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Summer is such fabulous time of year. It's a time full of fun and excitement. It should be enjoyed to the fullest, but when it comes to your dog there are some considerations that must be taken into account.

1. Walkies

Although your dog must still get their daily walks, you may have to change the routine a little. Due to the heat, our dogs should be walked either in the early morning or later in the evening, so it will be cooler them. If you are out with them during the day, try to protect their feet as much as you can by either only walking on grass or mud and not tar or asphalt. This way there is less chance of burning their pads. You can also get protective booties if you have no choice but to walk them on footpaths.


2. Beware of the sun

All dogs can overheat if left in the sun too long, although some are more prone to it than others. If you have a brachycephalic dog (i.e. dog with a squished face) such as a pug, bulldog, Pekingese, etc., then you will have to be extra careful. Heatstroke is all too common in dogs as well as sunburn and dehydration. Please think about these considerations for your dog.


3. Water dangers

Many people think of drowning when water dangers are mentioned, and while this is true (even the most experienced swimmers should have a dog life jacket when out in open water. Just like us they can tire or get swept in a current), there is also another danger.

Water intoxication: this can be from drinking so much regular water that it causes lethargy, bloating, vomiting, loss of coordination leading to stumbling or falling, restlessness, drooling, pale gums and dilated pupils. You might think your dog should be drinking lots of water but make sure it’s an appropriate amount and you know how much their intake is. Another thing to watch out for is intake of lots of salt water, too, as that can make them very sick.


4. Tick Season

Tick season is back. This is more of a problem in some places than others. Unfortunately, Kerry is one of those places, with Kenmare having a high rate of Lime Disease in both humans and animals. This is due to our huge deer population, as the most common tick is the Deer tick. Do what you can to protect both yourself and your dog. Don't walk in long grass (this is where the ticks hide to jump onto a passing human or animal). Check yourself and your dog regularly for ticks. You will not feel the tick bite you because it has a numbing agent. If you find a tick do not panic. Remove it using a tick removing tool (you can buy these in most pharmacies) or tweezers but look up how to do it correctly and make sure to get the head and keep an eye on your dog to make sure they are not acting strangely. The Tick has to be on you for 24 hours at least to do any lasting damage, and even at that not all of them carry the disease at all. So try not to worry but keep an eye on it.


5. Never leave your dog in a car

We all know this, but sometimes we have no choice. Some dogs suffer very badly from separation anxiety so leaving them at home is impossible. Here are things you can do if you have to take them with you. First, try to find someone to mind them — either in your home or theirs. Next, plan ahead by looking at the weather forecast to see which are the cooler days so you can book your appointments on those days or do your chores (e.g. grocery shopping). Next, try to do anything you can first thing in the morning or last thing in the evening, so the sun isn't up at that stage. Try to find underground parking or shaded areas only. All the while keep the windows open. And if you can't do any of these, consider postponing, if possible. Every year so many dogs die needlessly after being left in a car. Even after five minutes your car can reach temperatures that cause overheating and suffocation to your dog. Why take the chance?


6. Fireworks and Thunder storms

Unfortunately for our dogs, both of these are very likely in the summer and we must put plans in place. We can't tell you how many of our KLAWS dogs alone (both that were adopted of that were in foster care) have escaped and ran away due to fear of loud noises like these. We have to put precautions in place. If you are aware ahead of time, create a safe and extremely secure environment for them. Create a place where they can hide and if you are really worried about them and they experience high anxiety during periods like this then consult with your vet for more options.


7. Chemicals

The summer brings a whole host of new things that we need like suncream, after sun, cooling mists, ice packs and reusable ice cubes. All of these are poisonous to your dog. Always keep them out of the reach of your dog.


If done safely summertime can be the most fantastic time of the year. We hope you all have an amazing summer with your dogs!

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