Veterinarian-written / veterinarian-approved articles for your dog.

Summer Events and Your Dog

Keep your dog safe and happy this summer.

Summer can be a great season for you and your dog. More time outside can be fun and bonding for both of you.

We do want you to be aware of some events and situations that come along with summer which can be stressful or dangerous for your dog.

Heat Can Be Dangerous for a Dog

Dogs can and do suffer from heatstroke, and it can be life-threatening. Dehydration and prolonged exposure to high environmental temperatures can result in a dangerous increase in a dog's internal temperature.

Dogs don't sweat the same way humans do, so panting is one of the only things they can do to cool down. Learn more: "Do Dogs Sweat?"

Here are some things that increase a dog's risk of developing heatstroke:

  • Dogs with flatter faces such as pugs and Boston terriers are at higher risk of overheating.
  • Exercising during the hottest part of the day increases a dog's risk of heatstroke.
  • Leaving a dog outside or in a hot home without access to fresh, cool water is dangerous.
  • A dog left in a car during hot weather is at risk of dying within minutes.
  • Dogs with black coats overheat faster than dogs of other colors.
  • Dogs that are elderly, young, or that have respiratory problems overheat faster.

You can learn more, including the signs dogs with heatstroke show, here: "Heatstroke in Dogs."

Be sure to keep your dog in a cool place during the day's heat, provide fresh, cool water at all times, avoid overexertion during times of high heat, and never leave your dog in a parked car.

Paw Pad Burns and Sunburn in Dogs

While it might not be as obvious as it is in people, dogs can be sunburned. Their paw pads can also be seriously burned by hot pavement.

Dogs with white fur and pink skin are at greater risk of sunburn (and associated skin cancer in the future) than other dogs.

There are pet sunscreens that can be applied to dogs; check with your veterinarian for more information.

Avoid walking or running your dog on hot pavement or use dog booties to protect his paw pads. You can learn more here: "Paw Pad Burns in Dogs."

Fireworks and Thunderstorm Fear in Dogs

Many dogs are afraid of the noise that comes along with fireworks displays or neighbors setting them off during the first week of July. Similarly, summertime thunderstorms can cause many dogs to panic. Some dogs are so fearful that they may injure themselves, destroy items in the home, or become lost while frantically trying to get away.

Some preparation can go a long way toward helping your dog deal with fireworks and thunderstorms this summer. Providing him with a comfortable, safe room where there's soothing music that can partially drown out the sounds can help.

Thunder Shirts help many dogs deal with fears and phobias.

Rescue remedy is a natural compound that can help some dogs stay calmer. Lavender oil has been shown to help calm some dogs.

Adaptil is a compound that mimics a calming pheromone produced by dogs. It's available in a spray, collar, or diffuser, and it can really help some dogs stay calm.

If your dog has a severe phobia, your veterinarian may prescribe medications to help. Never give your dog medications on your own, but check with your vet to find out what you may be able to give him.

You can learn more about this here: "Fireworks Fear in Dogs."

Bug Bites and Dogs

Most of the time, dogs don't seem to be as bothered by bug bites as humans are. However, bothersome insects can deliver diseases to your dog, and summer is a more likely time for bugs to be out and about.

Fleas, ticks, and mosquitos can all bite dogs and cause illness or disease.

Check with your veterinarian to determine the best way to protect your dog against these illnesses. Insect repellants, heartworm preventative, and vaccinations are all possibilities, and your veterinarian is best suited to help you decide which of these are necessary and safe for your dog based on exposure risks and your dog's other medical conditions.

You can learn more in this helpful article and those linked to within it: "Bothersome Bugs for Dogs."

Barbecues, Summer Parties, and Dogs

Summertime often brings more parties, and there are some dangers to dogs that come along with them. These include:

  • Ingesting foods toxic to dogs.
  • Escaping and getting lost.
  • Burns can occur if a dog gets too close to a grill or bonfire.

Keep your dog safe by being aware of these potential problems, letting your guests know about them, and consider keeping your dog on a leash or safely in the house.

You May Also Like These Articles:

Foxtails: A Summertime Hazard for Dogs

How to Teach a Dog to Stay

Dog Shaving: Helpful or Harmful?

Paw Pad Burns in Dogs

Dog Safety on the Fourth of July

Dehydration in Dogs

Rattlesnake Vaccine for Dogs

Black Widow Spider Bites in Dogs

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