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Summer Safety for Dogs in Reno/Tahoe

Summer is finally comin’ around! It’s time to lather up the pack with sunscreen and head outside for some serious fun! As the hotter months come our way, all this outdoor fun could also send you to the vet, if you aren’t careful.  Read our quick Q&A on  to see how you can keep your dog happy and healthy all summer long! 

Q: Can dogs get sunburns?

A: Yes! And did you know that skin cancer is the number one cancer affecting dogs? While fur provides some protection from the sun, applying a pet sunblock every 3 hours on the belly and other less furry areas helps prevent damage. If your dog does get sunburnt, apply aloe vera to the burned area. Use the most natural aloe you can get to prevent allergic reactions. (Check with your vet to approve the brand, just to be safe!)

Q: My dog is overheating, should I place him in ice cold water?

A: No! Submerging your dog in ice cold water could put him into shock, and we don’t want that! If your dog is experiencing heat stress– panting heavily, dry or bright red gums, thick drool, or is having trouble standing– move him to a cool place. Then, place a cool, damp towel over his body so he can slowly cool down. Also, keep an eye on their paws. Hot surfaces like asphalt or the metal flooring in the back of a truck can burn their paws.

Q: Should I bring water for my dog on small outings?

A: Oh yes! Dogs rely on panting and hydration to cool down, so play it safe and keep plenty of water and a bowl on hand! 

Q: Say we’re on our way to the lake, and I need to run into the store to grab a few things. Can I leave my dog in the car?

A: No! We’re sure you have heard this before, but a lot of the time we think that a dog will be fine in the car if it’s only for a few minutes. The truth is, dogs are a lot more sensitive to heat than humans. It only takes a few minutes for a pet to experience heat stroke.

Q: My dog is a good swimmer, does she really need a life vest?

A:Yes! Life vests help ensure that she stays afloat in choppy waves and ocean currents. In lakes and bodies of water that welcome boats, brightly colored vests also help her be seen by boaters and waterskiers. Vests are also helpful when she gets tired, (you don’t want her climbing on top of you while you’re treading water!)

Q: Is it safe to share barbecue scraps with my dog at our family cookouts?

A: No! While we want Fido to feel included, sharing fatty meat scraps could lead to pancreatitis, severe abdominal pain and other health issues.