Summer is a great time to be a dog owner. It allows you run, swim, and play with your dog in nicer weather than any other time of the year. There is absolutely nothing wrong with taking your pet out for picnics, hikes, swimming, or running, keep in mind that warm weather can also brings unique risks to your dog’s health that you should keep in mind throughout the season. Here are some 5 Dog Care tips to help make sure your dog stays safe and healthy during the hot summer months.
1. Consider when to Walk with your dog?
Dogs love to walk and run, and you may find it hard to resist when your dog wants to go out and play. However, you should not go for long walks to let your dog engage in strenuous activity in the daytime heat. Instead, try to confine activity to early morning or evening. If you really don’t have a choice but to take your dog out in the midday heat, bring cool water along and make sure your dog has access to shade.
2. Taking Your Dog Along
Summer is the season for outdoor events – cookouts, fairs, festivals, and so forth. Many dog owners consider their dog to be a part of the family, and therefore they like their dogs to go everywhere with them. Dogs may really love this, but consider your dog’s safety before taking him along on your outing. There are some things to consider: Will there be access to shade? If your dog gets overheated, do you have access to an air-conditioned room or vehicle? Check to see what the high temperature is predicted for that day, and whether or not it’s supposed to be sunny or cloudy. Does your dog like crowds, or does she find them exhausting? Will there be loud noises like fireworks or loud rides/machines? Do these stress your dog?
3. Heat stroke
Heat stroke occurs when your dog’s body temperature rises dangerously high. It is most common when dogs are left in a car for too long, or when they exercise in the heat. Never leave your dog in the car in hot weather, and always remember that a cracked window is not enough to cool a car. Your dog always needs access to shade outside. Muzzling interferes with a dog’s ability to cool itself by panting and should be avoided.
4. Water Fun – Drinking and Swimming
Keeping water on hand is not always hard; keeping it cool can be challenging, however. The best course of action is probably an insulated backpack or cooler. Keep your dog’s drink as cool as your own, and take along a portable water bowl. Prevent dehydration by providing your dog with unrestricted access to fresh and cool water both indoors and outside. Ice cubes and frozen chicken or beef broth encourage your dog to take in more fluids and help keep it cool. You can also feed your dog wet dog food during the summer to increase its fluid intake.
As for fun in the water, many dogs love to swim, but many don’t. To keep your pet healthy and safe this summer, help him or her navigate water in a safe environment. A life jacket for your dog is a good idea on a boating trip. Be aware of parasites and other potentially dangerous life forms in the water (such as stinging jellyfish).
5. Fleas, Ticks, and Parasites
These days, most vets insist that you give your dog heartworm preventative all year-round. So your monthly heartworm pill regimen won’t change during summer. However, other parasites and pests can afflict your dog. Ticks, fleas, mosquitoes, flies, and other insects are at their peak during the summer months. Talk to your veterinarian about appropriate protection such as collars, sprays, shampoos, dips, and other products.