June 14, 2015

Dog Blog ›   Dog Health ›   Healthy Dogs ›   Summertime ›  

6 Summer Dangers for Dogs (and How to Manage Them)

Summertime is an anticipated time of year. We all look forward to warm weather, more time outside and of course all the fun of summer including hiking, swimming, cookouts and fun in the sun.  Summer can be a tricky time for pet owners because often our dogs can't tell us they aren't feeling well or they've had too much heat.  Here are some common dangers for dogs during the summer and how to manage or avoid them.

1. Fleas and Ticks

During the warm summer months, fleas and ticks rear their ugly heads.  Anyone that's had to deal with them knows not only can they cause issues for humans they can also cause issues for your pets.  Many vets recommend that dog owners, especially those that have dogs with thick coats, check their dog once a day.  

Should you find a tick, don't panic!  The ASPCA has a great guide to removing ticks.  Once the tick is removed you should keep a close eye on your dog because ticks are carriers of Lyme Disease. Lyme Disease can be tricky to detect so if it makes you more comfortable phone your dogs vet to see if they need to come in for a quick check up.

Fleas can be tricky to manage too. If you find your pet has them, you'll need to bathe them with products that are specifically created for killing fleas.  A key thing to note is that ALL pets will need to be bathed in these products even if you don't see fleas on them.

Then you should also clean and treat dog beds, places your dog frequents in your house and the car if they have traveled in it recently.

2. Dehydration and Heat Stroke

These are serious conditions for pets and just like humans they can sneak up on your pet.  All pets should always have clean water readily available. Breeds that are short-nosed like pitbulls and pugs, dogs that have thick coats and or have dark coats are very prone to heat exhaustion.

Watch for signs for dehydration and heat stroke:

  • Lethargy
  • Decreased urination
  • Dry gums
  • Refusal to eat
  • Sunken eyes
  • Changes to the skin (you can check this by gently pinching the skin near your dogs shoulder . If it is slow to snap back then your pup may be dehydrated.)

If your pet seems to be dehydrated or is showing signs of heat stroke, cool them off with a hose or wet, cool towels and head for the vet.

3. Pools and Bodies of Water

The internet makes it seem that every animal from hamsters to cats love to swim but that's not true.  If you are lucky enough to have a pup that runs into the water with wild abandonment then know that you need to make sure they are safe.  Every dog should have a life vest or floaties (yep they make them for dogs too) so that they are as safe as possible.

If your pet loves to take a splash in the pool at home, make sure you rinse them well after play. Chlorine, saltwater and even bacteria present in the water can make pets sick.

4. Cars and Trucks

The bottom line-never leave your pet alone in the car.  The temperature can climb way to fast. JUST DON'T DO IT.

5. Bee Stings

Your dog is romping though the grass and having a blast when they spy a little something flying around.  They chase it like a game until they catch it (or make it angry) and now they've gotten stung.  

Remove the stinger just as you would if you had been stung and then wash the area well.  Over the next few hours you will want to watch for excessive swelling, difficulty breathing and drastic changes in behavior.  Should you see any of these things-head to the vet.

6. Sidewalks and Asphalt Streets

During the summer the ground can get hot.  You might not realize just how hot because you are wearing shoes.  If you wouldn't want to walk around without shoes on the sidewalk or on asphalt then your dog shouldn't be doing it either. The ground is always going to be way hotter than the air around you so be alert to where you are and what time of day you are out with your pet.

Summer can be a great time of year for spending extra time having a blast with your dog!  Just as you would with yourself, make sure you manage common summer dangers so that everyone is safe, happy and as always, having a blast!


Don't forget your TurboPUP bars as you head out on your next summer adventure!