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Summer Pet Protection to Keep Them Safe

Dog Days of Summer Can Turn Deadly

With a greater number of pet-friendly accommodations available to travelers, more Americans are choosing to bring their furry family members on vacation. But summer pet protection means taking certain precautions to ensure your dog stays safe while enjoying a day at the beach, whether that means digging for sand crabs or chasing balls in the ocean. Initially, our dog, Georgia, was terrified of the crashing waves but eventually warmed up to swimming in the cool surf. On a recent beach trip, she was having such a great time in the water that an onlooking Poodle got jealous and chased after her from across the beach. Problem was that dog was tied to a lounge chair, making quite a scene as he dragged the chair about 100 yards in the sand with his bikini-clad owner chased him frantically.

While a beach vacation can be loads of fun for the family, pet parents need to be on guard to ensure their dog doesn't get too much of a good thing. Sadly, that's what recently happened to a 9-year old Labrador Retriever on a Florida beach.  According to a local news report, the dog consumed so much salt-water while swimming that he suffered severe dehydration resulting in brain damage and eventual death. Veterinarians recommend that dog owners limit beach trips to two hours, take a break every 30 minutes and supply ample fresh water.

Dog looking out the window

Of course, salt-water consumption isn't the only hazard. Excessive heat can also prove deadly for pets, so having a shady spot for your pet to cool down is also important. One of the greatest dangers pets face during summer months is being left in a hot car. Unlike humans, dogs can only shed heat through their tongues and the pads of their feet. According to the American Veterinary Medical Association, the temperature inside a vehicle can be 40 degrees hotter than outside.  And contrary to popular belief, opening a window does very little to reduce heat. The best summer pet protection advice is to never leave your pet in a car when temperatures soar above 80. 

Summertime hazards do exist, but it's also a great opportunity to get some exercise and enjoy the outdoors with your dog. Remember to bring enough water (as well as a doggie bowl) to stay hydrated, and don't overdo it. One more bit of advice. If you do tie your pooch to a beach chair, just make sure you're sitting in it.