Things to Keep In Mind for Your Dog This Summer
Our dogs love summer just as much as we do! Longer days mean more time for walking, cool and tasty treats in the sun, and plenty of pools to splash around in; what’s not to love? But while your dog is loving the weather, it’s important to keep in mind certain factors that could put your furry friend in harm or distress. That’s why we’ve put these 5 points to help you keep your dog safe this summer.
Watch out for signs of heatstroke
Dogs can suffer from heatstroke within a few short minutes. They also can’t sweat through their skin like us humans. This is why they rely on panting and releasing heat through their paw pads and nose to regulate their body temperature and keep cool. Therefore, if you see your dog excessively panting or dribbling, it means their showing signs of heatstroke. Once you’ve identified these signs, make sure you immediately move them to a cool place, preferably somewhere with a draught to give them a cooling breeze. You should then wet their coat with cool (not freezing) water, and contact your vet as soon as possible.
Take steps to prevent sunburn
Yes, even dogs can get sunburn too, especially those with short or light-coloured coats. But unlike how us humans put some cream on our skin and look a bit funny for a while when we get burned, your dog will need more care and attention if they get burned. That’s why it’s vital that you take steps to ensure your dog is protected from potential sunburn. Luckily, normal sunscreen works just as well on dogs as it does on people. Use child-safe SPF 30 to 50 and apply per the label instructions for people. Apply to your dog’s most sensitive skin, such as the nose, earflaps, belly, and any shaved or bare patches. You should also remember not to leave your dog in the direct sun for long periods of time.
Watch out for your dog getting lost
With the summertime comes trips, long walks and days out. But with all this increased freedom and new environments, comes a higher chance of your dog getting lost. That’s why you should always be aware of where your dog is when you’re out, and also to keep them on a lead if you feel that the area isn’t secure. You can also research dog-safe walking routes beforehand to help keep your dog safe when they’re off the lead. Most importantly, your dog is legally required to be microchipped in the event your dog does go missing. This will ensure that if your dog ever gets lost along the way, you will have a stronger chance of finding them as soon as possible.
Some dogs are natural water-babies; others, not so much. While many dogs are natural swimmers, others can struggle in the water. This is especially true for flat-faced dogs who struggle to keep their nose above water. So if your dog chooses to go swimming, keep an eye out for any signs of struggle or distress. And if your dog isn’t a great swimmer, you can always help by giving him a life jacket. Also, bear in mind that dogs who frequently swim can be prone to ear infections, so make sure you always thoroughly dry your dog down after a swim and use an ear cleaner from your vet to keep their ears dirt and infection-free.