How to Care for Your Dog this Summer

July 9, 2018 ​​

 With summer weather in the air, you can count on more time spent outside with your furry best friend. With the change in the weather comes some precautions you should take as well though. Summer poses some serious challenges for all dogs and some unique challenges for others. We’re here with some advice to help keep your dogs safe and happy all summer long.
Hot Pavement
As the temperatures continue to rise, so do the temperatures of the pavement. When air temperatures are just 77 degrees, pavement temps can be 125 degree which can cause skin destruction in as little as sixty seconds. But, that doesn’t mean you and your dog can’t still enjoy walks throughout the summer. It just means there are some extra precautions to take to make sure their paws stay safe. Here are some tips to keep them protected:

Take walks in the morning or evening when it’s cooler. During these times the pavement won’t be as hot as midday or early evening which will help protect your dog’s paws from extremely hot pavement.
Stay on the grass when it’s hot. If you can avoid pavement all together, this is a great option. That way you know you don’t have to worry about your pup’s paws getting burned.

Try dog shoes or socks. Not all dogs will go for this option but if they don’t mind, this is a great way to protect their paws. Make sure you get the right size for your dog and that they have rubber or neoprene soles to best protect their paws.
Toughen their paws. During cooler days and months, walking your dog on pavement surfaces can actually toughen the pads of their paws. This will help provide a natural resistance to damage from hot pavement during the summer.

Check their paws regularly. By doing this daily, you’ll be able to quickly identify if their paws have any damage including dryness. If you notice dry or cracked pads, you can moisturize them using specifically designed moisturizers for dogs. This will help prevent further damage from heat and rough surfaces. If you notice something more serious, call your vet to seek medical attention for your pup.


(Photo credit: @poppyseedbernedoodle / @theglobaldog)

Prevent Overheating
Another risk that comes with rising temperatures is the risk of overheating. Just like us, your dog is susceptible to heat stroke which can be life threatening. While all dogs are at risk of overheating, if you have a brachycephalic breed (a flat-faced dog like a boxer or bulldog) or a dog with a heavy coat you’ll need to pay extra close attention to them since their shorter noses and heavier coats make it more difficult to regulate their own body temperature. Here’s what to be on the lookout for:
Hyperventilation, Excessive panting, Dry gums that become pale, Increased salivation, Erratic or rapid pulse, Confusion and/or weakness, Diarrhea, Vomiting
If you notice any of these symptoms, bring your dog to a cooler area immediately (preferably inside with a fan or air conditioning). Offer them water but don’t force them to drink as this can cause other problems. If they don’t want to drink or you think they are just too hot, place wet, cool towels over their neck, under their armpits, and between their hind legs to help cool them down faster. However, it is important to remember, do not provide ice to a dog with these symptoms. If eaten, it may cool their core temperature too quickly, shocking their system.  If their symptoms do not subside, seek medical attention immediately. 
 Seasonal Allergies
Dogs, just like humans, can often suffer from seasonal allergies. While it’s typically more of an annoyance for us, it can pose some bigger health risks to your dog. Seasonal allergies in dogs most often cause skin irritation and itchiness. You’ll likely notice your dog scratching, licking and even chewing on certain areas excessively. If left untreated, these areas can become inflamed and raw leaving them susceptible to infection.

If you notice excessive itchiness in your pup this season, try some of these tips:
Wipe them down everytime they come inside. This will help remove allergens from their coat and decrease the amount of allergens they track back inside. Pay special attention to their paws!
Give them frequent baths. Similar to wiping them down, frequent baths will help remove allergens from their coat and skin while also soothing their itchy skin.

Soak their feet. This will help relieve itchy feet as well as decrease the amount of allergens brought back into the house.
Ask your vet about medication. Dogs can take benadryl and other allergy medications but it’s best to ask your vet what dosage is appropriate for your dog. Also, if over-the-counter medication doesn’t work for your pup, your vet can prescribe something stronger to help provide relief.

Summer is such a fun time to spend with your dog and we hope you found this advice helpful in keeping your dog safe while you enjoy the season with them. We can’t wait to see photos of your summer adventures with your furry friends in our app!