Staying Safe in Summer

Everyone knows the number one dog safety tip: do not leave your dog in a hot car…not even for a few minutes. Here are some other tips to keep your dog safe and comfortable.

Water, water, water. Place dishes of fresh, clean water indoors and out, upstairs and down. On walks, hikes or other trips, Take along a collapsible bowl or dog water bottle to keep your pal hydrated.

Extra set of keys. Put an extra set of car keys in the glove compartment of your car. If you need to leave your dog in the car, leave it running. Grab the extra keys and your dog can wait in air-conditioned comfort.

Shade. When leaving your dog, a cool, indoor location is best. If you must leave your dog outside, provide adequate shade, plenty of water and a small pool for quick cool-offs.

Don’t worry if your dog seems to be eating less or her interest in play or walks dwindles. Hot weather causes her metabolism to slow, especially during the hottest part of the day.

And speaking of walks, pay attention to the pavement. Feel it with your hand before setting out. Hot pavement can burn your dog’s sensitive paw pads. Keep to the shady side of the street.

Pool safety. Most fatal pool accidents happen because a dog doesn’t know how to get out of the pool. Instinctively, he will try to get out where he got in and if he can’t, he may exhaust himself and drown.

To prevent this horror, lead or gently carry your dog into the pool. As you release him to swim, repeat “Out of the pool!” as you guide him to the stairs. Next, attach a long line or flexi-leash and lure him into the pool. You may need to give him a a little push—but this is a lifesaving lesson, so don’t feel guilty—and repeat “Out of the pool” as you coach him to the stairs.

Praise him generously as he climbs out. Don’t repeat this exercise more than once per day and stop once he is confident of the exit route.