Summer’s here and the time is right for dancing with your dog…if that’s your thing. But seriously we all want to be outside when the sun is out and one of the best ways to enjoy this time of year is by being under that big ‘ole sun with our four-legged friends!
We all know that it is best practices to put on sunscreen and drink lots of water when it’s hot – I try to remember to do these things but I have to say that I am guilty of not following the rules and end up getting bright red and dehydrated because I get so focused on just getting outside…and then regretting it later. But what about our dogs who can’t do for themselves? They can get burnt by the sun and dehydrated too! If you’re thirsty, they are probably thirsty too. When you put on your sunscreen, put some on them too…well, maybe not all over.
First, the thirst! I usually always have a water bottle on hand and for my dog too so she can take a few licks to cool down while taking a walk. Other things to keep on hand to keep your canine cool are ice packs, a collapsible water dish and some yummy frozen treats. If for some reason you aren’t as proactive and you notice your dog portray any of the following signs, they may be dehydrated: parched skin, warm back, sunken eyes, dry nose and mouth, excessive panting, dark urine, wobbly feet or vomiting, according to Rover.com. Get your pup inside right away, offer them water and if they don’t show any signs of improvement, get him to the vet right away. Remember, if you are thirsty, they probably are too!
Second, the skin! After being in the sun all day with no sunscreen, I look like a burned lobster and can’t take a hot shower for at least a week without being in pure agony. If your dog isn’t shaved, their hair will protect their body from getting burned but what about their nose, ears and belly? According to Eukanuba, dogs need sunscreen on their nose because there is no hair and their ears and belly have thinner hair so nothing is protecting those areas. So while you share your water, share your sunscreen too – after all, sharing is caring! Remember, if you don’t want to get burned, they don’t want to either!
Finally, the feet! We’ve all gone outside to go get themail with no shoes on during a hot summer’s day and quickly realize that instead of walking on a cool driveway and sidewalk, we have instead been exposed to an erupted volcano of hot burning lava and can’t get back in the house fast enough. Our dogs don’t always have that option to run back inside and don’t have the ability to tell us their feet are too hot either. According to the Journal of the American Medical Association, If it’s only 77 degrees out, the sidewalk feels like 125 degrees and skin destruction can happen in just 1 minute! An average dog’s walk is about 30 minutes so imagine the pain and damage it can cause without protection. So when you put on your socks and shoes, put on theirs too – right? Right!
It’s fun to dress up our pets in shirts, swimsuits and sunglasses so socks and shoes should
be part of their wardrobe too – especially if they’re going to help them…and make them look cute too. Introducing Lavasox…a protective bootie that acts as a sock and shoe – two for one! They are made with high-ventilation fabrics that let your dog’s paws breathe and cool naturally so their feet won’t get too hot on your walk. Plus there’s a heat barrier that insulates and provides a high-tech layer of protection which helps make your dog’s walk so much more enjoyable and less like a walk on hot coals. Remember, if your feet are too hot on the pavement, so are theirs!
If you don’t have a set of Lavasox yet and your dog’s paws do get burned by the hot pavement, there are at-home treatments you can administer to help comfort your pup. According to Banfield Pet Hospital, solutions may include pain medications, foot bandages and a possible trip to the vet where they may prescribe antibiotics in case of infection.
Make this summer the best yet and be proactive with your pet when it comes to the heat. Provide plenty of water for you and your dog, use sunscreen and keep your feet away from the heat. May your summer be filled with long dog walks…and no vet trips. Enjoy!