Summer Safety Tips for Dogs

dog-summerThough the weather has been slow to warm up, we’re finally starting to catch a glimpse of what’s in store for the season ahead. Among the many wonderful things we’ve come to associate with summer in Chicago, dining with our four-legged friends on one of Logan Square’s dog-friendly patios is at the top of our list. And we’d like to think our pups agree! While temperatures are predicted to be unseasonably cool this summer due to this winter’s Polar Vortex, it’s still important to take the proper precautions to ensure your pup is safe from the sun’s blazing rays. That’s where we step in. Keep your furry family member happy and cool through the hottest months of the year with our summer safety tips for dogs.

1. Walk your dog early in the morning or late at night
Those familiar with Chicago summers know how hot it can get mid-day. Take your dog for her daily walk in the early morning or later in the evening. These are the coolest hours of the day and will prevent your dog from overheating.

2. Keep your dog hydrated
Soaring temps can cause your pup to dehydrate quickly. Especially dogs with darker coats compared to those with lighter coats. Be sure to keep an eye on your dog’s water bowl and always take a water bottle with you when going on walks.

3. Never leave your dog in a parked car
Even in the shade, the interior of your car can turn into an oven during the summer. If you must leave your dog in your car for a few moments, be sure to leave the engine running with the air conditioning on.

4. Be wary of hot pavement
We don’t often think about how sensitive our dogs paw pads are to extreme temperatures. Before taking your pup on her daily walk, press your palm to the pavement for 30 seconds. If it’s painful for you, it will be painful for your four-legged friend. Wait to begin your walk until the sun sets to prevent your dog from burning her paw pads.

5. Take care to prevent sunburn
Just like us, our dogs’ skin is at the mercy of the sun. This is especially true for dogs with white, light-colored, and thin coats. Before spending a significant amount of time outdoors, apply a waterproof sunscreen specially formulated for babies and pets. Pay special attention to the tips of your dog’s ears, nose, the skin around its mouth, and her back.

For many pet owners, these summer safety tips for dogs are largely common sense. Our hope is that they serve as a friendly reminder as you pack away your winter gear and begin the official countdown to longer days and warmer nights. How do you keep your pup cool during the dog days of summer? Share your tips and ideas with us on The Doggy Dojo Facebook page!

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