Summer is arguably the best time of year to be a dog. The trails are ready to explore, daily trips to the beach and the air is filled with exciting new smells drifting on the warm breeze. However, the warmest months can also be the most dangerous for dogs and important steps should be taken to ensure they can enjoy the summer as much as we do. Read on for all the tips to keep your dog safe this summer
1. Always make sure they have access to drinking water and shade.
Give them plenty of water in the morning to start their day and again after sundown to help them recover and stay hydrated during the hot summer months. When leaving them at home, dogs should remain indoors or in the yard with access to water in a well-shaded area. A dog water bottle can be great way to keep your dog hydrated whilst on their daily walks
A dog water bottle can be a great way to keep your dog hydrated on the go
2. Avoid the sun.
As with any time of the year, it’s important for dogs to exercise regularly during the summer. Because midsummer afternoons can be so hot, it is best to plan your daily walk when the air is cooler, in the morning or evening. During these low-light hours, it’s important to make sure your dog is highly visible, whether outfitting them with reflective accessories or a dog safety light
3. Protect your dog from the sun
Before paying a visit to the beach, people lather themselves in sunscreen to protect themselves from the sun’s harsh rays. Dogs, especially ones with white fur, are no exception and are also susceptible to ultraviolet radiation. While a dog sunscreen may be a solution, it can also wear off when they go into water and cause dirt to stick to their fur. It can be beneficial to use a dog rashguard. These swim shirts are made from an athletic material that will protect them from the sun with the added benefits of keeping them cool and preventing rashes. Rashies also keep sand from accumulating in dogs’ fur, so at the end of the day they can go home clean!
A dog rash guard can help keep your dog protected from the sun
4. Pay attention to the humidity.
Dogs don’t sweat to get rid of heat – they pant. When the air is moist, it’s more difficult for them to circulate that air to stay cool.
5. Consider a dog float vest.
A dog flotation device can be great for any dog who spends time near the water. A good dog life jacket will be sturdy and highly visible, incorporating bright colors and reflective hardware. It should also help keep your dog in an upright position when they're swimming. A grab handle on the back of the life vest can also help to guide a dog in and out of the water or help them into a boat.
Important: A standard dog life jacket may be too cumbersome for smaller dogs, so make sure you get one that’s designed specifically with smaller dogs in mind.
A dog float vest can be great for any dog who spends time near the water
6. Travel safe.
Never leave your dog in the car unattended. Automobiles trap heat and can jump from 85 to 120 degrees in as little as 30 minutes on a sunny day. When driving, either run your AC or crack the windows.
7. Plan your route accordingly.
Urban areas can get blazing hot during the summertime and often provide little protection from the sun. Hot pavement is uncomfortable for dogs and can even hurt them, so try to keep them on the grass whenever possible. Well-shaded routes, especially trails and parks, are great locations due to the cooler air and coverage from the trees. Taking your dog to a place with a natural water source such as a lake or stream generally means the air is cooler and allows them to stay refreshed along the way.
Experiencing summer to the fullest with a dog is the best feeling in the world. Whether it’s a trip to the beach or a late evening walk, it’s important we do everything we can to keep them healthy and safe for the many summers to come. Practicing these safety tips, will help you and your dog to get the most out of the best season the year has to offer.