Summer time equals fun in the sun with family, friends and your dog but it can also mean danger. Here are a few health hazards & risk that all pet owners should be aware of in order to keep your dog safe during those long dog days of summer.

Dehydration
Cool your dog down with a refreshing bowl of clean ice water. Pupsicles are also a fun way to cool down your dog by freezing low sodium chicken broth or yogurt in ice cube trays. Check out our healthy Straw-bana Pupsicle recipe!

Burned Pads
When the mercury rises so does hot surfaces under the summer sun. Be aware that asphalt on sidewalks and streets can heat to a temperature which can burn a dog’s paws. It is is recommended that you walk your dog in the early morning or late evening, the coolest parts of the day, to prevent your dog from getting sun burned (buy pet sunscreen) or scorched paws. You may also want to provide your dog with paw protective booties when walking during the heat of the day. One way to gauge whether or not a walk on a hot summer day is a good idea is to put your hand down on the asphalt for about thirty seconds. If your hand can’t stand the heat for 30 seconds, and you need to pull away, then your dog paws probably will not be able to endure a 30 minute walk or run around the block.

Parasites
Summer time means lunch time for insects. Fleas, ticks, mosquitoes are tail biting bloodsucking pest that can wreak havoc on your pet causing discomfort or life threatening health issues. Prevention is key to winning the war against fleas and ticks. Lucky for you there are so many preventative solutions available from flea tick medication, repellent shampoo’s & sprays, essential oils, all natural remedies and more. Keeping your dog well groomed, healthy and home clean will reduce your pet’s risk of parasite infestation.

Heat Stroke
Heat stroke is a serious risk not only to humans but dogs as well and can be fatal. The first step toward heatstroke prevention is restricting your dogs exercise and outdoor play time during the hottest parts of the day. Instead opt for early morning or late evening strolls, runs, brisk walks and a fun game of fetch at the park. Make sure your dog is well hydrated at all times and carry ample water on your adventures. Provide your dog with an air conditioned place to chill and relax, supervised swim time and cooling mats. NEVER, NEVER leave your dog unattended in the car during summer heat, it only takes a few seconds for a car to overheat and turn into an oven. So how hot does your car get? Find out!  Even if your windows are cracked or you park in the shade, heat can build quickly in a car in the summer so the safer option is to leave your dog home when running errands. Be fair warned that leaving your dog in a hot car may be seen as act of animal cruelty and can get you in a lot of trouble. Check out “Don’t Leave Me in Here — It’s Hot!” fliers for you to print and pass around to pet owners.

Seasonal Allergies
Summer time and the living is sneezy! If your dog has the sniffles, hot spots, balding, the itches then allergies may be the culprit. Seasonal allergies can come in many forms-  fleas, grass and plants, and mold allergies. If your dog is barking for relief and you suspect your dog may have seasonal allergies we recommend a vet visit. Not only will the vet help you get down to the root of the problem a vet check up will also help rule out any other possible serious health issues.

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