It’s a hot time of the year, a great time for swimming and playing at the park. But what about your dog? It’s hot outside, and special care needs to be given to him to keep him cool and comfortable.
Dogs can’t live very long without water. We need nice, cold water to drink. If your dog stays outside or is outside a lot, provide clean, cold water at all times. Change the water every day, and make sure your dog doesn’t spill it. If he spills, your dog won’t have any water to drink and can get dehydrated or, even worse, die from lack of water. Consider buying your dog a heavy duty water bowl.
It’s very hot outside, and dogs need a shaded area. A doghouse is nice, but it gets hot inside that little space. Try a beach umbrella or a small canopy. Your dog can get sunstroke if he doesn’t have a shaded area available at all times.
It does get warm under our fur, but don’t have your dog shaved down to the skin. Always consult your veterinarian before cutting your dog’s hair to keep him cool. A dog’s fur isn’t given to only keep him warm. It helps him to avoid getting sun burnt. Also, for some dogs, if their hair is shaved, it will never grow back the same again.
Swimming pools are great for humans to cool off in and can sometimes be great for dogs too. But never ever let your dog swim alone. The edges of the pool are slippery, and your dog might fall in and not be able to get out. Keep a little gate around your pool to keep your dog out when you’re not around. Make sure your dog doesn’t drink the pool water either. Keep in mind that not all dogs are born swimmers. Some dogs just sink! Consult your veterinarian before you let your dog swim with you. Also, you might want to buy a dog life jacket. If your pool is by a high surface, make sure your dog can’t jump in. Once, when my humans’ pool was by the porch and I was very young, I jumped in. Thankfully, one of my humans saw me and helped me out. That was very scary!
The sun beats down on the sidewalk, and makes it very hot. A dog’s paws are tough, but not as tough as a human’s shoes. Before you take your dog for walks, feel the sidewalk with your hand. Is it too hot? If so, walk your dog when it’s cooler outside, such as in the early mornings and late evenings. You don’t want your dog to have sore or burning paws!
Please never leave your dog outside tethered or chained. Even if it’s nice outside or he’s in a shady spot near water, your dog can easily get tangled and strangle to death. Also, if he gets tangled, your dog will not be able to reach water and will die of thirst. You must also remember that dogs who are chained or tied are more likely to bite someone because they feel trapped. It’s not good for your dog to be chained outside alone. It is a detriment to his health, safety, and happiness. Please do not risk your dog’s life. Have a fence built or buy a kennel to let your dog play in while outside. But please don’t leave your dog tied up outside. It’s just too dangerous.
Check your dog regularly for any burs or foxtails lodged in his coat. These can get stuck on your dog’s paws as well and sometimes even in his ears and nostrils. If your dog has a bur or foxtail stuck in his ear or nose, don’t try to get it out. You can easily push it further down. Take your dog to the veterinarian for help with removing burs and foxtails from dangerous places. Just remember that when the foxtail plant is green, it won’t harm your dog. However, when it is dried and is tan in color, it can latch onto your dog, causing him much pain.
Fleas and ticks spell trouble for dogs. These pests cause us to itch and scratch and can carry diseases. This time of year is the perfect time for your dog to become flea and tick infested. Ask your veterinarian and other dog owners what flea and tick preventive medicine works best for their dogs. Also, mark your calendar or make a reminder on your phone to give your dog his preventive medicine however often the instructions call for. Vacuum carpeted areas and wash pet beds often to help keep these nasty pests away.
Some dogs get overheated easily, especially dogs with a short snout like the Pug. Research your breed, and see if he is extra susceptible to heatstroke. Any dog, however, should not be left in the hot sun for too long. If you suspect your dog has heatstroke, contact your veterinarian immediately.
Have a safe and fun summer with your dog!