AKC Summer Safety Tips

Now that the summer heat is here, here are safety tips to ensure the safety of your dogs.

• If kept outside, make sure your pet has plenty of shade. Remember that doghouses are not good shelter during the summer as they can trap heat.

• Make sure your dog has access to plenty of cool, fresh water 24 hours a day. If your dog travels with you, bring along water and a bowl.

• Never leave your dog in a vehicle on a warm day. Even with the windows open the temperature inside a car can rise to over 100 degrees in a matter of minutes.

• It’s fun to take your dog with you to run errands, but if you can’t bring your dog inside the store, it’s best to leave him home. Tying a dog outside a store is dangerous because he is exposed to the hot sun and strangers who could be unkind.

• Avoid strenuous exercise on extremely hot days. Take walks in the early mornings or evenings, when the sun’s heat is less intense.

• Make sure your dog’s vaccinations are up-to-date. Dogs tend to stay outdoors longer and come into contact with other animals more during the summer months.

• Keep dogs off lawns that have been chemically treated or fertilized for 24 hours (or according to package instructions), and away from potentially toxic plants and flowers. Visit http://www.akc.org/pdfs/public_education/hazardous_plants.pdf for a list of toxic plants.

• Mosquitoes (which carry heartworm disease) along with fleas and ticks are more prevalent in warmer months. Ask your veterinarian for an effective preventive to keep these parasites off your dog.

• Many dogs like swimming, but some cannot swim or may not like the water. Be conscious of your dog’s preferences and skills before putting him in the water.
Always supervise your pet while swimming.

• Chlorine from pools and bacteria from streams, lakes and ponds can be toxic for a dog’s system. Always rinse your dog with clean water after swimming. Beware of the wildlife that may pose a danger to your swimming pet. Some catfish are known for attacking small dogs.

Article provided by the AKC.