Tuesday, June 30, 2015

Keeping Dogs Safe in the Hot Summer Months

Summer is a great season to be out and active with your dog. Here are a few things that I've learned in the past to keep our furry family safe in the summer.

  •  Easiest one first. Never leave a dog in a car. That thing turns into a hot box in a matter of 2 minutes.
  • Water. Always have water available for your dog. In addition to having water inside, always have a bucket full and available for the times you are outside playing.
  • This one sounds silly, but make sure your dog can swim! You may decide to take them to they lake and before you know it, they courageously run and jump of the end of the dock. Be sure they don't sink straight to the bottom. Same for swimming pools, they may jump or fall in - be sure they are able to swim. If they'll be left unsupervised, be sure they know how to exit the pool.
  • Warm weather means mosquito and heart worm season, make sure the dogs are up to date on their heart worm prevention program.
  • It's also tick and flea season, so make sure you're checking them close each day after playing outside or with other dogs.
  • For daily walks, make sure you're going in the morning or evening hours when the temperature is the coolest. Keep off of asphalt that's roasting from the sun; their paws are tough, but they can still get hot.
  • Give them access to shade. My dogs would love to go out on the boat, but we don't take them because there's no shade and they'd just be sitting roasting in the sun while we soak in the cool water. Same for backyards - plant a tree, build a makeshift tent with a tarp or build an open-air shelter, get creative! Same goes for beach outings, even through they have water, they'll need shade.
  • To follow along with the tip above, always check under your vehicle before you or your guests leave. Pets might be lounging on the cool dirt or concrete underneath the parked vehicles.
  • Restrict exercise for very active breeds, as they will run and run their hearts out. 
  • Here's a fun one - 'pupsicles'! Make chicken, beef or vegetable broth and pour into ice cube trays, when they freeze, pop them out and give them to your puppies as cool treats. 
  • Keep dogs off freshly fertilized lawns for 24 hours or according to package instructions.
  • Smoosh-face or short snouted dogs should always be kept as cool as possible. Their short snouts prevent them from panting effectively enough to cool themselves.  

What else do you do to keep your sweeties cool?

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