In the summertime when the weather is hot, it’s important to keep your four-legged friends safe, happy, and healthy. Dogs respond differently to the heat than humans and are at risk of things that seem innocuous.
To get the most out of your summer vacation with Fido or Rex, keep these safety tips in mind.
Watch for Signs of Heat Exhaustion
As you may know already, dogs don’t sweat the way that humans do. Sweating is a natural form of body heat regulation in the summer heat; the canine version of sweating is panting. Signs of heat stroke include excessive panting and drooling, agitation or lethargy, a flushed tongue and gums, vomiting, and diarrhea.
In addition to monitoring the signs of heat exhaustion, present your dog with plenty of opportunities to drink water throughout the day. Carry a dog-friendly water bottle with you if you’ll be spending lots of time outside. If your pooch is panting at night, check his or her sleeping area to ensure that there is adequate ventilation and consider adding a fan to the room to keep the air flowing.
Be Aware of Dry Drowning
Too many families have a fantastic day at the beach that ends in tragedy. Dry drowning– excessive fluid build up in the lungs– is a very real risk for dogs, which can cause your canine to drown hours or days after frolicking in the waves. The signs of dry drowning include dizziness, lethargy, vomiting, increased heart rate, and behavior changes. These symptoms are often confused for exhaustion after a long day playing outside.
To prevent dry drowning, monitor your dog while playing in the water and ensure they take lots of breaks. If they’re struggling or chasing toys underwater, it’s important to fore some time away. Know the signs of dry drowning and call your vet immediately if you notice any changes.
Never Leave a Dog in the Car
It should go without saying, but people still do it: never leave your dog in the car! Even with the window rolled down slightly, cars heat up at an excessive rate. More parts of the world are opting to charge pet owners who leave their animal in a car in the summer heat, as well as providing legal protection for those who break a vehicle window to free a trapped animal.
In the summer, a car can heat up to 85 degrees Celsius (185 Fahrenheit) in mere minutes. In other words, a painful experience often ending in brain damage or death for animals trapped within. Try to plan trips to pet-friendly places. Many stores welcome pets or have a safe place to leave them to help prevent them from being trapped in a vehicle.
Be Mindful of Gardening Habits
In a modern world that knows the damage caused by pesticide and herbicide use, there’s very little cause for using these products, especially if you have pets around. Even those pets who have no interest in eating grass or plants around the home are lower to the ground and tend to absorb more of these items.
Instead, opt for natural deterrents. Consider adding chicken wire to the perimeter of your garden, spraying with cinnamon or cayenne pepper, or incorporating a few thorny plants that pets try to avoid.
Protect Their Paws
There’s nothing like a brisk walk to get some shared exercise for you and your furry friend. However, you wouldn’t want to walk barefoot on dark pavement and neither do they. Walking on hot surfaces can damage the pads of their paws, causing unnecessary pain for your pal. Investing in a simple pair of paw protectors is an affordable way to keep your dog happy and pain-free.
Taking a proactive approach to your dog’s health will ensure that your entire family enjoys the warm weather. Start the season off with a trip to the vet for a checkup.