The Dangers for Dogs to Look Out for This Summer

The summer season is often associated with sunnier days, warmer weather, outdoor parties and long walks. Gone are the days of you having to don a raincoat or battling with an umbrella when you take your dog out for a walk… well, almost.

However, summer can bring on another set of worries for dog-owners. The warmer weather and the longer walks pose certain risks for your pup – to avoid them, you just need to know what to look out for.

Heatstroke

Heatstroke and overheating are two common problems that pets face when it’s hot and sunny. Dogs can overheat quickly, with certain breeds being affected by heat more than others. The dog breeds that are more intolerant to high temperatures are the ones with thick or dark coats, as well as short-nosed dogs like pugs and bulldogs and those that are overweight due to more troubled breathing.

If a dog is suffering from heatstroke or dehydration, they might suffer from the following symptoms:

  • Rapid breathing
  • Extreme lethargy and weakness
  • Excessive thirst
  • Dry gums
  • Thick and sticky saliva
  • Vomiting/diarrhoea

It’s important that as soon as you notice any of these symptoms that you remove your pet from the heat as soon as possible. You can help to cool them down by applying wet towels over his body, and things like fans, ice packs and sprinklers can come in handy too. Wherever you are, whether in the car travelling or at home, you should always have water on hand to fill up your dog’s bowl with.

These simple ideas will help to prevent overheating and heatstroke, but if you are concerned about your dog’s health, make sure you take them to a vet immediately.

Insects

One of the biggest dangers for dogs over the summer season is ticks. A particular danger for dogs that love their ‘walkies’ outdoors and in the countryside, ticks pose a threat as a real spreader of diseases in pets – deadly diseases included. It’s recommended that you check your dog for ticks on a daily basis, taking care to look particularly thoroughly after walks in long-grassed or wooded areas. Read these simple tricks and tips on removing ticks from your dog.

Bees and wasps also pose a risk to dogs. That buzzing noise they make is often an irritation to us, but forms curiosity for our pets – that curiosity can get them stung. Some dogs react badly to bee stings; the stings can cause swelling which can sometimes lead to more problems for the pup. If you are worried about the swelling or any excessive scratching your dog is doing, take your dog to the vet when you can.

Sunburn

It’s not just us humans that can catch the sun – our dogs are at risk of sun exposure too. The tendency to fall asleep in the sun is all too common for both us and our pets, and this can cause burning without us even realising (until later!).

Dogs that are especially vulnerable to the sun are the breeds that have little fur, all over or in certain patches like on the belly or the tip of their nose. It may or may not surprise you to hear that you can get suncream for dogs to prevent this from happening. Smothered in suncream or not, you should always be aware of how long your dog is lying in the sun.

Water

Okay, let us explain this one. Whilst drinking water is a must-have for your dog wherever you are, particularly in summer, there are some types of water you’ve got to be careful of. Firstly, any ponds, pools or lakes you come across on your walks or travels, and secondly, bacteria-infested water.

Not every dog is born knowing how to swim. It’s true that most dogs know instinctively what to do in water and how to stay afloat and it’s true that many dogs can pick up the skill quickly, but some will need a more gradual introduction to water. This way that can slowly get more used to the ways of the water and how to stay adrift.

We’ve already talked about how dogs are affected by hotter temperatures. All this sunny weather means that they’re bound to enjoy the outdoors more, and get thirstier. As we all know, dogs will make a drink of anything – from toilet water to pond water – which is exactly why you should keep an eye out for what they’re consuming. Puddle, pool, pond and lake water can be riddled with bacteria and chemicals that could harm your dog. Always have fresh water on hand to avoid a poorly pup!

Allergies

Summertime brings allergies for your pets too. The seasonal rise in both pollen and fleas can affect your dog, causing them to itch, cough, sneeze and be in general discomfort. It can be a tricky one to avoid – particularly the unpredictable nature of fleas and hayfever – but if you are aware of any allergy triggers, do your best to keep your dog away from them.

If you are concerned about your pet and any allergic reaction, they may well benefit from a canine antihistamine or some other kind of medication. However, make sure you ask your vet for more details or any other recommendations for your dog first.

BBQ parties

T’is the season for outdoor BBQ parties – hurray! That means fun times with your friends and family, with lots of delicious food and drink. However, if you’re a dog-owner, there are a few things you should be cautious of before you entirely relax into the party mode.

Of course, barbeque food is loved by everyone – including dogs. Think of all that meat! But that barbeque menu can also provide some hazards to look out for. Not only is the barbeque itself a hazard to both animals and children, but barbeque food like corn on the cob and kebabs can be considered choking hazards. That ice cream you’re having for dessert? It’s one of the many family favourites that can result in a not-very-well doggy. Keep an eye on your pet at all times!