Summer is the perfect time for you and your furry friend to soak up the sun and enjoy the great outdoors. But as the temperatures rise, so do the risks for our four-legged companions. Keeping your dog safe during summer outings requires some preparation and a good dose of caution. With the right dog safety tips for summer, you can ensure that both you and your pooch can have a blast without any worries.

In this article, we’ll cover everything you need to know about outdoor safety for your pup during those hot months. We’ll dive into pet safety so you can be confident that your dog will stay happy and healthy while you’re both out adventuring.

Understanding How the Heat Effects Your Dog

The first step to ensuring your dog’s safety during summer is understanding how heat affects your pet. Dogs don’t sweat like humans do; they cool off primarily through panting and releasing heat through their paw pads and nose. Because of this, they can be more susceptible to overheating and heatstroke.

Signs of Overheating in Dogs

Keep an eye out for excessive panting, drooling, reddened gums, or signs of weakness. If your dog is displaying any of these symptoms, it’s crucial to get them to a cooler environment immediately and provide them with water.

Preventing Overheating

To prevent overheating, avoid the hottest parts of the day for your outings. Early morning or later in the evening are the best times for that game of fetch or a leisurely walk. Always carry water for both you and your pup and consider investing in a portable dog bowl.

Hydration is Key

Hydration is as important for dogs as it is for humans, especially in the summer. Dogs can get dehydrated quickly in the heat, so make sure fresh water is always available.

Tips for Keeping Your Dog Hydrated:

Portable Water Bottles/Bowls: These are great for on-the-go hydration. There are many different styles available on Amazon!

Water Breaks: Make frequent stops for water breaks during activities.

Ice Treats: Offer your dog ice cubes or frozen treats as a fun way to stay cool. There are so many fun summer recipes your pup will love!

Finding Shade and Taking Breaks

The Importance of Shade

Dogs can get sunburned, particularly those with short or light-colored coats. Find shady spots for rest, bring an umbrella, or pop-up tent if you’re planning to be out for a while.

Rest Periods

Regular breaks are important to prevent your dog from overexerting themselves. A good rule of thumb is to take a five-minute break every 20 minutes of activity in the heat.

Safe Swimming Practices

Swimming can be a fantastic way to cool off, but not all dogs are natural swimmers. Be sure to take precautions and keep a close eye on your pet around lakes, ponds, rivers, or any other body of water.

Life Jackets for Dogs

If you’re heading to the beach or lake, consider a doggy life jacket, especially for breeds that aren’t built for swimming or for dogs that are inexperienced in the water. Here is one of our favorite ones found on Amazon!

Post-Swim Care

Rinse your dog off after swimming to remove chlorine, salt, or lake water, which can be harmful if ingested or left to dry on their fur.

Doggy Sun Protection

Believe it or not, dogs need sun protection too. Areas such as the nose, ears, and belly are particularly susceptible to sunburn. There are sunscreens specifically formulated for dogs that you can apply to the most vulnerable areas, like this one. Remember, human sunscreen can be toxic to dogs, so make sure it’s pet-friendly. There are also sun-protective clothes for dogs that can help shield them from those harsh rays.

Heat and Paws

Hot Surfaces

Asphalt and metal can get extremely hot in the summer sun and can burn your dog’s paws. If it’s 90 degrees outside, black asphalt is typically around 150 degrees. A good test is to place the back of your hand on the surface for five seconds. If it’s too hot for your hand, it’s too hot for your dog’s paws. Dog booties can protect your dog’s paws from hot surfaces. If your dog won’t tolerate booties, stick to grassy or shaded areas.

Beware of Bugs and Other Tag-alongs

Summer is prime time for fleas, ticks, lice, and other insects that can be harmful to your dog. Keep up with your dog’s flea and tick preventative medication to protect them from these pests. Here at The Bark Spot, we offer a protective shampoo specifically made to repel ticks while exploring. Ask our staff to add this to your next groom!

After outdoor activities, check your dog thoroughly for ticks, especially around the head, ears, and paws. While you’re at it, be sure to check for foxtails and other pokey tag-alongs to prevent sores or, in severe cases, abscesses that can be painful and require veterinary care.

Watch Out for Toxic Plants and Foods

Summer outings can expose your dog to toxic plants and foods, especially while at picnics or public spaces. Keep an eye on what your dog is sniffing or eating. Some common toxins include certain types of mushrooms, grapes, onions, and chocolate. Familiarize yourself with toxic plants in your area and keep your dog away from them.

Emergency Preparedness

Knowing the signs of heatstroke and what to do in an emergency can save your dog’s life. Symptoms include excessive panting, drooling, reddened gums, vomiting, diarrhea, mental dullness, and collapse. If you experience any of these symptoms, remove your dog from the heat, give them water, and contact the vet as soon as possible. 

Enjoying Summer Safely

Summer should be a time for fun and relaxation, and by following these dog safety tips for summer outings, you can ensure that your time spent outdoors with your furry best friend is both enjoyable and safe. Remember to plan ahead, stay cool, and keep hydrated. With a little preparation, you and your dog can make the most of the sunny season!

For more tips and tricks for summer safety and pet care, follow us on social media! Don’t forget to schedule a Bath + Brush or sign up for a Membership to keep your furry friend clean, safe, and ready for the next adventure all summer long!

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