Summer is just around the corner and while everyone looks forward to taking their dog to the park, playing fetch and simply enjoying the great outdoors, there are a few things you should keep in mind as we move into the "dog days of summer".
#1: Dogs suffer from heat stroke -- Like humans, dogs can quickly come down with a bad case of heat stroke. However, unlike people, canines have very few sweat glands, most of which are found on their paws and noses. Many pet owners believe dogs sweat through their tongues, which is not the case, so panting in not an effective method of heat loss.
#2: Keep your pet hydrated -- Whether in the park, playing frisbee or in your own back yard, make sure your dog has an ample supply of fresh, cool water.
#3: Walk your dog during cooler hours -- In the hot summer months keep your dog cooler by walking it either in the early morning or late afternoon when the sun is less harsh. Additionally, make sure to walk your dog on the grass or dirt to avoid burning their paws on the hot pavement.
#4: Provide flea and tick protection -- Make sure your dog is protected from pesky fleas and ticks by providing proper treatment for prevention. Timing and dosages vary depending upon the climate you live in so check with your veterinarian for proper care.
#5: Avoid crowded summer events -- If you're going to the local festival or parade, leave your pooch at home to be pampered. The heat, noise, crowds and general excitement can be both physically and emotionally taxing to your pet and cause undue stress.
#6: Beware of shaving your dog -- While shaving your dog might seem like the logical thing to do during the summer it's important to know that fur actually provides protection for your dog from the sun and biting flies and mosquitoes.
#7: Dogs can get sunburned -- Just like people, overexposure to UV rays can result in a nasty sunburn for your pooch. It can also cause skin to peel, cause painful inflammation and increase the risk of skin cancer. Make sure your protect your dog with sunscreen that has been approved by your veterinarian.
#8: Not all pooches know how to paddle -- While theoretically all dogs know how to swim, some breeds such as Bulldogs, Basset Hounds and Pugs have more difficultly than others. If teaching your dog to swim remember to never force the dog, take it slow, have reasonable expectations and have fun.
#9: Water safety is important -- First and foremost, make sure your dog can swim. Other dangers are less about the dog and more about where the dog is swimming. Lakes, ponds, pools and oceans all present their own challenges when it comes to swimming safety. If boating with a dog, make sure they always wear a proper flotation device.
#10: Never leave a dog in the car -- You should NEVER leave your dog
in the car no matter how briefly. A
car can heat up quickly even when it’s relatively mild outside, even with the
windows cracked. On a summer day,
temperatures inside the vehicle can climb in minutes and they can spike more
than 40 degrees in just an hour.
Remember these 10 safety tips and you and your pooch are certain to have fun in the sun this summer!