Summer is here! Cue a collective cheer all across the east, Midwest, and the west! If you listen hard enough, you can make out some excited barking, as well! Dogs are probably even happier than we are about the long-anticipated arrival of summer. They know that it means they can finally frolic in the grass, play fetch, bask in sun puddles, visit dog parks, stick their heads out of car windows, and spend some quality time outdoors with their favorite human companions.
For dogs, summer is all fun and games. Dog owners, on the other hand, have a lot to worry about, because warm weather brings a whole new set of safety concerns, like bugs, dehydration, and injuries. Like they say, prevention is better than cure, so it’s best to greet summer armed with information and precautions. Here are 6 tips on ensuring that your dog is as safe as possible all summer.
Tip #1: Keep your dog cool.
Water makes up for about 90% of a dog’s body, so it’s very important to keep your dog hydrated. When out in the sun for a long time, a dog can get dehydrated pretty quickly. You can take him out on walks when the temperature is cooler in the morning or the evening. Also, make sure you provide plenty of shade and water whenever you let him stay outside.
Tip #2: Avoid hot surfaces.
Dog paws aren’t immune to hot surfaces. That means sandy beaches or the asphalt on your driveway can severely burn a dog’s paws on a hot summer day.
Tip #3: Debug your dog!
In most areas, hot weather means bugs everywhere. It can be a huge problem for you and your dog if you don’t take preventive measures. See your vet about treating your dog with flea, tick, or heart-worm preventive medicine.
Tip #4: NEVER leave your dog unattended in a car.
Leaving your dog unattended in a car is so dangerous that it’s illegal in some states. Even with the windows cracked open and the car parked in the shade, it can become hot enough to give your dog a heat stroke that can sometimes be fatal.
Tip #5: Don’t use fertilizers, pesticides, or insecticides on your lawn or garden.
Your dog can accidentally ingest the poison and become ill. If you’re in a public park, don’t let your dog eat any grass or plants.
Tip #6: Beware the High Rise Syndrome.
The ASPCA reports an increase in injured pets due to falling out of windows and off of balconies. Even though this usually happens to cats, dogs aren’t immune to it. If you have a balcony, be sure to supervise your dog whenever he ventures out there. Also make sure all your window screens are sturdy enough to support your dog’s weight.
Summer is a great season for us, so let’s make it worthwhile for both yourself and your dog! You can never be too safe!