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Not only is it important to keep dogs safe in hot weather, it’s also important to keep them clear from hazardous chemicals and certain foods. Here are our tips to keep your pet safe this summer.
Keep Up Grooming
Make sure to keep your dog’s fur and nails trimmed during the summer months. Too much fur can make it easier for dogs to overheat, for fur to become matted, and for bugs to stake a claim in the furry confines of your dog’s coat. Keeping your dog’s nails trimmed will help limit torn nails, which can easily become infected.
Bring Extra Water
Bring a bowl and plenty of water to keep your dog well hydrated while away from home. Bring double the amount that you think you may need to ensure that your dog has continual access to fresh water to cool off.
Never Leave Your Dog in the Car on a Hot Day
Temperatures in cars can rise quickly so make sure to take your dog with you when you get out of the car. If you must leave your dog in the car, be sure to leave the windows down, which will allow the air to circulate and keep your dog safe.
Provide Plenty of Shade
Whether at the beach or at a park, make sure that your dog has access to shade at all times, allowing him to stay out of the sun’s harsh rays. Dogs can get sunburned, just like humans, so make sure he has access to ample shade.
Limit Time on Hot Concrete and Asphalt
Hot concrete and asphalt can easily burn a dog’s paws. Limit the time spent on both surfaces and spend more time on grass and cool sand. Be sure to look at your dog’s paws to check for discoloration, cuts, and bruises.
Leave Pets at Home for Firework Displays
If you’re headed out to watch a fireworks display, it’s best to leave your dog at home. The loud noises mixed with the nighttime away from home can cause your dog to become disorientated.
Know the Signs of Heat Stress
The signs of heat stress in dogs include excessive panting or difficulty breathing, increased heart and respiratory rate, drooling, mild weakness, stupor, or even collapse. If your dog is experiencing any of these symptoms, head to the shade, grab cold water, and apply cool, wet towels to the dog to cool her off. Call your vet for added safety.
Steer Clear of Fertilizers
Some fertilizers and lawn care products can cause an allergic reaction in dogs. Speak with your vet about what types of lawn care products are best to use. Always keep chemical bottles off the ground to keep dogs from accidentally ingesting them and becoming sick.
Watch Out for Picnic Handouts
Keep picnic food for humans only and avoid giving handouts or leftovers to your dog. Doing so will keep his stomach happy and healthy.
Flea and Tick Safety
Fleas and other bugs can carry infections and cause your dog to get sick. Avoid bug bites by giving your dog a vet-recommended regimen. Whether it's drops, special shampoo, or a simple brush-through, you’ll ensure your dog’s safety no matter what insects may be buzzing around this summer.
(Read more information about Flea & Tick Safety as well as Heartworm Prevention on our Additional Topics Page.)
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Pets in the City Magazine, Digital Issues.
AKC Family Dog Magazine, past digital Issues are available:
AKC - Your Dog's Health Articles - Interesting articles about your dog's health and why they do what they do.