Dog Care 101 Tip #215: Summertime Safety
Summer is one of the best seasons for outdoor activities and BestBullySticks wants to make sure both you and your pet get the most out of the season. While summer hasn’t quite arrived, it’s already pretty hot outside. Before you hit the road and head for the beach, make sure your dog has everything he/she needs to enjoy carefree fun with the rest of the family.
Fun In the Sun
When we get to the beach we usually shed some layers to stay cool. Imagine for a moment having to wear a heavy sweater in the dead of summer — yuck! Breeds with long hair and thick coats are more suited for colder climates and properly groomed for the season. Extra fur is only half the battle for dogs in the summer. Unlike people, dogs can’t sweat. Instead, they pant in order to cool down. Less efficient than sweating, this puts dogs at a disadvantage in hot summer weather.
Dehydration is your dog’s worst enemy in the summer. Make sure you’ve got plenty of clean water on hand for your dog at all times — especially if you plan on spending lots of time outside.
Heat and direct sunlight, while enjoyable, can pose a danger to dogs. Dogs can even get sunburned, too! When applied to less furry areas sunscreen can help reduce the damage caused by UV rays. Sunscreen is a great solution for people but it doesn’t work too well on dogs. Make sure you bring an umbrella to the beach so your dog can escape the heat. Not only will this help protect your dog from the sun, it’ll drastically reduce the chance of heatstroke.
Heat stroke is a very real danger for dogs. All pet owners should become familiar with the signs of heat stroke:
Heavy or excessive panting and breathing
Increase in drooling or vomiting
Loss of balance
These are just early warning signs, though. Heat stroke strikes quickly and minor symptoms aren’t always easy to notice. Advanced stages of heat stroke include:
Lameness or inability to move
White or blue gums
If you think your dog might have heat stroke, bring your dog indoors and try to cool him/her down by:
Bathing the dog in tepid water
Get your dog to drink some water or Pedialyte to replenish electrolytes
Apply rubbing alcohol to you dogs paw pads.
Make sure you keep an eye on your dog's temperature! Dogs run warmer than people and their temperature should be between 100 and 103 degrees. Never attempt to take your dog’s temperature orally as they might bite down on the thermometer. Temperatures should be taken rectally.
If you’re unable to get your dog’s body down to a safe temperature, seek veterinary attention right away. Heat stroke can be fatal if left untreated!
When the weather warms up lots of heat gets stored in the ground — especially sand and asphalt. Paw pads can take a beating and even burn if not properly taken care for. Dog shouldn’t stand around too long on pavement or sand. Make sure your dog can cool those little piggies off in the water or in the shade. On exceptionally hot days, it might not be a bad idea to skip a lengthy walk in favor of some indoor fun. If you’re dead set on heading outside, look into Pawz Natural Rubber Dog Boots. They’re a great way to give your dog’s paws protection from the heat. They’ll even come in handy come winter!
Worry Free Fun
On top of looking out for dehydration and heat stroke, make sure your dog’s vaccinations and ID tags are up to date. Contact with other animals increases the potential of contracting illnesses. These can also come from fleas, mosquitoes and ticks.
If you want to play it extra-safe this summer, consider purchasing insurance for you dog. A quality health care plan will help cover the costs of preventative medicines and give you peace of mind for years to come.