Tomorrow will mark the first day of summer and we’re all excited about the outdoor adventures we’re planning for our pooches over the sunnier months.
But every season comes with its own dangers, and summer is no different. From heatstroke to bee stings, raw pet food experts BellaandDuke.com are urging families to be vigilant about keeping their pets safe from the sun’s heat, UV rays, insects and wildlife.
“As such, it’s vital to ensure your pets are safe and protected from the sun and various other summer dangers outdoors.
“Leave cool mats around for your dog to use, and consider investing in a dedicated doggie paddling pool to help them cool down outside.
“Also watch out for signs of overheating. Excessive panting and drooling, unsteadiness, and vomiting during exercise or on walks all indicate that your pup is suffering heatstroke, which can kill.
“If you’re worried your dog is overheating, phone your vet for advice and help immediately.”
7 summer dangers
When driving with your pooch, make sure to keep the air conditioning on. Cars can be incredibly dangerous places for dogs during summer, and so they should never be left in a parked car, under any circumstances. Even if water is left and the windows are slightly open, the temperature in the motor can rise rapidly and fast become fatal for dogs. On days when the temperature is spiralling upwards, it may be better to leave your dog at home.
Animals can get heatstroke too, and dogs are especially sensitive when left outdoors for long periods of time. Ensure that your dog always has a bowl of fresh and clean water available – of course, this applies all year round. Consider carrying portable water bowls when on walks or long car rides, or another option would be to pack frozen treats or to purchase a kiddy pool to allow your dog to cool down.
3. Extra fur
Providing warmth in winter, many owners opt to shave off their pet’s fur in summer as they are under the impression this will keep them cool. This is right, but only to an extent. It’s important to understand that the coat does offer protection against the harsh summer sun and so should never be cut too short, as this could increase the risk of sunburn.
Dogs are natural investigators and may decide to take it upon themselves to go after the enticing buzzing sounds of bees, leading to them getting stung. For the most part, this is relatively harmless, and your pooch will simply spend some time licking its wounds. But keep note of the dog’s response after the sting. If the wound becomes particularly irritated and your dog is scratching at it, or if there is significant swelling, it’s best to arrange to see a vet as soon as possible.
5. Water safety
Surprisingly, not all dogs know how to swim, and even if they can swim, they may get tired and not rest properly. To prevent any catastrophic accidents, you can use doggie life jackets which help keep their heads above water. If swimming in a home pool, spend some time teaching your dog how to get in and out safely, and never leave them alone around large bodies of water.
Like a lot of British wildlife, slithering serpents become more commonplace as the weather gets warmer. Many are harmless, yet all should be avoided as a dog’s bark may be no match for a snake’s bite. Tall grass and piles of rubbish offer perfect hiding places, so keep the garden tidy to protect your pooches. If your dog has a habit of chasing after wild animals, put them on a lead when in areas where they may be lurking. If bitten, take them to the vet immediately.
Asphalt can reach soaring temperatures in the height of summer. This would be incredibly uncomfortable to walk on barefoot, so consider how your four-legged friend is doing. Investigate which dog-walking paths lie in the shade and schedule walks for cooler times in the day, as most dogs won’t take to boots or other protective footwear.