Summer is the season of barbecues, fun and sun for you. But for your dog, summer introduces a lot of distress he doesn’t have the rest of the year. Here are some of the most common summertime stressors for your dog:
An obvious stressor for your dog is summer heat. Dogs do not sweat – rather, they cool themselves through panting. When the air they breathe is warm, this method loses efficiency. Heat and the potential for heatstroke are especially dangerous for dogs with long, thick coats, dark coats, have respiratory issues or short snouts and/or dogs who are exercised outside during the peak heat of the day.
You and your family might love packing into the car and exploring the world from the windshield. But for some dogs, even those who normally do well in the car, long road trips can cause significant stress. New noises, uncontrolled movement, immobility and not knowing when they’ll get food, water or a bathroom break can all turn a fun leisurely drive into a distressing time for your dog.
While you are celebrating summer’s occasions (Fourth of July, graduation, etc), fireworks can cause a great deal of stress in your dog. Often dogs are frightened of the loud noises, and if they are outside with you they might try to run away from the threat they believe is posed by the projectiles.
Similarly to fireworks, loud peals of thunder can be a significant stressor to some dogs. Add to that the clatter of rain or hail on the house and the groaning of a strong wind and you have a recipe for a significant reaction from the dog who doesn’t understand what’s going on or when it will end.
Insects and insect bites
The warm humid days of summer often bring myriad insects along with them. While you can swat them, light candles or use repellant sprays, your dog often doesn’t have that luxury. Biting, stinging insects can be real stressors for dogs, who are unable to repel them. Your dog’s nose and ears can be particularly susceptible to bugs crawling in, but bites and stings can happen anywhere.
Summertime means summer vacation for a lot of families – and that often means boarding your dog. But being left in a strange environment (particularly if you haven’t boarded your dog before) can be very stressful for your dog. Your absence, combined with not understanding when you will return, can add to that stress and make your vacation anything but for your dog.
There are a lot of reasons to celebrate summer. But for your dog, there are a lot of reasons to be anxious. But fear not – there are a lot of ways to calm your dog’s summertime stress.