The long, sunny days of summer are upon us. Here in Florida, that means pool days and beach trips, along with sunshine and afternoon thunderstorms. Many pets love summer fun as much as we do! But that doesn’t mean we don’t need to be careful! Follow Polar Bear’s dog care tips for summer and make sure you and your pooch enjoy the warm weather together.
Five important dog care tips for summer to keep in mind include:
- Never ever leave your dog in a hot car.
- Watch out for pad burn on hot cement and asphalt.
- Be extra careful with flea and tick prevention.
- Don’t assume your dog is a natural doggy paddler and can swim.
- Make sure your dog has access to cool, fresh water and shade during outdoor adventures.
Following our dog care tips with summer will help you and your furry friend make the most of the summer months.
5 Dog Care Tips for Summer
Warm weather can be dangerous for pets. Dogs don’t sweat like we do, so you need to help them stay cool when the sun is beating down and the mercury is rising. Dogs cool themselves by panting, and this means their bodies have to work harder when there’s only warm air to breathe. Following our dog care tips for summer can help you make the most of the warmer weather and keep you and your pup safe all season long.
Summer Dog Care Tip 1: Never Ever Leave Your Dog in a Hot Car
It should go without saying, but it’s a mistake that has cost many dogs their lives: Never, ever, ever, ever leave your dog in a hot car. The temperature inside your parked car can rise quickly — even with the windows cracked.
When the temperature outside is just a balmy 70 degrees, the interior of your car can rise to 104 degrees after just half an hour. The interior temperature of your car rises as outdoor temps go up:
- At 75 degrees outdoors, the interior of your car could be 109 degrees after 30 minutes.
- At 80 degrees outdoors, the interior of your car could be 114 degrees after 30 minutes.
- At 85 degrees outdoors, the interior of your car could be 119 degrees after 30 minutes.
- At 90 degrees outdoors, the interior of your car could be 124 degrees after 30 minutes.
- At 95 degrees outdoors, the interior of your car could be 129 degrees after 30 minutes.
With 95 or even 100 degree days being common here during sunny Florida’s summer months, it’s extra important to not expose your dog to the rising temperatures inside your car.
See a dog suffering in a hot car during the summer months? In Florida after March 2019, you are immune from civil liability if you break a car window to save people or pets in a hot car. This means if you see a dog (or a person) suffering in a hot car, it’s okay to break the window to save them
Summer Dog Care Tip 2: Watch out for Pad Burn
Cars aren’t the only thing that heat up in the summer sun. The cement under our feet can reach scorching temperatures, too. This means you need to take extra caution when walking your dog during the summer months. Asphalt and cement bakes in the sun all day and can get quite hot:
- At 77 degrees outdoors and under direct sun, asphalt can reach 125 degrees.
- At 86 degrees outdoors and under direct sun, asphalt can reach 135 degrees.
- At 87 degrees outdoors and under direct sun, asphalt can reach 145 degrees.
It’s important to know that skin damage can occur after just 60 seconds of exposure to temps above 125 degrees. If it’s too hot for you to be barefoot on the cement, it’s too hot for your dog to walk on it. Hot asphalt can easily burn your dogs paws.
Signs of paw burn in dogs include:
- Limping or refusing to walk
- Discolored paws that are darker than usual
- Licking or biting of feet
- Visible blisters
- Missing parts of the pads
If your dog shows any of the above symptoms, stop walking immediately and get to the vet for treatment as soon as possible.
Summer Dog Care Tip 3: Use Flea and Tick Prevention
You should be using flea and tick prevention year-round, but it’s extra important in the summer. Long days outdoors mean extra exposure to the elements — and that means insects, too. The best flea prevention treatments for dogs are administered monthly. Many flea and tick prevention treatments are administered orally, others are applied to the skin. Ask your vet about the best option for your dog.
Here are some of our suggestions for best flea and tick prevention and treatments:
- For large dogs: Frontline Plus for Large Dogs
- For small dogs: Bayer Advantage II Topical Flea Treatment
- To help a current flea infection: Novartis Capstar Flea Tablets
Summer Dog Care Tip 4: Don’t Assume Your Dog Can Swim
You know what happens in you make when you assume something… If you’re taking your pooch to the beach or pool, be very careful to make sure Fido can swim before letting him loose in the water. Most dogs know the basics of the doggy paddle, but not all get the hang of it right away.
Many dogs struggle to get out of the pool without help. If they get in unattended, they could drown. If you’re lucky enough to have a pool of your own, make sure your dog can’t jump in when you’re not around.
Summer Dog Care Tip 5: Keep It Cool
Anytime you’re outdoors with your dog, he should have access to cool, fresh water and shade. Because dogs don’t sweat like we do, they need a spot to cool off with a drink and respite from the sun.
Did you know dogs can get sunburns? Just like humans, dogs with light skin are very susceptible to sunburn when outdoors for too long. It might seem like a good idea to give Fido a short summer crop, but grooming a dog too close can actually expose the skin and cause a sunburn. Make sure your dog has a shady place to escape the sun to help prevent him from getting a sunburn.
Perhaps the most important thing you can do to keep your dog safe in the summer is just pay attention to him. Is he panting too hard? Is he limping? Is he scratching more than normal? Give your dog the love and attention he needs and have a great summer. Following Polar Bear’s dog care tips for summer will help, too.
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