How to Safely Enjoy the Dog Days of Summer

Well, spring is in full swing which means the summer should soon be fast approaching… hopefully! But with the heat comes some summer hazards, but also plenty of fun. Let’s begin with the concerns.

Heat Stroke – #1 area of concern. Heat stroke can be caused by simply leaving your pet relaxing for too long in the heat. Dogs are unable to let themselves in or out of any hot situations such as a hot car or a hot yard. If you have to leave your pet outdoors please, please, please make sure they have a safe place out of the heat and plenty of water to drink. If you have your beloved pet on a lovely car ride somewhere and need to make a brief stop, make sure it is at home first to drop them off, then you can safely run your errands. I have witnessed an incident where the owner did not do this and have seen what horrible effects it had on a pet. In this instance, this pet unfortunately perished. Very sad and avoidable situation. Please make sure to NEVER leave them in a hot car!

Fireworks and other loud noises – Whether it is a dog, cat, bird or horse, fireworks can be scary. Most animals do not view this beautiful show of “gunpowder” as enjoyable as we do, it’s scary! It essentially is enough to cause panic and anxiety that can result in terrible situations. Pets can get loose and run, they may venture out on to roads with the risk of being hit or may get lost and end up away from the comforts of home. They have a natural instinct to run or hide, some can even cause a lot of damages inside their own homes trying to “hide.” There are plenty of options on how you can help your pet avoid these situations. Many medications even are available through your veterinarian that aid pet anxiety.

Hot sidewalks and sensitive skin – While out on a walk with your pet, please be aware of how hot the sidewalks and pavement can be. Try to let your pet keep cool feet on grassy areas or choose to walk at cooler times of the day. Walking early in the morning or later in the evening is when they can best enjoy a leisurely stroll. If venturing out to a beach or hitting the trails, be sure to remember that your pet has sensitive skin areas. Like ours, their skin needs to be protected from the sun, mainly on their nose. Applying a little children’s sunscreen to it will be appreciated by Fido.

Now the Fun Part!

Adventures with your companion – There are so many adventures to be had with your family during the summer season! Most of them you can involve your four-legged family members. Adventures to the park can be a great time. I have taught my dog how to go down slides, so he ventures around going up and down slides with children. He loves the attention and his excitement is almost contagious. My dogs have also come along to beach trips and camping, where they are welcomed. Many cafes have now opened their doors to dogs, so they can even come for a quick lunch with you. Some amusement parks allow them to come along. Center Island in Toronto welcomes dogs that are on-leash. There are even some canoe companies that welcome dogs. I plan to attempt that this summer, but I will be sure to pack life jackets for both myself and my dog. He loves the water so much that I am sure he will plan to swim more often than not!

Written by Amy Hanchiruk