By The Farmer's Dog | July 20, 2017

Everyone and their dog is spending a little more time outside now that summer is in full swing. But while you’re busy working on that tan, your dog’s well-being may be at risk. Keep your dog safe this summer with these simple tips.

Beat the heat

Dripping sweat in the summer heat is never comfortable, but it is what keeps us cool. Unlike humans, dogs don’t have the same ability to cool themselves down, and heat strokes can occur when their body temperatures rise to a dangerous level. It’s always important to give your dog access to shade and water and avoid extended exposure to the sun and heat. Needless to say, this includes never leaving your dog alone in a hot car (yes, even if the window is cracked open!). 

Sunscreen for two 

Similar to humans, dogs are at risk of getting a sunburn that can often lead to the most common cancer in dogs: skin cancer. The lighter and thinner the coat, the greater the chance a dog has of getting a sunburn. As a precaution, use waterproof sunscreen formulated for babies or pets and apply to their nose and ears as well as the skin around their mouth and back.

Protect those paws 

Would you ever walk around the streets of your neighborhood barefoot in 100 degree weather? Try touching the ground for 30 seconds, and if you can’t stand the heat of the surface, your pup’s paws probably can’t either. Whether it’s pavement, a sidewalk, or sand, your dog’s paws should be protected in both winter and summer months. A layer of balm on paw pads creates a barrier that has a similar effect to wearing shoes. Going on walks during the cooler parts of the day (like early morning or after sunset) is another great way to help your pup walk comfortably and safely.

Stay hydrated 

Create a hydration pact with your pup! Getting enough fluids is important for both of you, so always keep cool water on hand. Throwing a pool party? Make sure your dog doesn’t drink too much of the water as it contains harsh chemicals like chlorine that can irritate their skin and upset their stomach. Always be sure to rinse your pup’s coat after taking him for a swim. 

Don’t bring home an accidental second pet 

We aren’t the only ones who enjoy the summer weather. Ticks, fleas, mosquitoes, and other insects and parasites thrive during these hot months and can latch onto your dog. Take a quick trip to the vet to get the appropriate protection for your pup.

Sticks and stones…

It’s all fun and games until your dog grabs the wrong stick. Dogs can easily mistake a piece of burning wood or a firework for a stick they would normally play with, so always keep your dog on a short leash in precarious backyard scenarios. Fireworks can also startle dogs and trigger fearful behaviors like trembling and hiding. Keep your dog indoors during the fireworks show and turn on music or the TV for white noise and distraction. Cuddling and soothing your dog while speaking in calm, reassuring tones can also help comfort them.

How do you keep your dog safe in the summer? Share your tips in the comments below!

Image: @lifofvi