5 Common Mistakes in Caring for our Dogs in Summer

Real Estate Agent with Realty Associates Texas 599921 Texas

Gus at the Guadalupe

In different parts of the country, summer varies in intensity but it’s hot just about everywhere. We prepare and protect ourselves by drinking more water, wearing sunscreen, sunglasses, FLIP FLOPS, mosquito repellant!  And when we don’t do these things we sometimes regret the consequences.  

Let's remember that our pets need protection, just as we do.  As a dog owner and dog lover, I'd like to share 5 Common Mistakes in Caring for our Dogs in Summer:

THEY ARE EATING SO SHOULD I.   Your dog believes that they should be eating when you are. So at summer barbecues, you prepare a plate for your pet, knowing that he or she will love you for it.  Your pet already loves you so please don’t do it!  While you may be choosing lean bits of beef or chicken for your pet, there are spices that we commonly use to season our meat that are toxic to animals.  Garlic and especially onions are toxic to dogs.  If you must let them feel that they are eating when you do, save back a little of their daily measure of pet food and give it to them at the time that “everyone else” is enjoying their meal.  They won’t know the difference.  Be sure to let your guests know that you don’t want your pet to have anything from their plate, and point out containers for disposing of food scraps.  Casual summer cook outs invite stomach ailments for pets that can quickly become serious.  Especially with bones that can lodge in their digestive tracts.

FRESH WATER.   Essential and should be provided several times a day if the pet is kept outdoors (which is unacceptable in Texas heat—or any warm climate--outdoors must mean protected by shade with a way for the pet to stay cool, and they should be properly fenced).

HEARTWORM MEDS AREN’T NECESSARY.   You:  “There aren’t many mosquitos around so I don’t need to protect my dog from heartworms.”  Truth:  There’s a common myth that dogs contract heartworms by drinking from standing water that contains mosquito larvae.   The fact is that dogs contract heartworms from the bite of a mosquito, if the mosquito has previously bitten an infected animal.  There are a number of preventive medicines that can be prescribed by your veterinarian.  I give my dog a medication that protects against both heartworms and fleas and ticks.  He hates it but I put it in a tablespoon of peanut butter, which works like a charm!  He doesn’t notice the medicine is in there.

HOT PAVEMENT.   You’re out for a walk on a nice summer afternoon, your dog happily walking along beside you, enjoying the sights and smells.  And suddenly your dog seems to be in pain and shifting their feet about on the pavement.  Yes, many of us have seen this.  Someone walking their pet completely unaware that their dog’s pads are being burned by hot pavement.  Dogs can incur serious burns if they are left on hot pavement, and this is especially true in smaller breeds with more tender paws.  If you must walk on pavement, try taking your walk in the cooler hours of the morning or in the evening when things have cooled off.

LEFT IN THE CAR.    Most of us know better but inevitably people do it.  Be warned, that if I were to walk past a car and see a pet inside that was suffering from the heat, something would happen to the windows in that car.  If the doors were locked. 

One last suggestion.  Please carry a bag to pick up your dog’s waste when out walking.  While it’s true that many people fail to do this, we should be the exception and do the right thing. I have seen dog owners leave their pet’s waste in the middle of the sidewalk.  Really not nice!  What a rude way to “mess up” a family picnic!  Not to mention other environmental concerns.

Our dogs love us unconditionally and depend on us for their proper care and well-being.  Let’s return the love by giving them the care they deserve. 


Photo above is of my dog, Gus, cooling off at the Guadalupe River.

Comments (21)

Bill Reddington
Re/max By The Sea - Destin, FL
Destin Florida Real Estate

Never thought about the hot pavement before but you are right. The rest are no brainers but thanks for the reminders.

May 05, 2013 10:38 AM
Jimmy Faulkner
Florida. Homes Realty & Mortgage - Wantagh, NY
The Best Of St. Augustine

Thank you for a blog that tells me that you really care. Taking care of our animals is one of the closest thing to godliness. I will keep in mind everything you have pointed out.

May 05, 2013 10:51 AM
Kate McQueen
Realty Associates Texas - Cypress, TX
Tailored service for your real estate needs!

Thanks Jimmy and Bill!  The hot pavement issue is one that many people don't consider.  And yes I care very much for my dog.  And my cat too!  She gets great care and is strictly indoor, no wandering the neighborhood.

I just ran across an interesting article on Yahoo and must share it.  Evidently the writer was thinking along the same lines as me, only he is veterinarian and has stated five concerns, a few of which I didn't cover in this post.


May 06, 2013 03:40 AM
Kathleen Daniels, Probate & Trust Specialist
KD Realty - 408.972.1822 - San Jose, CA
Probate Real Estate

Kate, You certainly are a responsible dog owner.  It truly amazes me how some people have such disregard for the pets ... or simply just don't think.

May 12, 2013 05:49 AM
Deanne Olivas
eXp Realty - Gilbert, AZ
Your Home Matters

Especially important here in the desert. There have been some tragic accidents because people forgot they had their animal in the vehicle.

May 20, 2013 07:50 AM
Patricia Kennedy
RLAH Real Estate - Washington, DC
Home in the Capital

Kate, I knew it was bad to give dogs human food, but I had no idea that garlic and onions were bad.  Good to know.

May 20, 2013 12:15 PM
Kate McQueen
Realty Associates Texas - Cypress, TX
Tailored service for your real estate needs!

Here is a link that explains the dangers and toxicity onions and garlic can cause to dogs (the same is true of cats).  Very dangerous!  This is why I've suggested in my post that this summer while having outdoor cookouts, be sure to have a container on hand for guests to dispose of food scraps and make sure your pet can't access it and/or open it.



May 21, 2013 12:38 AM
Beth and Richard Witt
Long Island Cash Home Buyer - Center Moriches, NY
Long Island Cash Home Buyer 516-330-6940

I've owned dogs since I've been old enough to do so and must admit that I never thought of hot pavement... thank you and thanks to Pat for bringing me over...

Happy Day...

May 25, 2013 10:58 PM
Patricia Kennedy
RLAH Real Estate - Washington, DC
Home in the Capital

Hey, Kathy!  I included this post in today’s Last Week’s Favorites.  Please drop by and check it out, and and have a terrific week!


May 25, 2013 11:24 PM
Kristin Johnston - REALTOR®
RE/MAX Realty Center - Waukesha, WI
Giving Back With Each Home Sold!

I saw your post on Patricia's weekly roundup...glad I didn't miss it!  Have a wonderful day!

May 26, 2013 12:03 AM
John Kreiss,REALTOR®,CBR®,SRES®,e-PRO®
Prudential Prime Properties - Marlborough, MA
Reaching the Lifestyles of Your Dreams

Thanks for sharing.  The pavement is something I never thought of, but makes complete sense.

May 26, 2013 12:35 AM
Fernando Herboso - Broker for Maxus Realty Group
Maxus Realty Group - Broker 301-246-0001 - Gaithersburg, MD
301-246-0001 Serving Maryland, DC and Northern VA

What a great post and a necessary read for many dog owners out there. .Have a great Memorial Day 

May 26, 2013 01:19 AM
Lise Howe
Keller Williams Capital Properties - Washington, DC
Assoc. Broker in DC, MD, VA and attorney in DC

I love the idea- your dog already knows you love him - so you don't need to give him people food - Our dog is FAT and it is still tempting to give him a little treat because  i know it will make him happy- I am trying hard to stop the snacks! Now if I can just convince my husband! 

May 26, 2013 01:33 AM
Barb Fischer
Big Block Realty - La Mesa, CA
San Diego and La Mesa Real Estate

I had no idea about the spices...thanks for the reminder

May 26, 2013 02:11 AM
Kate McQueen
Realty Associates Texas - Cypress, TX
Tailored service for your real estate needs!

Hot pavement is not something that our pets are exposed to regularly in many cases, so it makes sense that it doesn't occur to us.  We also tend to believe that their pads are tough enough to take it.   But it's true that they can be seriously burned.  There's quite a bit of information about it on the web, including advice from vets in case it happens to your dog.

Thanks everyone for your comments! 

May 26, 2013 04:07 AM
Hillary Sheperd
Servpro of Scarsdale / Mount Vernon - Scarsdale, NY
Co-Owner ~ Servpro of Scarsdale / Mount Vernon, NY

We are big pet lovers, and would agree with these tips.  Here's to a happy and safe summer for all our furry friends.

May 26, 2013 07:48 AM
John J. Woods
Big Dog Press, LLC - Winder, GA
Going where no man has gone before - wouldn't you?


   Good post, great advice.  So many dog owners cry the blues when they lose their pet due to something they've done that is really ignorant, careless or stupid.  If your going to claim that your dog is part of your family, just like one of your children, and you would grieve loudly and long if you lost that 'child', then it's okay to treat him/her like a child while you have your 'best friend' -- Do the right thing by your dog and take care of him/her just like you would a child.  Be ever vigilant of perils & pitfalls.


May 27, 2013 05:20 AM
Helen and Larry Prier- Re-Max Gateway - Residential Real Estate
RE-MAX Gateway- Residential Real Estate Sales - Anacortes, WA
Anacortes & surrounding Skagit & Island Counties

Have seen all of this happen to pets over the years. A friend accidentaly left his dog in the car and by the time he found her she was dead from heat exhaustion. I am not sure my friend ever got over that. Very sad. Look after your pets, they love you so love them back!!

May 27, 2013 09:20 AM
Kate McQueen
Realty Associates Texas - Cypress, TX
Tailored service for your real estate needs!

So glad to see so many pet lovers here on Active Rain!  There's nothing like the love from a dog.  My dog had big shoulders for me two years ago this Memorial Day, when my sister lost her battle with cancer. If I so much as sniffled it didn't matter where he was in the house, he came running to me.  But that's not the only reason I love him!

May 27, 2013 11:48 PM