Five Ways to Keep Your Dog Safe & Happy This Summer
We all want our best buds (our dogs, duh!) hanging out with us in the beautiful summer months, but its important to take the appropriate steps to keep them safe in the heat! Summer’s increased temperatures bring unique risks to your dog's health that you should keep in mind throughout the season. Here are five simple tips to help keep your dog safe and happy this summer:
- Keep your pups paws cool. When the sun is beaming, surfaces like asphalt or metal can get really hot! Try to keep your pet off of hot asphalt; not only can it burn paws, but it can also increase body temperature and lead to overheating. It’s also not a good idea to drive around with your dog in the bed of a truck – the hot metal can burn paws quickly without much notice!
- Make sure they have access to water and shade. Dogs get much thirstier than we do when they get hot, and other than panting and drinking, they really have no way to cool themselves down. Be sure to keep your pet in the shade as often as possible when temperatures are high. While most dogs like to sunbathe, direct sunlight can overheat them and cause heat stroke. In addition to water, ice cubes and frozen chicken or beef broth encourage your dog to take in more fluids and help keep them hydrated!
- Make your own cool-down station. Not every dog has access to large bodies of water to jump in and cool down when needed. Kiddie pools are a hit for dogs that love water during the summer months! They are also a great option for city-pups that need some reprieve from the hot concrete jungles they live in.
- Protect their skin. Believe it or not, dogs can sunburn, especially those with short or light-colored coats. Just like with humans, sunburns can be painful for pups and overexposure to the sun can lead to skin cancer. Talk to your veterinarian about sunscreens that are appropriate for your dog!
- Be aware of seasonal allergies. Fleas, mold, flowers, and other potential allergens are common during summer. Allergies can cause itching and excessive scratching, coughing, sneezing, discomfort, and other problems for your dog. Keep your dog away from allergy triggers when possible, especially if you know it has a specific allergy. If problems arise, ask your veterinarian about whether your pet would benefit from a canine antihistamine or other medication.