Summer’s nearly over, but there’s still some time for epic adventures. You’ve got your pack, your map, and your four-legged friend, but are they as prepared for the heat as you? Even though we love the hot summer sun, it may not feel quite as pleasant for Fido. In fact, the 90 degree heat that has you purring with delight sprawled out at your local, woodland water hole, might leave your hound dehydrated, burnt and bitten.
Don’t fret though, there are many simple ways to minimize pet danger and maximize your fun without having to go easy on your end-of- summer plans. Here are a few ideas:
- Stay up to date on vaccinations – Before you are even think about which hike to throw yourself into, it’s worth making sure your pet is protected medically. Take them to the vet for a quick once over and make sure they’re checked for heart worms. Also, stay you’re up to date on their preventative medication – think ticks, fleas, biting insects and heartworm. Ticks can be a pain -literally! – but there are many options to keep them at bay. Try Insect Shield’s Bandanas; they’re treated with permethrin which is a safe, effective and odorless repellant for mosquitoes, ticks, ants, flies, chiggers, and midges
- Beat the heat – Dogs only way to maintain body heat is through their sweat glands on their paw pads and through heavy panting, so over-heating is a very real danger. To keep ‘em cooler, make sure you have lots of water on hand for them, go somewhere with adequate shade, and watch out for a lot of hot asphalt or dark surfaces. Although your Chaco’s are protecting your soles from the beating sun, it’s easy to forget that the only thing between your dog and the burning floor is their sensitive paw pads.
- Dress them up – Another great way to keep your pup comfortable is trying out some active wear! Ruffwear make a great cooling jacket, the Swamp Cooler, and heat protection booties, the Summit Trex.
- Swimming lessons – Can your pup swim? Do they like to do it? After a couple of PBR’s while grilling out around your friend’s pool, it’s easy to lose track of what your adventure dog has gotten into. But remember, not all dogs like to, or can, swim. Also, chlorine to a dog can be dangerous and cause stomach upsets. Make sure that if your dog isn’t the next Michael Phelps, they are at a safe distance from the edge.
- Safe snacks – Although you have the picnic and cooler filled for you, not all foods and drinks are safe for pets. Steer clear of leaving alcohol or any foods that may have spoiled in the heat out for your dog to eat. For a list of foods that aren’t great for your pup, click HERE.
- Avoid Fireworks – The firework fear factor differs from dog to dog, but it may be a good idea to leave your pet at home if you are planning on being around a lot of explosions. Curious pets can potentially get badly burned or suffer trauma from over-exposure. You also don’t want them getting into unused fireworks, as they are packed full of toxic chemicals like arsenic and potassium nitrate!
Gearing up for your end-of-summer fun is all the better with your four-legged friend! So be prepared and get ready to have all the adventures you desire with them right by your side.