It's official summer!! To ensure you and your dog enjoy the warmer months, here are some tips to keep your pooch safe.
Car Safety - Leaving your pet in a car on a hot day, even for a few minutes, can quickly lead to heat stroke in dogs and cats. In bright sunshine, your car acts like an oven, becoming much hotter inside than the outside air even. In fact, on a sunny 70 degree day, your car can heat up to over 100 degrees within minutes. So, either take your pet with you or leave him or her at home during shopping trips.
Sun Protection - Pets with light skin and short or thin hair coat are particularly prone to sunburn or skin cancer so use sunscreen to protect them. The sunscreen should be fragrance free, non-staining, and contain UVA and UVB barriers similar to sunscreens made for humans. Consult your veterinarian, but there are some sunscreens available made specifically for pets.
Watch Sun Exposure - Dogs with darker or thick coats will feel the effects of heat more than their thin-coated and fair-coated friends. Do not shave your dog! Just keep them groomed and for darker dogs, try to avoid being in direct sun as much as possible and provide plenty of water.
Don't Overdo It - Animals with flat faces, like Pugs, elderly dogs, overweight pets and those with lung or heart issues are more susceptible to heat stroke. These dogs should be kept cool in air-conditioned rooms as much as possible. If you're venturing outside for a walk, stick to cooler times of the day and go for short periods of time.
Keep Them Cool - When playing or walking outside with your dog, be sure to give them plenty of playtime breaks in the shade with access to fresh water. Telltale signs of dehydration include dry gums, loss of skin elasticity, excessive drooling. Planning on hiking with your dog? Check out some of these dog hiking tips.
Beware of Pesticides - Many lawns are treated with fertilizers and pesticides during the summer so keep your dog safe by keeping him off unknown grassy areas or find a safe spot in your neighborhood or city, like a dog park.
Avoid Antifreeze - Cars tend to overheat more and leak antifreeze during the summer. Pets find it delicious and even in very small amounts antifreeze is poisonous to dogs and cats. So be attentive when walking your dog around the neighborhood.
Supervise Pets in the Water - Do not leave pets unsupervised around a pool, lake or river—not all dogs are good swimmers. Introduce your pets to water gradually and make sure they wear flotation devices when on boats. Teach her how to get out of the pool by using the stairs with her 5 to 10 times in a row. This will help her learn where the stairs are, whether she's swimming or accidentally falls in and needs to climb out. Rinse your dog off after swimming to remove chlorine (if in a pool) or salt from his fur. Try to keep your dog from drinking pool water, which contains chlorine and other chemicals.
Water Safety - Watch for riptides and swift currents in oceans and rivers. If a dog gets in trouble in one of these in the ocean, whether while swimming or fetching a ball, she can be swept out to sea in minutes. The same goes for rivers: You need to watch out for currents, even if they're not readily visible, as your dog can be easily carried downstream. Avoid lakes and ponds with blue-green algae, signified by scummy water and a foul odor. Algae can produce a toxin that may cause severe sickness or seizures quickly if your pet ingests the water, by either drinking from the lake or licking tainted fur. More
Screen Your Windows - Open unscreened windows pose a real danger to pets, who often fall out of them. Keep all unscreened windows or doors in your home closed, and make sure adjustable screens are tightly secured.
Don't Share Food - Barbecue scraps and fatty leftovers can give your pup pancreatitis, causing severe abdominal pain or death. Corn on the cob and peach pits are also dangerous because they can lodge in a dog's intestines.