Tips for keeping your pets safe in hot weather

As the dog days of summer approach, our canine friends need some extra attention to ensure that they are kept safe, happy and healthy throughout the summer months. Here are a number of tips to take into consideration as you and your dog enjoy summer activities together.

Just like humans, dogs can get sunburned, overheated and even dehydrated. If your dog is outside during the day playing while you make money to keep him in the manner he is accustomed, make sure that he has water, shade and enough protection from the sun.

If you decide to take your dog out for a ride, make sure that you will be able to take your dog with you when you leave the car. In hot weather, the temperature inside the car rises very quickly and leaving the windows down or parking in the shade will do little to keep the car temperature cool enough for your pet. Dogs can get heatstroke within minutes of being left in a car on a hot and humid summer day and so it is better to leave your pet home. While you are traveling together, make sure you have plenty of cold, fresh water available for both you and your dog.

Even though we know our dogs are incredibly smart, they will not be able to reason, “it’s too hot out to play” and often dogs will play until they become overheated. Consider the time of day and bring your dog out when the weather is cooler in the morning or late in the evening. It is up to you, the dog owner to keep your pet from overheating from too much activity in humid or hot weather.

Dogs have sensitive feet and their paws can be easily burned if they stand on hot concrete or asphalt. To avoid a serious or painful burn injury to your pet, make sure that if you take him for a walk, go to a park or grassy area where he can avoid hot surfaces.

If your dog is an outdoor dog, it is extremely important to provide plenty of fresh water and ample shade, possibly a good dog house. Let them into a cool room of the house during the hottest hours of the day.

Even if your dog is an outside dog, consider putting them inside in a cool room when the weather outside becomes unbearable. If you are too hot outside, most likely your dog will be too.

If you decide to give your pet a summer haircut, remember that dogs too can get sunburn and so do not shave your pet down to the skin. Leave about an inch of hair on your dog to make sure that his skin is covered from the harmful rays of the sun.

There are products available for dogs such as sunscreen and insect repellant and if you choose to use these items make sure that they are labeled for dogs. In products made for humans there can be harmful substances to your pet and so make sure to read the labels first.

This advice is useful and necessary for all dogs to be safe during the summer months, but especially to older, overweight or medically needy dogs. Watch your pets closely and a good rule of thumb to follow is if it is an unsafe situation for a child, it is an unsafe situation for your pet. The summer can be a great time for the two of you to bond together as long as you use common sense and keep your pet safe.

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