Looking After Your Dog in Warm Weather

hot-dog-cool-summerThe warm summer months provide plenty of opportunities to spend time outdoors with your four legged friends. However, just like human beings pets can suffer in the heat; and the consequences can be serious. Injury claims for dogs peak at the height of summer and the cost of medical treatment is getting increasingly expensive. Pet insurance provides a sensible financial safeguard, but there are a number of practical steps you can take to make sure that your pet stays fit and healthy:

Keeping Cool Dogs are particularly susceptible to dehydration and heatstroke which can be fatal. At home make sure that your pet has plenty of shade and water, and consider getting a fan. A well-groomed and tangle-free coat will also help to keep your dog cool as the mercury rises.

Never ever leave your dog alone in a car, even if you’re just quickly popping into a shop for a pint of milk. Temperatures inside parked cars can soar to deadly levels in a matter of minutes.

Avoid exercise at the hottest times of the day which means that walks should be taken in the mornings and evenings.

If your dog is showing signs of overheating (such as: heavy panting, thick drooling, wobbly legs or diarrhoea) wrap it in a damp towel and get in-touch with your vet.

Don’t get Burned Some dog owners may frown at the idea of applying sun cream to their pet pooch, but it’s a very sensible precaution. Skin cancer is the most common type of cancer in dogs and they need protection from UVA and UVB rays (particularly short-haired breeds). Use a specially formulated pet product and make sure it’s applied generously to areas of exposed skin, especially around the eyes and nose.

Be aware that your dog’s paws can get burned and blistered walking on hot surfaces, including: tarmac, paving and sandy beaches.

Summer Allergies It’s not just humans who suffer from hay fever; pets are also susceptible to seasonal allergies. Pollen allergies in dogs can be difficult to identify, but symptoms include: sluggishness, red inflamed eyes and itchy skin. If you suspect that your dog has hay fever contact your vet for testing and ask about antihistamines. In the meantime avoid playing in long grass and encourage your dog to keep their coat pollen free with regular bathing or swimming.

Unwelcome Guests All that time spent in the great outdoors and your dog can pick-up all sorts of nasty hitchhikers. Foreign bodies, such as grass seed stuck in a paw or ear, may be small but can cause a great deal of discomfort; so check your dog’s paws after exercise and groom regularly. Certain parasites, such as hookworms and heatworms, flourish in warm weather so make sure that your dog is up-to-date with medications.

 


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