Dogs love to be outdoors in good (and bad) weather, playing and exploring in the fresh air and sunshine, but there are a few things you should watch out for to make sure your canine companion has a safe summer.
Protect Your Dog from Pests
Summer is the worst time of year for flea and tick infestations, and mosquitoes and flies hit peak nuisance during the summer months, too. Fleas and ticks will make your dog miserable, and they can also be a problem for owners since both types of critter will latch onto a handy human whenever they need a meal.
Fleas and ticks carry several diseases, mosquitoes can introduce heartworm, and some flies are vectors for potentially fatal Leishmaniasis, so it’s important to be proactive in your pest control plan.
The best pest solution for dogs over seven-weeks-old is Advantix for dogs, a topical treatment easily applied to the back of your dog’s neck once a month.
Treat Seasonal Allergies
While dogs can suffer from respiratory allergies that result in easily observable sneezing and running eyes, they can suffer from less obvious skin allergies too. If you see your dog licking his skin over and over, scratching like crazy, or chewing at himself, he could be affected by an allergen. Ears are another area that can be a source of discomfort for dogs with allergies and they often become inflamed and sore. Herbal supplements can help to ease allergy symptoms, and a natural antihistamine like Quercetin is a good choice.
If a pet needs something stronger, your vet will probably recommend Benadryl, an easily obtained, inexpensive, over-the-counter antihistamine.
Having Benadryl on hand may be a good idea, even if your pet doesn’t suffer from environmental allergies. Bee and wasp stings can cause severe allergic reactions, which need antihistamine treatment to prevent life-threatening airway swelling.
Watch Out For the Heat
With their thick, heavy coats, dogs can easily become overheated in hot weather, and they’re particularly vulnerable on humid days when their panting is a less effective cooling mechanism. Provide shady areas where your dog can rest, far away from the sun, and avoid exercising your pet during the hottest parts of the day. If your dog is uncomfortable in the heat and you don’t have air conditioning at home, you can use a desk fan to blow a stream of air at your dog and help him cool down. Other cooling options that are great fun include turning on the garden hose and giving your dog a thorough soaking or letting him splash around in a kiddie pool.
Make sure your dog always has access to fresh water, and never leave your dog in a car while you run errands. When it’s hot outdoors, the best place for your dog is at home.
By keeping your dog free of pests, tending to any allergies he has, and making sure he doesn’t get too hot and bothered, your furry pal will be in perfect shape to enjoy his summer with you.