Now that summer has officially started, you're probably anxious to get out with your dog and enjoy the warm weather. Summer heat, however, can have bad effects on your dog.
Here are some tips to make sure your pet stays healthy and safe during the summer months:
1. Keep your pet hydrated. While at home, make sure the water bowl is in the shade so the water stays as cool as possible. Using half ice and half water can help the water stay cold longer. If you are outside with your pet, make sure to bring a water bottle and a bowl so that he or she can always have a drink when necessary.
2. Walk your dog during cooler hours. Early morning or late afternoon when the sun is not as harsh are the best times for taking your dog on a walk. Try to avoid pavement and walk your dog on grass or dirt. Always make sure to provide access to shade as well.
3. Protect your dog from fleas and ticks. It is important to provide your pet with proper treatment for the prevention of heartworms. Check with your veterinarian to make sure your pet is protected as there are different guidelines depending on the climate where you may live.
4. Avoid crowded summer events. It may seem like bringing your dog to festivals, parades, or large outdoor events is a great idea, but heat, noise, and all of the excitement can be very emotionally and physically demanding to your dog. It is best to leave your dog at home to avoid causing anxiety and stress.
5. Know if it is a good idea to shave your dog. Fur actually provides protection from the sun and insects like flies and mosquitoes. Dogs actually feel naked and exposed without their full coat. Check with your veterinarian before deciding to shave your dog during the summer months.
6. Dogs need protection from sun.
Did you know dogs can get a sunburn? Fur does provide some level of sun protection, but areas like the nose, ear, and the area around the lips can get sun damage. There is special formulated sunscreen for dogs, but check with your veterinarian first before using any products on your pet.
7. Not all dogs can naturally swim. Breeds like pugs, bulldogs, and basset hounds have difficulty swimming. Fit your dog with a personal flotation device if you are not sure about his or her ability to swim or if on a boat. Never force your dog to swim if he or she is uncomfortable in the water.
8. Never leave your dog in a car. On summer days, the inside of a car can spike up to 40 degrees above the temperature in just an hour. No matter how brief the time is, if it's warm outside, it is best to leave your pet at home if he or she cannot leave the car with you.