Have you been feeling a change in the atmosphere lately? If you do, well, it is because summer is here! You might be scheduling some fun activities now, especially ones that you would do with your pet dog and that is already exciting in itself! Moreover, as you ready yourselves to bask in the heat with your summer bodies and other essentials, you should take care of your fur baby too. Like you, they have to cope with the change of season and that requires ticking up basic necessities. By being proactive to protect your pet dog this summer, you would both enjoy the season and create fun memories together!
From the advice of veterinarians down to tips from pet owners, compiled here are some of the easy ways you can protect your pet dog this summer. Read carefully and take down notes.
- Avoid overexposure to the sun.
Just like us, humans, dogs can get sunburns too! In order to avoid that and any other skin irritations, make sure that your dog won’t be exposed to direct sunlight this summer for at least more than one hour.
In terms of habitat, if your pet’s house is outside, make sure that it is under a good shade which will provide protection. Also, in terms of walking your pet outside, you should be mindful of the time. Setting an alarm on your phone is a good idea. Another way is to schedule your walking routine/exercise during the much cooler parts of the day.
One more thing, if you aren’t sure if it is okay to go outside, feel the ground through your own feet. If it is too hot for you, it means that it is the same with your pet. Remember that their pads should be protected at all costs! During summer, surfaces such as asphalt becomes too hot and when your dog’s paws land on it, they can suffer from overheating.
2. Make sure your pet is well hydrated.
Another way to protect you pet dog this summer is to ensure that they have regular access to clean drinking water. They would surely drink lots during this time of the year, so see to it that you always refill your dog’s bowl. Also, it is a good idea to hose them down or make them a swimming pool. The first would be a fun bonding moment between you and your pet while the latter would surely be a nice treat. What an amusing way to protect your pet dog this summer!
At the same time, be mindful of toilet bowls. Your dog might be tempted to drink from those too, so cover them up!
3. Groom your pet.
Dogs especially those with thicker furs should be groomed extensively during the summer season. The bushier coat makes them feel hotter, so it should be clipped well. In addition to this, their coat could be a habitat from bacteria and parasites which could thrive in both mild and extremely hot temperatures. Remember that it can result into diseases that you don’t ever want your pet to have.
A skin infection is irritating and might cost a lot to be treated. Therefore, it is better to be careful now to prevent anything bad on your dog or anything troublesome to you as the owner from happening. A regular washing session should be followed as well as a regular visit to pet groomers. If you are keeping an eye on your budget, you can save tons of money by learning the basics of grooming yourself!
On the other hand, if your dog has a thin coat, apply sunscreen to it if you are going outside.
4. Keep their bed cool.
To protect your pet dog this summer, take note of this one. Just as you get bothered during your sleep during summer, your dog goes in the same stress as well. For this reason, look at the materials of your dog’s bedding. Some fabrics might indeed be a bit hotter for them. Thick cushions might be making them uncomfortable too. Took away all of them and put on relaxing textiles, or just let them lay down on the flooring if that is what they want.
A good nap or sleep is always a must!
5. Don’t confine in cramped spaces.
Don’t ever leave your pet in poorly-ventilated places. Obviously, open up you windows and let the air in! Fans and air conditioners are good too. On the other hand, if you are driving with your dog, don’t leave him/her there if you are going to park. Without a doubt, the possibility of suffocation added to heat exhaustion is high!
6. Leash your pet if going outside.
Summertime is a season of thrilling sights outside. Of course, there would be more unfamiliar wonders for your pet to see. Hence, your dog might be excited to play with strangers and other dogs. To avoid losing your pet, it would be a good idea to leash him/her, especially if your dog is quite friendly or playful.
Invest in a good collar and leash or you can make one your own! Customized leashes always scream love! Your dog might like it a lot. You can research how to do one or watch videos of dog lovers teaching how to make one by easy step-by-step process.
7. Provide a well-balanced diet.
Whether it is summer or not, your pet should always have healthy foods containing essential nutrients such as vitamins and minerals. Always bear in mind that during summer, the irritation caused by the heat makes them eat less. At the same time, they use a lot of their energy sources to lower their body temperature. So you have to make sure that they would get it from a well-balanced diet.
8. Avoid rigorous exercises
Too much of exercises is a bad idea during summer. Weariness could indeed be amplified by the stress they feel coming from the heat, thus may result to fatigue and heat stroke. Due to this, your pet’s workout routine should always be scheduled early in the morning or a little late in the afternoon to avoid the sun’s peak hours.
9. Look out for signs of heat stress or stroke.
As a pet owner/ fur parent, it is your responsibility to be a good observer especially during summertime. Thus, be watchful of symptoms of heat stress. The first in the list is excessive panting. Dogs couldn’t regulate their body temperature the way we, humans, do. They can’t sweat so what they do is pant. If their panting seems abnormal, it might be a sign that they are having a heatstroke.
Now, be careful! You should also be mindful of other signs before deciding that your pet is indeed having a heat stress or stroke. Muscle spasms/muscle tremors, fatigue or weakness manifested through reduced activity or food intake, vomiting, diarrhea, anxious expression, as well as depression are some of the primary telltale signs.
Dogs who are older, overweight, with airway diseases, and with much shortened faces are very prone to heat exhaustion, so be extra caring.
If in case you are definitely sure that your dog is suffering from too much heat stress like if he/she already collapsed, you should be prepared to give immediate care. Remove the pet from the hot place and hydrate by giving water, hosing, or basically putting him/her in a place that is cool. Then you could go ask for help or go to the nearest veterinary.
10. Have a regular visit with your veterinarian.
If possible, your pet should have a veterinarian. During summer, it is better to have a regular appointment to know if your dog is coping well with the season as well as to track his/her general health. You could also ask for better tips on how to protect your pet dog this summer. An authority is always the best source of information which you could surely trust.
FINAL THOUGHTS ON HOW TO PROTECT YOUR PET DOG THIS SUMMER
Having a pet is never easy. His/her well-being depends on you. Summertime is certainly a challenging time; you know because you could get annoyed too because of the extreme heat. Just think about how that is the same feeling with your pet dog who couldn’t speak his/her rants.
From avoiding direct and extreme heat exposure, proper hydration, good grooming, habitat maintenance, well-balanced diet, right amount of exercise, knowing symptoms of heat exhaustion, ability to give immediate care, down to having access to a good clinic or veterinarian, you could rest assure that your dog would be fine. It is a known fact that summer can make them aggressive, but you don’t need to worry. As long as you do all the precautions stated above, your pet would calm down.
One last thing, don’t ever think that staying indoors is the only option. Summer also means fun! Heat, at the right amount, could be enjoyed. It is just a matter of balance. You could also bond outside and make happy moments together. A lovely picnic outside at the right time during the day, with good shade, is a nice idea! You could take selfies with your pet dog, and let me remind you that summer gives a good lighting which just makes your photographs more awesome! Take that picture and hashtag it with #sunkissed. Then show it to your fur baby who is having the best time ever!