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Summertime Dog Care

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July 20, 2012

Summer weather is great – you can take your dog for a walk, go toss a ball, and numerous other activities that both you and your pet will enjoy. The sunshine is intoxicating, drawing everyone out for some fun. Unfortunately there are also drawbacks and dangers, and it is imperative that these be kept in mind for your dog’s safety and well-being.


Never, ever leave your dog in the car, even if the windows are cracked. The inside of a car in the summer is like a hot oven, and can kill your dog in a very short time. According to the Animal Protection Institute (now Born Free USA), the temperature inside a parked car on a 90 degree day can reach 108 degrees within a short amount of time. And that is with two windows cracked. Protect your dog, leave him home if you are running errands and must leave the car parked. It could save his life.


Pavement that has been exposed to the summer sun gets very hot. If it’s too hot for your bare feet, it is too hot to walk your dog on pavement. The pads of his feet could get burnt pretty badly. Walk your dog in the grass, or in the early mornings before the pavement is heated from the sun. The accumulated heat is still there in the evenings, so use caution. Don’t take a chance with your dog, walk in the grass.


Heartworms are a type of worm that invade the heart of canines. The eggs are deposited in in the bloodstream by mosquitos and travel through the blood vessels until they reach the heart and lungs, where they take up residence. A heartworm infestation can kill your dog. There are heartworm medications in various forms including topical, pills and a chewable tablet. The cost is not prohibitive, and will keep your dog safe from not only heartworm, but other types of internal parasites as well. Heartworm treatment is expensive, dangerous and painful to your dog. Keep him safe by using a preventative monthly. Heartworm cases have been reported in all 50 states, so don’t feel safe because you live in a northern state. A negative blood test and a prescription are required to purchase the heartworm preventative, so please see your vet.

Fleas and Ticks

These summer time pests are known to most of us, though not everyone realizes just how dangerous they can be to your dog (not to mention they cause very uncomfortable itching). Fleas and ticks can cause infections, infect your dog with tapeworms, and they carry disease – a large infestation can cause anemia, and if severe enough, can even cause death. There are many flea/tick remedies out there, with the most commonly used, and most effective being the topicals. You apply the product to the skin on the back of the dog’s neck, and it kills the adult insects as well as preventing the eggs from hatching. This is an easy and effective way to prevent your dog, and your home, from becoming infested with these nasty insects. Talk to you vet about which is right for your dog.

Fresh Water

Water seems like a fundamental item, but it is the most important of all. Water needs to be fresh and clean. Bacteria grows quickly in the hot weather, and can make your dog sick. Provide lots of cool fresh water, and on those extra hot days, a few ice cubes added to the bowl can make for a refreshing drink for your dog.

Stay safe and enjoy the warm weather with your dogs!

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