Summer is officially HERE! And with warm weather comes more get togethers with friends and family, more travel and unfortunately – a different set of hazards for your pooch! It’s not all fun in the sun for your four-legged friend, but being informed is a great way to avoid any chaos this season. So join me and the Hanson Labs as we share 6 summer safety tips for dogs.
6 Summer Safety Tips For Dogs
1. Avoid hot pavements and surfaces. We live in a climate where it’s warm year round, so Dane and I are always cautious of this, but making sure your dogs stay off hot pavement and surfaces is so important. It’s crazy how fast the ground gets hot when temperatures warm up, so before you head out on a walk or adventure, stop and think – would I want to be walking barefoot on this ground? Also, be wary of letting your pooch ride in the bed of a truck. Aside from it being dangerous for a potential HBC dog, metal heats up even more quickly in the sun and can lead to awful burns!
2. Make sure pets are well hydrated. It’s hot outside – you’re hot, your dog is hot, we’re all hot and sweaty. Summer means that you’re spending more time outside and that you pet will need more water than usual to sustain themselves…just like humans! The reality is that pet dehydration and heat stroke are very common hazards in the summer months. Dogs should always have fresh water to drink and if you’re going on an adventure, be sure to pack extra water bowls and something for them to drink out of while you explore. We love these portable water bowls – they fold up! If you suspect your dog might be suffering from heat stroke or dehydration, take them to a veterinarian immediately. Signs to look for include: refusal to eat, lethargy, decreased urination, sunken eyes and dry gums.
3. Be on the lookout for different bugs that can harm your pet. Namely – ticks. We are pretty lucky here in Hawaii that ticks aren’t as big of an issue as they are in many other parts of the country, but they are still a hazard. I remember our very first Labrador Maddie got bit by a tick and wound up with Lyme disease pretty young in her life, so they are certainly around! One place to always check is paw pads – really spread out the pads, particularly on web-footed friends to make sure there aren’t any ticks or bugs nestled in there. If you do find a tick, the ASPCA has a wonderful guide for removing them easily from your pet. Summer months also bring fleas, botflies and mosquitoes — all of which can pester your pup — so be cautious and make sure to check after walks or outdoor adventures.
4. Hot cars. I know this one seems obvious – BUT DO NOT LEAVE YOUR PET IN A HOT CAR. DO NOT DO THIS! EVER!
5. Sidewalks and pavement. The ground can get incredibly hot being exposed to sunlight all day, so it’s important more than ever in the summer to be aware of how hot (or not) the ground is. I’m one of those people that refuses to walk her dog when the sun is out in the summer months, because it’s just too dang hot for them and the risk for hot pavement is too high. We go early in the morning or after the sun goes down at night. It makes for one less stressed pet owner and two happier pooches.
6. BBQs + Cookouts. Here’s the thing – my dogs love snacks just as much as the next one, but people food is a real no-go here, because it just makes them sick and honestly – I do not have time for that mess. Who does?! Summer brings food with bones, fruit with pits, corn on the cob, toothpicks and skewers….all major hazards for four-legged party-goers. I make sure to keep treats on hand that they can have, so if friends want to “give something to the dogs”, they can easily give them a treat and I’m a stickler for…DO NOT FEED MY DOG PEOPLE FOOD OR I WILL HUNT YOU DOWN.
I know that Bill and Judy are pretty spoiled when it comes to summer fun since we live in Hawaii – hello endless summer! That said, the warm weather definitely keeps Dane and I on our toes in terms of making sure they are safe and healthy despite the ideal temperatures. This summer, take a few extra steps to make sure your dog is hydrated, bug free (watch out for snakes too!) and kept out of hot cars + away from hot pavement and the chances of anyone experiencing ‘dog days of summer’ will pretty much dissipate 😉 (Did you really think I could go a full blog post about dogs and summer without using that phrase?!).