How to Keep Your Dog Safe This Summer

Everybody likes to stay cool and comfortable during the stifling heat and humidity of a hot Charlotte summer and this includes your furry pet dog. There are several ways to battle the soaring temperatures and keep your pet as healthy as can be. We’ll list several tips below on the best way to keep your dog safe and comfortable this summer.

Never leave a pet in your car

This actually goes for a warm day any time of the year. Temperatures can quickly rise to dangerous levels inside of a parked car even if the windows are left slightly open and it’s parked in the shade. For example, the temperature can reach just over 100 degrees Fahrenheit within 10 minutes on an 85-degree day and within half an hour it could hit 120 or 160 degrees. This could cause heatstroke, irreversible organ damage to your dog or even kill the pet.

Plenty of water and shelter

The humidity can also affect a dog’s health and it’s important that the animal’s temperature doesn’t rise above 104 degrees. Be sure your dog has some effective shade outside as well as plenty of cool, fresh water. On especially hot days you may want to throw some ice cubes into it as well. Another way to keep them cool is to apply cold towels or ice packs to their chest neck and head, run cool water over them or outfit them with a cooling vest. In fact, why not treat the dog with his or her own kiddie pool. Also, be sure to let your dog exercise in the morning or evening when it’s cooler.

Battling parasites

When the weather gets warmer it usually means there are plenty of mosquitoes, ticks, fleas and other types of parasites about. These tiny creatures can carry different types of diseases and bacteria including heartworms, tapeworms, Lyme disease and West Nile Virus. It’s a good idea to battle these parasites with preventative products which can be found at your local veterinarian or pet store.

Use sunscreen

Dogs with white fur around their ears and head can benefit from the use of sunscreen…even when they’re lying in the sun indoors next to a window. Dogs with areas of thin fur and pink or white skin can actually suffer from sunburn the same as humans do. While regular sunscreen can be used, natural zinc oxide based sun protection is better. You’ll also find pet sunscreen on the market which is chemical free.

Protect your dog from toxins

Many plants, bulbs, and mushrooms are toxic and it’s important to keep your pet away from them. It’s a good idea to do a little research and find out how safe your garden plants are. In addition, be sure to clean your driveway if your car is leaking oil or antifreeze and make sure there are no poisonous mulches, fertilizers and/or pesticides present in your yard.

Watch out for wildlife

Depending on where you live and the time of year you may encounter a variety of wildlife when out walking with your dog. Keep an eye out for potential dangerous critters such as porcupines, skunks, snakes, and poisonous toads.

Remove burrs

Burrs and foxtails can get caught in your pet’s fur and/or paws and work them through or into the skin. They can also reach the abdomen or chest and cause life-threatening infections. Be sure to check your pooch’s fur and paws after a walk in the country and remove anything that doesn’t belong.

Drive safely

We all know dogs love to take a cruise around the neighborhood while looking out the car window or in the back of a pickup truck. But this can be dangerous as gravel and dust can shoot up into his/her eyes and they can also be thrown from the vehicle if you suddenly brake. The safest place for your dog, yourself and all the other drivers on the road is in the back seat and harnessed in.

Have pet ID

Your pet should always be easy to identify either via a collar, ID tag or microchip. You just never know when your dog may bolt loose, especially when you’re out on a day trip.

Keep a first aid kit

It’s highly recommended that you have a first aid kit on hand for your pet just in case of an emergency.

Don’t let your dog swim alone

Most dogs love the water and are pretty good swimmers. However, it could be fatal if you just assume your pet is a good swimmer. Never let your dog swim unsupervised since they could encounter problems.