We’re coming to the end of our series of blogs for your dogs in summer, here’s a summary of some of the points we’ve already mentioned but a couple of new ideas too:
1. Never, ever, EVER leave your dog in a hot car Okay, you’ve probably heard this before, but it’s so important that we still decided to list it first. It can take minutes for a pet to develop heat stroke and suffocate in a car. Most people don’t realize how hot it gets in parked cars. On a 78 degree day, for instance, temperatures in a car can reach 90 degrees in the shade and top 160 degrees if parked directly in the sun! You’re best bet is to leave your dog home on warm days. If you’re driving around with your dog in the car, bring water and a water dish and take your dog with you when you leave the car.
2. Make sure your dog is protected from parasites like fleas, ticks, and mosquitoes If not protected, your dog is at risk for heartworm, Lyme disease, and a host of other nasty and dangerous conditions. And don’t forget, many of these diseases can be caught by people too!
3. Keep your dog's paws cool When the sun is cooking, surfaces like asphalt or metal can get really hot! Try to keep your pet off of hot asphalt; not only can it burn paws, but it can also increase body temperature and lead to overheating.
4. Your dog should always have access to fresh drinking water and shade Our dogs get much thirstier than we do when they get hot, and other than panting and drinking, they really have no way to cool themselves down. Keep your pet in the shade as often as possible. While dogs and cats like to sunbathe, direct sunlight can overheat them (especially dogs) and cause heat stroke.
5. Give your dog his very own "kiddy pool” Dogs who love the water, naturally love it even more during the hot months, and getting wet keeps them cool.
6. Don’t assume your dog can swim well Just because dogs instinctively know how to swim, doesn’t mean they’re good swimmers. And if your dog jumps in your swimming pool, he might not be able to get out without help and could easily drown. Make sure your dog can’t get into your swimming pool without you around.
7. Dogs get sunburns too! Believe it or not, dogs can sunburn, especially those with short or light-coloured coats. And just like with people, sunburns can be painful for a dog and overexposure to the sun can lead to skin cancer.
8. Watch your dog’s weight After a long winter, many dogs put on a few extra pounds. Summer is the perfect time to increase his level of exercise and get in tip-top shape. A pet that maintains a healthy weight throughout his lifetime will live, on average, 2-3 years longer than an overweight pet! Just make sure not to over-exert your dog. Talk to your veterinarian, give him adequate rest and if your dog is especially overweight, make sure you ease him into physical activity.
9. Keep your windows screened! You may want your house to be ventilated, but you definitely do not want your dog jumping out!