Dogs | July 29, 2016

Dog Days of Summer: Keeping Your Dog Happy and Healthy

Dog in Water

Summer is in full swing, and ‘tis the season for road trips, hikes and beach days with our furry family members. It’s a great time of year to create memories, but with the increased heat, and changes to routine, it’s equally important that you take precautions and plan accordingly. Below are a few tips to keep your dogs happy and healthy through the summer season.

Keeping Hydrated
While dogs should have access to fresh water at all times, this is even more critical in the summer months when dehydration can happen rapidly due to the hotter temperatures. Be sure to pack water and a collapsible water bowl when out on the trails, and have fresh water available whether at the beach or playing in the yard.

Adding ice cubes and chicken or beef broth to your dog’s water bowl may encourage your dog to drink. Offering canned/wet dog food or adding water to kibble also can help to increase fluid intake. Just be sure to remember that wet pet food must be treated like fresh food and be refrigerated or discarded if not readily eaten to avoid food safety issues.

Hot Weather Safety
Dogs can burn in the sun just like people can. White, light-colored, and thinly coated dogs are particularly prone to sunburn, so be sure to regularly apply a waterproof sunscreen formulated for babies or pets. Find a shady spot to place a cool mat for your dog whether in your yard, at the beach, or during trail breaks.

Also, outside surfaces can heat up quickly in the summer sun and can burn your dog’s footpads. Walk your dog in the morning or evening, or in shaded areas or test surfaces before venturing outside by pressing your hand to the surface for 30 seconds. If it is painful for you, it will also be painful for your dog.

On the Road Again
When road tripping, be sure to plan your dog’s diet before you leave home. If you are travelling for only a few days, bring enough food and treats (Petcurean’s SPIKE treats are a great on-the-go treat) for the duration of your trip to prevent digestion issues. If you’re planning to be traveling for days, weeks or months, you may need to purchase dog food while you are away – many pet food brands offer store locators on their website so that you can plan where to get your dog’s next meal.

Fun in the Sun!
With a bit of planning, your summer days and travels will be filled with fun memories of times spent with your pet. Proper nutrition, hydration and sun safety will keep both you and your dog happy and healthy.