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Summer Safety Tips for Dogs

Summer Season is really a fun time for most people out there. It is bright and warm outside, people make plans to travel to different places, kids are on holidays from schools, days are longer, and you get the gist. But summers become a lot less fun when the temperature outside starts to increase to uncomfortable degrees and weather conditions begin to become a lot more humid and sticky. This type of weather is not only bad for us, humans but it can be tremendously detrimental to our dogs’ health as well.

There are a lot of issues which our furry friends can suffer from because of hot weather conditions and high temperatures. Heat stroke, dehydration, sunburn, and burned paw-pads are just some of the problems that our dogs go through during the summer season. So what can we do about it or should I say what should we do about it? Below are various do’s and don’ts or tips for all the dog owners which they can follow so as to keep their four-legged companions safe and healthy during the Summer Season.

What to do during the summer season:

  • Keep your dog cool and well-hydrated.

It is very important for all dog (or animal) owners to provide plenty of water and drinks to their pooches during the hotter months of the year. It is highly crucial for a canine to remain hydrated as if a dog is not getting enough water during the summer season, he can become highly lethargic, his eyes may sink down and his appetite may also decrease. Also, apart from providing a good amount of water, owners should also try to keep their dog's body cool. This can be done through air conditioners, fans, shades, or by using a cooling mat for your pooch.

  • Use Sunscreens.

Now, this may sound a bit weird, but dogs can also get sunburned. Dogs that have a thin coat or have light skin are prone to this problem, hence it becomes a necessity to apply sunscreens on a dog's body if he is outside the house for a good amount of time during the summer season. Without proper care, apart from sunburn issues, a dog may also suffer from skin cancer and other skin related issues. Therefore, it is better to use various sunscreens that are specially made for pets which are available in the market as it is always better to take precautions than regretting about something later. You can also take the advice of a vet when you are selecting a sunscreen for your doggy.

  • Properly groom your pet on a regular basis.

This is especially very important if you have a long-haired or long -coated dog. A heavier coat can make a canine easier to overheat as compared to short-haired dogs. Regular brushing will eliminate all the tangles and matting issues from your dog's coat and it will eventually help him to cool down. Also, regular baths are very crucial for dogs as it is a good way to keep him fresh and cool. Finally, it is important to consult a vet or a groomer before trimming or cutting your dog’s coat during the summer season as the same coat which is proving to be a bane for your dog during the hotter months might be very useful for him during the colder days.

  • Protect your dog from Summer Parasites.

There are a lot of worms and parasites that can prove to be harmful to your dog's health and it is your duty to protect your pooch from these unwholesome creatures. Ticks and fleas can cause a lot of diseases in a dog so it is important to properly check your pooch on a daily basis or after every walk or stroll outside the house. Also, mosquitoes can cause heartworm disease in the canines so it is necessary to keep your dog on a heartworm prevention medication. Use of flea collars, tick shampoo and creams is also recommended so as to keep your dog away from these summer parasites. But if you found out that your dog is carrying ticks or other worms for quite some time now, then it is very important to immediately take your pooch to a vet for a check-up.

  • Give your dog summer treats.

Just like humans like to have a lot of ice-cream during the summer season, our dogs also crave for some cool treats during this period. But unlike humans, our pooches should not be given those treats that are highly sweet or contains such ingredients that might be unsafe for a dog. So the best option is to give ice popsicles, ice cubes and other cool non-sweetening treats. Various fruits such as Watermelons, Strawberries et cetera can also be fed to a canine during the summer season.

  • Contact a Vet if your dog is not feeling well.

There are a lot of issues that your dog can suffer from during summer months if he’s not receiving proper care and attention. Hence it is very important for you to closely observe your dog if he’s acting a bit strange and look out for any of these signs or symptoms:

  1. Heavy drooling (if your dog is not known to drool a lot)
  2. Problem in breathing or heavy panting
  3. Weakness, lethargy or loss of appetite
  4. Unusually fast heartbeat
  5. Darkening of gums or tongue

If you notice any of these symptoms in your dog, then it is better to contact or visit a veterinarian as soon as possible.

What not to do during the summer season:

  • Leave your dog in the car.

This is a very common thing that most people do (which they shouldn't). Leaving your dog inside a car just for a few minutes under the direct heat of the sun can prove to be very harmful to his health. Dogs can suffer from heatstroke because the temperature inside the car can reach to really high levels. It is better to leave your dog at home during the hotter months but if you have no other options and have to bring your pooch along, then it is highly recommended to bring another person who can stay with the pooch when you are gone and also use the air-conditioner of the car to keep your dog cool and calm.

  • Overburdening your dog with a strenuous exercise schedule.

It is important not to overexert your pooch during the summer season. Taxing exercises, long walks and running sessions, and excessive play time outside the house should be avoided during the hotter days. Your pooch may get a heat stroke or a sunburn from staying outside the house for a long period of time. Also, this becomes all the more for brachycephalic dogs (short-headed) as they already struggle to regulate their body temperature because of their short noses.

  • Walk your dog on a hot road or pavement.

Make sure to check the hotness of roads/pavements or any other surface before you take your dog for a walk outside the house. Extremely hot surface can damage the paw-pads of your pooch and it can be really painful for him. So if it’s very hot outside, you should try to walk your dog only in a park on the grass or you can take him outside in the evening/night when it is a bit more pleasant and non-summery.

  • Leave your dog inside a pool or any kind of water body all by himself.

A lot of people thinks that all dogs are good at swimming and thus, they take their pooches to the beach for a swim during the summer season. But not all dogs know how to swim properly and they need to be trained first before being thrown into a pool. Even after proper training is given to them, all dog owners should provide proper safety measures to the canines when they are inside the water body. Also, they should always keep an eye on their dogs while they are in a pool as anything can happen to a pooch when he’s swimming or playing in deep waters.

These were some important safety tips that you, as a dog owner, should always remember during the harsh summer season so that your fluffy friend remains fully healthy and happy. Countries like India, Mexico et cetera where temperature can reach as high as 50°C during the summers, you have to properly take care and look after your pets as they can suffer from a lot of issues during this extremely hot and humid season.