Summer is approaching and just like we all switch our winter coats for lighter and more colourful garments, our dogs need to transition to hot days in the proper way too. We’re all waiting for that time of year when we will finally spend most of our free time enjoying our outdoor activities, and your dog feels the same way too.
But are there some important things you have to do before the nice weather starts?
Apart from making sure your dog gets a sufficient amount of fresh water, there are plenty of other things you should pay attention to when spring is slowly turning to summer. In this article, we’re giving you an insight into all things you have to do in order to get your dog ready for summer.
As hot weather approaches, dogs spend more time outdoors which makes them more exposed to a variety of threats. When socializing with other dogs, our pups get in contact with new viruses or bacteria that they might contract.
Therefore, it is absolutely crucial to make sure that all your dog’s vaccinations are up-to-date. Talk to your vet and make sure that the heartworm preventions medications are being properly administered as summer is the time when dogs contract heartworm infections the most due to the mosquito season.
2. Tick and Flea Protection
Spending time with your dog in a local park, running next to a lake or hiking are surely among the best activities you can do with your pet. But should you bring your dog when he isn’t well-prepared? Not really.
Ticks and fleas are lurking everywhere and waiting for all good furry candidates to become their new home givers. Fleas are active during the entire year, but when nice weather comes, they get even more active.
On the other hand, ticks have their breeding season in months of April, May, and June which is why you should make sure to provide your pup with proper flea and tick prevention meds in order to make sure your pooch won’t contract any of the tick or flea-borne diseases.
Ask your vet for the best prevention solution for your dog and follow his/her instructions! You can also inform yourself on home flea remedies and repellents that you can always have by your side when going outdoors with your pup. Extra protection is always well appreciated!
Summer is the time of most dog’s highest shedding season. This is the time when dogs shed their winter coat in order to regulate their body temperatures accordingly to the outdoor temperatures. Depending on your dog’s coat, he might shed a lot more than usual, or only slightly more. For instance, a German Shepherd will shed significantly more as nice days approach than he usually does. A Havanese will change his coat, but the dead hair will mostly go away during brushing.
If you don’t want to find your home covered in pet hair, it might be clever to pay more attention to your dog’s grooming sessions. Get your dog a haircut from the professional groomer, brush out your dog’s fur daily and help him get rid of that winter coat. Make sure to trim your pup’s nails and check his ears for potential infections too.
This is also the perfect time to increase bathings to your pooch. Not only will it help shed the dead hair off, but it will also keep your dog cool during hot days.
4. Summer Hydration
Heat inevitably makes us more thirsty and it is exactly the same for your dog. Providing your dog with a fresh, cool source of water is absolutely crucial, but is that enough?
On really hot days, your dog might lose a lot of water just by sitting home. Imagine what happens when you take your dog out for an exercise session or to enjoy some of your favourite outdoor activities. Therefore, making sure that you always have a portable designed-for-dogs water bowl/bottle is a must in order to keep your pup hydrated and happy.
5. Overheating Prevention
Some dog breeds are at a higher risk from overheating than others. These breeds include brachycephalic dogs that have a short muzzle, older dogs, as well as Northern husky-like breeds that have thicker and heavier coat who’s role is to protect these dogs from extremely low temperatures.
Since heatstroke in dogs is a very fatal condition that causes a lot of damage to a dog’s health, it is necessary to do everything in your power in order to prevent it from occurring. Here’s what you should do to make keep your dog cool during hot days:
- Provide him with a fresh source of water
- Avoid strenuous exercise (especially if your dog is sick, old or has a short muzzle)
- Make sure your dog has a cool shade close by
- If you spend a lot of time on the sun, bathe your dog with cool/lukewarm water
- Prepare refreshing homemade dog treats
6. Passport & Microchip
If you’re planning to take your dog to a summer vacation with you, it might be the perfect time to prepare everything you might need. First of all, in order to travel with you, your dog will need a passport issued by your veterinarian that will prove his identity, ownership as well as health and vaccination records.
Be aware that a lot of countries (especially EU countries) require dogs to be micro-chipped before entering their territories. However, make sure that you should do it prior to your dog’s annual vaccinations because they won’t count and your dog will have to get re-vaccinated which is definitely not the best idea.