As summer eases into Fall, it’s still important to remain vigilant about your canine’s safety while you’re sharing fun and adventurous activities with your four-legged best friend. Always be proactive about minimizing – and avoiding – potential injuries and dangers like heat exhaustion, dehydration, overheated cars, parasites and even water hazards.
Remember, your pup depends on you to be on your guard and protect him from injury and danger. Follow the 5 safety tips below even in the Fall when warm temperatures and other dangers are still present.
1. Stay Cool
Heat exhaustion is a common phenomenon experienced by dogs during warmer months. Even “mild” weather may be too hot for your dog. When your dog begins to pant heavily, become lethargic and unenthusiastic, get him to a cool place and encourage him to drink water.
A dog cooling mat or air conditioning can also help keep your dog cool and prevent him from becoming overheated.
Also, apart from staying cool, also protect your dog against skin cancer through the use of dog-friendly or baby sunscreens Ideally, you should apply sunblock on your dog every 4 hours and each time after they swim. Protect sun-sensitive areas like noses, lips, tips of the ears and tail and even the belly and groin.
2. Stay Hydrated
Proper hydration will also help keep your dog cool and safe during the warmer months. Ensure they always have access to plenty of clean, cool water. Since they will be consuming more water than normal, make sure they have at least twice the usual amount of water available at all times.
You might also want to consider making the switch to a wet food diet during this time so your dog takes in more moisture. Also, liquids such as frozen chicken and beef broth goes a long way in encouraging them to drink more to stay cool and fully hydrated.
3. Never Leave Your Dog Alone in the Car
Never leave a dog alone in the car. While it might not be so harmful during the winter, in the summer you should never leave your dog alone in the car, no matter how short the amount of time is. A cracked window does not allow enough ventilation to keep up with how quickly a car can heat up. So keep your dog safe and at home in the air conditioning to ensure their safety and overall well-being.
In short, your dog cannot survive in a hot car.
4. Parasites and Pests
Parasites and pests such as ticks, fleas and even mosquitoes can pose some real threats to your dog’s health. Work with your veterinarian for necessary precautions and appropriate steps to protect against parasites and pests. Also get your dog inoculated against diseases such as heartworms and hookworms, both of which are more prevalent during the warmer seasons.
5. Water Hazards
Who doesn’t love a trip to the beach, a refreshing swim, or even a canoe ride. All of these are fun and amazing, but they can also leave your dog exposed to potential water hazards.
Most people believe dog are natural swimmers, but this is not always true. While many dogs do love the water, not all dogs are natural swimmers; especially when it comes to specific breeds that are larger with deeper chests. In addition, even the best swimmers can be challenged with being able to safely get out of the water (especially in pools) or dealing with unexpected water creatures. Always keep a close eye on your dog around the water to protect him.
Before enjoying the water with your dog, teach them pool exit strategies; have them wear a bright-colored and well-fitted life vest and keep an eye out for dangerous currents and riptides that can endanger even the strongest dog.
Meet our Guest Blogger: Pete Decker
Pete Decker is the lead editor at TheGoodyPet.com. For the past 20 years, Pete has been working professionally with dogs, and he has spent time volunteering in animal shelters across the USA and around the world. Now, Pete dedicates his time towards TheGoodyPet, a pet educational website made by pet lovers for pet lovers.