The summer months will soon be here and before the heat rises, plan ahead for the comfort and care of your dog. Below is a list of suggestions to help dog’s comfort and safety in the summer heat:
Inside or outside
- Dogs should have access to the home during extremely high temperatures. When weather reports warn about dangerous temperatures for people, it’s most likely the heat will be too extreme for the dog.
- If the dog can’t get into the home, make sure it has a shelter, preferably located away from direct sunlight.
- Make sure there is an ample supply of fresh clean water. Bury the bowl up to the rim in the ground to help keep the water cooler. Add ice cubes to the bowl and change the water often. Provide additional bowls of water, whether the dog is inside or outside.
- Place a Cool Bed III, a bed filled with water, under the patio cover or out of the sun for the dog to lay on.
- Leave the air conditioning on or turn on a fan so the dog may cool off when inside.
- Fill a wading pool so the dog can jump in and cool itself off if left outside all day.
- A dog’s nose is likely to get burned, but any exposed skin can be burned.
- Dog’s with a shaved area or who are shaved are at greater risk for sunburn.
- Dogs like to sunbathe on their backs and can get burned in the area between the back legs.
- Lighter colored and thin-skinned dogs are susceptible to sunburn.
- Only use sunscreen made specifically for dogs.
- Never use human sunscreen on a dog because the products may not work the same on a dog. Zinc oxide should never be used.
Flea and Tick Medication
- Summer is flea and tick season which can lead to problems like skin irritation, fur loss, anemia, tapeworm and deadly diseases like Lyme disease.
- Keep dogs away from humid, grassy areas, which is where fleas and ticks thrive.
- Talk to your vet about an appropriate flea and tick prevention program for your dog.
- Keep the dog’s heartworm preventative up-to-date too because summer is when there are lots of mosquitoes.
- Bandanas and vests can help keep a dog cool.
- Some cooling vests have pockets of water packs similar to child-safe cooling packs. The pack is placed in the freezer for a while, and then placed into the special holder.
- These items also help protect a dog from damaging UV radiation from the sun.
- Exercise a dog in the early morning, late afternoon or early evening
- Avoid having dogs walk on asphalt or cement to avoid burning their paws
Before summer is in full swing, plan ahead to help make sure your dog doesn’t suffer from extreme heat during the summer.
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