Tips for keeping "man's best friend" safe and healthy this summer
Summertime. It's the season for picnics, vacations, and other family fun. It's also an important time of year to care for a very special and loyal member of your family — your family dog. While dogs love the opportunity to spend time outside, higher temperatures and other summer dangers can put them at risk. Here are some tips to ensure your dog stays healthy and present for all your family fun this summer:
- If your dog is outside, make sure he has a cool shady place to rest. According to the American Kennel Club (akc.org), doghouses are not good places for cooling dogs off as they can actually trap heat. Try to place your dog near a shady tree and have plenty of water nearby in a kiddie swimming pool where your dog can cool off.
- Always have cool and clean water available for your dog to drink during hot days.
- Avoid having your dog walk on hot sand, paved roads, or driveways, which can burn their paws.
- Don't take your dog on long walks or hikes during excessively hot days. If your dog needs to be walked, take him early in the morning or late in the evening when temperatures are cooler.
- Never leave your dog in a parked car in the heat, not even for a second.
Pet safety in the summer goes beyond heat protection. Here are some precautions to take to avoid other summer dangers:
- Make sure your dog's vaccinations are current. In the summer, your dog is likely to be outdoors longer and will have more opportunities to come in contact with other animals.
- Brush your dog regularly after each visit outside.
- Do not let your dog lie or play on grass that is chemically treated.
- If you take your dog to the beach, do not let him drink seawater, which can make him ill.
- Don't throw your dog in water, just assuming he or she can swim.
- If your dog can swim, make sure you are constantly watching him, as swimming can fatigue dogs easily.
- Fetch more safety advice to help your dog.
For more safety tips to help protect your dog this summer, visit