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Summertime Dog Fun

Summer is a great time to be a dog. Many dogs love to hike, swim, walk, fetch, run, play with other dogs or kids… and the smells outside? OMG! It’s like heaven

Just because it’s fun doesn’t mean it’s always safe. We wanted to review a few things to keep in mind to keep your fur baby happy and healthy in summertime weather.

Don’t let them overheat!

If you are doing anything in warm weather, always keep in mind that dogs are wearing a fur coat and can only get rid of extra heat through panting or sweating through their feet. Many dogs die each year from heat stroke as their body temperatures can quickly go over 106° F.

Heat stroke tends to happen when dogs aren’t used to the warm weather. Follow these rules to reduce the risk of heat related injuries.

  1. Keep activities such as walks, running, chasing limited to early morning or evening. If there is lots of shade or your dog will be swimming, daytime activity may be ok.
  2. NEVER leave them in a car in summer. Some people leave them in cars with the AC on. This is not good either because if the car happens to stall or turn off, the car will turn into an oven within minutes. IF you do this, a person should stay with them.
  3. Never leave them tied out or in the yard with no shelter. With no place to hide from the sun, they can become overwhelmed with heat stroke.
  4. Don’t walk on paved surfaces when temperatures are scorching hot. Dog’s pads are actually quite tough under most circumstances but can be burned by hot pavement. This can be very painful for your four legged friend.

Burned pads

Include them in your summer activities!

Some dogs love to swim, some dogs don’t. If they do, take them in the pool, lake or pond. Be sure to supervise and be ready to lend a hand. There are some great life jackets for dogs that like to be in the water but aren’t great swimmers. Consider this especially for breeds like Pugs, Boston Terriers and others that may not be built for swimming

  1. Allow dogs to play in the water, but not for too long. If they swallow too much water, they can actually get water toxicity, suffer brain swelling and get very sick or even die.
  2. Take them for walks in the morning and evening.
  3. Find other dogs to play with, friend’s dogs are best. Dog parks can be loads of fun but this is also where many dog fights occur. There are also lots of parasite eggs in the soil in these locations so make sure your dog is on a monthly preventative.
  4. Use a flea and tick control product. Flea bite allergies and tick related diseases can be a major problem.
  5. If you take your dog fishing, watch out for hooks. Getting a hook embedded in a paw or a tongue will end your outing  quickly.
  6. Take enough water for you and your fur baby. They get thirsty too!

We hope these tips help you have more summertime dog fun. If your dog looks distressed at any point during hot weather, you may want to do what veterinarians if we think at dog is overheated. Take their rectal temperature. All it requires is a digital thermometer and a little lubricant. If the temperature is above 106° F, wet them down quickly (not with ice water, just cold) and get them to the vet asap.

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