Summer is well underway, and that means it’s time to let loose! As the temperatures rise and school and work relent for a few blissful weeks, we love to go out and make new summer adventures with our friends, family, and beloved pups.
While there is plenty of fun to have, caution is also necessary as summer brings its fair share of obstacles for your pet, including threats from insects, overheating, and travel. Luckily, all it takes is knowledge and planning to keep your pooch happy and healthy during these long summer days.
Protect Your Pup from Pests
Whether you are going on an epic camping trip or spending your summer days out at the dog park, you have to protect your pup against the threat of pests. Ticks are one of the most common pest issues as they can transmit a plethora of diseases, including Lyme disease and Rocky Mountain spotted fever. Be proactive by using tick shampoos, sprays, and tick collars. If you find that your dog has a tick, use tweezers and an antiseptic and follow the steps for safe removal.
Fleas are a year-round issue, but in the summer, extra precautions must be taken as the warmer weather quickens their life cycle. To prevent these particular pests, the use of a flea shampoo on a regular basis is key. If you notice that your dog has fleas, speak with a veterinarian about flea medication. Make sure to keep your house extra clean by vacuuming often and washing your linens. Double your cleaning efforts in the areas where the dog lays around the most.
Even mosquitos can create problems for your pup. While these pests cannot transmit diseases like HIV, in addition to causing discomfort in the form of scratching, welts, coughing, and respiratory difficulty, they can play a factor in passing heartworms and lupus. Heartworms can cause vomiting, lethargy, and unwanted weight loss, though it can be treated with medication. You can avoid bites by using a dog-safe repellent or keeping Fido indoors during dusk and dawn, when mosquitoes are most rampant.
Protection From Heat
In most areas, the summer months can get hot, but that doesn’t mean that you should keep your dog cooped up inside. As a pet owner, you just need to be aware of the signs that your dog is in danger. When it comes to dehydration, watch for sunken eyes and a dry mouth. On the other hand, a dog that is overheated may experience vomiting, diarrhea, or loud panting.
For your pup’s ultimate health and comfort, you want to avoid overheating in the first place. Always provide plenty of water, and when you are out on long summer walks, make sure to take breaks in shaded areas. If your dog has a long coat, consider a hair cut for the hottest months.
If you like to go running or jogging with your dog, consider altering your routine to going out early in the morning or closer to dusk, when the glaring sun is less of a factor. If it is over 90 degrees, then consider leaving your dog inside and going it alone.
Although it can be easy to forget, it is imperative that you protect your puppies’ paws. On the hottest days, stick to the grass and avoid concrete and asphalt altogether. You may also consider purchasing dog shoes that are rugged enough to withstand the heat but breathable so they remain comfortable.
Safety During Summer Adventures
One of the best parts about summer is the opportunity to go on long vacations and exciting adventures, and there is nothing better than having your dog in tow to enjoy the ride. Ensure that good times are had by all and avoid stress by keeping your pooch safe during these endeavors. If you are going on long road trips, remember to never keep your dog in a hot car, even if you are only running into a store or gas station.
Many people go camping during the summer when the colors are magnificent and the wildlife is thriving, but enjoy the sights safely. When going on hikes, stick to the trail to avoid wild animals and dangerous plants like poison ivy. Pack a little first-aid kit complete with tweezers and protective booties for hot or injured paws. Of course, always make sure that pets are allowed at the location in the first place.
Some people prefer a staycation as they invite over friends and have a backyard barbecue. If you do, remember to keep your pup safe. Establish boundaries for your guests and your pet, keeping your dog clear of the hot BBQ and away from party food that could contain bones. Consider securely storing dangerous items, like medication or chocolate, that your dog might get into while you are preoccupied. Finally, if you are going to have fireworks, bring your dog to a quiet room so they aren’t startled by the loud noises.
This wonderful season brings so much joy to you and your pets, so keep their safety in mind. Make it a season to remember for the right reasons.