Being a dog parent is one of the most rewarding and fun roles to play, it is also a big responsibility. Owning a dog daycare, we see so many dog parents that have adopted or purchased a dog - and they don’t really come with instructions - that also are lost when it comes to behavior, safety, and health. While there are tons of books on how to raise a child that new parents often absorb when a new baby comes along, not many new dog parents are as ingrained to search out those same kinds of helpers for their new pups. Every season includes some new challenges and risks and summer is no exception. Keep reading for 4 tips to keep your dog safe this summer!
1. Car Safety
Unfortunately, we are too familiar with the loss of a pet from a car accident where the owners had barely a scratch. We can’t emphasize enough the importance of car safety. It is safest to keep your dog in the backseat of the car, strapped in. We love Kurgo car seats because they can also be used as a harness and are so easy to install. They also make great backseat barriers, zip lines for dogs that hate staying in one spot, and great car seat covers for those trips to the beach or the lake!
One of the most important things to remember is to NEVER leave your dog in the car unattended, even with the windows down. In the summer heat, a car quickly turns into a furnace. According to Phys Org, it only takes 6 minutes for a dog to die from an overheated car. Simply do not take the risk and never leave your dog unattended in the car. In many localities, it is illegal as well as being unsafe.
Protecting your dog from the sun is important, especially in the summertime. Dogs with thin coats or light-colored fur are more at risk of getting sunburnt than dogs with thicker or dark-colored fur. However, all dogs can get burnt on their nose/ears. And just like people - dogs can develop skin cancer. Therefore it is essential to protect against harmful UV-rays. Be sure to apply dog-friendly sunscreen before taking your dog outside or on a long walk. Reapply if your dog gets in the water or after the smell of the sunscreen fades.
3. Protection from the heat
Imagine you are outside on a hot summer's day...and now imagine that you’re wearing a fur coat. Our instinct would be to take the coat off and cool down. Dogs can’t just take their fur off. While many dog breeds have double coats that actually help protect them from the heat (so don’t shave them), other breeds like doodles can be shaved. Regardless, it’s critical to monitor your pup’s temperature levels. When playing outside, try and find areas with a bit of shade, especially if you stop to take a break. If you are taking a hike - do it early in the morning and put your pup’s cooling vest on -- and bring along plenty of water - to rewet the vest and to give drinks to your pup.
If possible, try to avoid walking on hot surfaces such as asphalt or metal. Stick to grassy areas instead so your pup doesn’t burn their little paws! Additionally, always carry around a portable water bowl and a bottle of water to replenish and hydrate you and your dog frequently when out of the house. If you have to leave your dog at home during the day, provide multiple bowls of water for them so that even if they knock one over, they still have plenty of access to water. If you live in an extremely hot climate, try to take your dog for walks in the early morning or evening when the sun isn’t as hot.
4. Preventing fleas and ticks
It is always important to protect your pup against fleas and ticks. It’s extra important to do so in the summer. Fleas and ticks thrive in warm, humid weather, and this year there is a predicted surge in pests. Use a combination of protective methods to combat this. Be sure to check out our article that goes into depth on how to protect your pup from pests!
Research, research, research
There is always more to learn on how to keep your dog the healthiest, happiest, and safest they can be. If you haven’t caught it yet, be sure to check out our article on summer travel tips for dog parents! Follow us on Instagram, Facebook, Twitter, and Pinterest for more dog-related tips. Happy Summer!