Summer Safety For Pets: Dogs Need Protection From The Sun, So You Two Can Enjoy Summer Fun!
If you are planning to take your family on a beach adventure, a picnic in the park or a poolside afternoon and at least one of your family members has more fur than the rest (and four legs!), here are some tips and ideas to keep everyone in your crew out of the heatstroke zone.
Summer is here and while you're enjoying the sun and surf, your best buddy probably is too, but remember: Spot can't say, "Hey, I'm hot!" or "I need a drink!" like a human companion can. Here are a few tips to keep the "fun" in the "fun in the sun.
Never leave your dog in a hot car. The temperature can skyrocket to more than 100 degrees - even if you cracked the windows
Don't forget to pack a few extra things for your picnic day in the park. The American Kennel Club (AKC) suggests battery-operated fans, shade cloths for your vehicle or a canopy, cool cloths (not icy!), lots of cool water and pediatric electrolyte solution (for the dog to drink if he gets dehydrated).
Remember that paw pads aren't shoes. Blacktop and cement can get very hot and burn your pet's feet. Keep your dog in the grass. If you're taking a long walk on the beach, keep it to the morning or evening when the sand isn't scorching.
If you're hot and parched, chances are, so is your dog. Make sure your dog has access to shade and cool water. If your dog seems overheated, apply cool, wet clothes to his pads, head and belly. "If you keep your cool cloth in a cooler, don't put it directly into the ice," the AKC advises. "You don't want to put anything ice-cold onto a dog, because that shrinks the blood vessels and actually generates more internal heat. Instead, whatever you apply should be cool but not cold."
Did you remember your sunscreen? How about Fido's? Dogs get sunburn too - especially hairless or light-skinned dogs. Find a dog-safe sunscreen and apply it to your pup. If you are having a hard time finding a sunscreen made for pooches, Cesar Millan's website, Cesar's Way, says look for a sunblock that is safe for babies and other sensitive skins. Avoid zinc oxide! It can be toxic to your pet if eaten.
Consider a fashionable option: light-weight, sun-reflective clothing and boots!
Let your dog dig. If there is a shady spot that could use some, uh, light landscaping, let your dog dig. Dogs cool off beat from the bottom up, so some cool dirt under his belly might be just what he needs.