Top ten tips for summer dog care
It may have been a pretty wet and cold start to the summer here in the UK, but it won’t stay that way forever. And after such a damp spring, we’ll all be delighted to see some sunshine, even our pets. However, when the warm weather does arrive, it is important to make sure you look after your dogs. With all-over fur coats and little ability to sweat, dogs can quickly overheat, so you need to take precautions to keep them cool. There’s also a host of other summer dangers that you need to be on the lookout for, from plants to pests, to ensuring your dog is appropriately dog trained. But don’t worry, because to help your pets make the most of the summer, we’ve put together our top ten tips for summer dog care & training:
Put fresh water down everywhere
Fresh water is important for your dog all year round, but it is more important than ever in hot weather. It is very easy for your dog to become dehydrated and start to suffer heat stroke if they can’t cool down with a drink.
Provide cool places
Just like us, dogs love the sunshine, but need somewhere to sit in the shade when they want to get out of the heat. Make sure they have a shaded area to lie in and if it is particularly hot, place wet towels on the ground to help them cool off. Better still, invest in a cheap kids’ paddling pool for your dog to splash around in.
Keep them groomed
Grooming is vital in the summer, as matted hair can trap heat and put your dog at risk of heatstroke. Many breeds will shed their winter coats when the weather warms up, so having them groomed can also save you cleaning up all that unwanted dog hair too.
Apply sun cream
Baz Luhrmann famously explained the benefits of sunscreen to us back in the 90s, and it is just as important for some breeds of dog as it is for people. If your dog has light skin or a thin coat, it could easily get sunburn if it spends too much time outdoors without protection.
Take care in open water
Just because your dog wants to swim, doesn’t mean it’s a strong swimmer. Just like people, dogs can get carried away with the idea of a swim on a hot day and get into trouble with deep water or coastal riptides. Dog training can come in handy here, to ensure your dog reacts to your response to ensure it is safe around tides and water. Keep your dog in the shallows unless you are sure of his swimming abilities.
Guard against garden dangers
We all love spending time in the garden in the summer, but some of the most common plants are actually highly poisonous to dogs. Azaleas and heliotropes can make your pet very ill, as can many fertilisers, pesticides and weed killers, so keep your dog well away from your flower beds and other gardens on your daily walks.
Get them trained for trips
Taking your dog out on trips in the summer is great fun for you both, but make sure they are trained to cope with crowds and unfamiliar surroundings. A&T offer dog training courses and obedience training classes to keep you firmly in control in any situation.
Ease them into it
Chances are your dog won’t have been as active during the winter months and so they will probably be a little overweight and out of shape. So, it is important to make sure you ease them into a more active routine as the summer gets underway. Rushing them could lead to injuries that will spoil their whole summer. This is a great time to do some dog training in the garden in the light spring evenings.
Blitz the bugs
Summer is peak season for ticks and mites, especially as you get out and explore the countryside. It is crucial to ensure that your dog’s pest protection us up to date or they could be at risk of some serious diseases.
Never leave them in the car
Last but not least, NEVER leave your dog in the car in hot weather, even for a short time. Temperatures inside a parked car can rise frighteningly quickly, even if you leave the window open a crack. You never know when your ‘short errand’ could be delayed or side-tracked, leaving them in the car for much longer than you anticipated, so it is best to avoid taking them with you in the first place.