Summer is coming! Summer is coming! Longer days and warmer weather will tempt you and your dog outdoors to enjoy long walks, games of fetch and lazy picnics on the beach. Before you head outside for summer fun, however, make sure you and your pet are summer ready. We've put together a list of common warm weather mishaps, along with tips to avoid them. Check off the list below, grab your sunscreen and your dog's favorite ball, and get ready for summer fun!
Proper hydration is important in summer months. Be sure your dog has access to plenty of fresh, cool water. If your dog spends time outside, place his water bowl in a shady spot. He may avoid a bowl of water that has been heated by the sun, and that can lead to dehydration. Be sure to check water bowls regularly and replace stale, dirty water right away.
2. Watch what your dog eats.
Picnics and barbecues can expose your pet to human foods he shouldn't eat. If you suspect your dog has eaten one of these foods, take him to the vet right away.
3. Be careful with your gardening gear.
Make sure all the chemicals you use to treat your yard are stowed in a place your dog can't access.
4. Don't forget flea and tick prevention.
Hikes through the woods and romps through the grass will expose your dog to fleas and ticks. Check your dog regularly for signs of these pests, and consider starting a good prevention routine now so you don't have to deal with infestations later.
5. Update vaccinations.
Summer outings may involve encounters with other dogs. While your dog should always be up to date on his vaccinations, this is especially important if you are visiting dog parks or other areas where he will have the chance to interact with other pets.
6. Supervise social encounters.
Not all dogs have been raised to have the same good manners as your dog, and not all pet owners know how to handle their dogs in these situations. Be aware of your dog's interactions with other pets.
7. Brush up on training.
Heading to the park? Planning puppy playdates? Grab a clicker, remote trainer, or just a bag of treats and get outside to practice your obedience training together. Now's a great time for a refresher course for your dog's obedience commands like Heel, Stay, and Sit.
8. Look for signs of allergies.
Just like humans, dogs can develop allergies to pollen and other outdoor substances. Typical allergy symptoms include sneezing and chewing or scratching at the skin and fur. If you see these signs, schedule a visit to your veterinarian.
9. Protect your pet's paws.
The warm weather heats up sidewalks and asphalt quickly, which can burn your pet's paw pads. If you know you'll be taking long walks in areas with little relief from hot pavement, consider investing in a set of dog booties to protect your dog's paws.
10. Prevent risks of heatstroke in hot cars.
Never, never leave your dog in a parked car, even with the windows cracked and even if it's "just for a few minutes."