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Summer may be your favorite time of year, but with it comes the heat, humidity and summer storms-all of which can be very hard on your dog. When planning your summer, it is important to remember your canine family members to make sure they make it through the summer happy and healthy.
Depending on your experience level with dogs, below are either some new tips or some important reminders to keep your canine friends happy and safe during the summer months.
Heat can kill...and very quickly. Make sure your pet has plenty of cool, clean water. Do not dehydrate your pup by exercising him in the heat of the day. Save the run or long walk for early morning or late evening when it is cooler. Bring plenty of water with you and give him a drink whenever you take one. Be aware, too, that hot pavement can burn your dog's paws. So if the pavement feels warm or hot to your hand, your dog will not like it. Dogs don't have shoes to insulate their feet!
If your dog is spending time outside, make sure he has shade available to him along with plenty of cool, clean water. Provide two or more sources of water in case one gets knocked over. Your dog will also need shelter in the event of a sudden storm. He does not want to be out in the storm any more than you do. For his shelter, be sure to provide adequate ventilation because heat is a major cause of death in pets in the summer.
Cars and Trucks
Do not leave your dog in the car, even with the windows open. Heat buildup is tremendous, and it will not take long for him to overheat and suffer heat stroke. In less than 10 minutes, a car can reach over 120 degrees when it is only 80 degrees outside. Remember, your dog is wearing a fur coat. Think how you would feel if you were wearing fur at this time of the year!
Some dogs love to stick their heads out of the window to catch a breeze. It may look cute to you, but flying objects can injure your dog's eyes and the constant flapping of his ears in the wind can harm them. Instead, crate your dog to keep him safe, or use a restraint, such as Kurgo's Tru-Fit Smart Harness and Zip Line. The back of a pickup is not a safe place for him. If untethered, he can jump or fall out, and even if he is tethered, he may get jerked around and injured during turns or sudden stops. He could also be hurt from the intense heat on the bed of a pickup.
If your dog loves the water and loves to jump into the pool, make sure he knows how to get out safely. Dogs will instinctively try to get out at the same place they went in, so it is important to teach your dog or puppy where and how to get out of the pool regardless of where he went in. It is also important for you to keep an eye on him when he is in the pool because swimming is very tiring for a dog.
Be aware of the surrounding area if you take your dog to the beach, lake or pond. Watch for trouble and make sure your dog will come to you as soon as you call. Recall is one of the most important lessons you can teach your dog. It can literally save his life.
With a little planning and thought, we can help our dogs enjoy the summer and make it through without incident. After all-we love our pets and want them to be with us and healthy for as long as possible.