With the arrival of the summer season comes the need for us to take further precautions with our dogs. With the increased heat they are not only exposed to heat shock, dehydration, etc., but also the proliferation of other problems associated with heat and high temperatures. Awareness of these risks can help us react quickly and even save their lives on some occasions. We list the summer risks for our canine friends:
1) Heat Strokes: Heat strokes are common in the summer season so we need to take precautions: we should take them out early in the morning and late in the afternoon. If we take them out at noon, we need to make sure that the walk is in the shade and if it is very hot, we ought to take them out as early as possible. On the way back, refrigerate them if necessary. There are products such as refreshing beds or refreshing vests that can help a lot in these cases. Always carry a portable drinking bowl with water.
Inside the house: we need to be careful with the temperature. If it is very hot inside and we have no way of cooling the environment, we will cool our furry friend down with a wet towel on its body and if we wish to act faster we can use a fan added to refreshing them with water. We must always provide them with fresh water that is easily available for them along with homemade or Kong ice cream. Regular brushing helps them to experience less heat in summer. Feed them in the cooler hours of the day.
We must be especially careful with leaving them inside the car: it is preferable not to do so in summer, but if we have no other option, it must be done in a shady place with ventilation (windows down). Despite this, it is preferable NOT to leave them in the car in summer unless it is adequately refrigerated in some way.
Always carry a bottle of water and bowl on walks. If you would like to learn more about first aid for dogs click here.
2) Sunburn: sun exposure can cause burns on the skin of some dogs, especially in areas with less hair such as the muzzle so it is better to avoid long sun exposure and check if some areas are reddened by sunburn. If we go to the beach, it is advisable to bring an umbrella or portable tent where your dog can take shelter from the sun.
3) Sandfly mosquito: this mosquito transmits Leishmania, which is a very dangerous disease for dogs. They often appear on summer nights when the temperature is above 16º ,particularly in rural settings, but also in cities. We recommend protecting your dog with effective antiparasitic products that are specific for sandfly mosquito. If we are in rural areas, it is helpful to use mosquito traps. We also recommend doing a Leishmania test on our dog after the summer season.
4) Parasites: fleas and ticks increase their activity in summer. From above 5º-7º they become active, but they proliferate most in summer. It is especially advisable to avoid areas with a lot of cattle and sheep. It is always recommended that our dogs wear an antiparasitic collar in summer and also if we go to rural areas, apply an antiparasitic pipette to them. After the walks, it is advisable to check if you have any parasites, especially around the neck and ears. Remember that, if you administer a pipette and bathe in the river or the sea, its effect is nullified and another must be administered. Always follow your vet’s recommendations to prevent flea and tick attacks. If you get a tick, you have to remove it as soon as possible with tweezers specifically designed for ticks). Never add oil, ether or alcohol. Always do it with gloves and then clean the area with an antiseptic. When you dispose of it, it is best to burn it, do not throw it in the trash or the toilet. In case of serious infestations, go to the vet.
5) Paw pad burns: avoid walking during the hottest hours, avoiding asphalt and cement. Checking the temperature of the soil with the back of your hand can help. Try to choose cool places for walks. There are products for dogs with sensitive pads which help them to be more resistant.
6) Processionary caterpillar: mainly active in spring and summer, but with climate change it can be found during more months than usual. Therefore , in summer it is advisable to avoid areas of pine forests. We should pay careful attention to the tops of pine trees and always carefully observe the ground in rural areas. Its spiky bristles are very dangerous for dogs.
7) Barbecues and bones: there have been many cases of veterinary emergencies for this exact reason. It does not seem so important, but cooked bones can cause severe intestinal obstructions or internal injuries from splinters. So if you have a barbecue always be careful with the garbage and leftovers, and never feed the bones to dogs.
8) Problems associated with the beach: he salt water can sometimes cause diarrhea and therefore, dehydration. Always carry a portable drinking bowl with you for your moments on the beach in order to avoid that your dog drinks from the sea as much as possible. After the beach, it is advisable to give them a fresh water shower and check their ears and hair to remove the sand, since it can cause otitis.
The use of sun protection in the areas with less hair and less pigmentation. Special sun protection creams should be applied to them. Some dogs ingest a lot of beach sand, which also causes gastrointestinal problems. If you often like to play with sand, pay special attention to this.