The summer months are certainly a blast!
However, the sun and increase in temperature brings with it its own set of hazards. Let’s review some safety measures to follow when out and about in the sun:
- Exercise your dog early or late in the day, as they can overheat quickly
- Provide easy access to fresh water. If visiting the park or going for walks, bring a bottle of water and a bowl to periodically re-hydrate your pet. If your pet is spending time outdoors playing, ensure to put out a bowl of fresh water, so they can re-hydrate as necessary
- Another popular way to keep your pets cool is to invest in a kiddie pool for them to relax and play in.
- Check the temperature of the ground or sand because if it’s too hot to the touch, then it’s too hot for their paws
- If your pet is spending time outdoors, monitor the amount of time they are outside, to ensure they aren’t overdoing it. Some dogs are serious sunbathers, and could happily lay out in the sun for hours. If you notice your dog panting while out in the hot sun, it’s time to go inside before they become overheated and/or sustain a sunburn. Furthermore, make sure your pet has access to shady areas when outside. And keep in mind the movement of the sun as the day passes; what’s shady in the morning, may be in full sunlight in just a couple hours
- Be cognizant of the level of humidity, not just the ambient temperature
- If your dog has a long coat, don’t shave them! Their hair coat acts as a protective barrier against the sun’s ultraviolet rays, and shaved skin is much more vulnerable to sunburn and sun damage. Instead, visit a groomer to request a haircut that will thin out their coat and/or brush regularly using a Furminator
- If your dog is a short haired (or hairless) breed, or is experiencing hair loss due to health reasons (such as allergies or certain health condition), they may require extra sun protection. If you anticipate spending hours out in the sun, consider putting a light t-shirt on your dog or purchasing performance sun protective dog clothing
- Watch for signs of heat stroke including but not limited to: heavy panting/difficulty breathing, glazed eyes, rapid heartbeat, vomiting, lethargy, excessive thirst, dizziness/lack of coordination.
- Never leave your pet in a parked car. The temperature in the car gets much hotter than outside and can lead to organ failure and/or death