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August 21, 2009

Hot Summer Tips for Fun in the Sun with Pets

Dog_beachMy corgi loves being outside. She “helps” me water my potted plants by sticking her face into the hose water and snarling at the spray coming from the nozzle. To her, this is bliss. It’s also a great way to have fun with her while keeping her cool. I love in Southern California and it can get hot hot HOT here. In fact, recently we have had some record heat waves passing through.

Because the hot summer months can mean danger for your traveling pooch pals, I put together some helpful tips!

 Tip #1: Stay cool this summer by taking a road trip with your pet to the beach! There are dozens of dog beaches popping up everywhere now. In southern California there are dog-friendly beaches in Huntington Beach, Long Beach, Malibu, Carmel, and Monterey to name a few. Pack up your pooch and head to the waves to keep cool and have fun. While you’re packing up your car, don’t forget to include your doggie surf board! Check out Loews Coronado Bay Resort Surf Dog Competition (put on every year)! This summer’s competition has already passed, but why not practice for next year?

Zg31-group-web Tip #2: Be prepared for summer heat with correct packing for a trip. The last thing you need is a sick puppy on your trip. Make sure you pack the fun things like balls, ropes, toys (try to bring toys that float) and treats, but don’t forget the essentials: towels for cleaning, lots of water for drinking or flushing out eyes and mouths (in case some curious fido eats something), bowls to hold the water for drinking, and a basic first aid kit for any small emergencies. If you think your dog might be overheating from all that summer fun, look for these signs of heat exhaustion: restlessness, excessive thirst, heavy panting, lethargy, dark tongue, rapid pulse, fever, vomiting, glazed eyes, dizziness, or lack of coordination.

Dog_in_car Tip #3: Make sure your pup goes with you when you leave your parked car! According to Partnership for Animal Welfare (PAW), even if it’s only 78 degrees outside, cars parked in the shade can heat up to over 90 degrees, and those in the sun can reach 160 degrees. It’s not safe to leave your car closed up with your pet inside. Even if it’s for a minute! If you see a parked car with a n animal trapped inside, note the vehicle information (make, model, license number) and go to the nearest store and ask for the manager’s help in finding the owner of the car. You can also try calling the local police or animal control. Remember you can tell if a dog is overheating based on the symptoms listed in Tip #2.

DSCN1508 Tip #4: Don’t let your dogs ride loose in your car. This is not only unsafe for the pet should you get in an accident, but it’s not safe for you either. An animal thrown around in an accident becomes a projectile, endangering the driver’s and passengers’ lives, as well as the dog’s life. Check out some safety harnesses and seat belts made just for dogs. I have ones from Ezydog and my pups love them! Check them out wearing their red and blue seat belt harnesses!

Tip #5: Avoid car sickness! With all that summer vacation traveling, the family dog might become a bit nauseous. You can avoid it by getting your dog used to car rides with smaller trips in the beginning. Make sure your pet hasn’t been fed right before you take off as well, so their stomach doesn’t get upset. Try to avoid potholes as much as possible – just think how big those bumps must feel to that little Chihuahua sitting in the back seat! You can read more about how to avoid car sickness at Small Dog Paradise

Profile_pic By Breanne Boyle Contributor

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