Here are a few summer safety tips to help you and your dog can enjoy the summer without an unpleasant incident!
1. Water, water, water!! Keep your dog hydrated. Just in case they drink all the water out of one bucket or spill it, keep a few buckets of cool, fresh water available in different locations around the yard. Make sure the inside water bowl is always full too! Many dogs drink more water in the summer than in other seasons.
2. Shade and shelter. Provide shelter in a shady place, preferably away from tall trees, for your dog to retreat to when the weather is hot or stormy.
3. Air conditioning on hot, humid days. Certain short-muzzled breeds cannot tolerate hot, humid weather. Each breath is a struggle and they will quickly succumb to the heat. Bring your dog inside…Dogs love air conditioning too!
4. Swimming pools kill hundreds of dogs every year. Teach your dog how to exit the pool safely, should they fall in. Most dogs that drown in the family pool do so because they do not know the location of the stairs, ladder, or ledge. They will continue to paddle in one place until so exhausted they sink. Pet supply stores also sell floating ramps. Make sure your dog knows how to get out of the pool.
5. Swimming lessons: All dogs do not know how to swim! Some will simply sink! Make sure your dog knows how to swim. Take them into the pool with you to teach them how to swim and to find the exit.
6. Fertilizer and lawn treatments can be toxic. Do not leave your dog outside if you have just fertilized your plants or had your lawn treated. Many of those chemicals are deadly to dogs, especially, puppies, older dogs, small dogs, and dogs in poor health.
7. Hot grills/fryers can be dangerous. Keep your dog away from the grill or fryer during and after its use, until it has cooled down.
8. Grill utensils such as grill forks, knives, metal and wooden skewers, tin foil, plastic wrap, charcoal and lighter fluid should be kept out of the dog’s reach.
9. Car rides should be limited to short, early morning and evening trips when the temperature has cooled down. Your car turns into an oven in a matter of minutes! When in doubt how long an errand will run, be safe and leave your dog home.
In hot weather, limit car rides to short, early morning or evening trips.
10. Parked cars. Check behind and under the car. Dogs often seek shade under parked cars. Know where your dog is before you move your car.
Pests and plants
11. Toxic plants should be avoided or planted only in areas where the dog does not have access.
12. Wood and debris piles should be cleared out…They are a great place for snakes to hide. There is a shortage of antivenin. Many veterinarians have been on waiting lists to obtain it.
13. Ground hornets, yellow jackets, and fire ants can wreak havoc on a nosy dog. Exterminate them in a non-toxic way if possible.
14. Mosquitoes are the sole cause of heartworms. Make sure you have no sitting water in your yard. Put fresh water daily in your birdbath. Aerate or keep mosquito eaters, goldfish or koi in your backyard ponds.
15. Exercise should be limited to the coolest parts of the day. Keep it short and do it early in the morning and in the evening. Dehydration poses a serious threat of muscle spasms.
Karen A. Soukiasian is the owner of Good Dog! — Dog Training in St. Augustine, Florida. You can follow Karen on Facebook.