The fresh air, green grass, and warm weather has everyone ready to jump into summer. Being cooped up inside all winter has everyone itching to get out and be more active. Whether you enjoy taking your pup on canoe rides around the lake or sunbathing in the yard with your cat, it’s important to navigate summer as safely as possible.
Discover how to prepare your furry friend for some of the most exciting events of the summer.
Enjoying the Fireworks with Your Dog
A major summer concern for pup parents may be the booming sound of fireworks. They may be beautiful and fun for humans but can be terrifying for dogs. The loud, sudden sounds may induce intense anxiety and send your fluffy friend running for the bathtub. It’s important to have a game plan before the Fourth of July, so you can be ready when people start setting off their fireworks display.
Book a dog sitter away from the noise: If you’re aware of an oncoming firework show, your best option would be to remove your pet from the situation. Ask a friend or a relative living outside the proximity of the fireworks show to watch your little buddy for the night.
Acclimate your pup: Gradually desensitize your dog to loud noises. According to the American Kennel Club, progressively introducing your pet to “fear” noises will help acclimation. Replicate the sounds at a very low volume and praise your doggo when they show a positive response. This must be done in a slow, safe manner.
Create a safe place: Wherever your dog feels most comfortable create a safe haven for them. This safe place may be their crate or doggy bed. Provide them with their toys, treats, blankets, and anything else to ease your companion’s anxiety. If they permit, sit and pet them for a while to make sure they know this is their calm space. Make sure to settle them into their safe spot before the fireworks begin.
Distract your dog: Your dog’s favorite person in the world is you. Make sure to be there for them. Fireworks season is a scary time in their life so ensure you’re there to comfort and provide them plenty of love. Your presence will help calm them.
Use CBD oils: CBD oils are widely considered a solution to relieving anxiety within dogs. Consult with your veterinarian if they believe CBD oils could help your pup.
Try dog storm jackets: A dog storm jacket is a little jacket your canine friend would wear designed to apply pressure to an animal’s torso, which causes a calming effect. Minimal research has been conducted to support the theory; however, many testimonials support the jacket’s success.
Talk to your vet: When it comes to anything regarding your beloved pet’s health and well being, always speak with your vet for their recommendations. Vets know best!
Allowing Your Dog to Go Swimming
Before jumping into the pool or lake with Fido, make sure you understand how to maintain water safety for your pet. Not all canines are natural-born swimmers, so it is essential to introduce your doggo slowly.
- Choose a shallow spot in the water.
- Keep your pup on a leash the first few times.
- Get in the water with your buddy.
- Slowly move to deeper water.
- Some dogs may want to get out. Respect your pal’s wishes.
- Some dogs will start ‘doggy-paddling’ with his front legs.
- Gently lift their back legs to show them how to float.
- Keep practicing until your pet gets the hang of things and is swimming by themselves.
- Always keep an eye on your doggo. Don’t let your pet drink the swimming water!
A recommended tip is to introduce water to your pup at an early age. This will assist in acclimating them and help ease their experience with water. Always have the best interest of your fluffy friend in mind. If they’re not a fan of getting in the water, that’s OK! You can start by allowing them to enter a small, children’s pool and see if they are interested in getting into the pool. Never force your dog before they are ready; doing so can inflect fear and anxiety causing them to see swimming as a bad activity.
Bring Your Dog to a Lake House
Get your American flag bandana ready for your pet, because you’re going to a lake house together! When you get a +1 invitation for a weekend getaway, who better to bring than your best friend? Here’s how you can prep your pet for a weekend on the water.
Research and ask questions: Understand the environment you are bringing your pet into. Is there water near the house? Will there be a fence? Will there be other dogs? Ask your host any questions you have because the more you know, the safer your fluffy friend will be.
Debrief your friends: Give your friends a full run-down on your dog’s temperament. Let them know how your dog reacts to people, to other dogs, and to loud and abrasive noises. Explain to them to not feed your dog any table food and be cautious of opening doors as not to allow your pet to escape.
Bring proper food and toys: Don’t let your little buddy get hungry or bored! Bring ample food and treats to be confident you will not run out.
Watch and pay attention: Recognize potential dangers to your doggo. Be wary of possible escape paths your pet may take. Evaluate what can be a threat to your doggo.
If you follow these tips, you and your doggy are set for a fun adventure!
Camping and Hiking with Dogs
One of the best ways to get your exercise and explore the great unknown is to go camping or hiking with your four-legged friends. There are many breathtaking forest preserves and trails to choose from across the United States. Before you get ahead of yourself, there are a few things you should do before you leave the house.
What to Pack
It’s important to be prepared for anything when you go camping or hiking with dogs. Here are a few items you should pack to keep yourself and your puppets safe when out exploring:
- Water for you and your dogs
- Snacks that are safe for your dogs to eat
- Flashlight or headlamp
- Space blanket
- Canine first aid kit
- Collapsible water or food dish
- Sturdy harness and leash
- Poop bags
- Reflective collar or jacket
- Canine floatation device
- Booties to protect their feet
These items can come in handy if you are on a trail and get lost. It’s smart to prepare for the worst and make sure you and your dog have enough supplies to be comfortable throughout the night. Hiking is extremely rewarding, especially when you are comfortable and well-nourished.
Be Aware of Trail Hazards
Not only do you have to prepare your pack before you go hiking with your dog, but you also have to be aware of potential trail hazards. These may include:
- Poisonous plants: Make sure your dog does not eat or chew on hazardous plants. Keep your dog on the trail and within eyesight so you can monitor what they are doing.
- Heat exhaustion: As we mentioned above, it’s crucial to watch out for heat exhaustion symptoms. If your dog is panting heavily, slows down, drooling, or warm to the touch it’s time to rest or go back.
- Wildlife: Most trails will be marked if you are hiking in bear country. Some areas may not permit dogs or may explicitly recommend that you leash your pet. It’s important to check your maps and signs to ensure your dog’s safety while hiking. Keeping your dog leashed also helps to prevent attacks from other wildlife like cougars and bobcats.
- Water pathogens: We recommend bringing your own, fresh water when you go adventuring because water can be contaminated. Make sure your dog does not drink from stale or still water while on the trail.
- Cliffs and Rocks: Avoid sharp cliffs and rocky areas that are unfamiliar. Land or rock slides can easily occur if you tamper with uneven terrain close the edge of a cliff. Make sure to keep your dog close by and on a leash if you have to pass over rocky terrain.
Keeping a watchful eye on your hiking partner can prevent many accidents or injuries when trailblazing. Always remember to monitor your dog’s behavior during your walk. If your pal doesn’t want to keep going or seems fearful, head back to the car. Not all dogs are prepared for a lengthy hike and the owner should always respect their wishes.
Surviving the Summer Heat with Dogs
Just like humans, dogs can spend too much time in the sun. It’s imperative to be conscientious of your dog’s behavior and health on a hot day. It’s not a bad idea to apply pet-safe sunscreen to your pets’ vulnerable areas such as their lips, ears, and nose. It should be noted fairer haired dogs are more susceptible to burns, just like their owners.
Always keep your dog in shaded areas when possible during the sunniest parts of the day and make sure to offer them water on a regular basis. Another creative way to cool your pup is to place a wet towel down for them to lay on. This will keep them comfortable and happy. Offering ice cubes to your pet can also keep them hydrated and provides another way to keep your dog chilled.
A day in the sun means keeping an eye on your dog thirst levels. Pet parents should also watch for signs of sunstroke or overheating and take the necessary precautions. These indicators include;
- Loss of appetite
- Excessive Panting
- Dry nose and gums
- Reduced energy levels & lethargy
- Sunken, dry-looking eyes
If you see any of the signs above and your pet is struggling, immediately take them to a vet or animal ER to receive proper medical care.
Driving with Dogs During the Summer
Who doesn’t want to go on a slow Sunday drive with their pup? Windows down, breeze running through your hair, and your best friend’s taking in the scents with their nose out the window and their tongue hanging out. To understand the best methods to travel with your pooch, check out Prudent Pet’s guide.
The Dangers of Driving with Dogs
The best way to prepare for a safe car ride is to strap your pup in with a doggy seatbelt. In addition to adding a protective barrier for your pet, doggy seatbelts can reduce distracted driving. These restraints restrict your dog from roaming while your car is in motion, and control the temptation to pet your friend, allowing you to keep your eyes on the road.
DO NOT EVER LEAVE YOUR DOG IN A PARKED CAR. Did you know leaving your dog unattended inside a car is illegal in 28 states? Us pet parents believe it should be illegal everywhere. The law prohibits leaving an animal in a confined vehicle and provides civil immunity to a person taking measures to save the at-risk pup. If you know you’re going to be leaving your car even for 5 minutes, do not bring the doggo. Leave him at home where he can be safe and happy.
Can I Tie My Dog up Outside?
You end up bringing your dog along but need to stop inside a store or coffee shop for a quick moment. Is it safe to tie your dog up outside the shop?
No, it is never okay to tie your dog up outside. This will induce anxiety in your dog as he will have no idea where you are. Not to mention how dangerous it is for your buddy. Someone could come along and feed them, scare them, or worst scenario dognaps your precious best friend. Don’t risk your dog’s safety for even a moment. Your dog needs you and depends on you for their well-being. Never take that for granted.
What to Do If You See a Dog in Distress
If you ever see a dog in a parked car, make sure to follow these protocols.
First, see if the car is running with the AC on. If this is the case, most likely the owner is returning very shortly. If not, try to find the owner of the vehicle as soon as possible to completely diffuse the situation.
Taking action right away could be the difference between life or death. For reference, when it’s 80 degrees Fahrenheit, a car can heat up to 100 degrees Fahrenheit within ten minutes. If you deem the situation dangerous, call the non-emergency number of the local police. There is civil immunity for helping an animal locked in a car. If the situation becomes extreme, break the window away from the animal to free them from the car.
What about the dogs tied up outside? First and foremost, evaluate the situation and confirm the dog is friendly. Ensure they aren’t demonstrating aggressive behaviors such as growling, having erect ears or stiff tail, and barking lowly. If they are wagging their tail and acting playful it’s more than likely okay to approach but do so cautiously.
Just as with a dog in a parked car, try to find the owner. Look at the dog’s tags and see if there is a contact. If you can’t find the owner, stay and comfort the dog yourself until they return. If the owner does not return, call your animal control or take them to the nearest animal shelter. Determine if the chain or leash is too tight and make sure to adjust the collar accordingly. If they seem in need of water, try and provide them some. Overall, try to calm the dog down by being there for them. Alleviate their distress by petting and giving attention.
Following these safety tips can help you have a Summer to remember with your best little friend. Always keep your pet’s best interest in mind and be cautious of hazardous situations. To ensure your pet’s health completely, learn about the importance of dog or cat insurance, as well as retrieve a quote from Prudent Pet today!
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The information provided on this website is made available for educational purposes only. It should in no way be substituted for professional veterinary assessment of each individual patient by a suitably qualified veterinary surgeon or veterinarian.