The sun is shining and the temperature is climbing. This means more time spent outside with your dog. Being overeager in the hotter weather though can spell danger for our furry companions. Here are some simple precautions recommended by the ASPCA to help keep your loved one healthy and safe during the hot summer months.
Visit Your Veterinarian Today
Make sure your dog is up to date on all vaccines.
Make sure your dog is on a good veterinarian recommended flea and tick prevention.
Make sure your dog is on a good veterinarian recommended heartworm prevention.
Make sure your dog has a microchip due to being outdoors more.
Keep Pets Cool
Always have clean, fresh, cold water available. Dogs, much like people, can become dehydrated very quickly.
Be careful not to over exercise.
Be sure outside dogs have plenty of shade.
Keep inside on extremely hot days.
Light weight haircuts (never to the skin).
Brush longer haired dogs more often to help remove excess hair.
Be cautious when walking dogs on hot asphalt. The excess heat can cause serious burns to the paw pads. Also being closer to the ground allows dogs to pick up heat off the ground.
Never Leave a Pet in the Car
Even on a cloudy day with the windows cracked the temperature inside a vehicle can reach 120 degrees within minutes.
In some states it is illegal to leave a pet inside of a vehicle.
Can cause a fatal heat stroke.
Heat Stroke Warning Signs
Increased heart rate and or respiratory rate Can include:
Body temp greater than 104 degrees
If you suspect your pet may be suffering a heat stoke please contact your veterinarian immediately.
Additional Summer Tips
Make sure that your dog is current on all vaccinations, on a good vet recommended flea and tick prevention as well as a good heartworm prevention.
Make sure your dog has a microchip in case of separation.
Make sure to know local leash laws.
Don't overdo it. Dogs can get very painful blisters on their paws.
When a dog starts falling behind and slowing down, slow down with them or give them a quick rest.
It is crucial to bring water and a collapsible bowl.
Hike early in the morning to avoid the heat of the day.
Be careful of using puddles, ponds, lakes, and streams as a source of drinking water due to nasty parasites and toxins that may live there.
Never leave dogs unsupervised around water, not all dogs are good swimmers.
Make sure your dog has its own flotation device when riding on a boat.
Make sure to rinse salt and pool water off your dog. Also dry ears and paws after each dip.
Do not allow your dog to drink pool water - could cause upset stomach.
Do not allow your dog to drink salt water - could cause upset stomach and serious dehydration.
Sun protection is very important to dogs.
Consider applying sunscreen to light skinned dogs or to any dog that has been shaved.
Make sure to only use sunscreen that is labeled for animal use.
NEVER use any sunscreen or insect repellent product on your dog that is not labeled for animal use - DEET in many repellents can cause neurological problems - ingestion of these products can cause upset stomach.
For dogs, the use of "Doggles" (doggie sunglasses) can help protect a dog's eyes from cornea and retina damage due to ultraviolet light.
Indoor Dog Safety
Make sure that if you are opening windows/doors that the screens are secured in place, falling out of windows or doors can cause serious or fatal injuries.