Summer Tips for Dog Owners

If they’re not here yet in southeast Michigan, hot days are certainly on their way. We’re here to shed some light on ways to keep your dog comfortable and safe in Ann Arbor or Chelsea with summer tips for dog owners. If you also have a cat, check out our summer tips for cat owners that we released on last week’s pupdate right HERE.

Like last week, a lot of this might be obvious or redundant from last week’s post, but redundancy reduces confusion and it’s all for the goal of keeping your pups safe so we’re okay with it.

Summer Tips for Dog Owners

Summer Checkup

Get your summer checkup from your veterinarian. Make sure your pets get tested for heartworm if they aren’t on year-round preventative medication. Be aware of recent weight changes, either your dog putting it on during sleepier winter months or taking it off due to the increase in hotter days. If your dog suffers from seasonal allergies, this is also something worth bringing up to your veterinarian and getting a quick checkup on.


Water and Shade!

Probably even more so than your cats, your dogs are going to need and want water and shade! Signs of dehydration include dry gums and excessive drooling. Make sure your pet always has access to fresh, clean water inside the house and bring a bottle for your furry companion when going outside, just like you do for yourself. You might also switch to a wet dog food during the hotter months to increase fluid intake. Stop by your your local Wags to Wiskers Pet Supplies stores in Ann Arbor (2270 W. Stadium Blvd, Ann Arbor, MI, 48103) or Chelsea (1192 S. Main St, Chelsea) for a huge selection of wet foods that will fit in with your dog’s dietary and nutritional needs.

Know the Signs

Know the symptoms of overheating in your dog. Dogs and cats don’t sweat like we do. They drink water and pant to bring down their body temperature. Some signs to watch out for on particularly hot days in southeast Michigan:

  • Heavy panting

  • Dry or bright red gums

  • Thick drool

  • Vomiting

  • Diarrhea

  • Wobbly legs

Symptoms can also include seizures, bloody diarrhea and vomit along with an elevated body temperature of over 104 degrees. If you notice any of these symptoms, immediately provide your dog with shade and cold water. If they worsen, going to the veterinarian is the best idea.


No Cars!

Your dog might love riding in the car with the windows down, but they won’t like being left in a hot car (even with the windows down) for more than 30 seconds. It can be tempting to take your dog on short trips if they love the car (like mine), but if you can’t take them in to wherever you’re going, this is a BAD IDEA.

Plan your Walks

Might be a good idea to walk your dog during the cooler hours of the day. They’ll get more enjoyment out of it, as well as tire less quickly ensuring that they get more exercise. However, if you’re going to be walking them during the hotter parts of the day, as we said above, be prepared with a portable doggie bowl and some water. Your local Wags to Wiskers Pet Supplies can provide you with some dog bowls that are easy to travel with.

Sunscreen for short-haired dogs is also a good idea if you’re going to be in the sun for several hours. Believe it or not, dogs can get sunburned and can also get skin cancer as a result of it. Apply sunscreens every 3-4 hours to the least hair-covered spots: bellies, ears, and nose. Use only sunscreens made specifically for pets.

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Pool Hours

Even if your dog is an experienced swimmer, it’s a bad idea to leave them unsupervised around a pool or any body of water. Simply put, the risk is not worth it. When you are with them on the water, consider a life vest! We can help you and your dog try one on at Wags to Wiskers Pet Supplies in Ann Arbor or Chelsea.

Parasites are a No No

In summer, fleas, ticks, mosquitoes, and other parasites are practically everywhere. They carry tapeworms, heartworms, and diseases such as Lyme or Bartonella that can put your pet at risk. We have some great products that we usually have on sale at Wags that can help prevent these diseases and issues. Be wary of tall grassy areas and make sure that if your dog is wandering through these types of areas to give them a close inspection afterward.


It might seem counter-intuitive, but shaving your pet during the summer is a bad idea. A dog’s coat is naturally designed to keep it cool during the summer and warm in the winter. Feel free to trim the fur on your pet in the summer, but never shave. Be sure to leave at least a full inch of hair to protect your pet’s skin from sunburns.

Be Aware of their Paws

Your pup won’t be wearing shoes so black asphalt and even regular pavement is going to cook throughout the entire day. It doesn’t take much for the sensitive paw pads to get burned or blistered. Ask us about some of our products designed to keep dog paws safer, healthier, and cleaner!


Come to Wags!

Last but certainly not least, bring your dog to Wags! We have a ton of summer-themed toys that they’ll love and we’ll treat him or her like royalty! If you haven’t checked out our new Ann Arbor location, come let them explore the new space, smells, and products.

Hope you’ve gotten at least something from these summer tips for dog owners! Always worth brushing up on these when the weather is shifting. Hope to see you and your dog at your local Wags to Wiskers Pet Supplies sometime soon!