By Aurus Sy
Published: 07/09/2021, edited: 10/04/2022
The sun is shining and you can’t wait to go on new adventures with your canine BFF. Summer is the season of outdoor fun, but the hot weather also brings certain risks for dogs, from parasites to heatstroke. Follow these 10 tips to keep your pooch healthy and happy throughout this summer!
Everyone should know this by now, but it’s a piece of information that’s worth repeating. Never leave your pup in a closed vehicle, even for a short period of time — the temperature inside can reach 100 degrees in just 20 minutes. And even with the windows cracked open, it can become very hot and uncomfortable inside very quickly.
Avoid taking your dog out when the sun’s rays are strongest; take walks in the early morning or evening when it’s cooler. If that’s not possible, look for other routes that have plenty of shade. Also avoid exercising your pup strenuously on really hot days and make your strolls shorter if your best friend is a senior or flat-faced breed.
When the weather is too hot and outside time is limited, it’s easy for our canine companions to become stir-crazy due to lack of exercise. Get your pooch’s brain and body moving with some fun indoor activities. Indoor fetch, tug-of-war, and puzzle toys are all great ways to keep them occupied. If you need more ideas, check out this post.
Regular grooming will keep your pup’s coat clean and free of tangles, which can trap heat. Brushing also removes excess hair, making the coat thinner and cooler. If you give your pooch a haircut, make sure to leave at least a full inch of fur. Your dog’s fur serves as a natural sunscreen; shaving it off will make them more prone to sunburn.
When temperatures rise, so do the number of fleas, ticks, and mosquitoes. These parasites can put your pup at risk for conditions such as Rocky Mountain spotted fever, Lyme disease, and heartworm. Keep your dog safe and healthy by asking your veterinarian for the appropriate preventives or recommendations for a pet-friendly insect repellent.
Summer cookouts may seem harmless, but they can actually pose a few hazards to your four-legged friend if you’re not careful. Food from the grill should be off-limits, as barbecue scraps are usually high in salt. Fatty leftovers can lead to pancreatitis, while bones and corn on the cob can get stuck in your dog’s intestines. Also remember to keep charcoal briquettes and lighter fluid out of reach.
Swimming is a strenuous activity and most dogs don’t know when to take a break. Always put your pup in a life jacket and never leave them unattended, no matter how good of a swimmer they are. Don’t forget to rinse them off before heading home, as salt and other minerals in seawater can damage their coat.
If your furry companion spends a lot of time outside, they may benefit from wearing dog sunglasses or goggles. More than just a fashion statement, goggles protect your pup’s eyes from wind, debris, UV rays, and foreign objects while they’re, say, playing on the beach or riding along in a bike trailer. Sunglasses may also help dogs with cataracts, conjunctivitis, or other eye problems
Make sure your canine pal’s vaccinations are up to date, especially if you’re taking them with you on vacation. Summer adventures mean your pup is spending more time outdoors and coming into contact with other animals more often; vaccinations protect them from certain contagious diseases that affect both pets and wildlife.
Prevent dehydration by making sure your canine companion has access to clean drinking water at all times, whether you’re at home or outside. Treating them to ice cubes or frozen broth is a good way to keep them cool and encourage them to drink more, and never leave home without a bottle of water for your pooch. Giving them wet dog food is another way to increase their fluid intake.
With a bit of planning and preparation, you can ensure that your furry friend enjoys the warmer weather safely!
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