6 Tips on Keeping Your Dog Safe in the Summer Heat
If you have a dog, it’s never too early to start thinking about keeping them safe in the summertime. Hot weather means an increased risk of a variety of health problems and issues for dogs, and paying attention to these concerns can help you keep your dog safe and healthy all year long.
In the article below, we’ll help you learn more about protecting your dog in the summer heat. With the help of this guide, you should have an idea of where to begin preparing for summertime with your canine companion.
Be Sure They Have Plenty of Water
The first and most important rule of protecting your dog during the summer months is hydration. Keep your dog (and yourself!) well hydrated to avoid the risk of heatstroke and dehydration on a hot day. Even if the day feels mild to you, your dog needs access to plenty of fresh, clean, clear water to keep them healthy and safe when it’s hot outside.
If your dog is too distracted by their outdoor playtime to stop and drink, bring her inside and let them get enough water before taking them back outdoors to play again. Some dogs may be less interested in drinking water on a hot day than others, but all dogs should do this.
Offer Cool, Shady Spaces
Give your dog plenty of cool, shady spaces to rest and relax when they are outside in the summer. Make sure these spaces are well ventilated, unlike most dog houses, and have enough airflow to help keep your pet cool. Provide lots of water access in these spaces as well.
Apart from giving your dog shady spaces outside to rest on hot days, they need to come inside as much as possible, too. It is not safe to leave your dog outside all day in the summer, even if they have access to places where they can lay down in the shade.
Let Them Rest
You and your dog should take plenty of breaks when spending time outdoors in the summer. Even if you’re both used to outside activities in hot weather, breaks are important for health and safety. Make sure your dog takes time to rest and relax, preferably inside where it is cool, between outdoor activities.
On extremely hot days with a dangerous heat index, avoid outdoor activity. This way, you won’t risk heatstroke in your dog, and you can save your summer fun for better days.
Trim, but Don’t Shave
If your dog has a medium to long coat, it is a good idea to have them trimmed during the summer months. However, it is not a good idea to shave them completely, as this may actually increase their risk of heatstroke and sunburn as well. Your dog’s coat is the way it is because it is designed to help keep them healthy and safe in all types of weather.
Talk to a professional groomer for more information about the proper coat care for your pet during the summer. A good groomer will be able to recommend the right length for summer skin and coat health care.
Keep Their Paws Safe
When walking on hot surfaces outside, your dog needs to have their paw pads cared for properly. Dogs will typically be okay on hot dirt or grass without any additional paw pad care, but hot asphalt, concrete, and sand can be damaging and may even lead to serious burns on very hot days.
Use a paw wax on your dog’s paws to create a barrier between their feet and the hot surface. Stay off of hot asphalt and concrete as much as possible, and always check their paws and toes when you come in from being outside on a hot day.
Watch for Sunburn
It is important to make sure your dog doesn’t get sunburned when spending time outdoors in the summer. Even long-haired dogs can risk sunburn on their noses and ears, and short-haired dogs may risk sunburn anywhere on their bodies.
If you’re going to be outside for a while with your dog on a hot and sunny day, use dog-safe sunscreen on the exposed skin on their body. This way, they won’t be at risk of sunburn.
As you can see, there is a lot to keep in mind when it comes to keeping your dog safe in the summer heat. However, with a little preparation and planning, you can ensure you and your pet are safe and healthy throughout the hotter part of the year.
If you suspect your dog is suffering from heat exhaustion, heat stroke, or dehydration, take them to the emergency vet right away, reach out to your veterinarian right away.