Precautions to take for a safe Summer with your dog: Summer is fun for outdoor play time, fetch time, pool time, lake swimming, ocean beaches, walk time, boat rides, etc. Warm weather, sunny days and vacation time offer great opportunities to play and to bond with your dog. Here are a few precautions to make sure you keep your dog safe during the Summer months:
EARLY MORNING or AFTER SUPPER: If the weather is too warm or too humid, it is recommended to do your outdoor activities early morning or after supper, when the sunlight is not too hot nor the air too humid.
BRACHYCEPHALIC DOG: Be very careful if your dog is brachycephalic (pug-nosed dog). This facial conformation means that you dog cannot breathe normally under extreme heat and humidity. Walk slowly and observe how your animal breathes.
WALKING SURFACE: Remember your dog does not wear shoes. Be extra careful to avoid walking on the cement or asphalt, where the hot surface could burn the pads of our best friend. This would mean many months of pain and limping. If possible, walk on the grass and select a shady walking area.
SWIMMING POOL: If you have a swimming pool, make sure the dog is trained to exit the pool where the underwater stairways are located. From his point of view, he does not see the stairs. He needs clear indications outside the pool so he can remember where the stairs are located. It is a good idea to place a large plant on each side of the underwater stairs. This way the dog will learn to come out of the pool between these two plants. Every Summer, so many dogs are unable to exit at the right place of the pool and drawn in their owner’s backyard pool. The best way is always to supervise him while he is in the water. If you do not have a pool, you could always use a small child swimming pool. The dogs love to play in a small pool with just a few inches of cold water. At Manoir Kanisha, we place our small pools on small deck of wood. This allows us to lift the deck and empty the water without breaking the plastic of the pool.
FRESH DRINKING WATER: Just like us, dogs need to drink more liquid during the Summer months. Make sure there is always fresh water available to your canine 24 hours a day, indoors and outdoors. If you bring your dog on a car trip, make sure to always have water available as well as a drinking bowl. Dog don’t drink so well from a bottle.
A CAR CAN BECOME A FURNACE: Never leave you dog in a car even if the windows are partly open. People always think their errand will take just a few minutes. They come back 20 minutes later and their best friend died from a heat stroke. In the Summer, a car can become like a furnace. So many deaths could be avoided. If you need to go to the bank or to the supermarket, just leave your dog at home.
DRIVING WITH THE WINDOWS OPEN: Many people like to watch their dog poking the head out of the window while they are driving. This is the best recipe for dog’s eye problems. Tiny stones, insects or dust can really damage his eyes. Also, the speed of the wind can cause pressure and generate eye problems.
SWIMMING IN a LAKE or in the OCEAN: There is so much pleasure to swim in the lake of the ocean with our dog. If your dog is reluctant to enter the water, it may be because the sun is in the front of the dog and the sunlight is shining on the waves. Select another time of the day, when your dog can see the bottom of the water. Select a place where the bottom is not too rocky but the bottom is smooth and safe for your dog’s paws. Always supervise him when he is in the water. On the ocean beach, provide your dog with fresh water to drink so he is not tempted to drink salt water. Too much salt water will upset his stomach.
KEEP HIS NAILS SHORT: If you plan to swim with your dog, keep his nails very short and filed round. While in the water, human skin becomes soft. If your dog scratches you with his long nails, he could break your skin and make you bleed. This means you should cut his nails and file them on a weekly basis.
HOTSPOTS: After a swim, it is recommended to rinse the dog with fresh and clean water (as we do for our own hair). Also, remove the excess water with a nice soft absorbent towel. Otherwise, the dog could develop HOTSPOTS which are painful for his skin and vet fees can be expensive. Avoid shaving the affected area. An easy way to treat HOTSPOT is to cut (with scissors) the hair above and around the hotspot area. Breeders recommend to sprinkle a little GOLD BOND POWDER on the hotspot twice a day. It will dry and the hair will grow back. They suggest to avoid any fatty product such as Polysporin.
GROOMING AND SHAVING: Many owners think that a long coat is too warm for their dog during the Summer months. In fact, a well combed long coat will protect his skin from sunburn and insect bites. Avoid having your dog shaved. If you must get him shaved, avoid direct sunlight for a few weeks until his coat has grown again and is protecting his skin against sunburn.
BOAT RIDE: If you bring your dog on a boat ride, make sure he is wearing a life jacket that fits him properly. If you do not have a CANINE LIFE JACKET, do not bring him along. Many dogs can swim for a short distance. He may not be able to survive swimming from the middle of a lake to the shore. Here is a good article on the selection of a LIFE JACKET: http://petslady.com/articles/6-best-life-jackets-dogs-68963
VACCINATION, FLEAS, TICKS, INTESTINAL WORMS, HEART WORMS and LYME DISEASE: A Spring visit at your veterinarian will ensure that your dog is properly vaccinated and has the monthly medication to protect him against fleas, ticks, intestinal worms, heartworms and Lyme disease.
INSECTICIDE and PLANT KILLING PRODUCT: Remember that your dog has his nose close to the ground. Be very careful when using insecticide or plant control in your backyard. Some products could make your dog very sick and even kill him. Search for labels that clearly indicate PET SAFE products.
THUNDERSTORMS and FIREWORKS: Remember that dogs have a much better hearing than humans. Some dogs become afraid of loud noises such as thunder and fireworks. You can avoid bringing your dog to the fireworks, but it could be difficult to stay away from our Summer thunderstorms. You could place him in the basement of your home where the noise is less damaging to their ears. You may consider a product called THUNDERSHIRT: http://www.thundershirt.com/scientific-support
KEEP DOGS AWAY FROM your BBQ PARTIES: Many friends will want to give your dog a treat by sharing their left over such as T-BONE. Dogs may be tempted to steal a bone while your friends are getting their next beer. It is suggested that dogs be placed in a safe room while your guests are enjoying your backyard BBQ.
USE FANS INDOORS: Dogs will enjoy the fans indoors and they will tend to place their face and mouth in front of the fan. Just make sure they have access to fresh drinking water because the air from the Fan will dry their mouth and they will need to drink regularly.
Remember the above