Dog Days of Summer!


The weeks just keep getting hotter and hotter! We’ve compiled some important information to help make the most of summer- from common concerns to fun summer treats your pet will be sure to love!

Common issues

Heat stroke

  • Dogs have higher body temps than people, and we have sweat glands all over our body, but dogs are solely located in the nose and paws so dogs tend to heat up more quickly than humans, putting them at a greater risk of heat stroke!
  • In a short amount of time, a heatstroke can cause damage to the brain, heart, liver and nervous system
    • Flat faced or short noses (Brachychephalic breeds- pugs, boxers, boston terriers, Pekinese, shih-tzu, bulldogs etc.)
    • Older dogs
    • Puppies
    • Sick dogs, or dogs with chronic health problems
    • Overweight dogs
    • Generally any dog that is left outside in hot weather
  • Common strategies:
    • If possible, keep them inside during the hottest part of the day
    • Scale back vigorous outdoor activity
    • Using cool coats may also be a viable option for your pet!
  • Also of note, is that much like us if your pet is shaven or has white fur then they can be susceptible to sunburn!

heatstroke important dog summer care tips

Hot pavement

  • On a 25 degree day, the pavement can feel up to 52 degrees, which can burn your dog’s paws!
  • Use the 5 second rule- place the back of your hand on the pavement, and if you cant hold it there for 5 seconds then its too hot for your dog.


  • The best way to try and avoid dehydration is to supply lots of clean, fresh water and try not to overexert them.

dog dehydration signs


  • One sting may end up being just a minor irritation, but multiple stings can be dangerous, and you should definitely seek vet attention
  • Generally speaking, you can give your dog Benadryl if they are stung by a bee as an emergency first aid procedure, but you may want to follow up with a vet to ensure your dog is not allergic or that the stinger is not still lodged in the site.
  • The usual dosage is 1 mg per pound… so if your dog is 25 pounds, they would get 25 mg (which is the equivalent of 1 pill from most drug stores) given every 8-12 hours. You should check with your vet prior to administering the drug however as there are some factors that need to be taken into consideration (like history and breed… for example, Rough Collies are pretty sensitive to medications, so I would check with the vet that Diphenhydramine is safe for them.)
  • You could also try a weak mixture of water and baking soda
  • As well as a cold compress (ice, icepack, ice gel etc.) to reduce swelling


If you suspect that your pooch has any of these common issues, it is imperative that you bring your dog to the vet as soon as possible for proper treatment.

Summer Treats

Peanut butter/ banana Frozen Pupsicles


3 ingredients and 2 steps… it couldn’t be easier!

5 fruity treats!

summer treats fruit healthy

 … no one will judge if you save some for yourself!



Physical activity can be beneficial to your health as well as your pets… under the right conditions. Whether you go out on hikes all the time, or want to start, you might want to consider bringing a First Aid kit with you (for you and your pet). Here is a nice starter list from My kid Has Paws… two words: poop bags. I also found a small list of Dog-friendly trails to explore this summer for Southern Ontario, as well as in just Hamilton. When adventuring, always remember to stick to the trails, and keep in mind that dogs can be more susceptible to poisonous plants or animals then humans sometimes.


Swimming/ Open water

Some breeds love to be in the water- labs, Portuguese Water Dogs or my favourite- Corgis. ..others not so much. However if your dog does love to be in the water- whether its boating or swimming, here’s some tips and tricks for you
  • Most importantly- get your dog a life jacket. (Ruffins has just stocked a new life jacket for dogs with super straps and durable fabric)
  • Introduce them to the idea at an early age if possible, and start with short journeys.
  • Bring a leash with you to make docking a little easier.
  • Bring water with you so they aren’t leaning over the boat.
  • Keep live bait and sharp hooks closed up.