Summertime brings fantastic occasions for fun, and of course, we want to include our canine companions! When you are on the go for adventures in the coming weeks, please keep these important safety reminders in mind.
Our pets need to stay hydrated and shaded!
Having fresh, clean water accessible in the house, outside of the house, and on walks is very important. There are many great options for small, portable water bowls for dogs that you can take on exciting escapades!
Some dogs spend a lot of time outside. Please remember that while a doghouse might provide shade, it can also be very hot inside! Consider letting your companion come inside to cool off in the air conditioning or offering shaded retreats outside that allow a breeze.
Dogs love to sunbathe!
A few minutes of stretching out under the sun is fine, but keep an eye on your pal! A dog’s average body temperature is 100 – 103 degrees. Anything higher than this can lead to trouble. Did you know that dogs can’t sweat? That’s why they pant and why drinking water is so important for cooling down.
Look out for these possible symptoms of dehydration or overheating:
- Heavy panting
- Dry, sticky gums
- Thick drool
- Wobbly legs (overheating)
Never leave your pet in the car!
Temperatures inside of a parked car in the summer escalate rapidly. It can take less than 10 minutes for heat stroke to occur.
Choose walking times wisely!
Aim to walk your companion in the early morning or later evening. If a walk during hotter times is necessary, always take breaks in the shade. Remember, if the asphalt is hot to the touch of your hand, it’s hot to their paw pads too! There are now doggy shoes on the market to help protect pup feet from being burned during sunny walks. Don’t forget the water!
Life vests are important for people and their pups!
If a summertime adventure takes you and your dog to the pool, lake, or ocean, a life vest is a helpful safety measure! Not all dogs are created equal when it comes to swimming abilities. It is a great idea that dogs are taught where the steps in a pool are. Keep a close eye on these little swimmers!
Bugs enjoy the summer just as much as we do! Heartworm-causing mosquitoes and biting fleas can not only make your pets uncomfortable but can lead to greater health consequences. Please consult your veterinarian on the best flea, tick, intestinal parasite and heartworm prevention for your furry family member.
Fireworks can be scary!
Most humans enjoy a beautiful fireworks show, but the safety and comfort of our pets must be considered. Since the loud sounds are adverse to many dogs, it’s a great idea to keep pets in the house where they can’t run away in fear and accidentally escape your yard. Make sure that your companions are wearing up-to-date ID tags too!
Your primary care veterinarian is always a great resource!
If you are ever concerned that your pet may have heat stroke, dehydration, or any concerning signs, see your veterinarian right away.
From all of us at the Dog Aging Project team, we hope you have a safe and fun-filled summer with your furry best friend!
Harmony Peraza, RVT
Study Participant Manager