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.
Although our dog must still get their daily walks we may have to change the routine up a little. Due to the heat we should be walking our dogs 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 them make to protect their feet as much as you can by either only walking on grass or mud and not tar or asfalt. 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 foot paths.
2. Beware of the sun
All dogs can over heat if left in the sun too long although some are more prone to than others. If you have a brachycephalic dog (ie squished face) such as a pug, bulldog, pekingese or so on then you will will have to be extra careful. Heatstroke is all too common in dogs as well as sunburn and dehydration. Please think about this considersations for your dog.
3. Water dangers
Many people would think of drowning when I say water dangers and your dog and while this is true (even the most experienced swimmers should have 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 intoxcation, this can be from drinking so much regular water it cause lethary, bloating, vomiting, loss of coordination leading to stumbling or falling, restlessness, drooling, pale gums and dilated pupils. You might think you dog should be drinking lots of water but make sure its an appropriate amount and you know how much their intake is. Another thing to watch out for is intaking of lots of salt water too and this can make them very sick.
4. Tick Season
Tick season is back. In some places this is more of a problem than others. Unfortunately Kerry is one of the those places with Kenmare having a high rate of Lime Disease in both humans and animals. This is due to our huge deer population and 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 pass 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 and 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 and eye on it.
5. Never leave your dog in a car
We all know this but sometimes we have no choice. My dog suffers very badly from separation anxiety so leaving him at home is impossible. Here are things I do if I have to take him with me. First I try to find someone to mind him either in my home or theirs. Next I plan ahead by looking at the weather forecast to see which are the cooler days so I can book my appointments on those days or do my jobs (is grocey shopping on them). Next I try do anything I can first thing in the morning or last thing in the evening so the sun isn't up at that stage. I try to find underground parking or shaded areas only. All the while the windows are open. And if I can't do any of these I simply don't go. It's not worth the risk in my opinion. Every year so many dogs die needlessly after being left in a car. Even after five mins your car can reach temperatures that cause overheating and suffocation to your dog. Wht take the chance?
6. Fireworks and Thunder storms
Unfortunately for our dogs both 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 have been adopted of that were in foster care) 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 enviornment 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.
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 posionous to your dog. Always keep them up and out of reach from your dog.
If done safely summertime can be the most fantastic time of the year. I hope you all have an amazing summer with your dog!