Summer Safety Reminders for Dog Owners

By Sarah Hinds Friedl on June 30th, 2023

Summer solstice was last week, which means that we dog owners are in full adventure mode with our furry friends! Hiking, swimming, doggy playdates, and relaxing picnics in the park are our must-dos this summer. 

Of course, there are a few things that we need to do to keep our puppy co-pilots safe while we enjoy the sunshine. Keep these tips in mind for a care-free summer with your dog!

Update their parasite medication
Protecting your pup from internal and external parasites is always a smart move when the temperatures start rising. That’s because intestinal worms will start to appear in puddles and lakes, as well as contaminated surfaces like grassy areas, dog parks, and trails. Additionally, ticks and fleas are at their most active during summer. 

You can learn more about summer parasites by reading our article all about ticks!

Add a few doggy essentials to your backpack
There are a few things you’ll want to add to your backpack every time you head out with your pup, including:

  • A water bottle and collapsible bowl. Bring extra water for your doggo plus a drinking bowl to cut down on water waste.
  • Doggy sunscreen. Dogs can also get sunburned, specifically on their nose leather. You can find dog-friendly sunscreen at most pet shops. If you have a white dog or a dog with very light fur, it might be worth it to outfit them in UV protective dog gear.
  • Dog paw salve. We’ll talk more in a moment about dog paw safety, but it’s a good idea to throw some pad salve in your backpack to keep those paws comfortable.
  • A first aid kit. First aid kits are great for hiking, trips to the beach, and really, any other outing. Make sure yours has a pair of tweezers in case you need to remove burrs or other debris caught in your dog’s fur. Hydrogen peroxide and adhesive bandages are also good additions to your dog first aid kit.

Take care of pupper paws
When it comes to healthy paws this summer, the first thing you’ll want to think about is heat. The American Kennel Club suggests that temperatures of 85F or higher can create surface temperatures that are too hot for your dog to walk on. This is especially true for concrete, pavement, artificial grass and sand. 

One way to avoid paw damage from hot surfaces is to walk your dog in grassy, shaded areas when possible. Dog booties are also a good summer solution if you’ll be walking on sidewalks.

As we mentioned, having a dog-friendly salve on hand is another way to take care of your dog’s paw this summer. Heat and exercise can leave those paw pads worn and cracked, which can make them extra sensitive.

Keep Fido on a leash in unfamiliar areas
We’re all excited to get out and explore this summer, and that’s why it’s more important than ever to be able to manage your dog’s movements. If they don’t have a trusty recall or you’re in an unfamiliar area, it’s always recommended that you have your dog on a leash. This will prevent them from getting into fights with other dogs, chasing wildlife, coming into contact with toxic plants, or wading into potentially dangerous waters. 

Another great way to keep your dog safe is to install BreezeGuard Screens on your car windows. That way, your pup will stay safely in the backseat while you drive with the windows rolled down.

Have a good spray down after water play
It’s such a blast to let your dog dive into lakes, ponds, and slow-moving rivers. And it’s a great way to keep them cool on those hot summer days. But, untreated bodies of water can harbor slime, grime, bacteria and more that you don’t want to track into the house. So, give your pup a nice rinse with a garden hose when you get home, and consider using dog shampoo if they’re extra stinky.

When you’re done, pat them dry as much as you can, paying particularly close attention to their ears. If your dog stays wet for too long, they can get yeast infections in their fur and ear infections.

Doggify your garden
If you have an outdoor space, you might be looking forward to enjoying your garden this summer. But as a dog owner, you probably already know that you have to make a few adjustments for your furry friend/garden nemesis. Here are a few ways to keep your garden and your dog safe:

  • Consider installing a cute fence around your garden. As long as your dog isn’t a jumper or a digger, a fence can be an effective deterrent to keep them out of your flowerbed.
  • Give them something more interesting to focus on. Often, dogs gravitate towards gardens because they’re full of interesting smells, textures, and colors. You might be able to draw their attention away with a designated dog-zone. This could be a place with a digging area, their favorite chew toys, a sprinkler pad, or even a doggy tether ball.
  • Avoid planting toxic plants. Even as you work towards getting Fido out of your flowerbed, it’s still a good idea not to plant toxic plants just in case. Daffodils, hydrangeas, and chrysanthemums are just a few of the plants that are toxic to dogs.

Take breaks and know when to call it a day
If it were up to your dog, they’d probably stay outside from sunrise to sunset. But, it’s a good idea to schedule breaks throughout the day to lower the risk of heat stroke, overstimulation, and fatigue. Every couple of hours, take the pack inside or to a shaded area for some water and a short rest.

And when it seems like your doggo has had enough but just won’t admit it, that’s when it’s time to call it a day. Get home, settle in for some cuddles, and recharge for another amazing summer adventure tomorrow!

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