Tips on Keeping dogs safe and healthy
By: Farna Vahdad
Summer is the time to relax and enjoy the heat. With summer, dog owners are excited to take their Fido along during their summer jaunts. But summer heat is quite exhausting for most dogs, especially breeds with shorter nose, seniors and puppies. Dogs cool down from panting and do not sweat except a small amount from their paws, consequently they have higher risk of heat stroke.
A) Take the dog for grooming
Summer is a good time for the dog’s make over. Shorter fur helps with flow of air and also easier for brushing. Keep the fur at least one inch long to protect the skin from sun burn since vets do not recommend shaving down to the skin.
B) Always have fresh water on hand
When outside, carry a bottle of water and keep refreshing the dog’s water bowl at home. I use filtered water and certainly recommend it to all pet owners. Keep the dog hydrated especially in outdoor’s heat.
C) Do NOT leave dog in car
Parked cars in summer heat are death traps for dogs. On a mid 70 degree temperature, a closed car’s temperature can soar and reach up to 100 to 120 degrees in just a minute and increases with time. Every year many dogs die from this sad incident. Never leave dog or any pet inside car, even for a minute to do quick errand.
D) Watch and care for the paws
With summer heat, walkways and sidewalks get excruciatingly hot. Dog’s paw is very sensitive to hot and cold surfaces. sandy beaches get too hot for dogs to run around and play. Always touch the ground and feel the heat with the palm of the hand; If too hot, postpone walking outside and in emergency cases, apply paw pads to protect the paw from blisters. To heal the paw from sun blister, apply aloe and calendula creams.
E) Direct sun protection
Sheer away from walking and staying in direct sun. Walk in the shade and cooler side of the street. It might sound strange, but have you ever considered sunglasses for you dog? I do. Check out his handsome picture.
Lighter hair dogs are more susceptible to sun burn. Choose a vet approved canine sun blocks and apply around ears and exposed skin.
F) Mosquitoes and pests
With arrival of summer, be aware of mosquitoes, fleas and harmful insects. Most insects are attracted to moist and odor. Read these useful tips on how to repel mosquitoes. in Best natural tips to repel mosquitoes article.
G) Play it safe at the Beaches
Summer and beach go hand in hand. In hot temperature, sandy beaches get scorching hot and burns their paws. Keep the dog in the shade and cool area to avoid heat stroke. Dogs don’t know when to stop even when exhausted. The dog owner’s responsibility is to protect them and be aware of their condition. Be cautious and play with your dog only if the beach’s condition is suitable and tolerable. While playing, watch their every move and monitor their panting.
Dogs are very playful and need constant supervision. For swim lover dogs, follow the beach’s warning flags and danger signs. Find a suitable and safe life jacket to support the dog against any strong rip current.
Assign towel and a place of rest for the dog if planning a beach day and bring plenty of water. Keep a watchful eye on warning signs for beach fleas and jellyfishes. I suggest to always having an emergency kit on hand for unfortunate incidents.
H) Coolest time of the day to walk
The best time to do the daily walk is early morning or late evening. The heat is less with cooler breeze. The downside is volume of mosquitoes in the early morning and the evening. Avoid routs near garbage, untrimmed gardens, and areas with standing water. These areas are the ground breeds for mosquitoes.
I) Watch for car’s coolant
During summer, cars leak liquid coolant on the road. The liquid coolant has sweet taste and dogs are attracted to its solution. Coolant is extremely dangerous and poisonous for dogs. Keep your dog on leash and do not allow the dog to drink or taste from water puddles.
J) Avoid crowded events
It might seem like a good idea to bring your little friend along to summer events, fairs, and local festivals. But while you enjoy the sound of music and the crowed, the noise, heat, and the traffic is adding stress and anxiety to dogs. It is a better idea to leave them at the comfort of their home with enough food and refreshed water in a perfect temperature.
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