Get your Pups Outside

Summer is a fun season for the whole family, including its four-legged members. While there are some concerns with bringing your furry friends with you on your summer outings, it can be done safely. 


Dogs, like, humans, can get too hot outside. Some signs of overheating include excessive panting; dry, pale gums; increased salivation; an erratic or rapid pulse; confusion; weakness; diarrhea; vomiting and maybe even rectal bleeding. If you notice any of these signs, move your pet to a cooler area immediately. Remember that dogs with heavy coats and shorter muzzles tend to get hotter faster than other breeds. Reduce your dog’s temperature by putting cool, wet towels over its neck, under the armpits and between its hind legs. If there’s a safe stream or pond nearby, use it to help cool them down. Offer your pup plenty of cool, fresh drinking water, but don’t force it to drink. Don’t give your dog ice, as that can put them into shock. Take your dog to the vet as soon as you can. Walking outside can also hurt your dog because paved surfaces can get hot enough to burn sensitive paws. To see how hot the pavement is, put your own, bare hand on the roadway. If your palm burns, it’s too hot for your pup’s paws. Remember than sand and other types of dirt may also get too warm to be comfortable for your dog. 


Just like you pack plenty of snacks and water for yourself, make sure you bring appropriate kibble, treats and water for your pup, too. Hit your local pet store and look for water bottles that also double as a dog-friendly bowl or look for a collapsible bowl that you can stash in your backpack. 


If you’re traveling outside of your neighborhood, be aware that other areas may have different rules and restrictions about dogs. Some beaches, for example, prohibit dogs whether on or off leashes. Other areas require you to produce or be able to show proof of a current rabies vaccination. Some cities and towns may prohibit certain breeds. While you’re planning a trip, make sure you check on local laws in addition to planning plenty of rest stops for you and your pooch.