Top 10 Dog Safety Tips for Summer and Hot Weather

Beat the summer heat on a warm and sunny day. Follow these top 10 tips for keeping your dog safe on a hot day!

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1. Don’t leave your dog in the car on a hot day

Leaving a dog in the car on a hot day can be fatal. Temperatures rise quickly in cars and the heat can do significant damage to a dog’s internal organs. Take pets inside or leave them at home.

2. Keep your dog hydrated

Have plenty of water available for your dog at all times. Dogs can’t sweat. They cool off by panting, so an overheated dog will drool excessively. It will become lethargic, its eyes will be bloodshot, and it may appear a little pale. If you lift its skin, it will take longer than usual for the skin to fall back into place.

3. Exercise your dog when it is cooler outside

Keep in mind not only can their body temperatures rise quickly but hot asphalt can hurt the sensitive paws of your dogs. Hot concrete and asphalt can easily burn a dog’s paws. Be sure to look at your dog’s paws to check for discoloration, cuts, and bruises.

4. Visit the vet

A visit to the veterinarian for a spring or early summer check-up is a must. Make sure your pets get tested for heartworm if they aren’t on year-round preventive medication. Fleas and other bugs can carry infections and cause your dog to get sick. Avoid bug bites by putting your dog on a vet-recommended safe flea and tick control program.

5. Steer clear of lawn chemicals and toxic plants

Keep dogs off of lawns that have been chemically treated or fertilized for 24 hours (or according to package instructions), and away from potentially toxic plants and flowers.

6. Short faced dogs have trouble with heat

Dogs that are brachycephalic (short-faced), such as Bulldogs, Boxers, Pugs, Japanese Chins, and Pekingese, have an especially hard time in the heat because they do not pant as efficiently as longer-faced dogs. Keep your brachycephalic dog inside with air-conditioning.

7. Keep your dog groomed

Make sure to keep your dogs nails and fur trimmed during the summer season. Dog’s with too much fur can often overheat easily.

8. Provide plenty of shade

Whether at the beach or a picnic in the park, make sure that your dog has access to shade at all times, allowing them to stay out of the sun’s harmful rays. Dogs can get sunburned, just like humans, so make sure they have access to plenty of shade.

9. Supervise swimming

Do not leave pets unsupervised around a pool, not all dogs are good swimmers. Introduce your pets to water gradually and make sure they wear flotation devices when on boats. Rinse your dog off after swimming to remove chlorine or salt from his fur, and try to keep your dog from drinking pool water, which contains chlorine and other chemicals that could cause stomach upset.

10. Find ways to cool your dog down

Don’t have air conditioning? Get creative! Find a spot in the shade and set up a kiddie pool. Set up your sprinkler or place a fan in a cool shaded location for your dog to rest. Spray your dog down to cool them off. Make sure to spray the paws and stomach, not just the top of the dog. Water does more good on the bottom (their stomach) of your dog than it does just spraying them on top (their back).

When in doubt, leave your dog at home in a cool location and make sure you provide plenty of water for your dog. A hydrated dog will be a happy dog on a hot day!