Summer comes with its own set of concerns for people and animals alike, but it can be difficult to determine the warning signs of heat problems in dogs. Before you decide to go on that next long walk, take your dog to the park, or on a run, keep the following summer safety tips in mind before you head out.


1. Mind the Sun

Before you go out in the sun, your skin needs a little protection against the UV rays out there. Your dog might too! While they may not be as susceptible as you are to skin cancer and damage, they are still at risk. Particularly dogs with very light short coats may need sunscreen. Ask your vet for more details about your dog and the sun, or check out Burt's Bees or Epi-Pet (both of them make sunscreen especially for dogs.) It’s also important to be mindful of a dog with an all or mostly dark coat. Make sure your dog has adequate access to shade throughout a day outdoors.


2. Keep Off the Grass

You can never really know how grass in an unfamiliar area has been treated. Pesticides and fertilizers can end up on your pets fur and paws only to be licked off and ingested later. It can even affect people or kids who pet the dog after they've been out. Unless you're sure about the safety of the area you're walking in, such as a dog park, you're probably better off just sticking to the path – though it will be hard to resist Rover's tugs.


3. Beware of Antifreeze

When cars overheat, the antifreeze comes out. Unfortunately, because of its sweet smell dogs often love the taste of it, and even ingesting a little can end up being deadly. As you walk your dog around your neighborhood, be on the lookout for mysterious puddles that may be in driveways or the street and dodge them! If you suspect your dog may have ingested antifreeze, get them to the vet immediately!


4. Careful in the Car

It’s common knowledge not to leave a dog in a parked car with the windows rolled up during the summer. But you can’t just crack a window, either. It still endangers your dog with the very real risk of heat stroke. Even on a 70° day, your car can reach triple digits fairly quickly, so don't take that chance. If they can’t come in with you, leave the air on for the dog or leave them at home when you go out.


5. Always Provide Water

Just like people, pets need more water when the temperatures heat up. While this may sound obvious when it comes to general care tips, some owners don't realize just how much extra water their dog needs! Make sure you bring extra water for your dog wherever you happen to take them. 


Your pet is ultimately in your care and relies on you to look after their well-being. Follow these simple tips for helping your pooch have a happy summer! And of course if your canine pal needs veterinary attention and you’re in Edina or the surrounding area, come to Normandale Vet Hospital for the quality care they deserve – you can reach us at 952-831-8272.