From throwing food on the grill to relaxing by the pool, summer months generally lead to spending time outdoors. If you’ve got a furry friend in your life, you are probably trying to capitalize on the nice weather with longer walks and extra games of fetch.
However, as we get into the dog days of summer, you’ll want to make sure you are keeping your pet’s safety in mind. Whether you are heading to the park or just playing in the backyard, here are a few tips to keep your dog safe and cool this summer.
Never leave pets in a parked car
Thinking about bringing your dog with you to run a few errands? Think again. The inside of a parked car heats up rapidly in the summer heat. According the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, when the outside temperature is 83 degrees, even with the window rolled down 2 inches, the temperature inside the car can reach 109 degrees in only 15 minutes.
With temperatures that high, your dog could suffer heat stroke or even die. The same is true for cats or any other animal. It’s better to leave your pets at home than leave them suffering in a hot car.
Bring your pets inside
Your dog may love to play outside, which might make you tempted to let them stay in the backyard while you are at work or out running around town. After all, you’ve got a fenced-in yard and you’ve made sure to provide plenty of water for while you’re gone. Unfortunately, it’s still a bad idea. There are a number of hypothetical scenarios that could happen while you are gone that could be detrimental to your furry friend.
What if your pooch knocks over its water bowl and gets dehydrated? Or what if a neighborhood kid wanders into the yard while you’re gone and your dog, agitated from the heat, bites the child? Your dog could even be stolen from your yard.
All those scenarios are reasons why your dog shouldn’t be left unattended in the backyard. The same advice goes for cats. If you’ve got an indoor/outdoor feline, prevent your cat from going outside during the heat of the day.
Keep this in mind: A good, comprehensive home insurance policy should include dog-bite liability coverage. This protection could potential pay legal and medical bills in the event your dog bites someone. Remember, the average dog bite claim last year exceeded $32,000, according to the Insurance Information Institute.
If you are unsure about dog-bite liability coverage being included on your policy, contact your provider. Certain breeds may be excluded from coverage, so be sure to ask about your pooch.
Limit exercise on very hot days
Your fuzzy partner-in-crime loves to play outside, but during hot days, you’ll want to limit exercise. Only take your dog out early in the morning or in the evening hours, when it’s cooler outside. Know that asphalt gets very hot and can actually burn your dog’s paws. Try to walk in the grass or the sidewalk, if possible, to avoid any paw burns.
Keep your dog cool
When you are spending time out in summer heat, it’s important to keep your dog cool. Always carry water with you to prevent your dog from dehydrating. Most pet stores carry collapsible water bowls to make it even easier to give your dog H2O on the go. In addition to water, look for areas with shade to take a break and cool off. Frozen dog treats, cooling vests and cooling mats are other products to keep your furry friend from becoming a hot dog.
Summertime was made for having fun with man’s best friend. Make sure you are taking the proper safety precautions with your pooch and you’ll be playing fetch together for many summers to come.