Dogs may look forward to summer just as much as their owners, but they can face health problems brought on by heat or increased pest activity so it is important to make sure you and your dog are prepared for the long (and hopefully hot) sunny days.
To clip or not to clip?
It may seem obvious that clipping long haired or fluffy dogs will help them keep cool over the summer months, but many experts do not agree believing a dogs natural coat will keep it at the right temperature whatever the weather. However it is very important to keep your dogs coat free of tangles and matts in the heat as it will not function correctly otherwise; if this is proving difficult then take your pooch along to a groomers to have the undercoat thinned out.
Picture Courtesy of www.petbandits.com
This dog shouldn’t be bothered by the heat if it has a well groomed coat
If you do choose to clip your dog then get professional help to create a smart look; you will need to choose whether to go for a short clip or a buzz cut taking it all off. You may think you can clip a dog yourself, but a cut that us too short can lead to other problems as it reduces protection against parasites and can even allow sunburn.
Keeping your hot dog cool
Dogs need water available year round, especially in summer months as the only way they have to cool their bodies is to pant which increases evaporation of water from the tongue which needs to be replaced. Some dogs enjoy ice cubes to play with, others will just sit in the shade or stretch out on their tummies on a cool tile floor; whatever your dog chooses make sure they have access to a method of cooling off at all times. Go for walks in the early morning or evening if the weather is hot, and if your dog enjoys swimming try and include a pond or lake in your route, making sure it is safe to swim in
Give the vet a day off
Heat stroke is very dangerous for dogs, and many die in hot cars each summer. Avoid leaving your dog in your car if at all possible as even in the shade with a window open the inside of a car can get very hot very quickly. Fleas and ticks are easy to catch in the long grass, and your dog can even get scorched pads if he has to walk on hot tarmac so keep to the grass or avoid the hottest parts of the day. Sun burn can affect parts of your dog that have fine hair, so apply sunscreen made especially for dogs to the tips of ears and snouts (not the actual nose itself) to keep the UV rays at bay. With a bit of care it is straightforward to ensure that you won’t need your pet insurance this summer
Keep calm in stormy weather
Summer can bring indirect hazards to your dog as well as direct ones. Thunderstorms are common in hot humid weather, so if your dog is nervous or scared of thunder be prepared to comfort them. Keep an eye on the weather forecast and don’t leave your dog alone for a storm if you can help it; try a herbal calming mixture or if the problem gets really bad then visit the vet and get the prescriptions drugs. Most dogs will cope with storms once they are used to them, but some never grow out of the fear of loud noises; try and create a safe den for them and distract rather than comfort them so that they benefit from your positive attitude.
Have fun with your furry friend
Spending the summer outside with your dog is great for both of you; fresh air and exercise will keep you both fit and relaxed. If you are getting out and about remember to take a bottle of water with you to keep you both hydrated. With a few precautions your dog will have a happy and healthy summer; swimming in lakes, chasing sticks, other dogs and anything else that passes by and generally enjoying the outdoors with you.
Article Written By Warren London Guest Blogger LIv Faraday