Article contributed by guest blogger Vee Cecil
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August 2014 was the hottest month ever recorded. So, while summer may feel like it’s starting to wind down, we can likely expect some hot weather throughout August. And that could mean trouble for our four-legged friends.
As this article on the dangers associated with hot weather points out, heat exhaustion is a very real threat for dogs. So, it’s important to help them cool off as temperatures soar.
If you plan to enjoy some time by the pool with your dog in these last weeks of summer, that’s certainly a great way to help your dog stay cool. But it means you’ll need to be extra cautious and protect your dog from possible pool-related dangers.
Here are a few pool time safety rules to keep in mind:
Don’t assume your dog can swim. Because we’re all so familiar with the “doggy paddle,” often we assume that all dogs can swim. PriorityPetHospital.com points out that that simply isn’t true. However, the article notes, if your dog does like being in the water, it’s important to immediately train them how to find the stairs, which is their only option for getting out of the pool. It suggests using a landmark—like a patio chair—to help them learn where the stairs are as you train.
Keep your pet away from pool chemicals. If you’re a pool owner, then you know the number of chemicals required to keep a pool safe for humans. This article provides a comprehensive list of those chemicals and gives a good idea of just how toxic they are. Be sure your pool chemicals are locked away so that your pet can’t get anywhere near them and clean up any spills or leaks immediately. And though a pool’s chemical levels should be safe for dogs, it’s still a good idea to be on the look out for any signs of irritation, such as red eyes or skin reactions.
Cool them off with these treats. Taking a dip in the pool will definitely help your pet stay cool, but they’ll need some extra help cooling off when they aren’t in the water. A frozen dog treat can do the trick. These tasty options, include chicken pops and frozen banana treats. They are especially great to whip out when you’re barbecuing by the pool. They make for an effective distraction so that your four-legged family members won’t be as attracted to “human” foods, especially those that can be dangerous for them such as corn cobs and bones.
Protect their feet. Your pet’s paws are very sensitive. As this article from Banfield Pet Hospital recommends, always check a surface yourself before allowing your dog to walk on it. Before entering the pool area, place your own bare foot on the surface for 10 seconds. Banfield notes that if the surface feels too hot for you then it is definitely too hot for your dog.
These last weeks of summer can be fun and refreshing for your dog—especially when you head to the pool. But if you do decide to let them take a dip, be sure you know how to keep them safe from common pool-related dangers.
Vee Cecil is passionate about wellness. She often studies the topic and shares her findings on her recently-launched blog. She is also a Kentucky-based wellness coach, personal trainer, and bootcamp instructor.