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Despite a few recent thunderstorms, it looks like summer is finally here! Summer in Reno means longer days full of lovely warm weather and more free time, but it also can mean danger for dogs. We’re sure your pooch pals are chomping at the bit to get out and play, but we can always use a moment to think about pet safety. That’s why we put together this list of summer dog safety tips for enjoying the season while keeping your best friend safe.

Rays Are Ruff!

  • Skin cancer is the most common form of cancer in dogs (second in cats). Despite those fur coats, your pup’s skin needs to be protected just like yours. On a long day outside, apply pet-safe sunscreen every 3 to 4 hours, especially on bellies and other more exposed patches of skin.tent here
  • Leave coats long! While we humans like to cut hair short, trim beards and show a little more skin to cool off, our pets’ natural coats actually provide better circulation and body temperature regulation. Just keep them brushed and un-matted and you’ll actually avoid a much hairier situation.

Heat Stroke: No Joke

  • Don’t take walks, hikes, etc. in the heightened heat of midday (1pm to 4pm)
  • NEVER leave your dog in the car. Even with windows cracked, your window-clad car is a greenhouse that can rise in temperature by nearly 20℉ in several minutes. With our regular 90℉+ degree days, this can turn deadly all too fast.
  • Watch for doggy heat exhaustion. Panting, thick drool, dry/red gums, vomiting, diarrhea, unstable footing are all signs. If you suspect heat stress, move him/her to a cooler spot and drape a damp towel over his/her body. Dogs’ temperatures should be between 100℉ and 103℉; if your dog’s hits 104℉+, get to a vet immediately.

Water Wisdom

  • Avoid algae. Scummy water or a foul odor are your sign to prevent your pooch from drinking or swimming in that pond or creek. It may be home to a toxin that causes sickness and seizures, even in as little as a lick from fur that’s been in contact.
  • Keep ‘em afloat. If going boating, kayaking, stand-up paddle boarding or anything else on the open water, consider getting your dog a pet-specific life vest in a nice loud color. This helps them float, avoid exhaustion if swimming, be seen by other humans and, of course, look super cool!

Don’t Bug ‘Em!

  • Parasites are out to celebrate the summer, too, and like to poke into your pups–especially through their paw pads. Make sure your dogs are properly medicated with an anti-parasitic prescription and check their feet often when walking or hiking in the wild.
  • Bug off. Mosquitoes and other nettlesome nippers don’t just love you. If you’re camping or headed to particularly buggy areas, bring along some pet-safe biting insect repellants.

Look Out at the Cookout

  • Be mindful when using charcoal briquettes. Our sneaky little pals love to steal from the grill and spent charcoals are great at getting stuck in their stomachs, which can cause vomiting or even require surgery.
  • Be selfish with your human food. It’s tough to resist those imploring eyes, but many of our favorite BBQ foods–even leftovers–can cause puppy pancreatitis. Not fun!

Summer is a great season for quality time with your pup. So get out there, have fun and be safe! And of course, always feel free to contact the team here at Dog Gone Amazing with any questions, or if you ever need advice. We hope to see you out and about in our big, beautiful backyard!