Keeping Your Pup Summer Safe!
Summer is one of the most exciting times of year for both dogs and their humans. Vacations, barbecues, and the many dog-friendly events around Charlotte mean that our pets get a fun mix of daycare with their friends and going out on the town with their parents! As we take extra precautions to keep our families safe from the sun, let’s discuss a few tips to keep our pets safe as well.
Sun’s Out Fun’s Out!
Your dog may be used to coming to daycare, attending playdates in the neighborhood, or going on your nightly run. This time of year, consider exercising your dog early in the morning or late in the evening when it is naturally cooler. The heat can have an even greater impact on senior or overweight pets and brachycephalic (flat-faced) dogs, such as Pugs, Bulldogs, and Shih Tzus should have their outdoor activities limited.
Watch Your Step
Hot pavement can burn paw pads quickly, so make sure there are plenty of shady or grassy spots along your route in case your pup needs a break. If you notice your pup favoring the grass over the sidewalk, this could be a sign that the temps are already too hot. If you’re still not sure if it’s safe, place the back side of your hand against the sidewalk for a minute and feel for yourself. If your hand is warm but otherwise comfortable, your dog’s paws will feel similar and it’s probably okay. If you feel an uncomfortable amount of heat from the ground, it’s too hot for your pup. At Social Pet, we have a large canopy covering over 4,500 square feet of outdoor play zones, as well as a 2,500 square feet warehouse, to allow all-day play options when the outdoor ambient temperature goes beyond a safe level. To ensure paw pads are always safe, we monitor ground temperature using a non-contact infrared thermometer. This “cool” device provides an immediate temperature reading of any area targeted. If you’re an avid runner or walker with your pup, we highly recommend picking one of these up at your local hardware store or online. It’s a pad saver!
Oftentimes parents may think that shaving down a dog’s coat is the best way to prevent overheating in the summer. While this can help with certain breeds, a dog’s coat can also act as a natural sunscreen protecting against the harmful ultra-violet rays that could lead to sunburn. Our groomers at The Spa at Social Pet will work with you to determine the most appropriate coat length to ensure they look and stay cool all season long. Lastly, don’t forget to include your dog while lathering up the rest of your family with sunscreen! Dogs with short, light-colored coats are especially prone to sunburn. When applying, pay special attention to the tips of noses and around the nostrils, the insides of ears (if they are exposed), and around the lips. To provide the safest protection possible, find a dog-specific sunscreen online or at your local pet shop. Don’t have time to purchase doggy sunscreen before the next family outing? Find some that is safe for babies or sensitive skin. If you’re still unsure, talk with your veterinarian.
Our staff at Social Pet is here to partner with you to ensure your fur baby stays healthy all summer long and will answer any questions you have regarding summer heat and safety. Additionally, contact us at 704-835-1022 to find out when our next Pet CPR and First Aid class is scheduled to learn even more valuable information.