Did you know that almost 40 percent of American households own a dog? Dogs are known for being great family pets, good for children, and fun and sociable companions as well.
If you like to take your dog out during the summer, you may be wondering how best to keep them safe and healthy during the hottest season of the year. Here are some tips and tricks so that you and your canine always have a great time.
Trick Out the Doghouse
The doghouse does not have to be used as a punishment for your dog. In fact, you can make the doghouse anything you want for your dog to be comfortable when they are in the backyard.
You can buy a doghouse online or make one of your own. There are many ideas around the internet, from the simplest designs to multi-story doghouses for your dog to play in.
Always make sure that they have a reliable source of shade and fresh water in the doghouse. If necessary, replace the water several times a day and cool it down with ice or chicken broth so they will stay hydrated.
If you want to take it to the next level, you can even put a fan or another cooling mechanism in the dog house. This way, your dog can always find a source of comfort, even when the temperatures rise.
Keep Them Hydrated
Dogs always need a lot of water, but it is even more important in the summer that they drink enough. Like humans, dogs tend to use more energy in the warmer months, and the heat means that they need more water to keep their bodies functioning.
Leave multiple sources of water around the house so that your dog always has fresh water nearby. Observe where they like to spend most of their time and place a bowl of cold water or a dispenser in that vicinity.
If your dog is having trouble drinking water, try using chicken broth or bullion cubes to entice them to take a few licks. Always use the low sodium variety to avoid your canine ingesting too much salt.
There are some things that you can do to test if your dog is well-hydrated. Grab the skin on the back of their neck to see if it is elastic. You can check the color of their gums as well.
Never Leave Them in a Hot Car
A good rule of thumb is to never leave your canine in a hot car. Although it may seem fine when you pull into the parking spot, the vehicle can heat up quickly, especially when it is exposed to direct sunlight.
If you need to leave your dog for any amount of time, make sure that the ignition is running and the air conditioner is on. You should also put a notice on the window letting passersby know that your dog is safe and comfortable while you are gone.
When in doubt, it is always best to just bring your dog with you rather than leave them inside the car. Do your research beforehand to see if your destination allows canine companions inside.
Protect Their Paws
Although the hot sidewalk or asphalt may seem fine beneath your feet when you wear shoes, remember that your dog does not have that type of protection. It is important for dog safety that their paws do not make contact with hot temperatures for extended periods of time.
A good solution is to simply avoid taking your dog out during the hottest parts of the day. If the temperature outdoors is over 85 degrees, then it is safe to assume that it is too hot for a dog to walk on without protection.
If you must take your dog out during the day, then try to stick to areas with grass and shady areas. Carry your dog over the hot areas to avoid contact with their bare feet.
Beware of Critters
Although summer is a great time to get outdoors, there are also many different bugs and animals to contend with. Always be on the lookout during walks to make sure you do not encounter snakes or scorpions.
Fleas and tickets are also a hazard for dog safety, and they can cause major damage if left untreated. You can help avoid these problems by making sure that your dog has flea and tick medication year-round.
Usually, you need to administer this medicine through a capsule or topically around once a month. It will help to kill critters on impact so they do not burrow and reproduce in your dog's fur.
Another one of the best dog care tips is to regularly check your canine for bugs. Pay close attention to their skin when you bathe them and note any changes in habits, like excessive scratching.
Focus on Grooming Needs
Although there are some breeds that do not shed, most furry friends release clumps of hair when the weather warms up. This is the body's way of helping your dog cool down so it does not overheat.
Brush your dog's hair regularly with a de-furring brush. This will help them shed more easily, and you can control the hair so it does not get all over your house.
You should also bathe them on a regular basis as well. Even if they like to frolic in a lake or ocean, you should rinse them off afterward so they do not bring back any harmful bacteria or bugs.
Remember These Summer Pet Safety Tips Today
If you have a dog, you should not have to worry about having fun with them during the warmest time of year. With these summer pet safety tips, you can make sure that you and your canine have a good time wherever you go.
Want to learn more about how best to care for your furry friend? Take a look around our site and contact us today if you have any dog-related questions.