Summer is the time to get outside, and dog owners often want to bring their pooches with them to enjoy all the fun in the sun. This is great, and we highly recommend bringing your pup along on your adventures—but you should always be sure to do so safely. Taking some extra precautions to ensure the safety and comfort of your pup while you have fun in the summer sun will make it an enjoyable experience for everyone.
Keep Them Protected From the Sun
Make sure there’s shade available wherever you are or wherever you’re going. If there isn’t any natural shade, set up an umbrella or some other cover for them to retreat to when they need a break from the sun’s rays.
If you’re going to be playing out in the sun, make sure your dog has sunscreen on. It may seem kind of silly at first, but dogs can get sunburns just like people. Areas around the armpits, stomach, ears, and nose are all highly susceptible, and dogs with light-colored or thin fur are more at risk.
Avoid asphalt, especially at peak temperatures in the afternoon. Asphalt absorbs a lot of heat, and it can burn your pup’s paws. If it’s hot to you, it’s hot to them. If you have to cross asphalt, put booties on their feet or find a way to carry them across.
Make Sure They Always Have Access to Fresh Water
Dehydration is a serious concern during the summer for both dogs and people. Make sure both you and your pup stay hydrated while you’re out during the hot days of summer. If you’re going to the dog park, a dog beach, or out for a nature walk, be sure to pack a few essentials, including a water bottle full of fresh water for your pooch, along with a receptacle to hold the water. You can also get a dog water bottle with a bowl attached to the lid for ease of use.
If you’re out and you don’t have any water on you, it is safe for your dog to drink from clear, cool, moving water. Do not let them drink from standing water, as this can have cyanobacteria which is very dangerous when ingested.
Know Their Limits
You know your pup best, so keep their limits in mind when you’re planning to take them outside for some fun in the sun. Some dogs seem to have boundless energy and can go for hours as long as they’re hydrated and have ways to cool off. Other dogs might be happy with significantly less playtime before they tire and need to call it quits.
Brachycephalic, or short-snouted dogs, need to be watched more closely, and their activity time should be done in short bursts in order to keep them comfortable. Pugs, French Bulldogs, Bulldogs, Pekingese, and several other breeds are brachycephalic, and this means they have a harder time cooling off through panting since they struggle to breathe more than dogs with longer snouts.
Dogs with thick, fluffy coats, such as Pomeranians and Huskies, also need a little more care when out and about in the summer sun. These thick coats and undercoats are meant for retaining heat and thriving in cold environments, which leaves these dogs more susceptible to heat stroke.
If your dog has medical conditions, whether it’s heart disease, arthritis, or a minor temporary injury, keep that in mind when it’s time to play. Dogs need to be able to work off their energy but make sure they’re doing it in a way that is safe for them and won’t lead to bigger problems.
Stay Up-to-Date on Their Vaccinations + Flea & Tick Prevention
Don’t forget to see your veterinarian and make sure you have your pup up-to-date on their vaccinations, which will help prevent them from becoming ill when exposed to groups of other dogs. Also, fleas and ticks are at their worst during the summer months, so if you haven’t kept up with their flea and tick prevention over the winter, make sure to get them back on it before you start spending extended periods of time outside.
Trust Maryland Veterinary Surgical Services With Your Companion’s Health
Your companion’s health is important, and the team at MVSS is ready to provide the best care possible for your furry family. We are dedicated to combining comprehensive exams and assessments with informative and honest discussions of your companion’s care. Once we have worked with you to decide on the best course of action for your dog, our professionals will use their surgical expertise to work towards the goal of giving your companion an active and pain-free life. We are proud to serve loyal companions in Catonsville and Baltimore. To learn more about our services, give us a call at 410-788-4088 or visit us online. For more information and tips for pet health, follow us on Facebook and Pinterest.