Summer time is a time when people want to get out and see things. It is also a time to have a little added time with your dog by going on more walks to enjoy the sun. It is easy to understand how to keep a dog warm in winter during a walk, but when the sun is high and beating down on the two of you, how do you protect your special friend. There are a number of ways to ensure your dog stays safe in the hot summer sun. Here are some things you can do for the safety of your pet.
Although it may seem silly to put shoes on a dog since they are primarily bred to be outside animals, thus used to the outdoor elements. Truthfully, for the most part they are used to the outdoor elements, but not the ones we have manufactured to human comfort.
You have to remember sidewalks and pavement were not part of the natural landscape dogs were made to survive in. These elements hold onto heat during the summer and can become quite hot. If you do not believe me, step on a hot sidewalk barefoot one day. It will hurt.
There are signs to look for that will indicate whether the pavement is too hot for the dog. The dog cannot tell you that he or she is in pain, but if the dog whimpers when they walk or limps there could be a problem. In severe cases you may even notice that a piece of the pad is missing. Prevent the problem before it becomes serious and the dog loses part of his or her foot pads.
The pads on a dog’s feet are designed to protect to a certain degree, but are not completely heat proof. The dog can still feel through the pads, so just like humans, there are times where shoes would be beneficial to the health of the animals. You do not have to look very far to find a suitable shoe for your dog. The world of dog shoe manufacturers is growing every day. The type of shoe simply depends on the size of your dog’s paws and the type of protection desired.
As far as the heat of summer goes, minimal amount of clothing has always been the way to go, but there is something to be said for a good hat to shield your eyes from the sun. The same can be said for the dog world. They have eyes just like we do and the harsh sun rays can be blinding to the animal. A simple sun hat is made from a light material and will shield your dog’s eyes from the sun all summer long.
It may seem counterproductive to add an element of clothing to an animal during the hot summer sun, but I can assure you it is valid. Heat is absorbed through the head. Covering the head will allow the sun’s rays to glance off rather than absorb. This is especially true if your dog happens to be of a dark colour. Dark colours absorb heat far more efficiently than that of lighter colours.
Humans know that the sun’s rays can be very harmful to their skin. When we think of dogs we often do not think of adding sunscreen during a walk. They are covered in fur, they are protected, right? That is not always the case. There are many breeds that have very little fur and some owners shave their dog’s fur completely during the summer.
Apply sunscreen 15 minutes before embarking on a walk. This gives the sunscreen plenty of time to absorb into the skin before any exposure to the sun takes place. The sunscreen will be able to work at maximum capability so there will be little chance of the skin burning.
Water is an essential element for the health and wellness of a dog. It is understood that a dog is given ample amount of water while they are home, but it is equally important to provide a dog access to water while on a walk. If you tend to bring water for yourself while on a walk, bring extra for your four legged friend. Even walking for a short period of time in the heat of a summer day can reduce the amount of water in your dog’s system. Replacing that water as soon as possible is important for the health of the dog. We all need a cool drink when walking in the hot summer sun.
Dogs enjoy a walk no matter what season it may be. Keeping them safe in all seasons is top priority for a dog lover. There is much to be enjoyed during the summer and there is a safe way to do it, so keep your dog safe even when the heat of summer is on.