Summertime is when things really start to heat up; with our inner solar-powered batteries charged by the summer sun, our natural sense for adventure rises along with the temps. Longer days mean more time to enjoy the great outdoors.
From swimming and hiking to road trips, the biggest challenge of the season is fitting it all in and staying safe while doing so. Minor injuries like burned paws, sunburn, or even upset stomachs can put a damper on your summer fun (and cause some unwanted vet bills). We made a list of some of our best safety tips to help you protect your pup and maximize your enjoyment.
While this may sound like a no-brainer, dehydration is the most common summer peril for dogs and humans alike. Healthy hydration can help you avoid things like heat stroke and feeling crappy from being dehydrated. Always have cool, fresh water handy and a portable bowl when heading outside with your pup. These bottles from Springer are great for heading out for the day since the bowl is attached to the bottle doe easy serving.
Invest in a car seat or seatbelt
Road tripping with your dog is a great way to make unforgettable memories. When planning your trip, decide how you'll keep your dog safe and comfortable in the car. We recommend using a crate for longer trips, but you may want to consider a seatbelt or car seat for shorter adventures. Know before you go: Some states prohibit dogs from riding unrestrained in vehicles. Even if this law does not apply to the areas you're traveling to, you should generally avoid letting your dog roam free in the car. While the idea of driving with your small dog in your lap may seem cute, it's dangerous and should be avoided. It can lead to more severe injuries in the event of an accident, or the dog's moving around could distract you enough to cause one.
Photo courtesy of Ben Moon
Use sun protection
Your dermatologist isn't the only one promoting SPF. Discuss sun protection options for your pup with your vet. This is especially important if your dog is hairless or a breed prone to skin cancer. If you're unsure of your dog's level of risk, this is a good time to ask your vet about it. You'll want to avoid using products formulated for humans as dogs have different needs when it comes to sunscreen.
Steer clear of hot pavement or use protective footwear
The air temperature is not the only temperature you need to worry about in the summer months. Warmer weather means warmer sidewalks and blacktop. If you walk your dog in a city, it is essential to check the temperature of the pavement before heading out, as it can get hot enough to burn delicate paws, especially puppies and senior dogs. An easy way to check is to place the back of your hand or your foot on the pavement and see if you can keep it there comfortably. If it's uncomfortable for you, it could be dangerous for your pup. So avoid walks in the peak heat of the day and seek grass or shade. If you can't avoid walking on hot pavement, consider investing in some protective footwear.
Practice food safety
With the summer weather comes plenty of opportunities for dining al fresco, whether that means packing a picnic for the park, lunch on the trail, or simply hanging on your stoop or patio. You'll want to keep your dog safe from things that can make them sick. This includes the obvious, like sliced onions and corn cobs (a little plain corn removed from the cob is perfectly fine if your dog isn’t allergic) but also things like improperly stored Ollie or leftovers that have been out in the sun to long. Ollie's Fresh recipes can be stored in a fridge for up to 4 days after being defrosted. No way to keep things cold? Consider adding some of Ollie’s new baked recipes to the mix. It can make mealtime a cinch while you and your pup are OOO.
If you want to let your pup indulge in some summer delicacies safely, consider barbequing some plain grilled chicken (no sauce) or salmon and adding some fresh berries or watermelon. It's safer to skip things like ribs (too much fat and the bones can splinter) or anything too high in fat as it can irritate your pup's stomach and end the fun day out.
The Ollie blog is devoted to helping pet parents lead healthier lives with their pups. If you want to learn more about our fresh, human-grade food, check out Ollie.com.