Now that we are enjoying the warm weather, the longer evenings, and mother nature in full bloom, it is the perfect time of year for walking your dog. However, there are some special hazards to keep in mind during the summer months. Here are some tips that will help you keep your dog safe and healthy even during the hottest days of the year.
Sun Protection: During the peak sun hours remember to apply sunscreen to your dogs, or ensure that they stay in the shade. This is especially important for thin furred, or white furred dogs. Some areas that are specifically sensitive to the sun are around the nose and lips, in the groin area, on the belly, and the tips of the ears. If you do not have access to canine sunscreen you can use baby sunscreens. Many dogs will lick the lotion so you never want to use a sunscreen containing Zinc Oxide.
Hydration: During the summer months pay special attention to your dog’s water consumption. Before you head out the door, grab some water for the road to share with your walking partner, making sure that your dog is comfortable drinking water out of the vessel you have selected.
Pavement Checks: Take a moment and check to see how hot the pavement is. If the pavement is too hot for your hands, it is too hot for those tender paws.
Fleas and Ticks: Avoid walking in areas that have tall grasses and thick bush. At the end of your walk do a quick once over to check your dogs for fleas and ticks. It is always recommended that you discuss flea and tick prevention with your Veterinarian.
Heat Stroke: On those blistering hot days you may want to schedule your walks around the peak sunlight hours. Early morning or later day are great times to walk your dog. But just in case your dog is overheated make sure you are familiar with the symptoms of heat stroke. For more information regarding heat stroke, visit: https://www.petmd.com/dog/emergency/common-emergencies/e_dg_heat_stroke
Distance and Landscape: A pleasant walk can turn bad quickly if you do not plan ahead, and ensure that your dog is comfortable enough to make the return trip. Keep an eye out for shady resting spots so that you and your dog can take a break from the sun.Also, be cautious of being over motivated; dogs want to please us, even when doing so isn’t good for them.
Now it is time to leash those puppies, and enjoy the warm weather. Walking during the summer months is a great time to exercise, enrich, and bond with your dog. By following these tips you will be able to enjoy all that summer has to offer.