July is Pet Safety Month at BlogPaws, and this is my 2nd post in my Summer Safety series. I found a great infographic to share with safety tips for the heat, and then I’ll tell you what we do to keep safe in the hot summer months.
Shade & Water
We keep one bowl of water outside on our deck, and one down in the yard. We have plenty of options for shade in our yard, with trees lining one side of the dog yard, and underneath the deck provides shade as well. We use stainless steel water dishes, and I keep them in the shade also. I recently read a warning not to use glass bowls outside in the hot sun, because they could overheat and break!
I posted a photo last Sunday of Luke keeping cool in the pool, and many of you commented that you also had a pool, or wish you did. We play a lot of fetch, and getting the pool is one of the best things we have done for the dogs. There are times when I would think it was too hot to play, but with the pool for them to cool off in we can still play for a while. Another option suggested was a sprinkler, which would be great too, though some dogs don’t like the spraying water (Luke loves it but the girls not so much).
I know I’m pretty much preaching to the choir here, but we can’t spread the word enough about not leaving your dog (or any pet) in a car in the summer. Some people really are still ignorant of this fact. I don’t quite understand why, because who hasn’t gotten into a hot car in the summer, windows cracked or not, and realized how swelteringly hot it gets in there? We simply don’t take our dogs with us when we go anywhere in the summer, unless one of us can stay in there with them to monitor the heat or run the A/C, or we’re not going to be more than two steps away from the car for a minute or two.
I’m going to add to check any questionable surface for heat. I was shocked a week or two ago when I took my shoes off on our wooden deck, and realized how hot it was. The deck needs to be re-stained, but I had no idea of how hot it was getting. Luckily the dogs spend most of their time down in the yard, and the deck is shaded for part of the day. We have to be careful of how much they’re out there in the afternoon, and we are re-staining the deck this weekend, and will be sure it’s not an issue once it’s done.
We live in a rural area so walking on pavement is not much of an issue. The trails we walk on are dirt, and even if we’re on the road for a short time to get to the trails, there are wide dirt shoulders that I keep the dogs on. But if you live in a more urban area, please be aware of how hot pavement or other surfaces can get.
Our dogs want to play fetch every single day. We try to get them out in the morning to play when we can, and on the days we work, I will play with them when I get home, but limit it to about a half hour, and the pool is always filled with cold water for them. If we are going to take walks or go for a run, that is done in early morning. If it’s going to be a long walk, I bring bottles of water with us. Our summer here hasn’t been as hot as past summers, but we stick to these rules anyway. If we get into an extremely hot and humid spell, we will try to come up with some indoor games to play as well. Luke needs a little more exercise than just that half hour, and we have lots of toys for him to play with in the house, and Sheba will often play with him too!
Please be aware of the symptoms of heat stroke, and watch your dogs closely. Heavy panting and difficulty breathing are the first signs. Better yet, follow the tips above so you don’t have to worry about it! There is a very informative article on WebMD Pet on heat stroke and dehydration, click here to read that if you would like to learn more.