Black Labrador wearing a life jacket on a boat.

Five Ways to Keep Your Dog Healthy This Summer

Summer has finally arrived and we’re all enjoying the great outdoors more lately – especially in the wake of a global pandemic – but it’s important to remember that with the change of season comes new potential hazards for your furry friend.

Today we’re taking a look at five common summertime hazards and how you can avoid them to keep your purebred puppies and dogs healthy this season.

Photo: West Noses Photography

Extreme Heat

One of the most important dog safety tips in summer has to do with the summer heat. Just like humans, dogs can fall victim to dehydration and even heatstroke in extreme temperatures.

Ensure your dog has a shady spot to cool off in and access to lots of fresh, cool water. Be mindful of hot pavement or other surfaces that could burn your dog’s paws.

For purebreds like pugs or bulldogs, a shorter snout means a more difficult time breathing and cooling down in extreme heat. Keep these breeds indoors on very hot days and stay away from strenuous exercise.

Most importantly, NEVER leave your dog in a closed car on a hot day.

Fertilizers and Chemical Treatments

Many people use chemicals to treat weeds and other unwanted lawn or garden pests during the summer months.

Keep an eye out for signs that state when a lawn has been treated and be sure to steer clear of these areas while exploring the outdoors with your pup. You can never be too careful!

Insecticides and Sunscreens

Be vigilant when it comes to sunscreens, spray insecticides and pest repellants.

It’s not uncommon to find bottles of these everywhere you turn during the summer months for convenience’s sake, but it also means increased opportunity for these dangerous items to fall into the wrong hands (or should we say paws!).

Some sunscreen ingredients like zinc are toxic to dogs and should always be kept out of reach. While some dogs can benefit from sunscreen, be sure to choose one that’s puppy safe and do a patch test first to rule out adverse reactions.

Sticks and Plants

While your pup is probably chomping at the bit to play fetch with a stick or two, it’s important to stay away from overly large sticks or ones that splinter easily. Wood splinters can easily cut the inside of your pup’s mouth, leading to sores and potential infections.

If sticks or wood debris are swallowed, it can also lead to intestinal damage or blockages – not to mention some hefty vet bills.

Pools, Lakes, and Other Bodies of Water

Just because many dogs have instincts that help them swim, it’s important to remember that this doesn’t mean all dogs are good swimmers.

Approach any pools or bodies of water with caution and never let your pooch swim unattended. If you’re spending time near the water with your pup, choose a life jacket designed specifically for dogs that’s both durable and comfortable.

Photo: West Noses Photography

BONUS: Keeping Your Pup Safe Around Other Dogs

We’re adding one additional (but extremely important!) tip for dog summer safety as our communities begin to open up amid the COVID-19 pandemic.

Dogs have lost some of their social skills during our period of social distancing and stay-at-home orders. Some may have overexuberant behaviour when they finally have a chance to interact with other pups, which may lead to altercations – especially in leash free parks.

Veterinary professionals are seeing so many more bite wounds than ever before. Be cautious with your dog during this re-entry period to prevent unnecessary injuries.

Enjoy the Summer with Your Purebred Puppies and Dogs!

Summertime is such a wonderful season to enjoy with your dog – just be sure to remember our top five tips and above all else, have fun!

What other summertime hazards have you encountered with your pup over the years? Share with us in the comments below.

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