June signals the official start of summer and hopefully a break from the pandemic. Summer can also mean high temperatures, ticks, sunburn and even heatstroke so you must be careful. It is important you keep you and your dog safe by following these safety summer tips, whether your dog is a senior or puppy!
Made in the Shade
You need a shady spot away from the sun’s penetrating rays. Doghouses are not great in the summer because they trap the heat and become hot boxes, but a tent may be the ideal covering. Although air conditioning can be expensive, it might be best to bring the dog inside where it is nice and cool. Although humans sweat, dogs pant when they get hot. Moderate panting is normal, but excessive panting can symbolize heatstroke. Other signs of heatstroke include staggering, vomiting, dark or bright red tongue and gums, and high body temperature.
Certain breeds of dogs brachycephalic (i.e., flat-nosed) like pugs, boxers and bull dogs are more susceptible to heat stroke. When it is hot, keep their outdoor activities to a minimum. At greater risk of heat stroke is also senior dogs, overweight dogs, or thick-coated dogs.
It is important to have plenty of clean water for your dog. It might be fun to get a child-size pool and fill it with water to keep your dog nice and cool. Be careful about putting water in steel bowls because the steel can get very hot.
Although it may seem odd, dogs need sunscreen as well. Like humans, a dog’s skin can burn. Frequent sun exposure could result in melanoma (skin cancer), the most common type of cancer found in dogs. Apply dog-safe sunscreen to their nose and ear area. Because dog’s paws are also extremely sensitive on hot asphalt, try and stay on the grass or walk during early morning or late-night hours.
A Bit of Refreshment
What could be more refreshing than a pupsicle? Here is a great four-ingredient recipe:
- 5 ounces organic plain yogurt
- 1/2 medium banana
- 2 Tablespoons organic/all-natural peanut butter
- 12 organic pretzel sticks
- Add the yogurt, banana, and peanut butter to a blender or food processor and purée until mixture is smooth and creamy.
- Spoon mixture into an ice-cube tray, filling each compartment to the brim. Insert one pretzel stick into the center of each compartment. Mixture should be thick enough to hold each pretzel upright.
- Place ice-cube tray in freezer unit until the treats are completely frozen, about 1-2 hours.
Remember, summer should be fun for the whole family – pets included!