Summer fun for pet parents includes trips to the beach, hiking along trails, and delicious frosty treats. However, there are some risks associated with the warmer months of the year that can adversely affect your pet. Here are some things that will keep warm weather outings safe and make summer enjoyable for your canine best friend.
1. Parasite control
Ticks are a real risk in summer. They spread disease and can cause muscle paralysis, which may prove fatal. Make sure you use a reliable tick control product, and stick closely to the directions. It's also a good idea to check your dog for ticks on a regular basis and remove any you find on him.
2. Heat stress
Dogs make the best jogging buddies and even taking them out for a stroll can be relaxing. However, they are at risk of overheating if they're walked in the warmer part of the day or left outdoors without adequate shade. Brachycephalic (or short-nosed) dogs are at greater risk than other breeds. Be aware that the sidewalk can become too hot for their paws, so plan your exercise sessions for early in the morning or later in the afternoon. It's even more risky to leave your dog in the car during the day because the temperature inside the vehicle can rise to dangerous levels very quickly. You may find that in the warmer months, your dog will appreciate having their hair trimmed to help keep them cool. Always consider your dog and the weather when you're planning your summer activities.
3. Swimming dangers
Not all dogs are natural swimmers. Whether you're at the beach, in a lake, or having a dip in the pool, watch your dog just as you would a young child. A life jacket would be a good idea for a dog that's enthusiastic about the water but not a competent swimmer.
4. Picnics and cookouts
A gathering of friends for an outdoor meal on a balmy summer evening sounds like a great way to end a weekend, however, it's best to either lock your dog away or watch that they don't take the chance to steal some food during cookouts. Cooked bones, fatty foods, and nuts can cause intestinal obstruction, diarrhea, and pancreatitis. Keep alcohol out of their reach because they're susceptible to its effects in the same way we are and it can be distressing for them. Don't give in to those big brown eyes; stick to your dog's regular diet even when there are tastier treats on offer.
You know what it feels like after an active day out; your muscles are tired and aching. Your dog is no different and they would appreciate a gentle massage to relieve tension and increase the circulation to their muscles. They'll feel refreshed and ready for another outing with you.
There are so many great things to do in summer with your dog. With a little forethought and planning, you'll both have a ton of fun safely.