Summer times are lovely times for dogs! There’s often more outdoor activities and maybe more time together with mommy and daddy. But with it comes the biggest hazard for dogs – the heat. Me and Harry want to help you keep an eye on the dangers that come with the summer. Dogs don’t sweat as we humans do, dogs frows, they lose energy and just want to lie and press on cold floors or in shady corners of the garden. They emit heat through the paws, making them sensitive to overheating. So, to help you keep an eye on the dangers and keeping your dog safe, we’ve made a short list for you.
Bring water Always bring a bottle of water (and a bowl) with you. There are a lot of options in the petshops. These are two of our favorites. An foldable bowl (that we use with an ordinary waterbottle that you get in the supermarket).
and this combined bottle bowl.
But you can use anything, like a smal thermos. Or one of them “sportsbottles” you see athletes use.
Avoid the sun. Avoid walks and being in the sun, especially between 11am and 3pm when the sun is at is strongest. Take long walks really early in the mornings and late at night when it’s cooler outside.
Avoid the asphalt. The asphalt gets really hot in the summertime, avoid walking on it with your dog as much as possible. It’s not uncommon for dogs to get burns on their paws after walkies in the summer. There are special balms for dogs paws you can apply to help keep the paws soft and to help healing. We use paw balm all year round as the cold snow and salt also causes the paws to dry out and crack. This is our favorite.
Never leave your dog alone in the car. This is one of the most important, and one that we’ve been told for the last.. what.. 50 years (?), and we still see and hear about people doing this without thinking twice. Never, ever, under any circumstances should you leave your dog alone in the car. It doesn’t matter if it “only takes two minutes” Just don’t do it. Within 20 minutes your dog will start to overheat, that can cause permanent damages, and in worse case – die. If you can’t take your dog with you, try to run your errands at a different time of the day, shop online or ask someone to watch your dog for you.
Look for shade. If you bring your dog with you to a public place, like a coffee shop or a park, look for the place with the most shade. If you can bring your dog inside and they have air conditioning – sit inside. During the spring and summer there are a lot of people having picnics in the park, on the beach or have an ice cram. Left over chicken bones, ice cream sticks, or corn cobs may damage the dog’s stomach or cause stomach ache. Do what you can to keep the dog from getting what people have left behind and watch out so that they don’t cut themselves on pieces of broken glass.
Cooling products. Most petshops have a great selection of different cooling products for your dog. Like mats and jackets. They come in different shapes and sizes and are easy to fold and take with you.
If you have an older car without air condition, there are different kinds of bars, like this one, to help keep your dog safe in the car with a rolled down window.
Cooling treats. One way to help your dog to keep cool is different cold treats. Like dog ice cream, or ice cubes. I put treats in an ice cube tray for Harry, and he loves it – not as much as the ice cream, but who can blame him. Everyone loves ice cream 🙂 Don’t forget to check the waterbowl more often and make sure your dog has unlimited access to fresh water 24/7.
Avoid public pools. I know it’s tempting to let your dog cool down in public fountains and pools, but you don’t know what kind of chemicals and cleaners are being used. A lot of them are harmful to your dog, causing itching on the skin and being toxic to drink. There are ways you can cool your dog at home. In the bath or shower or a kiddie pool in the garden. Just make sure it’s safe for your dog to use. We have and old baby bath that Harry can get in and out of by himself. Use your imagination.
Make sure to get the paws, tummy area and hed wet.
The beach. The beach is probably the no.1 place to go on a hot day, but dogs are not allowed on all beaches, if they are – make sure you follow the guidelines. Watch out for algies, when they bloom, they produce a poison. If your dog drinks the water when the algae bloom, it can lead to algal poisoning. If your dog is vomiting, gets diarrhea or becomes very anxious just after a trip to the water, it needs to be examined by a veterinarian.
Insects, bees, gnats, snakes and toads. Snake bites can cause serious damage to the heart, liver and kidneys. At first, you don’t notice the snake bite that much, but after a while the dog can get tired and the bitten body part swells up. If your dog gets bitten, keep it calm and seek a veterinarian as soon as possible. Even toads can exterminate poison if they get stressed, and the dog may get low and start drooling if it gets intoxicated. Bites or stings from insects such as mosquitoes, gnats and bees usually don’t give any serious reactions but can be both itchi and sore. Keep the dog under surveillance, especially if it has been stung in the mouth. Should it have a strong reaction or difficulty breathing, it should be examined by a veterinarian.
Enjoy the rest of the summer, and remember – DON’T LEAVE YOUR DOG IN THE CAR! And always bring water with you.