All Too Short

Every season seems to pass so quickly. We blink and we’ve moved from spring to summer and summer to fall, so we have to soak in every moment of summer and do it with those we love. For many, that means our quadruped canine friends.

Better than People

Who secretly (or overtly) loves their dog better than people? Most of us might be a good guess. Our four-legged providers of laughter and unconditional love soothe our spirits and make our hearts light in even the most trying of circumstances. In turn, we want to care for them equally as well. Making sure they’re secure and protected from stressors while they’re out and about with you this summer is one way you can provide extra TLC for your furry friend.

Things We Might Not Know  

During the hot, humid days of summer, dogs may experience a myriad of stressors:

  • Large groups of people and/or other animals
  • Traveling with you
  • Being boarded while you’re on vacation
  • Being fed unfamiliar foods at a party or barbeque
  • Heat
  • Burned paws
  • Thunderstorms
  • Fireworks

Any or all of these can create an environment in which your dog feels agitated, anxious, or irritable. They may even experience physical distress, including dehydration or heatstroke.

How to Protect Your Dog From Summer (dis)Stress

You want your dog – your wonderful bestie – to enjoy the summer as much as you do. Ensuring their physical well-being is a big part of safeguarding them this summer. Dogs don’t sweat to cool down. They perspire a little bit through the pads of their paws, but, primarily, they cool down by panting. When the temperatures get high or they’re in the sun for long periods of time, dogs may pant so heavily that they become exhausted. This is especially true for brachycephalic dogs like pugs, dogs who are overweight, have preexisting medical conditions, or dogs who have heavy coats like Alaskan Malamutes. This distress can lead to serious problems like dehydration or heatstroke, or can, simply, make dogs irritable and more likely to snap or bite someone. A study done in China found that there was an increase in visits to the emergency room due to dog bites during hot weather.  For their well-being, you can help your dog manage summer stress by:

  • Making sure they have plenty of fresh, cool water
  • Giving them a shady spot to lie down
  • Providing a kiddie pool or cooling mat for them
  • Avoiding pavement or concrete during walks
  • Keeping them inside during the hottest parts of the day
  • Being very aware of their behavioral stress signals

If your dog begins yawning, licking their lips, or tucking their ears or tail, they’re likely experiencing a stress reaction. Your dog’s behavioral tells may differ from those, but, if your dog is stressed, find a quiet spot for them to calm down.

Minnesota Veterinary Hospital

For those in Shoreview, MN, and the surrounding areas, Minnesota Veterinary Hospital is here to help. Whether it’s providing the best care to board your dog or other veterinary care, we’re a fear-free facility and we want to help your dog live their best life. Call us at 651-484-3331 or email us at [email protected] so we can help your dog live their best summer life.

Image credit: Pexels