• We the Dogs

5 Summer Safety Tips for You & Your Pup

Summer is a time that we all dream of during those cold winter months. Gorgeous, long days spent outside soaking up the sunlight. But while it’s wonderful to not need to bundle up under 4 layers of clothes, the summer can bring a number of dangers to our four legged friends. We’ve put together a list of 5 summer safety tips so you and your pup can enjoy a happy and safe summer.


1. DO NOT leave your dog locked in a car

If you know you are stopping somewhere that you can not take your dog, leave him at home. No matter how short a time you think your dog will be alone, never leave your dog in an unattended car. The car windows allow concentrated light to enter your car creating a greenhouse effect. Even when it is only 70 degrees outside, the interior of a locked car can reach 100 degrees within minutes on a sunny day. The interior temperature will increase exponentially as the outdoor temperature increases. Leaving your dog in a locked car can become fatal for your pup in less than 30 minutes.


2. Hydrate, hydrate, hydrate

We can not stress hydration enough. If you are taking your dog anywhere, bring a travel bowl and a bottle of water. Even if you think the place you are going with have water available, bring a bottle anyway as you can never have too much. Chilled or frozen watermelon can also be a great treat for your dog on hot days as it is 92% water.


3. Know the signs of heat exhaustion and heat stroke

No matter how much we wish our dogs could talk to us, unfortunately they can’t. This makes it vital that you can recognize the signs of heat exhaustion and heat stroke in your dog so you can take immediate action. Heat exhaustion and heat stroke occur when a dog’s regular cooling mechanisms can’t keep their body cool. Dogs can’t sweat and rely on panting to cool themselves.


Symptoms of heat exhaustion can include diarrhea, nausea and vomiting, rapid panting, and the skin inside the ear turning red. If you notice these symptoms in your dog, get him inside to a cooler location immediately. Air conditioning, fans, or a cool basement will help your pup. Dampen his skin with lukewarm water and offer him fresh water to drink.


Symptoms of heat stroke include rapid panting, a bright red tongue, red or pale gums, dizziness and weakness, thick sticky saliva, diarrhea, vomiting, shock, and coma. Dogs experiencing these symptoms should receive medical attention immediately.


4. Go for early or late walks

Taking walks during the cooler hours of the day will allow your dog to exercise when the sun isn’t at its highest. Also, the pavement will be cooler on your dog’s paws at these times of day. Surfaces such as asphalt can get so hot they can burn your pup’s paws. To avoid burns stick to shady spots, grass, or dirt paths. Remember, if you think it’s hot outside your dog will think it’s even hotter.


5. Use a life jacket around water

Everyone, including most dogs, love spending time in and on the water during the summer. Even if your dog is a strong swimmer, consider having him wear a brightly colored life jacket. This will help your dog stay afloat and allow other swimmers and boaters to easily see him in the water. If going on a boat, dogs should wear life vests in case they fall or jump into the water.


If you have any questions about our tips, send us an email at info@wethedogsdc.org.

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