Essential Summertime Safety Tips

We just had one of the hottest days of the year. While it’s easy for us to stay cool and hydrated, our furry friends need extra attention. We have compiled some essential tips to keep your dog safe throughout the summer

1. Know your pet’s individual heat risk
Each pet is susceptible to different degrees of heat risk. Dogs with light pigmentation, and those with white ears should be aware that they have a higher chance of sun burns. Dogs with short noses, thick fur, or those suffering from medical conditions such as obesity are more at risk of getting heatstroke.  Check out Petplan’s Summer Proof Fun guide to see how vulnerable your own pet is when temperatures increase.

2. Water spray
Unlike humans, dogs do not have sweat glands which means that they can overheat quickly. Keep a spray bottle filled with cool water handy so that you can spray your dog’s fur in order to keep a low body temperature.

3. Ice cube treats
Create little icy treats that your dog will enjoy. Freeze your pet’s food with water in ice cube trays to make hydration a fun activity.summer-dog

4. Sunscreen
Just like sunscreen is an essential for us humans, it’s important to get some pet-safe sunscreen for your dogs. The most vulnerable areas tend to be the nose and ears.

5. Garden safety
The summer time is synonymous with dogs playing in the garden. However, there can be hidden hazards that responsible pet owners need to be aware of. Check whether the pesticides or chemicals that you are utilising for lawn care are safe for pets. Certain types of plants are harmful to dogs. Laburnum, daffodils, rhododendron and yew can be poisonous to dogs. Advice on plants can be obtained from your local garden centre.

6. Enclosed spaces
Do not leave your dogs in a suntrap such as a conservatory, greenhouse, tent or a parked car on a hot day.

7. Limit outdoor exercise
It’s a bit counter-intuitive sometimes, but it’s important to restrict outdoor exercise on hot summer days. Make sure your dogs don’t play too hard and have plenty of breaks.

8. Surfaces
Sidewalk, patio, street, sand. and other surfaces can burn your dog’s footpads. Walk your dog in the morning and at night when outdoor surfaces are coolest. Press your hand onto surfaces for 30paw seconds to test them before allowing your dog to walk on them. If it is painful for you, it will be painful for your dog.

9. Bees and Wasps
Dogs love chasing after buzzing insects, this can chaos a problem occasionally. Most insect stings will simply cause your dog pain and irritation, but multiple stings can be fatal. Some stings can trigger an allergic reaction that requires the immediate attention of a vet.

10. Swimming
Swimming is excellent exercise for dogs and a great exercise alternative to walking in the summer heat. Freshwater lakes, rivers, ponds and canals can pose a hazard to your dog if the water is not clean. Blue-green algae is toxic to dogs. If your dog swims in algae-contaminated water, contact your vet immediately. Not all dogs like to swim, so if yours doesn’t then don’t force them and never throw a dog into water

Important note: This advice is not a substitute for a proper consultation with a vet and is only intended as a guide. Please contact Village Vet for advice or treatment immediately if you are worried about your pet’s health.