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Dog laying down in the grass at a park

05 June . 2019

Dog Care Tips For the Summer

Summer is here, which means we have plenty of fun in the sun days ahead of us. We know it’s important to take care of ourselves in the heat, but we have to look out for our dogs, too! Estrella is home to all kinds of four-legged friends, and we want to ensure dog owners are prepped to care for their companions in the warmer months. Here are a few must-know care tips for the summer.

Keep Cool
During the summer, water will be your dog’s favorite thing. Check and fill your dog’s water bowl throughout the day to avoid dehydration. Rather than just filling it up when it’s low, change out the water completely each time so it’s cold and fresh. If your dog has access to the backyard, be sure there is plenty of water and shade outside. To make things easier, consider trying out a refillable water bowl. It’s easy to use and automatically replenishes your dog’s water supply.

Know how to recognize if your dog is dehydrated. Common symptoms include loss of appetite, low energy, panting excessively, sunken eyes, vomiting, and a dry nose and gums. Another way to test for dehydration is to look at your dog’s skin elasticity. Pinch their skin between your fingers. You will want your dog’s skin to quickly spring back to its normal position. If it takes longer to fall into place, your dog could be dehydrated. Hydrate your dog right away and if symptoms continue, contact your vet.

couple at park with dog

Walk Smart
Walks are essential for dogs to exercise and stay healthy, but it’s crucial to avoid walks during the warmest times of the day. Try walking your dog early in the morning before the temperatures rise. This will be the most comfortable time of the day for you and your dog to have a safe, enjoyable walk.

While on your walk, be sure your dog’s paws are protected. If the outdoor pavement is too hot for you to comfortable rest the back of your hand, then it’s too hot for your dog! Even during sunset walks when the sun is almost gone for the day, the pavement is often too hot. Consider purchasing dog booties. Not only will these keep your dog’s paws safe from heated surfaces, but they also protect paw pads from being worn out from the hard pavement or potentially cut from rocks and thorns on the trails.

Protect Your Dog’s Skin
You may think it makes sense to shave your dog’s longer hair in the summer to keep cool, but that is not always the case. It’s important your dog has hair to protect against sunburn. Never shave a short-haired dog. Dogs with thicker coats can be trimmed, but it’s important to leave at least an inch of hair to protect against the sun.
For dogs with short, thin hair and pink skin, you may want to consider applying sunscreen. Just like humans, dogs are susceptible to skin cancer and prolonged sun exposure can be harmful. Always use a sunscreen that’s made specifically for dogs. Some popular options are the Handy Hound SnouthScreen and Petkin Doggy Sunstick. If your pup likes to swim, be sure to reapply often.

woman kneeling in front of her dog

Be Cautious at Outdoor Events
Summer is the season for outdoor barbeques and July 4th celebrations. While these are some of the most fun events of the season, remember your dog’s safety. If your dog tends to hang around at the barbeque looking for scraps, you’ll want to keep an extra eye on them. Prevent your dog from consuming any dangerous foods they may come across such as fruit, chocolate, and dairy products.

Another thing to be on the lookout for is July 4th fireworks. It’s common for dogs to be afraid, feel anxious, or try to run away from the loud noises. More dogs are lost on July 4th than any other time of the year, so it’s best to keep your dog indoors during the celebrations.

girl with red hair petting dog

Never Leave Your Dog in the Car
No matter the circumstance, never, ever leave your dog alone in the car. It only takes 15 minutes for a dog to experience brain damage or a fatal heatstroke. In Arizona, it’s illegal to leave an animal unattended and confined in a motor vehicle when injury or death is likely to occur. Even if the windows are down or the AC is on, leaving a dog alone in a car is never a good decision.

Keep these tips in mind as you and your dog enjoy summertime here in Estrella. If you’re looking for new places to explore with your furry friend, check out our trail guide map. To learn more about our trails and other amenities in the community, click here.