It’s official — after a long, hard spring, summer is in full swing! Before heading out to the beach, barbecue, or your other favorite summertime activity, however, it’s important to take some time to consider your four-legged friend. Summer comes with some unique health and safety challenges for dogs. At RawK9, canine wellness is our number one priority; that’s why we’ve devoted this month’s blog to sharing some summertime safety tips for dogs.
If you’ve found your way to our blog, then you probably care about your dog’s nutrition, safety, and overall health. At RawK9, we create all-natural, high-protein raw dog food for conscientious pet owners like you to help ensure that you have as many joy-filled years as possible with your precious pup. Read on to learn how you can help keep your furry friend safe this summer, then browse our selection of raw dog food products made from USDA-sourced beef, duck, turkey, salmon, quail, and other humanely raised meats.
Keep Your Dog Hydrated
Unlike humans, dogs and other pets don’t sweat, meaning they get much hotter and much thirstier than we do when temperatures are high. One easy way to combat this is to keep your dog hydrated as much as possible throughout the summer months. Make sure that out on walks and other outings you have plenty of water with you, as well as a travel bowl, and watch out for telltale signs of dehydration such as dry gums, excessive panting, and lethargy.
Switch to Wet Dog Food
Another easy way that you can keep your pet hydrated all summer long is switching to wet dog food, like the raw meat products that we offer here at RawK9. Wet dog food can significantly increase your dog’s fluid intake over feeding them kibble. If your dog will be transitioning to a raw dog food diet for the first time then make sure to check out our handy FAQ for some essential guidelines and advice.
Know the Signs of Overheating
The normal temperature range for a dog is between 100° and 103°F. Anything higher means that your pet is in danger of overheating, which can lead to serious, sometimes fatal complications. Make sure to keep an eye out for these possible symptoms of overheating:
- Dry or bright red gums
- Excessive panting
- Thick drool
- Wobbly legs
If your pet shows any of these signs, move them indoors or to a cool, shaded place as soon as possible and give them plenty of water. Put a damp towel over them (don’t place them in cold water, as this can put their bodies in shock) and get them to the vet as soon as possible.
Never Leave Your Dog in the Car
All it takes is 10 minutes of overheating for a dog to experience heat stroke and 15 minutes to suffer from permanent brain damage. While it may seem like keeping your dog in the car for just a few minutes while you run an errand is no big deal, this can prove to be a devastating and even deadly decision.
Furthermore, leaving your pet in your car can not only be dangerous for their health but also potentially illegal for you. There are currently laws in 16 states mandating that leaving a dog alone in a hot car can be cause for arrest. Don’t risk a night in the dog house; keep Fido home next time you need to run errands.
Did you know that, like humans, dogs can get sunburnt? Short- and light-haired dogs, especially, can suffer from painful and potentially cancer-causing sunburns when they spend a lot of time outdoors. If you plan to hit the beach another sunny spot with your best friend, make sure to apply sunscreen to their least hair-covered spots every 3-4 hours. Vulnerable areas include the belly, ears, and nose. Only use sunscreen made specifically for pets.
Keep Your Pups’ Paws Cool
Paws are another part of your dog’s body that is sensitive to heat. Try to keep your pet off hot surfaces, like cement and asphalt to avoid burns, which not only hurt their paws but can also cause their whole body to overheat. Consider spraying your dog’s paws and stomach with water or rubbing these areas with a damp towel to help cool them down throughout the day or after walks. Avoid walking your dog during the hottest hours of the day (around noon); if this isn’t possible, then you may want to consider purchasing doggy boots.
Protect Against Parasites
Fleas, ticks, mosquitoes, and other parasites run rampant during the summer months. Not only are these pests just plain annoying, but they can also carry tapeworms, heartworms, Lyme disease, West Nile Virus, and other serious health issues. Keep your pet pest-free with parasite control products (natural options are available) and vigilant cleaning of your indoor space. Talk to your vet to learn more.
Maximize Your Dog’s Health With RawK9
Keeping your best friend healthy and safe involves more than just caring for them during the hot summer months. It always requires that they have the wholesome, high-protein food they need to power through their days. With a raw dog food diet, your dog can enjoy improved digestion, healthier skin and fur, better dental hygiene, a more muscular build, and even improved behavior. To get started, browse our raw dog food products today. From our RawK9 family to yours, we hope you and all your four-legged friends have a safe, healthy, and happy summer!