Making the “Dog Days” of Summer Easier on Your Pet

June 22, 2011

Summer may be your favorite time of year, but with it comes the heat, humidity and summer storms—all of which can be very hard on your dog. When planning your summer, it is important to remember your canine family members to make sure they make it through the summer happy and healthy.


“We see and hear of so many dogs every summer that get dangerously ill, or worse, by being placed in completely avoidable situations,” stated Liam Crowe, Bark Busters’ president, CEO and master trainer. “Many times the owners just don’t know any better, so educations is the first step in preventing our dogs from getting heat stroke, dehydration and other heat-related maladies.”


Depending on your experience level with dogs, below are either some new tips or some important reminders to keep your canine friends happy and safe during the summer months.



Heat can kill…and very quickly. Make sure your pet has plenty of cool, clean water. Do not dehydrate your pup by exercising it in the heat of the day. Save the run or long walk for early morning or late evening when it is cooler. Bring plenty of water with you and give him a drink whenever you take one. Be aware, too, that hot pavement can burn your dog’s paws. So if the pavement feels warm or hot to your hand, your dog will not like it. Dogs don’t have shoes to insulate their feet!


If your dog is spending time outside, make sure he has shade available to him along with plenty of cool, clean water. Provide two or more sources of water in case one gets knocked over. Your dog will also need shelter in the event of a sudden storm. He does not want to be out in the storm any more than you do. For his shelter, be sure to provide adequate ventilation because heat is a major cause of death in pets in the summer.


Cars and Trucks

Do not leave your dog in the car, even with the windows open. Heat buildup is tremendous, and it will not take long for him to overheat and suffer heat stroke. In less than 10 minutes, a car can reach over 120 degrees when it is only 80 degrees outside. Remember, your dog is wearing a fur coat. Think how you would feel if you were wearing fur at this time of the year!


Some dogs love to stick their heads out of the window to catch a breeze. It may look cute to you, but flying objects can injure your dog’s eyes and the constant flapping of his ears in the wind can harm them. Instead, crate or harness your dog to keep him safe. The back of a pickup is not a safe place for him. If untethered, he can jump or fall out, and even if he is tethered, he may get jerked around and injured during turns or sudden stops. He could also be hurt from the intense heat on the bed of a pickup.



If your dog loves the water and loves to jump into the pool, make sure he knows how to get out safely. Dogs will instinctively try to get out at the same place they went in, so it is important to teach your dog or puppy where and how to get out of the pool regardless of where he went in. It is also important for you to keep an eye on him when he is in the pool because swimming is very tiring for a dog.


Be aware of the surrounding area if you take your dog to the beach, lake or pond. Watch for trouble and make sure your dog will come to you as soon as you call. Recall is one of the most important lessons you can teach your dog. It can literally save his life.


With a little planning and thought, we can help our dogs enjoy the summer and make it through without incident. We love our pets and want them to be with us for as long as possible.


Nikki Visoky is a dog behavioral therapist and trainer with Bark Busters, the world’s largest dog training company. Bark Busters trainers, who have trained more than 500,000 dogs worldwide, are renowned authorities in correcting dog behavior with all-natural, dog-friendly methods. Bark Busters training is the only service of its kind that offers guaranteed lifetime support. With hundreds of offices in 42 states and 10 countries, Bark Busters is continuing its mission to enhance the human-canine relationship and reduce the possibility of maltreatment, abandonment and euthanasia of companion dogs. SPCA International selected Bark Busters’ dog behavioral training services as the “Best of the Best” in their category. No other training company or dog trainer has received such a distinction. For more details, call 1-877-500-BARK (2275) or visit to find a dog trainer in your area, complete a Dog Behavior Quiz, or learn about becoming a Bark Busters franchise owner.


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