Caring for dogs is a responsibility each of us, dog owners and lovers alike must fulfill all year round. However, there is something about summertime that makes this task more crucial for our furry friends. Sure, for us humans, “Happiness is a sunny day.” Unfortunately, this is not entirely true for dogs; the summer heat can be their silent foe.
Caring for Dogs during summer: Not an Impossible Undertaking
Well, don’t fret. Caring for dogs during summer is not as daunting as it seems. By following these tips, you and your pet will surely get through the summer season safely and with fun-filled memories:
Watch out for heat stroke red flags.
Both humans and dogs are prone to experiencing heatstroke. However, our furry buddies are more at risk in doing so. One thing that makes dogs more predisposed to heat stroke is the fact that they are covered with thick layers of fur. Unlike humans who sweat almost anywhere, dogs only produce sweat on areas not covered with fur such as the nose and paw pads. Dogs have sweat glands in the foot pads which only minimally helps to alleviate heat. Frequently, dogs eliminate heat by panting. However, if panting is not enough, a dog’s body temperature rises.
What makes matters worst is the fact that our beloved dogs always do their best to adopt in such situations. This makes it hard for laypersons to determine whether or not they might be suffering from heat stroke at any moment. While it is always best to have a vet check your dog, seeing the following red flags should put you on alert mode:
- Reddened gums;
- Heavy or excessive panting;
- Unusual weakness or fatigue, or muscle tremors or muscle spasms;
- Shaky walk; or
- Vomiting and/or diarrhea
Once you see these signs, you shouldn’t waste time. Bring your pet to his veterinarian. In heat exhaustion or heat stroke, time is always of the essence.
Keep dogs cool and hydrated.
Caring for dogs during the summer season also means we need to give them a frequent supply of clean, fresh and cold water. This helps them maintain their physiological balance and aid in regulating their temperature. Giving them ice cubes as treats is actually a fun way you may want to try to keep your pets more hydrated.
- Limit sun exposure.
Caring for dogs and shielding them from potential hazards of the summer season does not mean prohibiting them their usual exercise routine. Outdoor walks or plays may still be done provided they are not exposed to the sun’s heat and harmful rays. You and your dog can do this by enjoying your usual walks or runs on the street during early mornings or late afternoons where the sun’s heat is at its lowest peak.
Check burnt paw pads.
Unlike humans, dogs do not normally wear shoes or other footwear that can protect their paws from foreign objects or from the heated asphalt or roads. This makes them more prone to burns. First and foremost, it would be best not to allow your pet to walk on the street when the sun’s heat is at its peak. If you can defer play or walk later in the day, well, that is so much better. As a preventative measure, always check the temperature of the road or asphalt with your hand prior to walking your dog. If it is too hot by touch, it is too hot for your dog’s pads.
Nonetheless, always check your dog’s paws for redness, cracks, or blisters, when he is out and about. If he has any of this, you should rush him to is vet to get proper aid or treatment.
Get rid of the ticks and other parasites.
Make it a habit to check your dog for ticks or fleas, especially during summertime when these bugs are rampant. Chances are, they might have attached to your dog during an outdoor walk or play. Do this by inspecting your dog’s body for any bumps and swollen areas. These could be indicative of ticks attached or burrowed under its skin.
Of course, your veterinarian can recommend preventative treatment for ticks and fleas. This regular treatment will greatly reduce the chance of your dog becoming infested. Since there are many types of prevention, your vet can discuss the one that is most suited for your pet.
If you do find a tick on your dog, it is best to take your dog to the vet or vet technician to ensure it is removed properly and avoid infection. Your veterinarian can further exam to investigate whether the tick infesting your pet is a carriers of Lyme disease. Other tick-borne diseases include canine ehrlichiosis, canine anaplasmosis and Rocky Mountain spotted fever. Some of these diseases are transmissable to humans.
Get More Tips on How to Take Care of Your Dogs Better
Caring for dogs during summer is a great way to protect our furry pets from any illness that may cause them a lifetime’s suffering. If you are in the St. Charles, St. Louis and a 60-mile radius of St. Charles, MO (excluding Illinois), and need any form of expert assistance, pay Positive Paws Pet Training a visit. You may also contact us at 636-352-3104 or email firstname.lastname@example.org.