Keeping Your Dog Well During the Dog Days of Summer

Summer is my favorite season because you can be outside every day. If dogs didn't act so happy every day, I'd guess that summer was their favorite season too. When their humans are outside, they get to be outside. There's tremendous opportunity for fetch, running, swimming and just relaxing in the breeze.

But summer is also a time to focus on keeping your pets healthy. Here are my top tips for keeping your dog healthy during the summer:
  • Be sure your dog gets outside for a bit of exercise every day (or even time to just relax with the family out of doors)
  • If you are taking your dog outside, be sure he has access to water at all times (especially after playing or exercise.)
  • Make sure your dog is never left in the car, and if you stop the car to wait - be sure to run the a/c or open windows.
  • Check for ticks and other bugs frequently. You may want to consider using medicine to prevent ticks and fleas.
  • Be aware of the grasses your dog runs in - dogs can get poison ivy and other allergies, plus ant bites, and fights with squirrels and badgers
  • Keep your pet's diet clean - no human food even if they beg for bites of your barbecue fare
  • Allow your pet to socialize at dog parks or dog beaches
  • Bring a bag to pick up after your dog (you may need to bring several)
  • Keep up to date on shots and vet check ups. 
  • Allow your dog to have fun, run in the breeze and enjoy the sprinklers
  • Provide shade if your dog is going to be outside for long hours
  • Let your dog rest if he seems to be overheated or tired from running or playing
  • Watch your pet when he's around small children - biting could result in your pet being quarantined or put down.
  • Keep your pets eating and sleeping habits the same so he stays on a consistent schedule
  • Plan for quality care if you are going to vacation, so your pet is properly taken care of
  • Make sure you have the appropriate leash for your dog so he can legally go on walks and visit parks.
  • When swimming in lakes or other bodies of water, be sure your dog doesn't go out too far or over exhaust himself. Throw toys only as far as he can reasonably swim and call him back if he loses the toy before he gets too far to hear you.
It's not all that tough to keep your pets healthy in the summer but you need to be aware of the dangers that summer can bring (such as overheating, sunburn, bugs and vermin.) If you take care of those few things, then you should both have a fantastic summer filled with fun.

We can all learn a thing or two from our furry friends. I can almost guarantee that even the oldest dog will take full advantage of the fun times to be had outside. We should do the same. Have fun! Enjoy the great outdoors and seize every adventure that comes your way. Just do it safely (for you and your pets.)

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Thank you for your comments! I appreciate all your tips, advice, and well wishes!


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