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What Are The Most Common Summer Dangers For Dogs?

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Last Updated: May 31, 2023 | 5 min read | Leave a Comment

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girl sitting on a park bench with her dog on a summer day near the water

The number one priority for pet owners should always be ensuring the safety of their animals. However, as we move into warmer months, the rise in temperatures and increased likelihood of outdoor activities means there may be a heightened risk of specific injuries and illnesses to our beloved pets. The opportunity for more hikes, family trips, and long days out in the sun can lead to injuries that are more commonly experienced during the warmer periods of the year.

We analyzed Google Trends and Google Search data to highlight the most searched-about canine injuries and provide expert tips on how to manage these accidents. We also explored common summer illnesses among dogs and review how owners can spot these conditions quickly.

Heat Strokes

black lab panting outside on a hot summer day

Understandably, heat strokes are more common when the temperatures are higher. Heat strokes or heat exhaustion can stem from an animal getting too hot, which can lead to symptoms such as dizziness, difficulty breathing, and potentially even death if the condition goes untreated. 

Heat stroke can occur in dogs when the temperatures reach above 105 degrees Fahrenheit. For context, if it is 75 degrees outside, it can reach 118 in your car! At this heat level, canines are unable to use cooling techniques such as panting to reduce their body’s warmth. Heat stroke is the most commonly experienced summer canine injury, with Google Trends data suggesting the search for advice on the condition begins as early as May when the climate begins to heat up.

While the average monthly searches for ‘heat stroke dog’ is 9,900, this term increases in May (14,800) and June (33,100) before peaking in July (40,500) – right in the middle of the warm summer season. ‘Signs of heat stroke in dogs’ (18,100) and ‘dog heat stroke symptoms’ (14,800) are also two incredibly prevalent search terms in July as owners look to identify the telltale symptoms of this dangerous condition. 

When analyzing regional search term data from Google Trends, the top three states searching the most for heat strokes in dogs were Oklahoma, Louisiana, and Mississippi. This makes sense when you consider that each of these three locations ranks inside the top ten warmest U.S. states, according to Current Results.

With heat stroke proving a potentially fatal risk, it’s important for owners to understand what to look out for. Excessive panting is one of the most common signs that a pet could be suffering from the drastic effects of heat stroke. 

Leaving animals in warm vehicles is one of the most dangerous ways of inducing a heat stroke. Owners require common sense to ensure dog safety, particularly in the hotter months when the heat poses the most risk. To avoid the threat of heat strokes, owners should not leave dogs in warm cars and ensure their pet is regularly hydrated when exposed to the sun. Additionally, strenuous exercise should be avoided, and animals should be ushered into the shade and promptly given water when signs of overheating occur.

The dangers of heat stroke should never be underestimated. If you are concerned your dog may be suffering, we recommend seeking immediate veterinary attention. Vets can provide treatment such as oxygen therapy and intravenous (IV) drip and will be able to constantly monitor body temperature levels.

A trip to the emergency vet can cost $180-$800, then add the cost of the IV drip ($60-$220), blood tests for monitoring ($130), oxygen therapy ($100+), and potential hospitalization ($60-$600+ per day). After your dog is treated and recovered from heat stroke, you could face a vet bill exceeding $1,000. Without pet insurance, you’re responsible for the expense of treatment alone. However, insuring your pet may make your dog eligible for coverage, meaning you don’t have to shoulder the financial burden alone.

Lost Dogs

small white dog running in green grass

Sadly, the increased quantity of animals enjoying the warmer weather can lead to a rise in the number of lost dogs. Data from Petco Love Lost states that 1 in 3 pets will become lost at some point during their lifetime, yet only 1 in 5 (20%) dogs will return home on their own. These staggering statistics highlight the importance of keeping an eye on your pet’s whereabouts at all times. With the rise in activities and trips for the whole family (including the dog) during the warmer period, search data from Google Trends suggests that there is a clear boost in search volume for lost dogs during the summer months.

The generic search term ‘lost dog’ remains prevalent across the entire year, seeing average monthly searches of 22,200 in 11 of the 12 months of the year (including each of the summer months). However, in July, more specific terms such as ‘lost dogs near me’ (12,100), ‘missing dog near me’ (5,400), and ‘missing dog’ (5,400) all reach their peak. The data highlights a clear growth in search volume for lost dogs throughout the summer season. 

So, how can owners stay one step ahead and ensure their dog doesn’t get lost? Microchipping your pup should assist in a speedy recovery and the safe return of most canines. ID tags on collars can also help people identify where the lost dog is from and get in contact with the owner to alert them of the discovery.

Owners should also regularly review their outdoor spaces to ensure suitable fences and structures are in place to guarantee safety. Training can also prove useful, as a dog who understands instructions such as ‘stay’ or ‘wait’ are much more likely to obey owners orders and return on command if they are to somehow escape. 

If a dog escapes, having a pet insurance policy may cover some costs associated with lost pets. Fetch & Figo may help pay for advertising, lost pet rewards, and reimbursement in the heartbreaking situation where a covered pet goes missing and isn’t found.

While heat strokes and lost dogs are the two most common summer dog dangers to be aware of, various other ailments can pop up more regularly throughout the warmer months.

Ear Infections

There is an increased likelihood of dogs developing ear infections when temperatures begin to soar. This is because bacteria grow at a much faster rate in hotter conditions. The typical symptoms to look out for include ear odor, loss of balance, repeatedly shaking their head, and yellow, brown, or bloody discharge.

If owners suspect their canine might be suffering from an ear infection, we recommend booking an appointment to see a qualified veterinarian who can advise further treatment.

Ear issues like ear infections are the third most common reason dog owners submit pet insurance claims. Ear infections can cost $100 – $250 to treat, and the average claim payout is $40.82. That may not sound like much, but considering ear infections can be chronic for some dogs, your dog could be facing several ear infections per year for each year of its lifetime. And with each claim submitted, you’re more likely to receive more money back in your payout from the insurer as you meet your policy’s deductible.

Hot Spots

Acute moist dermatitis, or ‘hot spots’ as they’re more commonly known, is when skin becomes inflamed or infected. This skin condition is common in the summer months and can be triggered by a number of factors, including flea allergies, insect bites, and even poor grooming.

While veterinary treatment is recommended if owners find a hot spot on their pet, treatment usually consists of cleaning the infection with an antiseptic solution and making sure the animal avoids licking the impacted area until fully healed. 

Skin irritations are the sixth highest for pet insurance claims submitted by dog owners. The cost of treating hot spots can vary greatly. On average, treatment is less expensive, ranging from $100 to $200. However, there are instances where additional diagnostic testing (like allergy testing) is necessary, which can drastically increase the cost to a range of $1,000 to $2,000. Pet insurance can reduce the amount you pay out of pocket.

Seasonal Allergies 

brown dog rolling in hay

Dog allergies can strike at any time of the year, but the upsurge of certain insects and pollen levels during summer can lead to an increase in environmental reactions. Symptoms of environmental allergies include constant scratching (with no relief), rubbing around the eyes, and obsessive licking.

An at-home allergy test kit can help owners identify the root cause of the reaction, while veterinarians can provide solutions or allergy medications depending on the cause of the allergies.

Allergies round out the top five most frequent pet insurance claims submitted by owners. Fortunately, allergy testing ($200-$300), allergy shots ($600-$1,500 per year), and other medication (starting around $65+ per month) are typically eligible for pet insurance coverage.

Keep A Watchful Eye On Fido

While there is a heightened risk of potential doggy health dangers during summertime, owners are advised to use their common sense while routinely checking their animals to ensure they’re in great health. Should there be any problems, we always advise seeking urgent veterinary advice.  

The information provided through this website should not be used to diagnose or treat a health problem or disease; it is not intended to offer any legal opinion or advice or a substitute for professional safety advice or professional care. Please consult your health care provider, attorney, or product manual for professional advice. Products and services reviewed are provided by third parties; we are not responsible in any way for them, nor do we guarantee their functionality, utility, safety, or reliability. Our content is for educational purposes only.

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