Summer Dog Care Tips

Summer is a great time for you and your pet to get outdoors and have some fun, but along with the fun this season offers some situations that can endanger your pet. Here are some tips for keeping your furry friend safe this summer.

Never Leave Your Pet in the Car

During warm weather the temperature inside a car can rise to over 120 degrees in a matter of minutes, even if the car is parked in the shade. Dogs and cats can’t perspire and must dispel heat by panting and through the pads of their feet. An animal left in a care for only a few minutes can suffer from heat exhaustion, heat stroke and even die. Please play it safe this summer and leave your pet at home when you head out on the road.

If you see a pet in a car alone during the summer months, alert the management of the store where the car is parked. If the owner does not return promptly call the local police or animal control immediately. Click here for flyers and posters you can print out and use to spread the word.

Never Let your Dog Ride in the Back of a Pick-up Truck

It is very dangerous and in some states illegal. The dog could be seriously injured by flying debris or unintentionally thrown in to traffic if the driver suddenly hit’s the brakes or swerves.

Beware of the Heat

On very hot days limit exercise to the early morning or evening hours. Dogs can suffer from heat exhaustion and heat stroke. Know the signs of heat stress which can include heavy panting, glazed eyes, rapid pulse, staggering gait, vomiting and a deep red or purple tongue. If your pet does become overheated you need to immediately lower his body temperature. Move the animal to the shade, apply cool water over his body, allow him to lick an ice cube and seek veterinary attention immediately.

Remember that hot asphalt or sand can burn your dog’s paws. Dogs can get sunburned too. Pets with light-colored noses or light-colored fur on their ears are especially vulnerable to sunburn. Apply sun block to ears and nose 30 minutes before going outside. If your dog is outside during the day make sure he has a shady spot to rest in. Doghouses are not good shelter in the summer as they can trap heat. Always provide plenty of cool, fresh water.

Water Safety

Most dogs enjoy swimming, but some cannot swim and others may hate the water. Know your dog’s preferences and skills before trying to make him swim. Never throw your dog into the water. When swimming with your dog don’t let him overdo it. Swimming is very hard work and he may tire quickly. If swimming in the ocean be careful of strong tides. Don’t let your dog drink the seawater. The salt will make him very sick. At the end of the day be sure to rinse off your furry friend as the salt can be very irritating to his skin. If you have a pool make sure your dog knows where the stairs are located. Most important of all, never leave your dog unattended in the water.

Watch Out for Fertilizers and Deadly Plants

Plant food, fertilizers and insecticides can be fatal if your dog ingests them. More than 700 plants produce toxins that can harm your dog. Click here for a detailed list.

Return to Exercise and Play page from Summer Dog Care Tips