Not Just Pets welcome a guest blog from Country & Stable this month as we head into the warm and sunny weather. There are some great tips here and Not Just Pets stocks the products mentioned in the article.
Summer is a wonderful time to spend time with our dogs. The long walks bathed in sunshine, trips to the beach, and just generally more opportunity to spend time outside in (hopefully) nice weather.
However, summer also brings with it its own set of problems for our dogs, that it’s essential we’re aware of to ensure they stay healthy, safe and happy. Here Country & Stable have kindly provided their top summer safety tips for you and your dog.
Heatstroke is caused when your dog’s body temperature becomes too high and they can’t bring it down to a safe level. Signs of heatstroke in dogs include heavy panting, fainting, raised pulse rates, excessive salivating, and lethargy, which can quickly lead to death if not treated.
Overweight dogs, those with thick coats, and those with squashed up faces and brachycephalic muzzle are even more susceptible to heatstroke, so take extra care if your dog falls into one of those categories.
One of the most common (and dangerous) causes of heatstroke in dogs is leaving them in a hot car, and the seriousness of doing this cannot be stated vehemently enough. Quite simply, DO NOT leave your dog in the car on a hot day, no matter the circumstances.
This article and infographic gives more information about the dangers of leaving a dog in a hot car.
If you think your dog has developed heatstroke, you need to try and reduce its body temperature. Make sure it’s in the shade and use cool (not cold) water to bring its temperature down. You should then contact your vet to determine what to do next.
Dogs can get sunburned just like we can, which can lead to skin cancer if not looked after. Yes, fur can act as a barrier to some extent, but if you want to really protect your dog from the sun, then do as you would do and slap on some sun cream.
You can buy sun cream specially made for dogs – human sun lotions can have zinc oxide in them, which is poisonous to pooches. Make sure you apply to particularly sensitive areas or where fur is thinnest, such as their nose, belly and ears.
Many owners like to trim their dog’s fur in the summer to keep them cool, but be careful not to go too short, or they will be at greater risk of sunburn.
Watch those foot pads
You know when you go to the beach on a really hot day and you have to sprint to the sea because the sand is so hot? Well that’s what it can be like for dogs when you talk them for a walk on a summer’s day. Pavements and tarmac paths can get baking hot in the sun, so try and keep your walks to shady areas or on grassy paths. If you have had to walk on hot pavements, try and cool down your dog’s feet when you get home – a children’s paddling pool is great for this.
Also be aware of sharp objects and your dog’s paws. Even dried grass or straw can be extremely sharp, and can cause severe discomfort if it gets stuck in their paws.
Keep them hydrated
You know how dehydrated and thirsty you can get on a hot summer’s day, so imagine what it’s like for your dog who can’t just nip to the fridge for a cool drink.
Always ensure your dog has access to plenty of cool, fresh water. If you’re on a car journey (which you might need to rethink anyway if it’s particularly hot), then make sure they have water with them, as we’ve already discussed how dangerous it can be for dogs in hot cars.
If your dog usually eats dry food, then you could switch to wet food to increase their fluid intake.
Don’t assume they’re a good swimmer
A great way to cool off in the heat is to go for a dip in a river, lake, the sea, or a pool if you’re on holiday. However, just because dogs have a natural ability to swim, don’t assume your dog is a particularly good swimmer.
Small dogs are especially prone to becoming tired easily when swimming, as well as easily caught up in currents, which can lead to drowning. Never let your dog near water without your supervision, and if you think they’re struggling, get them out immediately. A doggy life jacket can help, but it’s still important to keep an eye on them at all times.
Also, if your dog is going to be going in a swimming pool, be aware of the chlorine levels in the pool. Chlorine can irritate skin and cause stomach upsets, so if your dog has been in a pool, try and shower it off with fresh water.
Bugs, insects and other parasite nasties are at their most lively and irritable during the warmer months, and some may well take a liking to your dog. Keep a keen eye out for ticks, fleas, mosquitoes, flies, and various other pests. Speak with your vet about the treatments available to keep them at bay.
If you have any allergies, then you’ll know just how horrible they can be, and your dog can suffer in much the same way. Insects, such as fleas, and flowers can all play havoc with your dog’s allergies, and can cause similar symptoms to those we experience – itching, coughing, sneezing and general discomfort. Again, go and see your vet for the best course of action to combat your dog’s allergies.
We hope this article will help you and your dog have a fun-filled (and safe) summer.
Not Just Pets stocks a wide range of products and accessories to help keep your pets cool in the hot weather. Here are a selection of what we have online and in store.
Luna enjoying some ice cream suitable for dogs from Billy + Margot
Not Just Pets stock a wide range of Travel bottle and bowls that can easliy be brought along on walks and stored in the car.
In store we stock dog safe sunscream in a stick, spray and wipes. Handy sized and keeps your dog safe from the sun.
Not Just Pets stocks Tick tools that help remove ticks and treatments that kill and prevent fleas and lice.
We thank Country & Stable for being a guest on our blog. Do you have a great summer top tip that we have missed? Join the discussion and let us know in the comments below or join us on Facebook or Twitter.
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