With the mercury on the rise and outdoor activities in full swing, there seems to be very little cares on the mind. We are in summer and these beautiful days are spent outside grilling, camping, hiking, swimming, and just soaking up the sun and if you are like me, the family pup is right alongside you for all the fun. But the change in seasons can mean a new list of threats for the fur family that you may want to take a moment to familiarize yourself with.

We know hot and humid temperatures are a struggle when they last for days on end. The struggle also applies to your pet. Make sure your pet has plenty of fresh water and shade for any outdoor time spent. Take the time to watch your pet’s behavior — are they panting more than normal, acting strange, or not interested in being social like normal? Any change in your dog’s routine can be a sign of stress and time to go inside and cool down. In any extreme heat and humidity it’s always best to limit your four-legged friend’s outdoor time.

When it comes to cooling off in the water there are a few things to consider:

  • Blue green algae has become an issue on our lakes over the past few years.  We know this is something we want to avoid as it can make us sick, but it can be deadly to your pets. Do not allow your dogs to swim or drink the water and keep them off beaches where the algae has been spotted.
  • Keep in mind not all breeds of pups are great swimmers and enjoy swimming so don’t ever force them to join you in the water.
  • Your backyard swimming pool can also be hazardous as pool chemicals should not be ingested by your pet.
dog on boat

Road trips are a must when the sun is shining and Fido may be riding shotgun with his head out the window, but when you stop for a break, don’t leave the pup inside the car. Temperatures inside a vehicle can soar quickly. Even cracking the window won’t make a big difference when trying to keep the inside of the car cool. With sun and even temperatures in the 70s, inside car temperatures can rise to over 100 degrees. Heat stoke can happen fast in this situation so best bet is to take the dog with you even if it’s a pit stop.

If you’re keeping the car at home and walking to your favorite summer spot, be mindful that sidewalks and roadways are very hot in the summer sun. Pet’s paws can be burned and damaged if you expose them to hot surfaces. Keep walks to early morning or late afternoon. If you feel it hurts to walk barefoot on the blacktop, your pup does too! Try to stick to grassy or shady paths and if you can pull it off, try booties or socks for the paws!

walking the dogs

And the summer staple we all love and enjoy is the backyard BBQ.  You have saucy meats, corn on the cob, chicken with the bone in, grapes, fatty side salads, and how about that ice cream for dessert! Most people food is not good for your pets. If you want to share a nibble of food keep it to just that, a taste, and make that taste just plain meat without bone and skin. Also be sure to keep a close eye on the pet during a cookout as those sniffers are working overload and will likely find a dropped item of food in seconds that could be dangerous to them.

In my opinion, summer is better with the family dog by your side. Enjoy the season and make sure to keep all members of the family safe and happy!