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7 Summer Safety Tips

August 08, 2017

It’s taken a while, but summer is finally in full swing! For many of you, that means adventure is just around the corner, but warm weather brings along risks and challenges... especially if you have flat-faced pals like I do. To help you have a safe, fun-filled summer with your best friend, I have compiled a list of my top tips.

swimming.JPGWater water water!  
Hydration is so important during the hot summer months, for both your pets and you! Bring a water bottle and collapsible bowl on your daily outings, making sure to stop for drinks often. Water can be a friend in many other ways, too; wet your pet down with cool water before and during time outdoors, treat them to a kiddie pool if you have a yard (this suggestion comes highly recommended by yours truly), and if you do dog sports, consider investing in a cooling coat or bandana.

 Avoid pavement.
During peak hours of the day (9:00 a.m. - 6:00 p.m.), the asphalt and cement of sidewalks and roadways can become extremely hot. Paw pads are sensitive to heat and can actually burn after prolonged contact on a hot surface, so instead of hitting the pavement when taking your pets out for a walk, stick to grassy parks and boulevards where the temperature will be cooler.

Know the signs of heat exhaustion.
Symptoms can include excessive panting or difficulty breathing, glazed eyes, increased heart and respiratory rate, drooling, weakness, collapse, even seizures, diarrhea or vomiting. If your pet is displaying any of these symptoms you need to lower their core body temperature immediately. Move into the shade and apply cool water over their body; avoid cold water as it can send your pet into shock. Drape cool, damp towels to the head, back and chest and provide small amounts of water or ice cubes to lick. Most importantly, get to a veterinarian!

party.JPGLeave parties to the humans.
Loud noises and crowds combined with the heat of summer can be very stressful and even dangerous for pets. The risk of ingesting alcohol or people foods (in particular raisins, onions, grapes, and chocolate) is heightened at parties where our eyes may not always be on our companions. 


Never leave your pet in the car!
Surely this is common sense by now, but in case it’s not, I’ll repeat it again... don’t leave your pet in the car! A vehicle can reach 120 degrees in a matter of minutes, even if parked in the shade with the windows down. This spike in temperature can lead to heat exhaustion, heat stroke, brain damage and in the most severe of cases, death. If you see a distressed pet in a car during the summer months, alert store management. If the owner doesn't return, call local animal control or the police department.

Watch for chemicals. Summer is a great time to work in the yard, but insecticides, plant food, and fertilizer can be fatal to animals if ingested. If you use them, keep them out of reach or look for a natural, non-toxic alternative. When out walking, steer away from yards that may have been sprayed with these products. If you suspect your pet has ingested a poisonous substance and you cannot get to a veterinarian (which is ideal), call the North American Pet Poison Hotline at 1-800-213-6680.

And my number one, top tip for the summer?

toy-2.jpgIf it’s too hot – don’t go out!
Remember, the only way animals can expel heat is through their paw pads and from panting, so we have to make a conscious effort to keep our nearest and dearest cool. Sure, physical exercise is important, but in hot weather, outdoor activities should be kept to a minimum, especially for flat-faced dogs, seniors and those with thick coats. As an alternative, work on mental stimulation! Play games indoors, try out a puzzle toy, hide-and-seek, pull out that dusty tug toy or heck, brush up on some basic obedience!


 
No matter what, have a blast this summer with your pets. Time spent together is never wasted. 

The opinions expressed by authors on the Canadian Kennel Club Blog and those providing comments are theirs alone, and do not reflect the opinions of the Canadian Kennel Club or any of its employees.

Les opinions et les commentaires exprimés dans le blogue du Club Canin Canadien sont ceux des auteurs et ils ne reflètent pas les opinions du Club Canin Canadien ni de ses employés.

Sarah Hosick, Summer, Tips Sarah Hosick, Summer, Tips

Author InformationInformation sur l’auteur

Sarah Hosick

Sarah Hosick

Sarah Hosick is a dog trainer with a specialization in behaviour adjustment. For over 10 years she has been working in the animal care field as a veterinary assistant, dog walker, a shelter adoptions manager, as well as writing about all things pets-related for Bell Media, Dogbook and American Pet Magazine to name a few.

In 2014, Sarah moved to San Diego, California, where she worked alongside a local rescue organization to implement a kennel enrichment program in the three county shelters. She trained both volunteers and shelter staff on how to tap into not just the physical needs of the animals in their care, but their mental and emotional needs as well. 

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Easy to say: don't go out! I can't stop my dog from going in the street to walk and play and I am not going to cause he's happy.
7/26/2019 4:03:27 AM

Deanna Friel
Thank you so much for the great article! These are great tips! I see these things being ignored by a lot of dog owners so it is important to keep letting people know.
6/13/2018 12:20:09 PM

Deanna Friel
Thank you so much for the great article! Excellent information! practical suggestions! I'm passing this along to all my dog people! Never thought about the pitfalls of human parties on the dogs that are brought along. I will be thinking about this next time the family heads out to a party. These are great tips! I see these things being ignored by a lot of dog owners so it is important If you interested to know more information please visit http://onedaytop.com/make-saving-balcony-cats/
12/30/2017 7:38:08 AM

Sydney W.
Excellent information!
8/15/2017 1:46:10 PM

Stacey
Great, practical suggestions! I'm passing this along to all my dog people!
8/11/2017 9:16:14 AM

Timothy
Never thought about the pitfalls of human parties on the dogs that are brought along. I will be thinking about this next time the family heads out to a party.
8/10/2017 2:28:48 PM

Allison M
Thank you so much for the great article! These are great tips! I see these things being ignored by a lot of dog owners so it is important to keep letting people know.
8/9/2017 10:29:02 AM

Michelle L.
Great article, thank you for sharing!
8/9/2017 9:23:12 AM

Kyle pitman
This article is great. A lot of practical ways to keep your dog safe in the summer and some simple things I didn't even know about. Thanks for this!
8/9/2017 9:16:58 AM

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