Summer Safety May 27, 2008 18:44:36 GMT -5
Post by DogGoneGood on May 27, 2008 18:44:36 GMT -5
Summer Safety for Dogs
There are several things to keep in mind when it comes to safety for your dog during the summer months. These things depend on where you live as well, so take the information that applies to you and leave the rest if you must.
1. HEAT STROKE: If you find the heat unbearable for yourself it is most likely unbearable for your dog as well. This especially applies to dogs with thick, heavy coats. Most dog coats are built to keep the temperatures and elements away from their skin but it does not make them impermeable to the heat. To take the proper precautions towards avoiding heat stroke in your dog you can do the following things…
• If you must leave your dog outside for an extended period of time, provide lots of fresh, cool water and make sure there is some kind of shelter that provides shade for the dog to cool off in.
• NEVER, EVER leave your dog unattended in a car for long periods of time (more than 10 minutes). Even if you roll the windows down a bit, heat builds up in vehicles a lot faster and stronger which can cause serious heat stroke and even death to your dog.
• Ice Cubes can be a great way (and fun, calorie-free) treat for your dog during the hot days. Just like we appreciate a good popsicle or bowl of ice cream, they appreciate a couple of ice cubes to munch on!
• There are products available to help keep your dog cool, such as cooling blankets and vests. If you know your dog is going to be spending a lot of time outdoors in the hot sun with you, consider investing in these products to keep him safe and cool.
2. BUGS AND PARASITES: The threat of bugs and parasites are much greater in the summer months than in the winter. To help prevent these pesky, and often dangerous critters there are a few things you can do…
• There are “bug dope” products you can buy to apply to areas of your dog that are more at-risk to bug bites from mosquitoes or black flies. Do NOT use human-made products unless otherwise recommended by your vet. Do not apply these products to your dog’s nose/snout unless otherwise instructed to do so (as these are sensitive areas your dog may lick at).
• Preventative medications for parasites should be given to your dog as directed by a veterinarian. These should cover your basic worms and other parasites.
• Clean up any dead mice, birds etc. that may be found on your property. (If you own indoor/outdoor cats you should keep an eye out for these animals on a regular basis). Fecal matter should also be picked up on a regular basis. These are two ways your dog is most likely to pick up parasites. Leaving them sit in the sun will only make matters worse!
3. GRASSES, TWIGS, AND OTHER IMPALING OBJECTS: If you let your dog run through tall grass you should check him right afterwards and brush his coat out with a comb. The seeds off these tall grasses can make their way deep into a dogs coat and eventually into the skin where they can cause infections and abscesses. Any other nature-objects that may make their way into the skin in the same manner (such as twigs, prickles, burrs etc.) should also be removed and you should keep an eye on your dog to make sure these pesky things don’t make their way onto your dog.
4. PAW PROTECTION: Especially if you live in a city area where your dog will be walking on concrete or asphalt you should make sure to protect the pads of his paws from becoming burnt when walking on these surfaces. There are many products available for this purpose. One product I use is called “Paw Protector” which is a salve you spread onto the feet. It is also a great product for in the winter time to protect the pads from salt and ice. “Booties” are also available, although I don’t highly recommend them unless you know your dog will be walking on these surfaces for long periods of time. Booties can be helpful in protecting your dogs feet (especially from glass, creams can’t do that) but they can also keep the heat in around your dogs feet. If you can find Booties with a good ventilation system I would suggest those.
5. STICKS: You should not let your dog chew on sticks. This should be for obvious reasons; the sticks can splinter and get caught in your dog’s throat, impale their stomach and intestines, and cut their gums and mouth. They aren’t a safe toy for a dog and should be left in the woods. There are many great dog toy products available, and many that are stick shaped that your dog will enjoy just as much! If you must let your dog chew on sticks; please do so under strict supervision.
6. DEHYDRATION: Dehydration basically falls under the same category as Heat Stroke, but I can’t seem to stress this fact enough. Make sure your dog has plenty of fresh, clean, cool water to drink from when he’s outside in the hot summer sun!
With these precautions and preventative measures in mind and implemented you should be able to enjoy a fun, safe summer with your dog!