Sun, Fun, and Dog Dangers: Stay Alert for These Summer Hazards
Summer brings with it fun in the sun and nights around the firepit. The season also holds hazards for your dog. Be prepared with the right supplies and ready for routine care for your dog to counteract any dangers. Here are some of the top summer hazards to watch for with your dog.
1. Heat stroke
Heat stroke is one of the most common dangers to a dog this time of year. Frolicking in the sun and romping at the water’s edge can easily lead to the condition. Younger pups are not aware of their limits and can be susceptible in no time. Also at risk are senior dogs. Their aging system can’t handle drastic temperature changes. Even a short walk can be a challenge for a senior dog.
Signs of heat stroke to look for are:
When you see these symptoms get your dog in the shade, cool him off and seek emergency vet care.
Avoid heat stroke by taking frequent breaks in the shade. Offer your dog’s paws relief from hot pavement and sand with breaks during the hottest part of the day.. Give your dog access to cool water. Also, you can bring along a mister or a cooling, wet bandana to make your pooch more comfortable.
2. Ear Infection
Summer months bring an increase in ear infections. Warmer temperatures and hiking outdoors where foreign objects can get into the ears make infections more common.
Symptoms to look for:
Excessive head shaking
Pawing at the ears
Oozing from the ear canal
Pain when touching the ears
It’s a good practice to inspect your dog's ears daily if you are spending time in tall grass or brush. Be aware that if your furry pal shows signs of problems, a vet appointment is necessary. Your vet can do a thorough cleaning of the ear and prescribe medication.
3. Hot Spots
Parasites pop out in summer to torment your dog. A hot spot can form from excessive parasite bites like fleas or ticks that are in wooded or brushy areas. Symptoms include:
Excessive licking of spot
Swelling or oozing from spot
Once again the best action for a hot spot is a vet visit. Your vet will clip and clean the area, then provide medication. You can short circuit any problems by keeping your pooch on fleas and tick preventative.
4. Seasonal allergies
Just like a human with hay fever, dogs can have allergies this time of year. Symptoms to look for are:
Clear discharge from the eyes or nose
Pawing at the face
Skin allergies with red, itchy spots, irritation, swelling, and hair loss
Your vet can recommend safe, over the counter allergy medication for the problem. If a stronger medicine is needed your vet will also prescribe it.
5. Lost dogs
A top summer danger for dogs is getting lost. They can easily bolt from a car or break free of a leash. While you can’t stop these accidents, you can make preparations so they will be returned to you. Make sure your dog has up-to-date information clearly labeled on their collar or tags. Also, take steps to get your pooch an up-to-date microchip.
6. Paw care
Hot temperatures can make even hotter pavement that can dry, crack and even burn your dog’s little feet. Try to walk your four-footed friend in the cooler parts of the day. Also, walk him on grassy areas where possible. It’s a good idea to routinely inspect your dog's pads for injuries and cracking.
If you find cracks on your pooch’s pads you can treat the condition yourself. Wash the paw with lukewarm, soapy water. Pat dry. Then apply a paw balm or moisturizer and rub it in thoroughly. Apply before your furry pal’s playtime and in the evening. Be aware that extreme symptoms can need vet attention. If your dog has redness, swelling, odor, yellow or green discharge, or bleeding, a vet visit is in order.
By taking precautions and following these safety tips, you and your dog can enjoy romps in the sun and a joy-filled summer all season long.
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A dedicated organization that provides service dogs to veterans and first responders living with PTSD at no cost to the recipient. In addition, the New Life K9s prison rehabilitation program educates and trains incarcerated men to become dog handlers and puppy raisers for potential service dogs entering the program. If you wish to learn more about our mission and ways to help visit www.newlifek9s.org/how-to-help/donate.html
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