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Friday, August 9, 2019

10 Summer Safety Tips for Dogs

How many of you have experienced a heat wave this summer? They seem to be happening worldwide this year. Whenever there's a hot weather advisory, it's important to take care to hydrate and limit time in the direct sun. Children and the elderly are especially at risk, and many of us step up to keep an eye on them, but there's another vulnerable population you should remember if you're a dog owner. Dogs are also at risk in high temperatures, and they also might find potential hazards at popular summer events and festivals. I've gathered up a list of some important tips to remember in the heat to keep your dog healthy and comfortable all summer long.

  1. Make fresh clean water available at all times. It's easy for dogs to get dehydrated in the heat, and dehydration is associated with some serious risks. Change out the water often to keep it appealing and cool for dogs so they remember to drink regularly. Check often to make sure they have enough, since they'll increase their water intake when it's hot out.
  2. Never leave your dog in a hot car. Even a few minutes can be deadly for dogs. In the shade, a car can reach 90 degrees after a few minutes, and it can get up to 160 degrees in the direct sun! It's best not to take your dog out in the car at all in the hot weather, but if you do, bring along a water dish and don't leave them unattended.
  3. Make sure your dog has a shady spot to hang out in the yard or stays inside where there's air conditioning. A dog house is not good shelter on a hot day: They can trap heat.
  4. Get your dog a kiddie pool! It's a fun way for dogs to play while staying cool (and even clean off a little).
  5. Speaking of exercise, it's best to limit it on very hot days. Skip playing fetch if there's a high heat warning, and limit walks to just enough time for your dog to do its business.
  6. Be careful of your dog's feet in hot weather. The asphalt heats up and can easily burn the pads on your dog's paws. If you can't avoid your dog walking on asphalt, you can protect their feet with special boots for dogs.
  7. Be aware of your dog's breed and their susceptibility to heat. Breeds with flat noses, like pugs and Pekingeses, are more prone to overheating because they can't pant as effectively. You should also be extra cautious of elderly dogs or dogs with heart disease.
  8. Make yourself aware of the symptoms of overheating. These can include excessive panting, a high heart rate, bloody stool, vomiting, and collapse.
  9. Apart from the heat, you should avoid dangerous foods at barbecues and other typical summer events. Dogs should stay away from onions, chocolate, and grapes.
  10. The other big summer features to avoid with pets are events that have fireworks. Most dogs are really afraid of them, and they may run away in a panic.
Find more about the author: Kim Hart

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