Summer Pet Safety Tips: What You Need to Know

Summer Pet Safety Tips: What You Need to Know

Summer is a time for outdoor adventures and quality time with our beloved pets. However, as pet owners, we have to be mindful of the challenges summer brings our dogs, including heat-related risks, travel considerations, and the impact on overall health.

What to Watch Out For

During the summer months, dogs can face several potential health and safety concerns. Here are some of the most common ones. 

  • Heatstroke: With all that fur, dogs are particularly susceptible to heat stroke. Signs of heatstroke include breathing issues, lethargy, discolored gums, and seizures. 
  • Dehydration: Dogs can become dehydrated quickly, especially if they're active or outside for extended periods. Signs of dehydration in dogs include excessive panting, lethargy, vomiting, loss of appetite, and more. 
  • Burned Paws: Asphalt and concrete can get extremely hot during summer, leading to burned paw pads. 
  • Drowning: Many dogs love to swim, but they can tire easily and might not be able to swim very well without support. 
  • Parasites: Fleas, ticks, and mosquitoes are more prevalent in the summer and can cause excessive itching and other illnesses for dogs. 
  • Allergies: Dogs can suffer from seasonal allergies just like humans. Common allergens include pollen, grass, and mold. Watch for signs like scratching, licking, or chewing their paws.

Remember, if you're ever unsure about your dog's health or safety, it's always best to consult with a professional.

10 Summer Dog Safety Tips

Here are some essential summer dog safety tips to help you navigate the hot weather and ensure a safe and enjoyable experience for your furry friend.

1. Provide access to water and shade at all times

If we’re uncomfortable after too much time in the sun, it only goes to show that our dogs are hot, too. Hot temperatures mean your dog needs access to shade and cool water.  

We recommend keeping a portable water dish and umbrella in your car, backpack, and/or fanny pack so you can always keep your pet cool while on the go. 

2. Schedule your walks and playtime

Avoid walking your pet or taking them to the dog park during the hottest parts of the day. Instead, opt for playtime in the early morning or evening hours when the temperatures are a little more mild.

If you can only manage to get outside during peak mid-day sun, consider a water-based activity (like letting your dog chase toys around the sprinkler in the yard) or keep walks short and in shaded areas. You can also try some indoor activities on particularly hot days. 

No matter what time it is, be sure to test the sidewalk or pavement. If it’s too hot for your hand or foot, it’s too hot for your pet’s paws.

Dog plays in sprinkler

3. Never leave your dog unattended in a car

This is a top summer safety tip for pets, but somehow, people always forget. Leaving your dog in a parked car is never a good option, even on more mild days or with the windows cracked. 

Research has found that temperatures inside a vehicle will reach 100 degrees Fahrenheit in just 25 minutes when the outside temperature is only 73 degrees. 

Always plan ahead. Opt to leave your dog at home where it’s air-conditioned or use drive-thru or curbside pick-up services if you have to bring them along for the ride. 

If you’re on a long road trip where you may need to stop for a bathroom break, bring a travel buddy along so you can take turns waiting with your pet in the AC or find dog-friendly rest stops. 

4. Avoid human food as treats

During summer outings, camping trips, and barbecues, it can be tempting to share human food and treats with our dogs. While some foods, like watermelon, are OK in moderation, too much human food can be harmful to their digestive system. 

It’s best to stick to your dog’s normal diet and routine as much as possible. 

Avoid giving them skins, bones, and foods high in fat, spices, or seasoning. Also, be cautious of ingredients like onions, garlic, and chocolate, which are toxic to pets.

5. Create a calm and secure environment

The summer months are often busy and packed full as we all make the most of the nice weather and vacation time. These changes in routine can cause stress for your pet, so a secure environment is essential. 

Make sure your dog has a quiet, safe space for relaxation. And be sure to carve out some time during the day for some extra love and cuddles if they seem stressed. This is especially important on the Fourth of July and other busy summer holidays where guests, fireworks, and loud noises can be triggering to dogs and cats. 

Stick to a routine as much as possible throughout summer to minimize stress and stress-induced side effects like vomiting, diarrhea, and digestive upset.

6. Make water safety a priority

There’s no doubt swimming is a popular summer dog and human activity. However, like humans, not all dogs are natural swimmers or enjoy the water. 

If you plan to take your dog swimming, ensure they are comfortable in the water and always supervise them. Use appropriate flotation devices or consider training if needed. 

When you’re done for the day, rinse your dog to remove chlorine, sand, dirt, and bacteria.

7. Watch out for toxic substances

Summer means more time outside, which means more access to chemicals, plants, and substances that can be harmful to pets. 

Keep your dog away from areas recently treated with fertilizers, pesticides, insecticides, pool chemicals. Store these items securely at your home and be cautious during walks or outings. Usually you can smell them or spot signs in the yards. 

Toxic plants are another concern to watch out for, especially in unfamiliar areas like campgrounds or parks.

8. Plan pet-safe activities

Do your research when planning summer activities and look for dog-friendly places in your area. 

Some parks have designated pet-friendly trails where you and your furry friend can enjoy the outdoors together. More and more cafes, restaurants, and breweries with outdoor patios are pet-friendly, which is great in summer months.

While some of these businesses offer pet treats, water, and other supplies, don’t assume they do. Plan ahead with portable water dishes, waste bags, and umbrellas for shade. 

Every dog is different, so you may want to visit a new location on your own first to make sure it’s a good fit for your dog’s needs. 

Woman wearing heat reads book in grass with her dog laying nearby

9. Watch for signs of allergies

Summer allergies can affect pets, too. Monitor for signs such as excessive scratching, licking, sneezing, or skin irritation. 

Frequent sneezing or coughing sounds, particularly when your dog goes outside, can be indicative of an allergic reaction to pollen or other outdoor allergens.

10. Provide cooling options

Help your pet stay cool throughout the summer by providing a variety of cooling options. 

Cooling mats are a great option for dogs. If your pet doesn’t mind clothing, bandanas or vests can be soaked in water and kept in the fridge or freezer. 

Putting your pet’s food in the fridge or adding some ice to their water can also help cool their body temperature on hot days and provide relief. 

Boost Your Pet’s Overall Health this Summer

During the summer, when changes in routine, exposure to different foods, and potential stressors can impact your pet’s digestive and immune systems, focusing on your pet’s overall health and wellness is crucial — and many health issues start in the gut. 

Maya Pet uses targeted Smart Strains™ of good bacteria specifically chosen to alleviate common issues such as diarrhea, constipation, and allergies and strengthen your dog's immune system. 

By incorporating Maya Pet into your pet's daily routine, you can help ensure their digestive well-being, enhance nutrient absorption, and support their overall health throughout the summer months.

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