Every year Summer brings some HOT weather to South Florida! As humans, we do a lot to protect ourselves from the heat, but is there more we can be doing for our pets? We all know the rule of never leaving your pet in a hot car, however here are 7 other tips for keeping them safe and cool while outdoors this summer!
1. Act Like A Lifeguard
Many of us are lucky to have a pool to escape the heat in the summer months. This can be a real treat for our pets too! Just like you would a toddler, make sure to watch your dog at all times while in the pool. It only takes a second for them to get trapped under a raft or too tired and not be able to find an exit. If it is your dogs first time in a pool, be sure to show them how to use the stairs or a ladder so they can exit when ready.
2. Avoid Algae Infested Bodies of Water
Would you swim in it? Probably not! So don't let your pup swim in bodies of water where a lot of algae is present either. Algae produces a toxin that can cause severe sickness and seizures if ingested. This can happen to your pup both by drinking the water and by licking their wet fur.
3. Purchase Your Pup A Lifejacket
This is essential for your dog to have when boating or swimming in bodies of water, but can also be practical in the pool! The life jacket will both prevent a tired dog and the bright colors will alert other boaters or nearby on-lookers where your dog is swimming.
4. Beware of Strong Currents and Riptides
We are also fortunate to have so many great dog friendly beaches in the greater West Palm Beach area. The beach can be a great place for dogs to get out their loads of energy and even cool off a bit! However, beware of strong currents and riptides. If your dog gets caught in the current, they can easily be swept out to sea.
5. Keep Your Dog Off The Sand During Peak Hours
Peak hours in the summer are from 1:00 pm - 4:00 pm, but you should always check the sand before letting your dog venture out on it. Hot sand is extremely painful for humans even with sandals for comfort. Your doggo could blister his pads on hot sand if not careful.
6. Shield Delicate Skin
Just like humans need sunscreen, it is important to put sun protection on the bare skin area of dogs too (ex. bellies, ears). A pet sunscreen should be reapplied every 3-4 hours to prevent skin cancer, which is surprisingly the most common form of cancer in dogs.
*Be sure to purchase a pet sunscreen and not use a human one as zinc oxide and other ingredients may be harmful to them.*
7. Watch For Heat Exhaustion
The final and best way to keep your pet safe this summer is to keep them cool!
Keep track of how long they've been outside and watch them closely to avoid heat exhaustion. If you think your dog may have heat stress, do not place them in ice cold water as this may cause shock. Instead, move them to a cool place, place a damp towel on their body, and contact a vet immediately.
Signs of heat exhaustion in a dog may include heavy panting, dry or bright red gums, thick drool, vomiting, diarrhea, or wobbly legs.
Above all else, we hope you and your pal are enjoying your summer and we want to make sure you all have a happy end to it!
Let us know! Where is your favorite place to bring your dog?