Guidelines for a fun and happy summer with your pet
One thing to be aware of, that many owners forget is your cats’ and dogs’ paws when they are walking on the pavement and asphalt during the day. Especially asphalt can get so warm that it can burn their paws quite badly. If possible, walk your dog in the morning or the evening once the temperatures have cooled down. Generally exercising your dog should only be during the cooler parts of the day, and if your dog is overweight, brachycephalic (short nose or flat face), a puppy or senior dog you should be extra aware because these dogs are more prone to overheating.
Dogs and cats only have sweat glands on the paws and nose, so they mainly cool down by panting (especially dogs) or laying down in the shade or other cool places. Therefore, it is important to make sure that you provide a place of shade and if possible, water to swim in if your dog likes swimming. Hosing your pet down with lukewarm water can also be quite an effective way to cool down your dog or cat. Most importantly you always need to provide access to plenty of cold drinking water.
Shaving your pet in the summertime might seem like a good idea. However, you have to be aware that removing the coat can potentially put your dog at risk of sunburn, insect bites and skin infections. It is therefore much better to trim longhaired coats and brush double-coated breeds frequently to remove dead hairs from the undercoat. That way the topcoat continues to protect your pet from the environment.
These are very simple ways to keep your pets comfortable during the summer, and if you follow these guidelines together with your common sense both you and your furry family members will have a wonderful summer.
By Therese G. Hosbjerg, DVM and Technical manager at Bacterfield GMBH