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Fun Summer for Dogs: Health and Safety Tips 2014-09-26

FUN SUMMER FOR DOGS: HEALTH AND SAFETY TIPS

Summer is a fun time for pet dogs. They get to go on summer trips along with their owners, swim in the pool, play along with other canine pals at the park, and even have the opportunity to meet their love interests within their neighbourhood. But just as summer is a fun time, this too can have its hazards for your beloved four-legged bud. To ensure that your pet will have the best time of his life this summer, check out these simple safety tips for keeping pet dog healthy.

Common Problems and Corresponding Solutions

  1. Dehydration. Along with the hot climate will have the likelihood of your pet suffering from dehydration. The best way to beat this problem is by providing your dog with fresh clean water. Make this accessible by having their water bowls always filled with it. Instead of dry pet foods, you can also serve foods that have ample moisture in it such as broth or yoghurt cubes. Make sure you provide water in your dog crate (or puppy crate) with a crate water bowl and that there is enough water for all your dogs, if you have a multi-dog household.
  2. Allergy. When seasons change, this is commonly tied to seasonal allergy in pets. During summer, the culprits may be in the form of molds, flowers, and fleas. If your pet has a history of suffering from allergy or has developed one, keep it safe by restricting contact from what triggers it. For pets that may have contracted it, your vet will be able to prescribe recommended antihistamines for treatment. If your dog has grass allergies, then dog boots (or dog socks) may be able to help your dog. 
  3. Road safety. If you are one of those who can’t spend their summer vacation without tagging along their pets, you must at least try to keep it safe on the road. Don’t leave it alone in the car on its own. The summer heat will literally turn your car into a hot oven without the aid or air-conditioning. Furthermore, get a dog leash to keep it from biting anyone just in case your dog gets restless in the presence of strangers. Having a car temperature monitor may help on those occassions where you are competing with your dog and is being supervised constantly. There are also window vents and door vents you can use to help keep the car cool. A car crate fan may also provide some cool air for your dog.
  4. Poisoning. Having plants at home is great not just for home improvement but for your health too as it provides needed oxygen. However, there are some plants that are considered toxic to dogs and some of these may be lurking in your yard. Remove these soon, or if you plan to keep these, make sure that your dog will in no way be able to chew on them. Examples of plants dangerous to canine pets are daffodils, oleanders and hyacinths. Here is a list of poisonous plants for dogs from the Kennel Club.
  5. Sunburn. Most dogs have coats that help protect them from the heat of the sun and from the cold in the winter months. But the sun’s rays today are nastier than ever, no thanks to the ozone layer now rapidly deteriorating. To keep dog from getting sunburned when the two of you are doing training activities out in the yard or at the park when it’s hot, apply some sunscreen lotion specially formulated for dogs.
  6. Heat Stroke. When your dog’s body temperature tips way above the normal scale, this can end up in heat stroke. This usually happens when they exercise under the heat of the sun or are left in very hot environments. To prevent heat stroke in pet dogs, provide a shaded or cool space for them to stay when the weather is hot. Do not use a dog muzzle during summer since these can impede in your pet’s ability to cool itself down through panting. On very hot days a cooling dog coat will help keep your dog's body temperature down and if you are using a dog crate (or puppy crate) then a crate sun cover will help keep it cool too.
  7. Leptospirosis. This disease is common during wet months but can also be prevalent during the summer months in areas that have access to stagnant water. And since dogs are very curious animals who love to wander about, being bitten or having indirect with an infected animal, or ingestion of contaminated water, will make your pet dog suffer from it. If your dog shows symptoms of anorexia, joint and muscle tenderness, frequent water intake, vomiting and fever, get medical help right away since these are signs of leptospirosis. Here is a list of diseases in dogs and some of their symptoms.
  8. Burned pads. Some dogs make walking on pavements look like there’s really nothing to it. But they are actually not. Your dog’s foot pads have nerves in it and they will be able to feel the heat coming from a cemented walk. Feel the pavement with your fingertips. If it makes you cringe with pain, then don’t let your dog walk on it. If you have to , then dog shoes (dog boots) will help protect your dog's paws.
  9. Getting lost. Many dogs end up in shelters and one of the reasons is not because of abuse, but simply because they got lost. Keep your dogs within the confines of your fence. If you go out on a walk, use a dog lead. Better yet, invest in microchips for identification purposes. It is also a good idea to put your mobile phone number in your dog's tag, so that if he gets lost during a walk, you will be able to get the phone call whilst you are out looking for him.
  10. Swimming safety. And of course, summers are never complete without being able to dive in a pool or at the beach. Dogs are popular for their swimming prowess. But this does not mean they’re invincible. Let them wear lifejackets just the same for added protection in case some nasty tide tips them over.

What About Other Pets?

For those who own other types of pets such as poultry, cats, or rabbits, you too should exercise some precautionary measures to keep your pets safe this summer. For example, backyard chicken pets are sensitive not just to the cold, but also of the summer heat. They must be provided with well-insulated chicken coops that are well ventilated to keep them from feeling hot. Furthermore, summer is also the time where predators are on the hunt for their foods. Your eggs and chickens will be considered the best meal to calm their hungry stomachs. This can be prevented by having well-built chicken coops that offer added security features. And unlike pet cats or dogs, you can’t take all of your backyard chicken with you on a beach vacation. You will need to hire a caretaker to feed or secure them in coops in the evening.

Final Thoughts

During the summer, you have the right to enjoy this any way you want to. Visit a beach, fly to an exotic place, or go camping with your friends. But before you do, secure the safety of your pet too. Their summer fun also depends on the arrangements you make. 


© 2008 Canine Concepts Ltd

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