Whether your summer is filled with dog-friendly travel plans or staycations while kids are home from school, the long days and warm weather are a perfect time to spend some quality time with our dogs while soaking in the sun and breathing in the fresh summer air.
Regardless of your favorite summer activities, it’s important to prioritize safety just as much as fun. Read on for some expert summer safety tips for dogs so both you and your pup can enjoy a fun, carefree summer to the fullest.
Tip #1: Don’t Shave Your Dog
You may be tempted to shave your pup’s long, thick coat in order to keep him cool during the summer heat. However, we—and, most likely, your pet’s groomer—strongly advise against shaving your dog this summer.
This is because your dog’s coat already acts as built-in climate control; shaving it off will only throw that natural system out of whack. Plus, shaving can damage a double-coated dog’s fur as it grows back—and your dog needs that layer of fur to protect against sunburn, twigs, burrs, and other debris.
If your dog is a breed that does benefit from a fresh summer cut, be sure to leave at least one inch of fur for that much-needed skin protection.
Tip #2: Protect Your Pup’s Paws
Did you know that when it’s 85 degrees Fahrenheit outside, asphalt temperatures can reach 135 degrees? We don’t tend to notice the ground temperatures since we wear shoes, but your pup’s paws will certainly take a toll.
Rule of thumb (or paw): if it’s too hot for you to stand or walk barefoot, it’s too hot for your dog.
Because your pup still needs his exercise, plan your daily walks for times when the weather is cool, such as mornings and late evenings. Stay in the shade whenever possible, or even let your dog walk on the grass (as long as it’s allowed) to keep his paws protected from the heat.
Some dogs even do well with dog shoes or booties… but keep in mind that your dog may or may not be a fan of this option.
Tip #3: Keep Your Dog Hydrated
With the summer heat and uptick in exciting activities, you may need to pay some extra attention to how much water your dog is drinking these next few months.
Typically, dogs should be drinking about one ounce of water per pound of body weight on a daily basis, although this can vary based on your dog’s health, diet, and activity levels.
Keep your dog hydrated by providing consistent access to clean, cool water both indoors and outdoors. When you’re out for the day, bring along a collapsible water bowl or dog water bottle.
Tip #4: Swim Safely
Whether you enjoy swimming, boating, or simply relaxing on the beach or poolside, it’s important to make sure your pup is safe whenever you’re around a body of water.
Whether your dog is a natural-born swimmer or not, it’s always a good idea to equip him with a dog life jacket. Even the most avid swimmers can become panicked or fatigued in the water, and a dog life jacket will ensure that his back always stays level with the water.
Keep an eye on your dog at all times (not to mention potential hazards in the water), taking breaks from swim sessions every 10 minutes or so to rest and indulge in safe drinking water.
Rinse your dog thoroughly after any water excursion, as seawater minerals, salt, chlorine, algae, and other foreign bodies can irritate the skin and damage the coat.
Tip #5: Provide Sufficient Sun Protection
Whether you’re hiking, swimming, or simply lounging in your backyard, make sure to provide sufficient sun and heat protection for both you and your pup.
Did you know that dogs can get sunburnt? Protect your pet from the sun with dog-friendly sunscreen, or even protective (and stylish) dog clothing such as sun shirts and hats.
Fido should also have easy access to shady spots with plenty of airflow. While a doghouse seems like a logical spot to hide from the heat, confined spots like these can actually trap heat and make things worse. Instead, opt for trees and tarps to keep your dog from overheating.
Tip #6: Soothe Your Stressed-Out Dog
From fireworks and thunderstorms to changes in routine and travel plans (with AND without your dog), summer can bring about some added anxiety in even the most typically calm pets.
Whether your dog experiences fear-related anxiety, separation anxiety, or simply has an anxious personality, you’ll want to be mindful of his stress levels and take the necessary steps to diffuse the situation.
Try PetHonesty’s Premium Hemp Calming Chews to soothe your stressed-out pup. These gentle, non-sedating soft chews are made with a blend of natural calming ingredients including valerian root, chamomile, ginger root, and hemp seed powder. Plus, they come in tasty chicken or beef liver flavors that your pup is sure to love!
Tip #7: Keep Your Dog Healthy With PetHonesty
We all want the best for our pets. Why not boost your dog’s health from the inside out with a multivitamin?
PetHonesty’s 10-for-1 Multivitamin soft chews combine a well-rounded blend of vitamins and supplements to support your dog’s daily overall health and promote healthy skin, joints, digestion, and immune system.