Monday, May 17, 2010
By Suzanne Alicie
Just like humans, dogs enjoy the summertime. Warm balmy days, playing outdoors, going on vacation – what’s not to love? However, there are certain summertime safety measures that responsible pet owners should take. There are several different aspects of the season that can cause problems for your dog. We all want our dogs to enjoy the great outdoors in the summertime, but it is always wise to take some precautions against these potential dangers.
If your dog is spending time outdoors, it is important that he has a cool shaded area with plenty of fresh water to drink. Even a few hours outside without any shelter or water can cause heat exhaustion, heat stroke and general overheating. While dogs love to be outside and enjoy the warm weather, as dog owners we have to remember to take care and not expose them to too much of the heat.
Fleas and Ticks
While these are year round problems in some areas, during the summer it is extremely dangerous for dogs to be unprotected. There are several ways to protect your dog from fleas and ticks in the summertime. Whether you use a topical treatment, pills, collars, powders, or natural methods, treat your dog and his bedding to help prevent flea and tick infestations. Also, check your dog regularly after he spends time outdoors, to remove pesky ticks before they get attached. As a dog moves around outside, even if he is treated, more than likely you will still find a tick or two occasionally. For more information on how to fight these nasty pests, read Natural Flea Control for Dogs and Cats, by Linda Cole.
Your dog may be more active outdoors in warm weather, which could lead to exploring new areas, and traveling with you. This can expose your dogs to the dangerous Parvovirus and other infectious diseases. Make sure your dog has had all of his inoculations, and try to keep a sharp eye on what he may eat, sniff or roll in as he checks out the summertime world around him.
As the weather heats up, many dogs will shed their winter coats. This means that you will have to spend a little extra time brushing and grooming your dog. Another cause of extra grooming is that dogs love to run and roll, which leaves them with grass, burrs and other hitchhikers attached to their coat. Dogs' nails tend to get naturally worn when they spend time outdoors, but it is important to check your dogs’ paws for pad tears, broken nails and other problems that may cause them pain. It’s always a good idea to have a doggie first aid kit on hand to treat these little problems and keep your dog running smoothly on all four padded paws.
Getting outdoors in the summertime is a lot of fun for both you and your pet. Taking a few precautions and extra steps to prepare your dog for the season can help insure that summer remains a pleasure and not a cause of distress for you or your dog.
Photo courtesy of Tero Miettinen.
Read more articles by Suzanne Alicie