Ready Your Agility Dog for Summer in Spring

spring dog careThe time to think about protecting your dog from the trials of summer is not summer. You need to start preventive measures when the trees start blooming and the grass starts growing. Be happy if you have a winter that gives you and your dog a break from parasites and other summer nuances. Most of us at least get some kind of break from the heat and sun. So, when you see that thermometer starting to rise it’s time to start getting stocked up for summer with these tips.

  • Sunburn.  If you and your dog have been spending a lot of time indoors and coated, you both are susceptible to sunburns as the temperatures call for less clothing and more time outside. Be sure to have child safe sunblock and start applying to your dog’s exposed skin especially on the nose and white skin areas that you can see through their fur.
  • Heat.  Once outside temperatures go above 70 degrees Fahrenheit your car can become a coffin for your pets or small children. Never leave pets or small children alonevin your car, even with the windows cracked, in daytime temperatures over 64 degrees. They are better off at home in the house or outside with plenty of cold water and a cool, shady place to rest.
  • Fleas and ticks If butterflies and lizards are out and about, you can safely assume other insects like fleas and ticks are venturing out as well. Short dogs and those with long hair are even more susceptible to parasite infestations. Get your dog’s shots updated and get stocked up on your parasite control. If possible, keep your dog out of long foliage and check them after every exposure to it. Ticks can carry deadly Lyme’s disease so an ounce of prevention is well worth a pound of cure.
  • Paw burn  As the sun heats up, so does the ground. If you have to spend long periods of time on hot pavement or cement, consider buying doggie boots to protect their pads from burning. Once a pad is burned your activities will come to a screeching halt until it heals.
  • Allergies  With all the beautiful spring colors comes the pollen and for some it doesn’t end until winter. If you notice your dog obsessively licking his paws or legs and there is no sign of injury, there is a good chance he is suffering allergies. It can also affect their attitudes, so if your dog seems to be acting “off” you may want to take him to the vet and have him checked for allergies.

Being prepared and ready for the hazards of summer will help both you and your dog get full enjoyment of all that summer has to offer. 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.