We all love our pets! They are parts of our families and many view them as their children. Now that the weather is getting increasingly warmer, it is up to us, as owners and caregivers, to make sure that our four-legged friends stay as comfortable as possible! In order to keep your favorite canine as cool as a cucumber this summer, consider the follows suggestions from the ASPCA.
- If your dog spends most of his time outside, be sure to supply him with fresh, cold water every one to two hours. He can become dehydrated very quickly, so it's important that his water bowl stays full!
- Shade is also important for outdoor dogs. If you have to, move his dog house under a tree or under your home's overhang.
- NEVER leave your dog in a car!!! Temperatures can reach deadly levels in a very short amount of time. It doesn't matter if you're only going into the store for five minutes, the windows are cracked, and you're parked in the shade. It's much safer for your dog to just stay home.
- Make sure to groom your dog regularly. You may consider shaving his hair to one inch in length. Make sure that you don't shave down to the skin. Your dog's hair serves as a natural skin protectant from the sun's rays.
- Walk your dog or have playtime outdoors either early in the morning or later in the evening when the sun is at its weakest. If your dog does go outside in the middle of the day, try to keep him away from asphalt. The heat could burn his paws and a rapid increase in body temperature could occur.
- Be sure to pay particular attention to elderly and overweight dogs in hot weather.
- Be sure to keep Bulldogs, Boston Terriers, Pugs, Lhasa apsos, etc. (brachycephalic or snub-nosed dogs), who have a propensity for hearth and lung disease, in air-conditioned environments.
- Do not apply sunscreen to your dog unless it is specifically labeled for use on animals. If your dog ingests it, he could become very sick.
- Look out for any signs of overheating - drooling, excessive panting, elevated body temperature, and weakness.
- If you notice a change in your dog's health, take him to a veterinarian as soon as possible for treatment.
The summer months can be just as fun for our dogs as it can be for us. Just as you would your children, keep an eye on your family dog to ensure that he not only has a fun and safe summer, but that he will also be around for many more summers to come!