Taking Care of Your Dog During the “Dog Days” of Summer
Although we think of our dogs as part of our family, too often, simple rules of dog care are forgotten in the summer. The following are some reminders to keep your pet healthy and happy.
Never, ever leave your dog in a parked car during warm months. If you take your dog for a drive in the summer, make sure to have plenty of water available and use the air conditioner. Even if the car is parked in the shade, temperatures inside can reach 120 degrees. Also, be careful of excessive exercise in hot weather. Don’t leave your dog outside during the summer unless there is ample shade and plenty of fresh water available. Dogs that overheat can easily get heat stroke which can be fatal.
If you do take your dog for a ride, do not let him stick his head out the window. A dog can easily be injured by object getting in their eyes or rocks being thrown up by cars ahead of you. If you have to stop suddenly, your pet can be thrown against the window frame. Never let your dog ride in the back of a pickup truck. They can be thrown around, injured by flying objects or in the case of an accident thrown out of the truck.
Be careful where you take your dog for a walk. Pavement heats quickly and can burn the dog’s paws. Try to walk on grass or dirt.
Watch your dog carefully around water-swimming pools, lakes, rivers and the beach. If a dog falls in and can’t get out of the water they can drown from exhaustion. Make sure the dog doesn’t swim out too far when at the beach or by a lake. They don’t know their limitations and can get out too far to make it back. If you are playing with your dog in the water, don’t exhaust him by too much exercise.
Make sure all your dog’s shots are up to date and that he is treated for protection against fleas and ticks. There are many wild animals out and about during the warm weather. Don’t let your dog roam unattended on summer evenings. He could tangle with a porcupine or get into a fight with other animals which could end in severe injury. Keep him on a leash or in a suitable enclosure.