Summertime is great for getting outdoors, and many people like to include their canine kids. Usually short stays outside don’t require any planning, but if you’re going to stay out for a prolonged period of time there are some easy safety tips you should take to ensure your dog’s comfort and health.
Make sure shade is available for your dog if he’s staying out all day. Some dogs require sunscreen. Especially if your dog is light-colored, has very short hair, or a thin coat then sunscreen can be applied. Even dogs with thick coats may require protection on the tips of their ears, their noses, their belly areas, and anywhere else that might be exposed. You should only use sunscreen made for dogs. Human sunscreen may contain chemicals that may be harmful to your dog. There are also sun-suits for dogs made from lightweight UV blocking material. One of our picks is the Hurtta’s Sun & Bug Blocker Suit.
Hot Street & Pavement
The pads on a dog’s paws are susceptible to being burned by hot pavement or asphalt streets, not to mention hot sand if you’re at the beach. To be sure the surface you are walking on isn’t too hot for your dog, check with your hand. If you can’t hold your hand on the surface comfortably for 10 seconds, it could burn Fido’s feet.
NEVER leave your dog unattended in a locked car with the windows rolled up. That can cause fatal heatstroke. Also, don’t let your dog be outdoors for a prolonged period of time if the temperature is over 90 degrees Fahrenheit. Signs of heatstroke include heavy panting, thickened saliva, loose bowels, wobbling or feinting. If these symptoms are present get your dog out of the sun and call your vet. If you’re going to be outside all day in a place with limited shade, portable cabanas such as the ShadyPaws Sunshade can help keeping your dog cool and prevent overheating.
Make sure your dog is protected from ticks and fleas by using products like Frontline or flea and tick collars. Some sun-suits also provide protection from insects if you are hiking in an area that may have ticks and fleas. They will also deter mosquitoes and other biting insects.
Many dogs will shed thicker winter coats in spring for a lighter, cooler coat. You can help this process by brushing or combing your dog to remove the loose hair. We recommend the FURminator, which is great for removing excess hair without harming your pooch’s skin. Although many people do it with no ill effects, it is not recommended to shave your dog. If you do, then a sun-suit or sunscreen will be necessary for prolonged outings.
It’s very important to keep your dog fully hydrated. Like humans, dogs lose water when they’re active, and if you jog with your dog for example, hydration is critical. He or she should always have access to fresh water. There are many portable water-holding devices that are convenient to bring along on any excursion, such as the Kathy Ireland Loved Ones Collapsible Pet Travel Bowl.
Personal Flotation Device
Most but not all dogs are natural swimmers. However to ensure their safety it is recommended that your dog have its own Personal Floatation Device (PFD). These are dog life jackets that are made from buoyant materials that will keep your pooch floating if he or she can’t swim, are poor swimmers, or get tired from swimming.
Summer is a great time to spend time with your dog and enjoy their companionship. Taking a few moments to ensure his or her safety and comfort can make those good times even better. head over to TTPM Pets for more dog gear ideas to help keep your dog cool this summer.