While summer is great for dogs, giving them more time outside and often much more exercise, summer activities bring risks, too. Here are 8 easy tips to ensure a safe and happy pet this summer:
- Stay up-to-date on flea and tick medications. Your pet should not be outdoors without proper protection.
- Use proper restraints when traveling by car. Accidents can prove seriously dangerous—and often fatal—to unrestrained pets.
- If you chain or pen your dog during them summer, make sure there is adequate shade and water.
- Do NOT leave your pet in the car. Cracking a window open will not prevent temperatures from rising to unbearable degrees—it’s cruel and could be fatal.
- Bring water when you travel with your pet. The heat and excitement of car travel and outdoor play leaves pets thirsty and exhausted—they need plenty of water to stay hydrated.
- Avoid walking or playing on very hot blacktop or pavement. Your pet’s paw-pads are sensitive—don’t risk burning them.
- Not all dogs can swim instinctively—make sure to keep pool areas secure and watch your pet closely while in the water. Limit swimming time, too, as exhaustion can lead to drowning. Teach all dogs how to swim, and where the steps are located in the pool. Dogs should wear pet-specific lifejackets when near a body of water or on a boat.
- Dogs just can’t handle the heat as well as humans—even mild temperatures can put your pet at risk for heat stroke. Make sure you can recognize heatstroke symptoms: frantic, raspy, or excessive panting; thick saliva and drooling; sluggishness; unresponsiveness; and possible vomiting.