sources

https://www.avma.org/public/PetCare/Pages/pets-in-vehicles.aspx

https://pets.webmd.com/dogs/water-dog-health

https://www.aspca.org/news/heat-wave-approaching-should-you-shave-your-pet

https://www.banfield.com/pet-healthcare/additional-resources/article-library/safety-tips/summer-heat-can-be-murder-on-your-dogs-paws

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