We treat our dogs like our friends and family and in the summer the warm weather is far more taxing on them than it is on us, so here are some ideas on how to keep them cool and safe in the summer whether you're on the go or hanging out in your own dog-friendly backyard.
Top 7 Countdown List of Considerations for your Dogs in the Summer Time
Summer is almost here and we are all looking forward to spending more time outside with our dogs. Whether it is camping, hiking, swimming, running or whatever else we favor; it is all more fun when we can bring our furry friends along. There are however some considerations to keep in mind so our adventures stay safe and fun.
7. Avoid Dehydration on the Go
People and dogs alike need to enough water in the summer heat. But dogs have it harder than we do in the sun, as they can't sweat. Dogs need to ventilate and cool their bodies in other ways; the most important being panting. When our dog's tongues hang out and they are heavily panting, they are trying to cool their bodies by ventilation. If it gets too hot, that might not work and they can suffer heat strokes. So we need to make sure our dogs don't get too hot in the summer sun and always have shade and plenty of water to escape the heat; and it's better for us too.
6. Fresh and Cool Water at Home
We also need to make sure, we keep the water fresh and cool at home inside and outside the house. If our dogs live mostly outdoors, refreshing and replenishing their water supply several times a day is a good idea. We also need to check and avoid algae growth in their water bowls as that can lead to serious infections and illnesses, which will also cost us plenty in vet bills. Pet watering systems which take the work out of remembering and refreshing the water are available in pet stores and online.
5. Shelter from the Sun
Dogs need shelter from the sun just like we do. Some breeds also don't have thick enough fur to protect their skin so they can get sunburned, which can lead to skin cancer. If our dog's don't have enough protection we need to help then by providing shelter outside, applying a good natural sunscreen (look for dog sunscreens) or simply letting them into our air conditioned homes. Outside fans can also help with the heat to some degree.
4. Doggy Pools
A fun thing to have in the yard is a small doggy pool that we can fill with fresh, cool water. Doggy pools are just big enough to give our friends a nice body of water to lie down in and cool off. Remember how much fun it is to dive into a cool pool in the summer heat? Our dogs enjoy it just the same and it helps them stay cool and healthy too.
We should never leave our dogs unattended in a car, but this is especially important in the summer time and in many states this is actually illegal now. Even five minutes in the scorching summer heat inside a car can be too much for some dogs. So to avoid accidents, injuries or worse, we need to always bring our dog along when we leave our car in the sun.
2. Parasites and Pests
When we spend more time outdoors with our dogs they also face more exposure to the various parasites and pest in our environment. We should always check our dogs for ticks and fleas and use preventative measures to avoid them in the first place. A natural way to protect our dogs from ticks and fleas is to add a little bit of powdered garlic to their food (research usage and dosage). Mosquitoes can transmit heart worm disease, which is quite nasty but easily preventable; a natural preventative is Noni Fruit Leather (avail. on Amazon.com) added to their food daily. We also want to keep your furry friends away from skunks (it really stinks) and snakes; for the latter, it is a good idea to take our dogs to a rattlesnake avoidance class to teach them to leave snakes alone. If we are living very remotely and it would take over an hour to reach a vet; it might also make sense to look into rattlesnake vaccines, which don't protect a dog from the poison but buy us more time to reach a vet with anti-venom in case something does happen. Stings and bites from insects such as bees, wasps, scorpions and spiders are also risks to keep in mind.
When we take our dogs along to events (outdoor or indoor) we need to make sure they can safely attend, have shade and plenty of water. It is always best to assume that no water is available to us where ever we go and bring enough water and doggy bowls along. If we are not sure if an event is dog friendly and we can't find out for sure, it might be better to leave our friend at home and if necessary hire a pet sitter.
-- Ralf Weber, Animal Behaviorist at "Happy Dog Training"
About The Author: Ralf is a dog behaviorist and specializes in dog psychology, problem solving, training and resolving aggression issues.