Summers usher in memories of holidays, playing in the outdoors and lots of fun. But they also bring along soaring temperatures, the harsh sun and health problems which call for special care not only in humans but also pets. As summer reaches its peak, it is important to pay extra attention to your dog and its health.
With just a few essentials in mind, you can ensure that your dog and you bring in a cheery and healthy summer.
Living area- Heatstrokes are not just common in humans but can also affect your dog. So it is important that your dog has access to a cool living area which is well covered and also well ventilated. Do not leave the dog outdoors where he is directly exposed to the sun, especially in the afternoon. Infact keep him indoors as much as possible. Sprinkling the dog’s outdoor living area with some water can have a cooling effect.
Hydration – Summer calls for lots of water. Keep your pet hydrated by having a constant supply of fresh water. The water bowl should be easily accessible so that your dog can drink water as and when he is thirsty. This is crucial during the day but more so at night. Also make it a point to give him some water whenever he returns from a walk.
Exercise – Do not over exercise your pet during the summer. It is best to walk your dog either early in the morning or once the sun goes down. Dogs could also burn their paw pads due to excessive heat. To prevent this scenario, avoid walks in the afternoon but if you must take your dog out, walk him through shaded areas. You could also get him to wear shoes. If the dog starts panting while walking, it is time to get him home. Summer is also good time to go swimming with your pooch, which is a work out in itself. Most dogs enjoying taking a dip as it helps them let off steam. But you must ensure that the dog is supervised to avoid any chances of drowning.
Grooming – As in all seasons, grooming is an essential part of your dog’s well being. If your dog has extremely thick hair, trimming it is a good idea. If you do not wish to trim it, keep it untangled at all times. Bathe the dog atleast once a week. Dogs have a natural odor which can get overpowering if not taken care of, especially in this season. Post a bath or a dip in the pool, dry them well to avoid infection and odor. In addition to bathing, there are also a variety of doggie deodorants and body sprays available in the market. Spraying them on a regular basis will help your dog feel fresh and keep odor away. Consult your vet to know which spray will work best for your dog. You could occasionally use wet medicated wipes to keep the dog clean and enhance cooling.
Infection – Skin infections alongwith parasites like fleas and ticks are a common problem in summer. Use an anti-tick & flea shampoo and medicated collar that is recommended by a vet. This will keep your pet free of infection.
Vacation planning - If you are planning a holiday, try and look for pet-friendly places. It is not a good idea to leave your pooch alone at home especially in this season. If you do not succeed in finding a pet- friendly place, keep him at a kennel or a friend’s home where he can be well looked after.
And as you make summer a cheery time for your pet, do also keep a bowl of water outside your house/building for the stray dogs. It is a small gesture that will immensely help them.