The Dos and Don’ts of Summertime Safety for Dogs
After a long, cold and snowy winter, we’re not the only ones who want to make the most of our summer! Dogs are just as excited about being outside, getting some fresh air, and maybe even chasing a few sprinklers.
To make sure your four-legged friend stays safe this summer, here are some important dos and don’ts:
Make sure your dog always has access to fresh water and a cool, sheltered place out of direct sunlight to avoid heat stroke. Learn how to identify the signs of heat stroke, and what to do in case your dog shows any symptoms, by reading our Summertime Dangers Fact Sheet.
Leave pets outside for too long. If possible, avoid going outside when temperatures are at their highest. Limit your time outside to short periods at a time and try to go for walks in the early mornings or evenings when the weather is a little cooler.
Know whether your dog is more susceptible to heat exposure. Certain breeds of dogs, such as northern breeds or short-muzzled dogs, can have a more difficult time with the heat. Other dogs that are more vulnerable, include dogs that are older, overweight, on certain medications, under six months old, and dogs with certain medical conditions such as lung or heart disease.
Leave your pet alone in a vehicle, even if the car is parked in the shade with the windows slightly down. Dogs have a limited ability to sweat, so even a short time in a hot environment can be life threatening.
Dogs should also never ride in the back of a pick-up truck, even for a short distance. Your dog may be thrown from the truck, get an injury from flying debris, or burn its paws on the hot metal surface.
Be aware of which plants and garden products are harmful to dogs. A list of common garden hazards is available on our fact sheet. Be prepared by keeping all important phone numbers on hand (your veterinarian, animal poison control centre and local emergency veterinary service) and make sure you know your veterinarian’s procedures for emergency situations, especially after business hours.
Let your dog walk on lawns that have been recently sprayed with insecticides, herbicides and fertilizers, all of which are toxic if ingested. As a precaution, rinse your dog’s paws after your walk.
Enjoy some quality time with your dog this summer! Play some games, make some memories, and stay cool, hydrated, and safe!
To read more about summer safety for dogs, click here.
If you see an animal in distress in the heat, call 1-833-9ANIMAL or your local police. For more hot weather pet safety tips, visit ontariospca.ca. Remember, if it’s too hot for you, it’s too hot for your pet!
Hats off to you
To all kind-hearted and hard-working people at SPCA: hats off to you. I love animals and admire the work you do.