Summer is a favorite season for many. The warm weather and endless opportunities to get out and enjoy the great outdoors make it easy to enjoy time with your furry friend. That being said, there are some things that you should be prepared for as you spend time outdoors this summer. In today’s blog, the team at West Ballantyne Animal Hospital want to talk to you about a few summer safety tips that can ensure your pup stays safe throughout the summer. Let’s jump right in.

Don’t Leave Them in the Car

This is a summer safety tip that ever dog owner should know, but it never hurts to leave a reminder. Leaving your pet in your car during the summer is one of the worst things that you can do. While it may seem harmless, cars skyrocket in temperature during the summer. A study composed this year showed that it takes less than six minutes for a dog in a car to die. Even with the windows rolled down a little, your dog can still suffer from the amount of heat that’s building up inside. For that reason, opt to leave them at home, rather than leave them to suffer in the car. 

Keep Their Paws Cool

Whether you’re on a walk or hanging out on the patio at home, you want to make sure that your dog’s paws are cool. Materials like asphalt, concrete, metal, and plastic can get incredibly hot during the summer. If your dog is exposed to these types of materials, you can guarantee their paws are going to suffer. In most cases, when paws are exposed to high temperatures, they can burn and blister, leaving your pup in some serious pain. Aside from that, hot paws can lead to a dog overheating, which isn’t an ideal scenario either. Rather than risk the chances of this, do your best to stay away from materials that hold heat in. If you’re going on a walk, try and find a dirt path, or try and pencil it in during the cooler hours of the day. Your dog will thank you for this. 

Always Have Water

Hydration is important for both humans and animals during the hot summer months. That’s why it’s made our list of summer safety tips. Whatever it is you have planned for the summer, make sure that you bring water for both you and your pup. It doesn’t matter if you’re spending the day at the lake, the morning hiking, or you’re just hanging out in the backyard, make sure that there is always water available. Panting is how dogs cool their bodies down, but panting too much can lead to overheating and severe dehydration. To avoid this, pack a bottle of water for them. You can also look into the various collapsible bowls and travel bowls that are available too.  

Check for Ticks

When the warm weather comes out, so do ticks. If you are someone that loves spending time outdoors, you need to be cautious of ticks landing on your dog. These tiny little pests feed off the blood of their prey by burrowing into their skin. Living in dense, wooded areas, they fall onto both humans and animals alike. If you are going to be spending time outdoors or in any wooded areas, it’s always good to check for ticks the moment that you get home. 

If you do find a tick on your dog, clean your hands, and remove the tick with tweezers. Clean the wound with alcohol, and keep an eye on it to make sure it doesn’t get infected.

Don’t Assume They Can Swim

A common misconception is that it’s in a dog’s nature to know how to swim. While there are certainly dogs that can hop into the water and pick it up in seconds, that isn’t the case for all dogs. In fact, there are certain breeds whose body structure makes it near impossible for them to swim at all. That being said, never assume that your dog can swim if you’re at the lake or hanging out along the river because it could put their life at risk.

You should always start by first finding out if they’re comfortable with water. If they are, see if they can swim in a shallow area where they can also reach the bottom of the water. If they seem comfortable, try a deeper body of water. If not, you can always invest in a life jacket to ensure they are safe and sound while hanging out near any body of water during the summer. 

Dogs Get Sunburnt Too

You might be surprised to hear that dogs are capable of getting sunburnt too. The dogs that are most likely to get burnt are the ones with thin or light colored hair. If too much time is spent in the sun, they’ll experience the same discomfort that you do when you’re outside for too long. That being said, dogs don’t use the same sunscreen that we humans do. If you are concerned about your dog getting sunburnt or it’s happened in the past, schedule an appointment at West Ballantyne Animal Hospital, and we’d be more than happy to help you.

Visit Us Today

The summer safety tips are ones that you should live by in the months to come. With temperatures at an all-time high, you want to ensure that your pet is always comfortable when spending time outdoors. Whether it’s a routine check-up or a summer emergency, West Ballantyne Animal Hospital is always here to provide you with the professional guidance that you need for your pup this summer. Contact us today to schedule your pup’s next appointment.