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SUMMER SAFETY FOR FIDO

It is July and we are well into summer. There are a lot of things going on in our lives this month. First and foremost is the summer heat. We always have to be aware of shelter and safety for our best friend. Whether your dog is an indoor pet or an outdoor pet you need to make sure he is protected from the summer heat. We all know we should not leave our dogs in cars on hot days. The reason for that is that a car can become very hot in a very short period of time (10 minutes your care can reach 102 degrees or more).

Anytime the temperatures are reaching into the 80 and 90 degree marks we have to think about how hot our dog gets when he is left outside. You need to make sure your dog has plenty of water. It is very inexpensive and easy to set up a small play pool for your dog. Dru loves her pool, she splashed and swims in circles on hot days and then she gets out and rubs herself dry on the grass and lays in the sun. Another reason I like having the play pool is because the other three dogs can drink out of it and there is little chance that the pool will get dumped over like a regular water dish can. You do want to be sure you keep the water fresh in the pool.

Your dog needs nice cool areas to rest in on hot days. My dogs have access to the kitchen through their doggy door so they can come inside in the air conditioning during the heat of the day. If you have a dog that has to remain outside in the heat you need to make sure he has a nice large area or several smaller shaded areas in your yard where he can get out of the heat. He also need access to a safe covered area in the shade to get out of rain and hail this time of year. But be aware that a plastic or wooden dog house can get very hot without ventilation of some sort.

Do you know the signs of overheating in your pet? Your dog will have an increased heart and respiratory rate, he may be panting excessively and drooling. He will act fatigued, his gums may be dry or pale. His eyes may glaze over and he may seem confused. If you see any of these symptoms, he needs to get into an air conditioned area and call your vet.

If you have a dog that has a very heavy thick coat, you may want to get him sheared a bit, but do not shave your dog without talking to your vet. A dogs coat protects them from the sun and bug bites. While some breads need to have shorter hair in the heat, others need the insulation it provides.

Make sure you protect your dog’s feet from hot asphalt and cement. Hot pavement can burn your dog’s paws and can cause them to overheat very quickly. There are products you can get that help to protect paws. Moisturizers, dog shoes or socks, and paw wax. The safest thing is to keep your dog off of hot pavement. Along with tending to your dog’s paws, you need to also think about his nose. Pink nosed and thin coated white dogs sunburn easily.

Last, but not least: Never leave your dog outside unattended when fireworks are being set off. More dogs escape and go missing during the 4th of July holiday than any other time of the year. Dogs can be very frightened of the loud noise of fireworks. Make sure your dog is inside in a safe and secure area during loud celebrations. Allow them to hide somewhere or have them in a safe, covered crate or kennel.

Take care of your BEST FRIEND and the unconditional love and respect you receive is the best experience you can have in your life.

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