Dogs and Warm Weather: How to Keep your Furry BFF Safe!
Now that the weather is getting warmer, and we are planning our summer vacations or just going outdoors more often. All dog parents out there, make sure you take certain precautions when it comes to your pup's health. To ensure that you and your canine companion have an enjoyable summer, we've compiled a list of cautions to keep in mind this season, so that your furry BFF stays safe.
- Just like us, our dogs can get sunburned. Primarily, dogs that are hairless, white, or of light colour are more sensitive to sun exposure and at risk for sunburn and sun-induced cancers. Always try to find a beautiful shady place for your pal or consider using a cloth as a tent over their sitting space made specifically for your dog.
- Our pets paws are just as sensitive as our hands and feet. So, if the pavement feels hot when you touch it with your hand, imagine what it feels like on your dog's paws? If you can't walk on the ground barefooted, neither can your dog. During the summer, ground surfaces, such as sidewalks, streets, and sandy beaches tend to overheat and become unbearable for us to walk on barefooted. It's the same situation with our furry BFF. So, choose wisely where your pet walks and what hours, to avoid blisters and cuts. Always have a quick look at their paws after a long summer day to make sure all is ok.
- NEVER leave a pet in a hot car unattended. Every year, we hear about the sad incidents that dogs die from being left alone in hot vehicles. The temperature in a car under the sun can reach life-threatening hights quickly, for pets and people even with the windows open.
- Speaking about windows, as the weather becomes hotter, the need to open windows and balcony doors is inevitable. Doing so can lead to your dog falling, slipping, or jumping out the window. Most of the dogs will try to explore their vacation house, so make sure your pet doesn't have access to any open windows or doors. Summer deck parties can also prove hazardous, so someone must always be monitoring your dog.
- Did you know that dogs can suffer from heat stroke? The reasons why we need to be aware of the symptoms of heat stroke in dogs is because dogs cannot directly tell us if they are having heat stroke or not. As a loving owner, we should always be mindful of how our pets are coping under testing conditions. While is it normal for dogs to pant, it is not healthy for dogs to pant excessively. If you notice that the dog is panting excessively with its tongue hanging by the side of the mouth, then it is a clear indication that your dog is suffering from heatstroke. Familiarize yourself with the signs of heat stroke, and call your veterinarian immediately if you notice any of these symptoms.
- Are you planning to take your pal to the beach/pool? Make sure he knows how to swim and how to get out. Contrary to popular belief, not all dogs can swim. Get to teach him a few basic things before arriving at a pool or beach. It's a good idea to have a dog life jacket on hand, especially if you frequent the beach or like to go boating. If you do have a pool, it should be fenced to protect your pup from wandering in. He should never be allowed in the pool unsupervised.
- Talking about pools, Barbeques come to mind! With their keen sense of smell, dogs find the scents at a barbecue or cookout very enticing, but the food served can be dangerous to their health. Never give your dog a cooked bone, because the bone can splinter when chewed, causing choking and severe injury to your dog. Try to avoid those sweet drooling faces, and you are safe!
- And apart from the pool and the BBQ, we all want to make our outdoor areas look nice, but several flowers and lawn-care products can be toxic to dogs. Create a dog-friendly garden. Avoid the potential risk of your canine companion, eating something he shouldn't be planting. If you had a garden before you got your dog, it's best to survey your yard and identify any plants that may be dangerous. Then restrict your dog's access to them.
- In some areas, (mostly Mediterranean countries) summer brings high humidity along with soaring temperatures and mosquitos. Mosquito bites can be hazardous! Warm weather is the most dangerous time for your dog to get heartworm which is transmitted to dogs from mosquitos. For your dog, heartworms cause inflammation and damage the heart, arteries, and lungs – and can be fatal if left untreated.
- Last but not least, where ever you decide to go this summer, your dog must be included in your vacation plans. Pack his bag with his food, bowls, treats, toys, lead, a towel of his own, a cotton or other fabric sheet for that DIY extra shade when needed and his bed if possible! Make them feel like royalty, because as the end of the day... It's about Dogs. It's about Love. It's about Sharing. Sweetie.