Basic Summer Care Tips for Dogs
The Barkery by Nishna Varma
1. Avoid walks during peak sun hours: Save your outdoor time with your pet for early in the morning or in the evening once the sun has set. By taking your daily walk, run, or visit to the park either before or after the sun is at its hottest, your pet will be less likely to overheat and the ground will be cooler on the pads of their paws.
2. Never Leave your pet in a closed car: Avoid taking your dogs in the car unless absolutely necessary. Panting takes more exertion than sweating and can bring your pet to respiratory distress faster.
3. Always have water available: Pets can get dehydrated quickly, so you’ll want to make plenty of fresh, clean water available to them. Water alternatives such as electrolyte solutions designed for pets can help when pets are very dehydrated since they replenish electrolytes and taste great. Always keep plain water out too so your pet can pick what they need most at the moment.
4. Feed the right food to your dog: Dogs tend to eat less in summers. Try to find healthy alternatives and offer foods that help prevent dehydration. Fruits that are high in water content as well as other things like salmon, eggs, curd and more are good for dogs during such times.
5. Watch out for ticks and fleas: Tick fever is common in the summer months and can be fatal. It is important to watch out for even one tick and ensure it does not bother your pet. Monitor your fur baby's coat regularly and run your fingers through the fur while massaging him/her. Also check your dog's ear pockets and paws regularly to catch any tick that may be hiding. If you notice signs of sickness, visit the vet immediately.
6. Know your pets' limitations: If your pet is brachycephalic—has a flat-shaped face—like Pugs, Pekingese, Boston Terriers, they cannot breathe as effectively and are more susceptible to heat stroke. Be especially careful with breeds like these in hot weather and keep plenty of water on hand. You should also be careful with pets that are elderly, overweight, and/or have heart or lung disease. It’s best for them to be kept in air-conditioned rooms as much as possible in hotter temperatures.
7. Know the signs of a heatstroke: Symptoms of heat exhaustion include excessive panting, Labored breathing, Increased heart rate, Increased respiratory rate, Drooling. More severe symptoms that can be associated with heat stroke include seizures, bloody diarrhea, vomiting, and a body temperature of over 104 degrees Fahrenheit. Heat stroke can be fatal, so if you think your dog is overheating, move your pet to a cool location and call your veterinarian right away.
8. Never shave your dog: No matter which dog breed you have, it is recommended to go for regular grooming sessions in summers BUT never shave your dog. Unlike popular opinion, shaving can cause more harm to the dog than good. Always remember that a dog's coat is naturally designed to keep it cool in the summers and warm in the winters. Shaving can, in fact, lead to skin burns that can be painful for your pet.