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Preparing Your Pup for Summer

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Summer is quickly approaching, which means that many of us are planning for long days spent soaking up the sun, splashing around in lakes or pools, and venturing off on family vacations—and that includes our furry, four-legged family members! 

That said, summer can also come with some not-so-fun stuff, too: uncomfortably hot weather, seasonal allergies, ticks and mosquitos, sunburn, and more. 

As you plan for all that fun summer stuff, be sure you’re also taking steps to ensure your dog is adequately prepared to have a safe, enjoyable summer, too.

Grooming

If you’ve noticed more shedding than usual during the past few months, your dog is likely a seasonal shedder—he’s exchanging his heavy winter coat for something more summer-appropriate. 

In addition to that seasonal shedding, some dogs do well with a fresh summer haircut to help keep themselves cool. You may be tempted to go all-out and give your pup a shave, but this can actually do more harm than good. This is because most dog coats are designed for climate control, and a too-short shave could throw things out of whack. Plus, your pup would be losing some of that natural protection against twigs, burrs, and sunburn. 

Instead, leave the grooming to the professionals and focus more on what you can help out with: brushing and bathing, for example. With regular brushing, you’ll be cleaning some of that dirt and debris from your dog’s fur; brushing also gets rid of matted fur, which can lead to uncomfortable hot spots

The more often you brush your dog, the less often he’ll need a bath. That said, summer naturally tends to call for some extra baths with all those outdoor adventures!


Heat Safety

As temperatures rise, plan your daily walks for when the weather is cool, such as mornings and late evenings. Protect your pup’s paws from hot pavement by walking in the shade and/or grass whenever possible; you can even purchase some dog shoes or booties for added protection. 

When you’re spending time outside, make sure your pup always have easy access to shade and water. Keep a close eye for any signs of overheating or dehydration, such as:

  • Seeking out shade, or even digging as an attempt to find a cool spot to relax. 
  • Lethargy
  • Excessive panting and/or drooling
  • Vomiting
  • Reddened skin
  • Dizziness
  • Blue or purple gums

Additionally, NEVER leave your dog alone in a car. The inside of a car can heat up quickly on a hot day, so it’s best for your pup if you leave him at home while you run your errands.

Travel

Planning a summer trip with your furry friend? Get a head start by researching the best options for safely securing your dog while you drive, including dog car seats, dog seat belts, back seat hammocks, travel crates, and pet barriers.

Before you set off on your dog-friendly road trip, do a few test runs to get your dog used to the feeling of being secured in a moving vehicle. You’ll also want to visit the vet to make sure Fido is mentally and physically fit to travel. 

Check out these 8 essential tips for car travel with dogs to learn more about vacationing with your pet.


Water Safety

Whether you own a pool, live near the beach or lake, or like fishing in a nearby river or creek, there’s a good chance your pup is going to be spending a lot of time around the water during those warm summer months. 

In addition to keeping your dog cool on a hot day, swimming is also a great form of exercise for dogs with joint issues. 

Whenever you’re bringing your pup around a body of water, it’s a good idea to have him wear a device as an added precaution. Even if he’s a confident swimmer, an accidental fall could lead to panic. A life vest will keep Fido’s back level with the water and keep him paddling smoothly and confidently. 

Learn more about how to keep your dog safe in and around water with these water safety tips every dog owner should know.

Skin Health

Sunscreen and pest protection are two summer essentials for dogs and humans alike. Ideally, your pooch would be getting year-round pest protection; if you’ve been taking a break from his flea and tick defense, now is definitely the time to start back up! 

No one wants to deal with itchy, irritating bug bites… but did you know that seasonal allergies can lead to itchy skin, too? As the seasons change, you may find that your pup is allergic to environmental allergens such as pollen, grass, weeds, and even fleas. 

Fortunately, you can help soothe your dog’s agitated skin with PetHonesty’s Summer Essentials 3-Pack. This pack includes:

  • Allergy Support+ soft chews, which support your dog’s immune system and soothe allergy-related skin issues.

  • Chlorhexidine shampoo, which can help to soothe your dog’s allergy-related skin issues along with wounds, rashes, and hot spots.

  • GrassGreen soft chews, which balance the nitrogen levels in your dog’s urine and keep your lawn looking lush and green all summer long. 

 

Sources: 
https://www.akc.org/expert-advice/health/summer-safety-tips-for-dogs-2/
https://topdogtips.com/how-to-prepare-your-dog-for-summer/
https://www.baxterboo.com/fun/a.cfm/how-to-prepare-your-dog-for-summer-holidays/
https://www.greencrossvets.com.au/pet-health/life-stages/dogs/5-tips-to-get-your-dog-ready-for-summer/