Now that it’s summer, our four-legged friends are spending more time outdoors, being active – and that comes with risks. Here are some important tips for keeping your dog safe in the hot summer months:
Hot car in the city. Don’t leave your dog in the car when it’s warm – temperatures inside a closed car can be 20 degrees or more above the outside ambient temperature. That means that although it’s only a balmy 80 outside, your dog will be at risk of heat stroke and suffocation in your 100 degree car.
Avoid the hottest part of the day. If you usually exercise your dog in the middle of the day, consider switching to early mornings or evenings, to keep you both cool. You wouldn’t want to go for a jog when it’s 90 degrees out, would you?
Water, water everywhere. Trips to the park for exercise when it’s hot out require frequent water breaks. If your park has a water fountain, bring along a collapsible bowl. Otherwise, make sure to bring an extra bottle of water.
Picnic and BBQ vigilance. We’re more likely to eat outside during the summer, adding more temptation for our dogs to try to steal food that could make them sick. Keep an eye on your picnic basket, even during that scintillating game of badminton, and put your steaks and other goodies high enough that your pup can’t get at them.
Itchy and scratchy. With more outdoor activities comes increased exposure to fleas and ticks. Set up a recurring event on your calendar to remind you to administer flea and tick prevention when appropriate, and make sure to stock up from a trusted source.
Bang! Independence Day is one of the most enjoyable summer holidays for humans, but loud fireworks can upset animals and cause them to bolt in fear. Keep pets inside, give dogs a safe place to “hide”, and make sure all pets are wearing collars with ID just in case someone pulls a legger.
Toxin risks. If you use petroleum based fertilizers – or any substances that have a poison warning on the container – on your garden, keep pets away for the period stated on the label. If you have an emergency, the ASPCA’s poison control center operates a 24/7 hotline at (888) 426-4435 (there’s a $65 charge).