7 Things to Do To Keep Your Dog Safe In Summer
If dogs knew how to cross the street and didn’t lap from every puddle of water (and water-like substance) that they saw, we wouldn’t be having this conversation. But they don’t, and we must. Following are seven safety tips to protect your pooch from the hazards of summer:
1. Make Sure He Drinks Only Fresh Water
A lot of human beings won’t even drink a glass of water that’s been left out too long, but a dog will drink from your chlorinated swimming pool, a puddle that’s crawling with germs, from the sea, from a toilet full cleaning fluid and from ponds that are lousy with algae. Steer your pet away from these hazards, and make sure he only gets fresh, but not distilled water. Distilled water is too pure. Too much of it imbalances the electrolytes needed to keep his heart beating steadily.
Another good idea is to toss ice cubes in his drinking bowl.
2. Keep Him Cool
Those fur coats can’t come off, so make sure the A/C is on when the dog is in the house. If there’s no air conditioning, put screens in the windows and run the fans. Make sure the screens are sturdy enough so he can’t knock them out if he sees something irresistible outside. He might benefit from cooling mats or a cooling vest.
Put his favorite chew toy in the freezer or freeze cubes of meat broth and give them to him throughout the day.
Make sure your pet spends lots of time in the shade, and this means trees. A doghouse can trap heat unless it’s climate controlled. You can also dedicate a kiddie pool for the dog to splash round in or spritz him with a sprinkler. They love that. If the dog jumps into the people pool, watch him. He may know how to swim, but he may not know how to get out of a pool.
Go for walks in the morning and the evenings when it’s not too hot. Another thing some people don’t think of is to put their hand on the pavement before they take Muttley for a walk. If the concrete burns your hand, it will burn his paws. Walk on the grass if it’s allowed, and bring lots of water. If you can’t walk on the grass, put some booties on him. He won’t care that it looks silly.
If you have a long-haired dog, make sure to brush and comb him regularly so his fur doesn’t mat, because snarls and mats make him hot. Though it seems counterintuitive, resist the temptation to trim or shave off his fur. His long coat actually keeps him cool.
3. Give the At-risk Dog Extra TLC
Some dogs who have trouble breathing in the best of times need extra care during the heat and humidity of summer. These includes squashed-faced pooches like pugs, boxers or bulldogs. A dog that’s fat, old or has heart problems is also more at risk for heatstroke when the temperatures rise, so take special care to make sure he doesn’t get overheated.
4. Take Him in for a Check-up
Since Fido’s going to be outside a lot, he’s going to be more at risk for catching diseases such as the parvo virus. Fleas, ticks and mosquitoes also spread disease. The vet will give him booster shots and medications to ward off parasites and their diseases.
5. Watch Out for Heatstroke
A dog who has overheated pants heavily, drools, has difficulty breathing and a rapid heartbeat. His gums and tongue are red or darker than they should be, and he may stumble about or appear weak. This is a medical emergency, so get him to the vet right away.
6. Once Again, Do Not Leave Barkley Alone in the Car
One can’t say this enough.
7. Put Sunscreen On
A dog with a pale, short coat can get sunburn! Fortunately, there are sunscreens for dogs. Don’t give him sunscreen meant for people.
These seven safety tips should keep your dog happy and healthy throughout the summer.