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Taking Care Of Your Dog in the Summer

Wed, July 18, 2012,

There’s no doubt that this summer has been a hot one, and if you’re hot there’s a good chance that your dog it, too. So what kind of precautions should you be taking to ensure their safety? What are the concerns?

The biggest concern is heat stroke. When body temperature gets too high it can lead nervous system abnormalities such as fatigue, weakness, fainting or coma. Puppies, elderly dogs, overweight dogs, active dogs, dogs with flatter faces (such as pugs or bulldogs), dogs with heavy coats and sick dogs are at higher risk.

UNDER NO CIRCUMSTANCES should you leave your dog in a car with closed windows on a hot summer day. This is the most common cause of heatstroke, and even if you think it’s “just for a few minutes”, things happen. Even with windows cracked a dog can potentially suffer from heatstroke within 15 minutes! The temperature of a car parked in the shade can exceed 90 degrees, while a car in the sun can reach 160 degrees!

If you are exercising with your dog on a hot day, say taking them on a long walk or running around in the park, keep a close eye on them. Bring water and watch their behavior. Take them home as needed.

A few tips to help your dog stay healthy and comfortable:

  • Avoid taking your dog out to play during the hottest parts of the day. Mornings and evenings are best.
  • A small kiddie pool for your dog can help them cool off (best to make sure its not the same one children use).
  • In addition to the pool keep some drinking water in the shade. Change it at least once every day. If you will be away make sure the water is secured to prevent spillage.
  • Getting your dog’s coat trimmed down for the summer is a hotly (heh) debated issue. Ask your vet’s opinion.
  • Dogs can get sunburned, especially the nose, eyelids and ears.
  • If you will be away ask a friend to check up on your dog. Especially during extreme weather.
  • Be aware of your dog’s breed. Some breeds don’t expel heat as well as others (Pugs, for example) and can overhear even while inside. These breeds may need the air conditioning left on in extreme heat, so research may be necessary.

If you properly care for your dog, take the necessary steps to keep them healthy and happy, you'll all have a great summer. We hope these tips help!

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