Summertime provides dog owners with ample opportunities to romp with pets in a variety of fun settings. From barbecues on the beach and boating on the lake to hiking in the woods, fishing in the river, or simply playing fetch at the local dog park, there are always plenty of great destinations and activities to choose from.
But summer also provides ample opportunities for dogs to get sick or injured, which is why extra vigilance and preventive measures are so important for maintaining good health. Here are 7 ways to keep your dog safe from summer hazards:
- Beware of walking your dog on hot surfaces such as asphalt, cement, and even beach sand. The pads on dogs’ paws are sensitive to heat, and can burn or blister after prolonged contact with these surfaces, so save your walks for the early morning or late evening hours.
- Immediately clean up any antifreeze/coolant spills in your garage or driveway. This substance is appealing to dogs because of its sweet taste, but is incredibly toxic and can cause serious illness or death.
- Do not leave your dog in an unattended vehicle while you pop into the store for “a few minutes.” Even with the windows cracked, the interior temperature of a vehicle can reach triple digits very quickly in the summer and might result in heat stroke for any pet trapped inside.
- Understand that dogs cool from the bottom up (that is, from their belly to the top of their back and head), so a product like the portable Hound Cooler cooling bed is much more effective at regulating your pet’s body temperature than an ordinary fan or the shade of a tree.
- Keep your dog away from lawns or gardens that have been treated with pesticides. Though many commercial products are labeled “pet safe,” quite a few industrial strength varieties are toxic to dogs and could lead to vomiting, diarrhea, and other forms of gastrointestinal distress.
- Use a doggy life jacket, such as the Fido Float vest available at CozyWinters, to keep your dog safe while boating, fishing, and frolicking on the beach. Even if your dog enjoys swimming, you never know when exhaustion might kick in, so it’s far better to be safe than sorry.
- Take appropriate measures, including using special collars, shampoos, dips, and prescription medications, to protect your dog from fleas, worms, ticks, mosquitoes, and other parasites.
Short of staying indoors all summer long, there’s no surefire way to avoid the many pet related dangers out there. But following the above tips will do much to keep your dog safe while participating in all the fun activities the season has to offer.