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  • Sandra King, Dog Trainer

Summer Safety Tips for your Dog

Updated: Jun 15, 2021

Summer is a great time of year for having fun in the sun and, of course, we want our dog to take part as well. Here are some tips to help you keep your pet safe during the dog days of summer.

Just like us, some dogs suffer from the heat. This year, the vet clinics are harder to get into, even when it's urgent, due to Covid-19. An ounce of prevention is worth much more than the cure, especially now when vet visits are hard to come by. Here are some tips to help you keep your pups comfortable and safe.

1. Avoid taking your dog out during the hottest parts of the day, or during heat waves. Go out early in the morning, or later on in the evening.

2. Keep your walks short and seek out areas with lots of shade and limit the time your dog is in direct sun on hot paved surfaces. Make frequent stops in cool spots (a great place to practice some sit and down stays) to break up the intensity of a hot walk.

3. Puppies, young dogs, and senior dogs should have very short walks generally, but especially when it's hot out. Most people think that a long walk is better, but for young dogs, puppies, and seniors, longer walks can be a real strain on their joints. Aim for 10-20 minutes maximum - this could be even less for dogs with mobility issues and very young puppies.

4. Keep in mind that if you have a short-snouted breed, like a pug, French Bulldog, etc. that these dogs have a harder time staying cool in the hot weather.

5. Carry your own water for you and your dog - create a habit of bringing a collapsable water bowl with you whenever you take your dog out.

6. Don't allow your dog to drink water from communal water bowls, or from unknown sources - you don't know how fresh it is, who's been drinking from it, or if it's been contaminated.

7. Too much water all at once can be dangerous! Don't allow your dog to exercise right after eating, or to drink large quantities of water at once to help prevent 'Bloat'. Gastric dilatation-volvulus (GDV) is a serious condition and is fatal if left untreated. Commonly referred to as "bloat," GDV occurs when a dog's stomach fills with gas, food, or fluid and subsequently twists. GDV develops without warning and can progress quickly. It is always an emergency. Some dog are more prone to bloat, like the Great Dane, but any dog can experience this life-threatening condition. Click here for more info:

8. Playing fetch in the water can be hazardous to your dog's health. Too much water can easily be ingested by your dog during this seemingly innocent game and this can be fatal if left untreated, or unnoticed. When holding a ball or stick, your dog’s mouth is open and they can swallow large amounts of water, which can lead to water intoxication and end tragically.

9. Seek out indoor shops that are dog-friendly for climate controlled comfort that you and your pet can enjoy.

10. This should go without saying - Never leave your dog alone in the car, especially if it's hot out!

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