Everyone looks forward to a nice warm summer, particularly in the UK where dismal, rainy weather is all too common for the rest of the year. However, if you have a pet dog, the season brings with it a few extra challenges. There are a few risks that summer poses to your pooch’s health that you should bear in mind.
First, and most importantly, the importance of not leaving dogs in cars cannot be overstated. Cars can heat up extremely quickly in the sun, and leaving the window open a crack will make little to no difference. Leaving dogs in hot cars is one of the leading causes of heatstroke in pets, which can be fatal in some cases, so avoid it if possible.
Dehydration is another problem dogs face in the summer, just like humans. They need to have access to fresh and cool water as much as possible. It is also a good idea to switch to wet dog food in the summer, as this can help to increase a dog’s fluid intake.
One good idea is to get into the habit of buying frozen dog food. Put a portion in your dog’s bowl before you go to bed, cover it, and leave it to defrost overnight. That way your dog can benefit from a nice cold morning meal containing plenty of fluid to keep them hydrated.
Do the same when you wake up for a cooling meal in the evening. You can add to this by using an ice cube tray to freeze cubes of frozen chicken or beef broth. Add one or two of these to your dog’s bowl for an additional treat.
Of course, it is not just water that your dog loses through dehydration. Nutrients will also be lost to the heat, so it is more important than ever to make sure that you are feeding your pooch a nutritionally-balanced, high-quality dog food.
Dry dog food is often recommended, as wet food can go off in the heat, however low-quality kibble can add to your dog’s dehydration. Frozen dog food is much better for your dog’s health, and keeping it in the freezer removes the issues with it going off.
Although your dog is covered in fur, you might find that sunburn is an issue. This can be especially common in breeds with light or short fur, as they have little protection from the suns rays. You should be able to find suncream that is suitable for pets, so it is definitely worth applying this to your dog before they spend any extended periods outside.
It is not just the sun that can cause your dog to become burned, however. The heat of the sun can make certain surfaces incredibly hot, and it can be easy to forget that dogs do not have the luxury of shoes to prevent their feet from becoming burned.
Tarmac surfaces can get extremely hot during the summer, as can sand and certain types of stone, and your dog’s footpads can easily burn. This can cause a great deal of pain. You should use your hand to check the temperature of such surfaces before you take your dog for a walk.
If you keep these safety issues in mind, you should have no problem spending an enjoyable and happy summer with your dog. For products that can help you with this, click here.