Dog Days of Summer!
Posted: Jun 24 2015
Summer's almost over, but there's still time to enjoy what's left of it with our dogs! Time to venture into the great outdoors and have some fun! But before you do, be sure to consider a few safety basics as temperatures continue to soar...
It's so important to keep our best friends cool. We all know that dogs cool off by panting, but when the weather becomes hot and humid, then panting's just not enough. This type of weather can bring about serious issues - heat stroke, dehydration and sunburn - all issues that can be prevented, so be sure to watch your dog for signs of these problems and call your vet immediately if you see anything untoward.
Water, water everywhere...
We all know how important it is to make sure our dogs have access to nice fresh, cool water and in hot weather, this is crucial. Be sure to keep his water bowl out of the sun and change the water frequently.
It's just amazing how in spite of the warnings and numerous news stories on the subject, dogs continue to be left unattended in hot cars. Even when it doesn't seem that hot, the temperature inside a car can become dangerous in a matter of minutes. Far better to leave your pooch at home in the air conditioning while you are out and about on a summer's day. If your dog does accompany you, however, make sure he's wearing a crash-tested safety harness.
The great outdoors...
Nice long walks are certainly a lovely way to spend a summer's day, but when the temperatures really soar, it's definitely a good idea to avoid those types of walks and other strenuous activities. If your dog really must go out for a quick walk in the hot sun, be mindful of the fact that his paws will need protection from hot pavement.
If you're going to be sitting outside for a while, be sure to find a nice shady spot for your dog and make sure a bowl of fresh, cool water is easily accessible and don't forget to pack the sunscreen for both of you! Yes, there really is sunscreen for dogs!
Those pesky pests
It could be that where you live, ticks are not usually a problem, but be aware that a little travel and your dog could be exposed to all kinds of little pests. Be sure to check your dog for ticks whenever you've been outside and make sure your flea protection regimen is on course. Then there are those pesky mosquitoes! Since they carry heartworm disease, you must make sure your dog is protected. Also, don't forget those other critters that could pose a threat to Fido - bees, wasps and spiders all have nasty stings and it's definitely a good idea to keep some antiseptic suitable for dogs in your medicine cabinet for those minor scrapes that don't require a trip to the vet.
A common occurrence on those summer evenings is running into a skunk. While usually not dangerous, skunks can offer different challenges. It might be a good idea to stock up on some Skunk Shampoo just in case!
Going for a swim?
Dogs love water, but there are important safety issues you need to think about if your dog is around the wet stuff. Not all dogs are great swimmers, and even if your pooch is, there are inherent hazards lurking in the river, lake or ocean. Be sure to stay close to him as he plays or swims and don't let him drink the water. Salty sea water can cause dehydration leading to vomiting and diarrhea, while water from lakes, ponds and rivers could contain bacteria.
If your dog is accompanying you on a boat or other vessel, be sure to bring along his life jacket.
A great alternative if your dog loves water is his own paddling pool. He will love playing in it on a hot day. Just make sure you supervise him constantly and keep the pool in a nice shady spot. Also avoid attracting mosquitoes by emptying the pool when not in use. Our Splash About Heavy Duty Dog Pool is portable, easy to fill and empty and is made of extra-tough PVC for lasting use. Perfect for the backyard!
We know how hard it is to leave your best furry friend at home, but if you're off to a celebration of some kind, it might just be the best plan. Many dogs become overwhelmed in large crowds and it could be difficult for you to monitor what he's up to. There's bound to be lots of yummy, but oh so unhealthy food around that he could get into and he probably won't be too impressed with the fireworks at the end of the evening. If you must bring him along, be sure to keep him close by and be aware of your surroundings.
Ever noticed that your dog tends to ditch his nice, comfy bed as the weather gets hotter? The floors might be cool, but definitely not comfortable! A cooling dog bed or pad will ensure Fido a little comfort as he stays nice and cool. This is a particularly good idea if your dog's a senior.
And a few more ideas for helping your dog keep his cool...
How about a nice cooling jacket or harness? Be sure to check out our Kumfy Tailz Cooling Harness - such a popular item as temperatures heat up! And as a special summertime dog treat, Freezy Pups and Puppy Cakes have just the thing for "hot dogs"!
While all these products are great, however, don't forget that the best way of making sure your dog keeps his cool is a little (or a lot!) of shade and a big bowl of fresh water!
We'd love to hear any innovative ways you have of helping your dog deal with the summer heat!