How To Keep Your Dog Safe This Summer
Sunny spells and wonderful holiday heat has swept the UK recently, a public reminder that Summer is official here. As we hope the hot weather continues, let’s not forget that the Sun’s heat can be dangerous for our fluffy companions!
Let's have a look at what we can do as dog owners to make this Summer as safe as possible for them. Here is a dog safety guide that you can keep in mind throughout the coming months so your dogs can continue to be happy and healthy.
Dogs Can Get Sunburnt Too!
Yes you heard right, dogs can actually get sunburn too which a lot of people are unaware of. While there is a layer of fur covering their skin, short haired and fair haired dogs are more susceptible to sunburn which can be very painful as we all know. The skin under your dog’s fur is very delicate which will burn easily.
To protect your dog from sunburn you should make sure your dog has access to shade. If there’s no shade where you are, for example the beach, you can always bring a sun umbrella and create shade for them.
Keep Your Dog’s Paws Cool
As the Sun beams down, surfaces like asphalt (tarmac) and metals can get extremely hot in the Summer. Tarmac and metals are known to absorb the Sun’s heat and trap it in, which can easily burn your dog’s delicate paws if they come in contact with them.
Burnt paws can be very painful and uncomfortable so to avoid this, try to keep your dog off these surfaces. The sun is at its strongest between the hours of 11am and 3pm, so walking your dog outside these hours will help to prevent hot or burnt paws. As a general rule, if it’s too hot for your hands, it’s too hot for their paws.
Supervise Your Dog When Swimming
Swimming is a great alternative to walking in hot weather, it helps to keep your dog cool whilst also helping to burn energy and keeps your dog fit and healthy. Whilst all dogs instinctively know how to swim, not all dogs can swim well or even like to swim.
You should never throw your dog into a swimming pool because if they can’t swim well, they may not be able to get out on their own and they can quickly drown. Always supervise your dog whilst swimming because it only takes a couple of minutes for a dog to drown.
You should try to limit the amount your dog spends in the water to 10 to 30 minutes sessions so they don’t get too tired, to allow for toilet breaks, catch their breath and hydrate.
Keep Your Dog Well Groomed
Keeping your dog well groomed and maintained is important all year round but especially so during the Summer. Brushing your dog’s fur regularly will help to remove dead hair and dirt from their coat, making them feel lighter and cooler.
It is also worth wiping their coat down after they have been outside to remove pollen, particularly for dogs who suffer from allergies. Grooming is also a great opportunity to check for ticks on your dog’s skin or any other pests.
If your dog has a thick coat or their coat tends to grow quickly then a trip to a professional groomer might be in order. However, you shouldn’t shave your dog’s coat too short because it provides a lot of protection against the Sun’s UV rays, pollen and dirt, as well as helping to regulate their body temperature.
Be Aware of Sea Water
Visiting the beach in the Summer is an aim for all and an exciting activity for both owners and pets. However, the sea can be dangerous, especially waves and tides. Be wary of sea tides and supervise your dogs at the beach and never let them go too far out in the sea.
You should also keep an eye out if your dog drinks sea water, because it is not the same as drinking water as it contains a very high concentration of salt which can make dogs sick. Swallowing a lot of sea water can lead to salt poisoning which has the same effects as water intoxication. This is when dogs drink too much water in a small space of time. Always bring fresh, drinking water with you so your dog can have a drink after their swim.
Due to sea water having a lot of salt, it would also be a good idea to rinse your dog off with clean water after they’ve gone swimming because once sea water has dried on their skin it will make them dry and irritated.
Keep Your Dog Protected From Pests
During the Summer months, we embark on more outdoor activities than any other season but do you know who else is also out and about on these lovely, hot days? Fleas and ticks!
So don’t forget to stay on top of pest protection in the Summer because not only are they annoying and itchy for your dog, but some dogs are even allergic to them and bites can get infected. Regular treatment is the only way to protect against fleas and it’s always handy to keep a tick-remover device at home.
You should always bare in mind allergic reactions to bees and wasps stings. Since dogs tend to have their mouth open a lot of the time, they are more susceptible to stings in the mouth or tongue. Stings in these areas can cause swelling and difficulty breathing, especially if they have been stung more than once. If you think your dog is having an allergic reaction or has been stung multiple times, contact your vet immediately.
Provide Plenty of Drinking Water
We all forget to keep hydrated at times, especially whilst having a cold beer or a cocktail in the sun. For our four-legged friends, having drinking water available at all times during the Summer is so important especially since that’s all they can drink.
Dogs lose a lot of their fluids through panting and urinating and common dehydration signs include a thicker saliva, lethargy, excessive panting, dry gums and nose as well as loss of elasticity in the skin.
Be sure to watch out for these signs and always provide accessible, fresh drinking water. If you're travelling, having a collapsible bowl is always handy! Check out our new Betty & Butch Collapsible Dog Bowl.
Never Leave Your Dog in a Hot Car!
Let’s start with the number one rule, don’t leave your dog unaccompanied in a hot car. As you know, sitting in the car during the summer months can be quite unbearable at times. The temperature inside a car can double in just under 30 minutes which can be very dangerous for your dog - leading to head exhaustion and suffocation.
Always take your dog with you or leave them with a family member/friend so they can take them to the shade and provide plenty of fresh, drinking water for them.
It’s Better to Be Safe Than Sorry
It is always better to be safe than sorry when it comes to your dog’s safety. There are a lot more things we need to keep in mind during the Summer, especially regarding the sea and the Sun’s heat that poses a risk for dogs and pets in general.
By all means, enjoy the Summer and outdoor activities, just be aware of the added risks surrounding the hot weather so we can keep our dogs happy and healthy!
Looking for new summer toys for your dog? Our Knotty Doggy Toy Range is back in stock which features sea-like creatures that can be dipped in water and frozen to provide a cooling treat for your dog.