Summer is the season of having some fun in the sun. It is a great time to take your dog on fun adventures outside. However, it is also a time when they will be exposed to a lot of heat and the sun. It can therefore be a dangerous time for both you and your pet if you do not take the proper precautions. Summer heat and humidity can cause serious health problems for dogs. Here are some tips to help keep your dog safe this summer.
Keep Your Dog Cool
With the temperatures skyrocketing, the summer heat might be a little too much for your furry baby. Dogs cannot withstand heat for long periods as humans can. While they have some natural responses to help them cool down, such as panting, that is sometimes not enough. That is why you need to step in and help them keep cool and prevent them from getting overheated.
One of the surest ways to do so is to keep them indoors where there is air conditioning. If they have to be outdoors, make sure your dog has a shady place to relax during the day. If you live in an area where it is really hot, consider getting an umbrella or fan for your pup so that they can stay cool when it gets too hot outside.
Keep Your Dog Hydrated
A dog’s body is similar to a human’s in that they need water to stay hydrated. In fact, they are more prone to get thirsty when it gets hot. Therefore, they stand a greater risk of dehydration during the summer months. If this occurs, it will manifest in symptoms such as loss of appetite, moving slower, looking tired, sunken and dry eyes, and excessive panting.
This can be avoided by ensuring that you keep him or her hydrated. Make sure that your dog always has access to clean water, whether it is from a bowl or tap. When taking him on a walk outside, carry a water bottle with you. Keeping him hydrated will reduce his chances of heatstroke and other health problems related to dehydration.
Know the Signs of a Heat Stroke
Summer is coming, and with it, the possibility of heatstroke. Heatstroke is a life-threatening condition where the body’s cooling system fails. Symptoms include vomiting, diarrhea, excessive panting, and an inability to stand or walk. If your dog exhibits any of these symptoms, contact your veterinarian immediately.
If you see signs of heatstroke in your dog, immediately cool him down by removing his collar and leash. If he is too weak to move, call your veterinarian for assistance.
Apply Sunscreen on Your Dog
Are you aware that your dog can get sunburned too? Yes, leaving them in the sun for extended periods of time will bring about sunburn-related problems such as peeling and itching. The surest way to prevent this is to keep him shaded. This, however, may not always be possible, which brings in the need for sunscreen. It is important to apply sunscreen on your pooch before going out in the sun. This helps prevent burns from occurring and also prevents skin cancer from developing on your pet.
Make sure that the sunscreen is dog friendly and does not contain any chemicals that will be toxic to your dog. To be on the safe side, do a small patch test before doing an application on the full body. You can also consult your vet. Rub some onto his body especially those parts with little coverage including the paws, before heading out into the sun.
Protect Your Dog’s Paws from Hot Pavements
One thing that is likely to skip a pet owner’s mind is how hot the pavement becomes during the summer. The paw pads of a dog are made to withstand some degree of heat. But, they can only do so much on scorching pavements due to the summer heat. If a dog has to walk on hot pavement, he may experience discomfort or even pain due to burns on his pads.
If you’re going to let your dog out for a walk on the pavement when it’s hot, you need to protect your dog’s paws. You can do this by covering them with a pair of socks or booties whenever possible. It’s also a good idea to apply sunscreen on his paws before you head out for a long walk.
Burns and injuries can also be avoided by scheduling walks in the morning or evening when the temperatures are cooler. Alternatively, you avoid the paved areas and instead, can walk them on grassy areas.
Summer is a great time to take your dog out on the trails or out to the park. With rising temperatures, it is also a time when the necessary safety precautions must be taken. Above are some tips for keeping your dog cool and hydrated during the hot summer month.