7 tips to taking care of your puppy this summer
The dog days have arrived much sooner than expected this year! Dogs can react differently to the heat. Dogs with darker coats absorb more heat than ones with light coats. Over weight dogs are more prone to heat strokes and dehydration. Snub nosed dogs such as pugs, bull dogs and pekingese are less efficient in cooling down via panting.
Here are some tips on how to make the summer more bearable and enjoyable for your dog.
1. Don’t over exert your dog
Take your dog for his/ her walks early morning and late evening once the sun has set. Do not over exert your dog. Walk at a gentle pace. Take breaks. Carry water.
If you can’t take your dog outside once it’s cool, make sure you have protective padding for his/ her paws. The ground can be very hot and can crack, burn, and hurt their paws.
Swimming is a great option during summer. Keeps your puppy cool and they get their exercise too.
2. Hydrate Hydrate Hydrate!
Make sure there is always plenty of clean ,fresh, cool water for your dog. Also give water alternatives with electrolytes, buttermilk sans salt, frozen treats , fruits and coconut water. Do NOT give human energy drinks to dogs.
It’s normal for a decrease/loss in appetite during hot weather, so include fluids such as broth, curd or buttermilk with the meals.
3. Watch Out For Signs Of Dehydration
Dogs have only panting as their cooling mechanism. Excessive drooling, laboured breathing, bloodshot eyes, increased heart rate, restlessness, inelastic skin are some of the signs to watch out for. Recently, we have also noticed a number of dogs throwing up clear liquid also. Get immediate veterinary help if this happens.
4. Cool your puppy down
It’s important to keep your puppy’s temperature down during summer. Use a wet towel for your dog to lie on after a walk, wipe him/her down with a cool, wet cloth (making sure the paws, tummy, arm pits and back of the head are wiped down and wet), kiddy pool, ice cubes, placing a fan in front of a pan of ice, spraying some water on the floor, air conditioning and fans all help keep your puppy cool.
Also, let your dog dig! Dogs like to dig to cool themselves.
5. Don’t Leave Your Dog In a Parked Car
The car retains more heat that the outside area even if parked in the shade. Your dog’s temperature can quickly rise leading to severe cases of heat stroke.
6. Check Daily For Fleas and Ticks
Warm weather is heaven for fleas and ticks, so check your dog daily and change your dog’s bedding frequently. Check this post out for flea and tick preventives.
7. Don’t Shave
Contrary to the thinking that shaving the fur will help in cooling your dog, the layers of fur help protect your dog from over heating and sunburn. More harm will be done if the coat is shaved. Trimming long hair is fine.
Observe and listen to your dog. Use your common sense and do what works. When in doubt, consult your vet. Enjoy the summer!!!