During the dog days of summer you can have a lot of fun with your pet, but under that hot sun they can be in a lot of danger. Dogs can suffer some of the same maladies that humans can except they can experience them faster than we can, what with all that hair and what not.
So if you are out on a walk and start to get a bit peeky, make sure to take care of your dog when you stop to cool off too.
Though it is not just overheating that is the problem, your dog can also succumb to a variety of heat and sun related health difficulties.
This is what people most often think of when they take their dog out for summer activities. Heat stroke is just as serious for a dog as it is for a person, it just occurs faster in dogs than it does humans. The best way to avoid this is to restrict taking your dog outside during the hottest parts of a the day.
Try only taking your dog out in the early morning or in the evening once the temperature has cooled down. You can walk them during the day, but try not to stay out too long. This is especially important for big furry dogs that were bred for cold climates. Smaller dogs and short haired dogs can handle the heat a little better.
Never leave your dog in a car for longer than a few minutes and always leave the window cracked for them. Leaving your dog in a hot car can result in death and in some areas a dog that dies in a hot car is animal abuse.
This does not have so much to do with heat stroke as it does safety, but do not let your dogs hang their heads out the window to cool off. It is fun for your dog and will cool them off, but dogs can easily be injured by debris from the road or bugs hitting them in the face. So just keep your window cracked as you drive, this will keep your dog fairly entertained and cool.
People often forget about dehydration, they somehow imagine that their dogs are little camels and store water in a hump somewhere. If you are outside with your dog a lot make sure you take stops on long walks for water breaks for both of you. If you are out in the yard gardening on a balmy day, make sure your dogs water bowl stays filled if they are outside with you.
Your dogs water should also be nice and cool so it can help them cool themselves. Try dropping a few ice cubes in there every now and then, this will make your dog happy on hot days.
This may seem weird. A dog is covered in hair, how can it get sunburn? Dogs can, especially ones that have had their fur shaven. Dogs with floppy ears are also prone to sun damage. If their ears flip up while they are outside, the inside of their ears can easily get a sun burn.
I am sure that somewhere out there, there is doggie sunscreen but the best option is to just keep a close eye on your dog. Make sure your dogs floppy ears stay in the down position. Do not let your shaven dog lay our in the sun too long and you will be fine.
If you have a yard for your dog, this will not be an issue. Grass stays nice a cool for the most part in the summer. However, if live in a city or take your dog on walks on the sidewalk this is something you have to watch for. Wait until the cool hours of the day to walk your dog in the summer. A good way to see if the sidewalk or road is too hot for your dogs feet is to place you hand on the sidewalk. If you cannot hold your hand on it for 30 seconds, you dog will not want to walk on it.
Dogs have tough little pads on their feet, but it still hurts them to walk on these hot things. It may seem like a fun idea to have you and your dog go to the beach at the hottest part of the day, but that hot sand will have them really upset really fast.
Summer is the season for parasites, this is when parasites like fleas, ticks, and mosquitoes are most active. It is also the season when you and your dog go outside the most. These parasite carry disease and are not only a worry for your dog, but yourself as well. Be sure to take preventative measures like flea and tick collars to keep your dog safe.
After long romps through the woods check your dog and yourself for ticks. These little bugs seem harmless enough, but they carry terrible diseases. Some dogs and people can even have allergic reactions from their saliva, even though they have such a small amount. Mosquitoes are the same, except their bites tends to itch more. Your dog is fortunate to have a nice shield of hair against mosquitoes, but bites can turn up on their ears, face and nose one occasion. These will annoy your dog just like it will annoy you.
Mosquitoes also transmit the heartworm disease to dogs, so mach sure your dogs have taken their heartworm pill during these months especially.
Keep Watch On Your Grill
If your dog has the occasional slip and gives into the temptation of snatching food off the counter, make sure you keep a close watch on your grill during the summer time. The reason is obvious. If you leave your grill unattended with a dog, they may try to steal that big fat steak off it.
This can result in everything from burned pads, to burned noses, to burned tongues. Just remove the temptation from the picture and keep watch on either your grill or your dog at all times.