Summer is a great time to play outdoors, take your dog on adventures, and run wild. While summer is the season to play, it also presents safety challenges for your dog. With a little bit of forethought about dog summer safety, you can make sure your pup breezes through the season happy, healthy, and cool as a cucumber.
Dog summer safety tip: Give them shade
The heat of the day can be brutal for pups, especially when the temperatures climb into triple digits. Dogs need shade, and the best option is to bring them inside. If it’s not possible to bring them in (you’re at work or they’re just not housebroken or they really insist on being outside), then make sure there’s plenty of shade from trees or your porch to protect them. You can even build them a doghouse that can be as simple or intricate as you like. Whether it has a fan or three walls and a board, your dog will appreciate the reprieve from the sun.
Dog summer safety tip: Provide access to water
Dehydration is a big deal for dogs in the summertime. Whether indoors or outdoors, pets should have access to fresh, clean water at all times.
Make sure to inspect their water bowl for mold or debris. If you’d like to get a little creative, add ice cubes to keep the water chilled while you are away. You can also freeze broth to create tasty pupsicles.
Dehydration can cause muscle spasms and other health issues.
Dog summer safety tip: Be prepared
If you take your dog out adventuring, be sure to keep their needs in mind. Carry bottled water and a travel bowl. Avoid vigorous activity, like running, during the hottest time of day.
If you’re headed to a party or a barbecue, be careful of the food and drinks lying around; your pup might be able to sneak a bite of something that could be harmful like grapes, chocolate, popcorn or alcohol.
If you’re attending a noisy event, like a 4th of July party, your dog might be scared of fireworks or other loud sounds. Stick with your dog, make sure he’s OK. If your dog panics, she might run or get hurt. Consider leaving your dog home in a quiet, enclosed area where she can’t hurt herself.
Dog summer safety tip: Take them with you
It’s been proven that dogs at work are good for morale, productivity and can promote the company culture. When it’s sizzling outside, a well-trained pup can be a good thing for your workplace. Some companies even keep dogs on hand for employees and visitors to interact with — it also teaches dogs how to be better companions.
For students, check to see if your school allows dogs in class — some schools do. Some schools even utilize dogs in the classroom, for accessibility regulations, or as a teaching aid.
Dog summer safety tip: Never leave them in the car
Car safety is important for your dog, but during the summer it’s especially important to never, ever leave your dog in the car. It doesn’t matter if the window is down or the car is in a shaded spot; temperatures in cars can get dangerous fast. It’s not just unhealthy to leave a dog in a car, it’s downright deadly.
Dog summer safety tip: Watch their paws
Be mindful of the dog’s paws when taking them out for walks or adventuring around town. Dog paws are sensitive, and hot asphalt can burn their pads.
Invest in protective gear for your dog, like shoes or balms. Dog shoes or booties are also a good idea if you take your dog hiking, especially in rocky areas.
Look out for your pup’s safety by considering dog summer safety rules. Maybe even spoil them a little, and you both will have a good, cool time all summer long.
– By A. Lynne Rush