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Keeping Your Dog Safe in the Summer

July 01, 2014

The sweltering days of summer are here—is your dog ready to face the heat? Below, your Cambrian veterinarian offers tips for making sure your canine companion stays safe and happy this season.

Keep Your Dog Hydrated

Of course, your dog will need plenty of cool, fresh water to stay hydrated throughout the hot summer months. This is especially important if your dog spends a lot of time outside in the hot and humid weather. Check the water bowl periodically to see if it needs refreshed or refilled.

Offer a Shady Spot

In addition to water, a dog will benefit greatly from a shaded area if he’s staying outdoors. If there aren’t adequate shade trees in the area, make your own shade by hanging up a blanket or sheet.

Caution in the Car

Don’t let your dog hang his head out the window while you’re driving down the road. There’s simply too high a risk of an insect or road debris flying up and hitting your dog’s eyes or face. Of course, you never should leave a pet in a parked car in the hot sun. Temperatures inside the car can become unbearable in a matter of minutes, leading to deadly heatstroke. In many areas, leaving a pet in a parked car is even illegal!

Avoid Asphalt

Remember that asphalt can heat up to very high temperatures when the sun hits it for several hours. Our shoes protect our feet, but a dog’s paw pads can quickly be burned and blistered from the hot surface. Avoid asphalt and parking lots entirely when outdoors, and choose instead to walk your dog in grass or on cooler concrete.

Swimming Safety

Thinking of taking a summertime dip with your dog? Remember that not all dogs can swim, contrary to popular belief. Make sure your pooch is comfortable in the water, and provide support at all times. Rinse the coat off thoroughly when you get out of the pool or lake, since salt and chlorine will irritate the skin.

Ask your Cambrian vet for more helpful summertime tips as the hot weather rolls on.