Spending time outdoors is a great way to take advantage of the summer season. It’s even better when you are accompanied by your favorite canine companion. However, there are some hazards you should be aware of as you enjoy the fresh air with your dog.
Dogs get sunburned too
We all know that too much exposure to the sun, especially if you don’t have sunblock on, can be very harmful. Most of us are conscious about slathering on the sunscreen when we are going to spend time outside. But did you know that dogs can get sunburns too?
Some dogs need protection from the sun, especially short haired dogs or dogs with pink skin. If you cannot find sunscreen designed for dogs, you can use a baby sunscreen. The most important thing is to make sure the sunscreen does not contain zinc oxide, which is an ingredient that is toxic to dogs.
Doing the Doggy Paddle
There is a general misconception that all dogs are innate swimmers. While most dogs can and will survive a quick toss in the water, they can tire very easily, especially those that are new swimmers. They are also subject to being swept away by an undertow or a rapid current, just like people. In order to keep them safe, start out with no more than 10 minutes in the water. If you are boating, dogs should have a life jacket designed for them. It is especially important to get one that has a back handle to make it easy to grab them out of the water if necessary.
Fighting Fleas and Ticks
Actually, you can’t really fight against these parasites, but you can prevent them from infesting your pet and your home. While fleas and ticks are a year round problem, this intensifies during the warmer summer months. This is due in part to dogs spending more time outside and being exposed to areas like high grass where these pesky creatures like to lurk. There are several ways to avoid them, including administering a monthly oral preventive that can be prescribed by your veterinarian, topical solutions and shampoos that are applied directly to a dog’s coat, and flea and tick prevention collars, the best of give coverage for up to 6 or 8 months. You will also want to check your pet and yourself for ticks every time you come inside.
If you would like more information on any of these specific topics, send us an email or give us a call and one of our pet specialists would be happy to spend some time finding the right solutions for you and your pet.