Summer is a time to explore, adventure, and discover. There is no better way to enjoy these activities than with your best friend by your side! It’s important to make sure that you are keeping your pet safe so that you both can get the most out of these beautiful summer months. Dehydration and overheating are not something to take lightly and can lead to serious and fatal conditions.
While this may seem obvious it’s worth mentioning that your pet is going to need to stay hydrated, especially in these warmer months. Bring along a pet water bottle or bowl so that they can quench their thirst while they smell all the new smells and take in all the views.
Consider exploring somewhere your pet can be near a body of water so they can cool off when needed. Perhaps explore a new trail that wraps around a lake or take your dog kayaking with you. Be sure your dog is equipped with a safety jacket! While we assume swimming is a natural instinct, not all dogs are good swimmers and they might need some assistance.
The Unforgiving Summer Sun
Be sure to keep an eye on the temperatures and humidity before an adventure. Pavement can also become very hot and can cause burns to your dog’s feet. The best way to verify is to place your hand on the pavement for a few seconds and if it’s too hot to touch then your pet should not be walking on it. Walking on the grass is a good alternative. These factors may rule out an outdoor adventure and equate to some fun indoor adventures near the AC. Heat exhaustion in dogs can lead to serious and potentially fatal conditions such as heat stroke and cardiac arrest. Mornings and evenings may be the best time to get outside with your pet during these hot summer months but it’s crucial to be aware of physical cues of overheating or exhaustion. These things can happen quickly, especially for dogs that are older, have longer coats, are extremely active or flat-face breeds such as bull dogs.
Signs Your Pet is Overheating
-Vomiting / diarrhea
-Gums or tongue is turning blue or bright red
-Dizziness, loss of coordination
-Collapsing / experiencing convulsions
Shade and plenty of chances to rest and hydrate are crucial in making sure your adventuring is not only fun but safe!
Under no circumstances should your pet be left in a car, even in the shade with the windows rolled down.
What to do if your pet is overheated
-Get them to a cool place as soon as possible.
-Offer them cool water to drink, soak towels and lay them over your dog or get your dog into some cool water.
-Get them to the vet. Call ahead so they can be prepared for your arrival.
Parasite and Pest Protection
Making sure your pet is current on flea/tick protection is crucial so that you don’t bring anything home from your adventures that you don’t want. There are many types of prevention so talk with your vet about the right option for you and your pet. Check out our “Spring is Here!” blog to learn more about the products we love at Wayside Waifs.
Also be sure to be on the lookout for snakes and other creatures that could be harmful to you and your dog while you are adventuring.
Now that you are knowledgeable with what to prepare for, keep an eye on, and what to do if your pet is to become overheated go out there and enjoy the summer to its fullest potential!
Written by Tara Cleveland, Wayside Waifs