Posted on Jun 7th 2022
Here at Dog Training Elite West Michigan, we know that summer is the perfect time to adventure with your dog. However, summer can also be dangerous for dogs. They are more likely to be exposed to ticks and other insects and risk getting sunburnt or heatstroke. Follow our tips to keep your dog happy and healthy during the dog days of summer.
Dog Do's and Don’ts for Summer
- Brush and groom your dog regularly to keep their coats mat free and their nails short.
- Learn what plants and flowers are poisonous to dogs, and keep your dog away from them.
- Keep an eye out for insect bites. If your dog is stung or bitten, remove the stinger and monitor the area for an allergic reaction. If your dog reacts poorly to being stung or suffers from multiple stings, take them to the vet right away.
- Always keep your veterinarian’s number handy. Even if you proceed and play with caution, accidents happen.
- Forget about pest control! Have your pup checked for heartworm every spring. Refer to your veterinarian for medicine that can help protect your dog from pests like fleas and ticks during the summer.
- Forget to vaccinate your dog, especially in the summertime, since your dog will spend more time outside and come in contact with more animals than usual.
- Allow your dog on chemically treated or fertilized lawns for 24 hours after treatment (or according to package instructions).
- Forget ID! All dogs should wear identification while in public. For extra safety, double up on identification with a microchip.
Bringing your dog swimming can be a fun way for them to exercise and a great way for both of you to beat the heat. Keep the following safety tips in mind whenever your pup is around water.
- Do supervise your dog near water, especially in the ocean where there may be strong tides.
- Do get your dog a life vest that fits them if you plan to be in or near deep water.
- Don't force your dog to go into the water or get wet. Some dogs love swimming, and others don’t. Also, consider your dog’s skill level before setting them loose in water.
- Don't let your dog overdo it. We love dogs for their enthusiasm, but that enthusiasm sometimes means they don’t know their limits, and swimming can tire your dog quickly.
Dogs are easily susceptible to heatstroke. Symptoms include sweating, drooling, rapid heartbeat, and fever. Never immerse your dog in cool water as cooling them down too quickly can be dangerous. Offer your dog a drink of cool – not cold – water, and try laying a wet (again, not cold) towel on your dog’s body.
Of course, preventing heatstroke is key. Here are a few ways to help your dog stay cool and safe:
- Never leave your dog unattended in a vehicle. Even with the windows down, the inside of a car can reach more than 120 degrees Fahrenheit in minutes on a sunny day.
- Protect your dog’s feet from burns. Before you walk your dog on a hot day, check the temperature of the asphalt or concrete. Place your palm on the ground. If it’s too hot for your hand, it’s too hot for your dog’s feet. Stick to walking early in the morning or late in the evening when it’s cooled off, or consider getting shoes for your dog.
- Have fresh water available at all times.
- Keep your dog close. Whether you utilize a leash outdoors or your dog has good recall, being able to keep an eye on your dog will help them stay safe.
If you plan on adventuring with your four-legged best friend, make sure they understand commands like “come” or “stop.” Contact Dog Training Elite West Michigan today to receive a free in-home evaluation. Or, sign up for one of our group obedience classes which are a great way to help your dog learn to listen to you among distractions. An obedient, well-trained dog is a safe and healthy dog ready for summer.