Summer dangers for dogs: It’s not just the heat that can harm them

László Enikő

2024. June 22 - Photos: Getty Images Hungary

The warm summer weather can provide many pleasant activities and shared experiences for dog owners. However, there are a few dangerous factors that can overshadow these happy summer days.


Unfortunately, during the summer, it’s not just the sweltering heat you need to protect your dog from. Many other factors can also pose a threat to your four-legged friend. Here are the most common summer dangers that can threaten dogs, and you should be aware of.

The dangers of summer can be avoided

One summer danger for dogs is water

Many owners love to take their dogs on vacation, which often involves being near water, as there’s nothing better than a pleasant swim at the beach or in the pool. However, it’s essential to gradually acclimate your dog to water (if you haven’t already) and understand their relationship with it. Some dogs love water, while others do not. If your pet falls into the latter category, it’s advisable to get a life jacket made for dogs and ensure a gradual introduction to the water.

Grass can also be dangerous for dogs in the summer

Foxtails are one of the main enemies of dog owners. This common weed can appear almost anywhere from spring to autumn and can burrow unnoticed into your dog’s fur or paws. The prickly foxtail ripens in the summer, making it particularly dangerous during this time. If it pierces your pet, it can cause significant pain, and often it’s hard to detect as it can burrow deep between the paw pads. Try to avoid areas where foxtails are prevalent, and always check your dog’s paws, fur, and ears after walks.

Foxtails are one of the most dreaded summer dangers for dog owners

Among the dangers of summer, parasites rank prominently for dogs

Although dreaded pests like ticks and fleas are present throughout the year, they proliferate significantly during summer. Regular and combined protection is crucial during this time. Additionally, remember to inspect your pet after every walk. These tiny parasites can be extremely dangerous! It’s also important to protect your dog from mosquitoes, as they transmit one of the most dangerous diseases for dogs, heartworm disease.

Wasps and bees also one of the dangers to dogs in the summer

In addition to the ones mentioned above, two other insects can pose a threat to your pet: wasps and bees. Their stings can be very painful, and it’s difficult to protect against them. If you see your dog chasing after them, do not let them near and remove your dog from the area. However, the sting itself isn’t the worst thing they can cause. If your dog is allergic, it could be life-threatening. If your dog hasn’t been stung by a bee or wasp yet, keep a close eye on them afterward or take them to the vet, as they might be allergic. We’ve covered what to do in such cases in more detail in one of our earlier articles.

Diarrhea during vacation is a typical risk due to changes in dog food

It’s important that when you go on vacation with your dog, you bring their usual food with you (don’t plan to buy it there). This should definitely be something they are accustomed to, as a sudden change in diet can cause diarrhea. If you cook for your dog and cannot freeze their usual food for the trip, it’s worth gradually introducing them to a high-quality dry food in the weeks before travel, so their digestive system isn’t caught off guard by new food during the journey.

One of the biggest dangers in summer is dehydration for dogs

Always ensure that your dog has access to water at the appropriate temperature and in sufficient quantity. It’s advisable to use a bowl that is not easily tipped over. Place it in a constant, shaded spot or keep it indoors where your dog can access it anytime. You can also add a few ice cubes to the bowl if needed. Remember, dehydration can be life-threatening! If you’re planning a long trip, consider getting a portable water dispenser or a dog-specific water bottle so your pet can drink anytime.

Think about stray animals too! Place a small bowl of water outside your gate, ideally in a shaded area. A few sips could save the life of an orphaned dog or cat in the heat!

Sunburn is also a summer danger for dogs

Indeed, dogs can get sunburned too. It’s advisable to apply sunscreen to naked dog breeds, as their skin is more exposed to harmful rays compared to their furry counterparts. However, sunburn can also occur in dogs with fur. Ears and noses are particularly susceptible, and sunburn can be extremely painful for dogs. Whether furry or hairless, it’s not good for a dog to be exposed to direct sunlight in the summer heat.

Preventing heatstroke

Ensure your dog always has a shady, cool place where they can retreat at any time. To prevent heatstroke, there are several measures you can take, such as setting up a small pool for your pet or using a cooling mat. It’s crucial to recognize typical symptoms promptly and take immediate action if there’s a problem! Never let your dog stay in direct sunlight; always provide them with the option to move to a cooler place. Never leave an animal locked in a car for any reason (even with windows cracked) – it’s extremely dangerous.

A car heats up rapidly in the sun, endangering the life of a dog

Protect their paws: Hot pavement is a real summer danger for dogs

It cannot be stressed enough to dog owners that they should only walk their pets early in the morning or late in the evening. Hot asphalt can burn the paws of animals, causing very serious and painful injuries. Before walking, touch the concrete or asphalt with your hand. If it feels too hot for your hand, it’s too hot for your dog’s paws! In such cases, wait until it cools down before going for a walk.

Clicking here will reveal whether it’s a good idea to cool your pet down with ice cream.

dangers dehydration diarrhoea dog in the water heatstroke holiday parasites summer hazards sunburn wasp stings

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