With temperatures and the humidity rising throughout the summer months, it’s important to know how you can protect your pet from the scorching sun.
If dogs could talk, they’d probably tell us that summer is their favorite season of all. It’s the time of the year where they can get out of the house and spend days playing in the back yard, going to the dog park, or swimming in the family pool or at the beach.
But with summer, there are also many safety concerns to consider and when it comes to protecting our pets, there are a few details to focus on. Preventing heat stroke, dehydration, and sunburn as well ensuring that your dog is safe when participating in water activities are of optimal importance.
While it is fun to spend some time out in the sun, getting too much can be harmful for you and your pet. When going out, make sure to protect yourself and your dog from sunburn by applying sunscreen. There are a variety of products, sold at your local pet store, made especially for dogs that are safe and easy to use. These include sunscreen wipes, sprays, and lotions. Sunscreen should be applied to your dog’s nose, ears, belly, and exposed skin where fur is thin.
Heat stroke and dehydration are easily preventable. Never leave your dog outside for long periods of time in the heat, without supervision, shade, or water. Provide your dog with shade in the form of a tent, dog house, or covered patio with a cooling mat for them to rest on. A bowl of clean cool water should be accessible at all times, for your dog to rehydrate.
Car rides on a nice summer day, are always a fan favorite with dogs. You can keep your dog safe by buckling them into a pet car seat, harness, or seat belt. Also, it is important that your dog never be left in a parked car while you are shopping or running errands, even if it is just for a few minutes.
According to the Lehigh County Humane Society, in 70 degree weather, the inside temperature of a car can reach up to 118 degrees , those “few minutes” can become the last minutes of your dog’s life. Please, don’t risk the life of your dog, it’s best to leave your dog at home when going on shopping trips. You can always make up for not bringing him along by giving him an extra walk or a short ride around the block.
Other important summer tips include, dressing your dog with a doggy flotation vest or life jacket before participating in water activities, keeping a gate around the family pool to keep pets and young children from accessing the pool without supervision, and if your dog has additional sensitivity to the sun, dressing your pet with “doggles” (protective eyewear), UV protective visors, or UV protective rashguard shirts might also be a good idea.
And always remember to protect your pet from becoming infected with heartworm, round worms and hook worms, mites, and ticks, by giving them a monthly preventative recommended or provided by your Veterinarian. (Never start your dog on a preventative without consulting your Veterinarian).
For more tips on keeping your dog safe this summer, visit the following sites:
- ASPCA Hot Weather Tips
- HSUS: Keep Pet Safe in the Heat
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