Longer days mean more time for fun in the sun! Now is the perfect time to start planning summer adventures with your dog like hiking, running, walking, swimming, paddling—you name it! There are endless opportunities to get out and adventure with your pup and having the right gear makes it better than ever.
Although summer plans are often fun and exciting, it’s also extremely important to ensure that your plans include safety measures that keep both you and your dog safe. The hot sun and high temperatures mean that there’s a greater risk of accident and injury for both people and dogs. However, that shouldn’t keep you from enjoying the day from sunup to sundown; just be prepared! Let’s tackle three of the most common summer safety issues for people and their pets.
1. Arrive Safely
According to the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety, traffic accidents and deaths spike in summer months, particularly on the weekends—when we’re all more likely to be out adventuring with our dogs! Drive safely and buckle up. Your dog needs to be secured in your car safely, too. Invest in a car safety harness to keep your dog safe all year round, but be especially mindful to always buckle up in the more dangerous summer months.
2. Stay Hydrated
Dry heat? Humid heat? It doesn’t matter. Either way, summer temps require extra hydration. When you hit the trails, pack plenty of water for you both and then some. Sure, the extra weight might slow you down, think of it as a bonus resistance workout, or you can have your dog tote his own water in a doggie backpack. Build in plenty of breaks to sip during your journey, whether you’re hiking, walking, or running. A bottle helps you serve your dog water on the go without having to tote extra gear as well.
If you plan to be out for a long distance or duration, or if temps are especially high, consider a cooling vest to keep your dog’s temperature regulated. Run cool water over the vest, wring it out, then put it on your dog. Evaporation will keep him cool. Just be sure he’s also drinking plenty of water, too. Just because he feels cooler doesn’t mean he’s staying hydrated!
3. Be Sun-Safe
Our dogs wear fur coats all the time, and those coats do provide dogs with some relief from the sun’s direct rays. For dogs with short, thin fur or for dogs with light-colored coats, sunburns are real and dangerous. Consider a pet-safe sunscreen (human ones just aren’t safe for our dogs) or outerwear that won’t add a layer of heat—like the cooling vest. Even for dogs who don’t fit that description, a dab of dog-approved sunscreen on the nose can go a long way toward preventing any peeling that can occur after too much sun exposure. In fact, our dogs are susceptible to many of the same skin cancers that we are, so a little sun protection can go a long way.
Enjoy the summer weather and all the adventures you and your dog can have together during these three beautiful months. Just remember: Drive safely, drink lots of water, and wear sunscreen! You and your dog can enjoy the long days of summer ahead safely with just a few simple precautions.
Originally posted by Maggie Marton, founder of ohmydogblog.com on 26th May 2020