5 Tips To Get Your Dog Summer Ready

As temperatures rise and the days get longer, we all know, tis the season to get sun smart. Below are a few summer safety tips to help you prepare your pet to stay safe in the heat of summer.

1.      Keep on top of grooming

Summer is the time when love to go swimming to cool down and the same goes for our four-legged friends. However, when our dogs swim their coats may become matted and subsequently trap moisture leading to painful skin infections called ‘hot spots’.  Shaving your pets’ coat is a great way help prevent these common infections and keep them cool.

After a swim or bath be sure to clean and dry your dog’s ears. Ensuring your dog’s ear canal is dry can prevent painful bacterial and yeast ear infections from developing. This can also help ensure they can hear you when you let them know their dinner is ready!

2.      Keep cool, calm and comfortable

Minimise heat stress for your dog by incorporating various elements to your dog’s daily routine-

  • Provide plenty of water, terracotta or plastic bowls are preferred over metal as they don’t tend to absorb the heat as much
  • Adding ice blocks to the drinking water or frozen vegetables such as carrots and cauliflower – if you have young children, they can pop it in their bowl, it is a nice way for them to feel like      they are caring for the family pet.
  • Plenty of shade for your dog to escape the harsh sun and keep pets indoors in a cool area on hot days
  •  Air conditioning may be required particularly if your dog is kept indoors or you have a brachycephalic (short-nosed) breed known to have a low heat tolerance.
  • Early morning and evenings are the best time for walks to avoid the heat of the day
  •  Most importantly, never leave your dog in the car unattended.

3.      Heartworm prevention

No doubt you have heard horror stories of mosquito bites on humans, but did you know they can also transmit deadly heartworm to our pets? Mosquitos transmit heartworm by ingesting microfilaria from an infected dog, then if a mosquito bites another dog they transmit a larvae which goes on to mature into an adult worm, migrating to the heart and lungs.  Heartworm can be deadly, so prevention is very important, as your vet about which product is best for your dog;

  • tablets
  • chews
  • top spots
  • injections

4.      Monitor Sun Exposure

Like us, dogs like to lounge in the sun and sadly they can also be affected by the harmful UV rays, not to mention they too are at risk of dehydration and heatstroke. Dogs with little to no fur on the belly or dogs with light skin complexion such as Dalmatians and Bull Terriers are more susceptible to skin cancers, be sure to keep an eye on their body, ears, nose and eyes for changes. Dogs with pale noses are highly susceptible to radiation. Ask your vet team about pet specific sunscreens and if you notice anything out of the ordinary talk to your local Greencross Vet.

5.      Microchipping

Make sure your dog is microchipped and your details are up to date. Dogs spend a greater portion of their time outdoors during summer either exercising with us, exploring in the parks or going on holidays with us. Should you and your pet become separated for any reason, a microchip will ensure they can be returned to you in a timely manner.

If you notice any unusual behaviour in your pet please contact your vet or call Greencross Webvet for advice.

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