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Summer Safety for Dogs

May 15, 2024

Summer is the peak season for many of Fido’s favorite pastimes, like hiking, camping, playing, and swimming. No wonder many of our canine patients love this time of year! However, the heat can be dangerous for your pet. You’ll need to take a few steps to keep your furry pal safe and comfortable as temperatures rise. Read on for some tips on that from a Burlington, ON vet.

What Temperature Is Too Hot for a Dog to Be Outside?

You should be cautious whenever the temperature rises above 80 degrees. Even temperatures above 75 degrees Fahrenheit might be harmful for some dogs. Huskies, for example, have lots of very thick fur. That bulky coat is ideal for cold, snowy weather but can be unpleasant in the heat. If it’s over 90, you’ll need to be really cautious. Anything above 100 is exceedingly risky. And while it’s not exactly common for Canada to get that hot, it’s becoming less uncommon.

How Can I Keep My Dog Cool in Summer?

Water is the most crucial thing. Fido should always have access to fresh drinking water. You may need more water stations, especially if you have a large property and/or multiple dogs. On hot days, add a couple of ice cubes to your canine buddy’s water bowl. Always bring water when you go out with your pet. You can get your dog a water bottle with a dispenser to drink from. This is a useful item to take in the car, besides some bottled water.

Your pooch should also have access to climate-controlled rooms. If your pet has a yard to chase squirrels in, make sure there is a shady spot.

You may also need to change Fido’s routine for walks and playtime. Take him out in the mornings and evenings, when it is cooler outside. However, keep in mind that the pavement might remain scorching for some time after the sun has gone down.

Your dog will also appreciate having a comfortable bed. You might want to consider obtaining a raised bed. Because they enable air to flow beneath them, they stay cooler than traditional beds. You can also position a fan near or over the bed. You just need to make sure your dog doesn’t knock it over onto himself.

Cooling mats and pads might also help. These are ideal for puppies that suffer from the heat. There are many various variations available, so do some research before purchasing one. If you want to go the DIY route, store a clean towel in the freezer for your canine buddy and place it in his bed. Alternatively, hang a damp bandana around his neck. The water will cool Fido down as it evaporates. Plus, your canine companion will look adorable.

If you have a yard, get your dog a kiddie pool to play in. Fido may also like playing in the water with a hose or doggie sprinkler. You can even get your dog a fountain that sprays water in the air when he steps on it.

Grooming is also crucial. Some dogs will feel more at ease with a nice summer do. Of course, some puppies have fur that should never be trimmed. If Fido has a double coat, a haircut may damage his fur.

What Snacks Can I Offer My Dog on Hot Days?

We all enjoy a chilly treat on hot days. Fido also adores frozen treats! This is a great method to get the little tail moving.

Doggy Ice Cream: Many pet stores sell ice cream created just for Man’s Best Friend. Ben & Jerry’s even makes one! You might also make your own. There are many recipes online. Just stick to safe ingredients.

Pupsicles: This is a simple recipe your four-legged friend will like! You’ll need some paper cups, like Dixie cups. Set them out on a tray and fill them with water or sodium-free broth. You can also combine the two. Place them in the freezer to solidify slightly before inserting a chew stick into the center of each. Allow them to freeze completely. Simply pop one out when you want to offer Fido a snack.

Broth Cubes: This is another simple one. Simply place sodium-free broth in an ice cube tray and freeze. On hot days, give Fido a couple. You can also include shredded pork, bacon pieces, shredded cheese, peas, canned chicken or tuna, and healthy fruits and vegetables.

What Are the Signs My Dog Is Getting Too Hot?

Overheating is very, very dangerous to pets. Our canine companions can become dangerously hot very rapidly in hot weather. Dogs can’t easily cool down if they overheat. Fido can only sweat through his paw pads. Panting only helps to a certain extent.

Panting is usually the first thing you’ll notice. It is natural for dogs to pant after running and playing, but if Fido is panting excessively, he may be overheated.

Other red flags include the following.

  • Dehydration
  • Drooling
  • Trembling
  • Discolored gums
  • Lack of Urine Output
  • Lethargy
  • Vomiting
  • Diarrhea
  • Confusion

If you detect any of these, take immediate action to cool your four-legged friend down and contact your veterinarian or a pet urgent care clinic. You can offer Fido some lukewarm water to drink. Spritzing him with water and/or wiping a cool, wet towel over him can also be beneficial. You should be on the phone as you are doing this: your Burlington, ON veterinarian will be able to provide detailed instructions.

How Do I Keep My Dog Safe in the Summer?

Aside from keeping Fido hydrated and cool, there are a few more factors to consider. Paw burns are one thing to be cautious of. Use paw balm or wax, and keep your four-legged friend away from hot surfaces. If it’s too hot to walk barefoot, it’s too hot for your pet!

Also, never leave your pet in a car unsupervised. Temperatures inside parked cars can rise dangerously quickly. If Fido can’t go inside with you at your destination, leave him at home. 

Fido should also be fixed, microchipped, and up-to-date on vaccinations and parasite prevention. If he is overdue, contact your Burlington, ON veterinarian to schedule an appointment.

Have Fun With Fido!

Enjoy the summer with your cute pet! This is an excellent time to go on some fun trips with your pet best buddy. In the evenings, toss a ball for Fido or take him for a walk around a beautiful park. Time spent with pets is never wasted!

Is Swimming Good for Dogs?

Swimming can be a terrific option for Fido, but it can also be quite risky. It all depends on the dog. Some of our canine buddies like splashing and playing in the water. Labs and Golden Retrievers, for example, are excellent swimmers who are overjoyed when they get to go swimming. Swimming, on the other hand, should be avoided for brachycephalic dogs like pugs. Because of their narrow airways, these creatures can get into serious problems even in shallow water. If you’re unsure whether Fido is cut out 

Book An Appointment At Our Burlington, ON Pet Hospital

Is your dog in need of an examination? Have you got any questions about your dog’s health or care? Contact your Burlington, ON pet hospital today!

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