Summertime, and the Livin’ is… what?
I love the summer. It’s my favorite season! There’s fresh fruit, it’s warm, and there are plenty of things to do with my dog. There’s agility trials galore, and always a new trail to hike. However, summer packs some not-so-fun surprises we should be mindful of for our pups!
- Sunburn. I was surprised to discover dogs can get sunburn, too! Apply a little sunblock to their noses especially, and with short-haired dogs, all over. Make sure it’s non-toxic!
- Heat. This one I knew about – never, ever, ever leave your dog in the car, even ‘just for five minutes’. Leave them home. I like to add ice to my dog’s water, too. They ‘bob’ for it like kids do for apples.
- Fleas and ticks If your dog is short, or has long ground-brushing fur, they are at a higher risk for ticks, since more of them contacts the grass, which is where ticks lie in wait for your dog. Try to keep your dog out of tall grass! Make sure they are up to date on their medicine, too.
- Paw burn This is related to points one and two, but if you wouldn’t want to put your bare feet on the pavement because it’s scorching hot, it’s hot enough to burn your dog’s pads. I know a few steps is sometimes inevitable, but limit their hot concrete time as much as you can. If they do burn their paws, ask your vet if there is a salve they recommend for your dog.
- Allergies Is it just me, or is the pollen really bad this year? I am sneezing my head off, and I know a chihuahua who has severe allergies to pollen. He’s an itchy little mess! His owner washes him off every time he comes in, and he has medicine that really helps.
For all the pleasures of summer, there are hazards – can you think of any I haven’t thought of? Be aware and vigilant, and have a great time with your dog this summer. Hit the lake, go for a hike on a nice shady trail, and, of course, play agility.
I just wanted to add general heat exhaustion to the list. I’m in New Mexico now and there are plenty of great times for a good long structured walk, but not in the middle of the day. We’re ‘high desert’ so it’s dry with cool mornings and evenings. I’m going to have to become a really early morning person for my dog. There are plenty of tips on handling heat exhaustion on the web. Best is: don’t let it happen to your dog or to you.