Ah yes, the summer is finally here. School is out, and it’s time to show off that summer body that you’ve been working on all year (or for the last week or so). The next couple of months is a time to enjoy the outdoors, and many of us want to spend it with our dog friends. But that might not be the best idea.
I live in a tropical climate area where the weather is consistent year-round, and it’s probably something I take for granted. (I wish we had real winters with snow).
But because high humidity and heat is the norm here, I tend to notice when a dog isn’t enjoying the warmth as much as it’s owner.
First off, yes sunshine is good and healthy. The sun’s rays create a natural oil in a dogs skin (as well as ours), and the radiation helps to break down the oil to produce Vitamin D (which helps with the maintenance of bones and teeth).
However, since they are covered in fur, the oil can’t naturally be absorbed into their body. Instead, when your pup is licking their fur and self-grooming, they ingest the oils orally.
But can our pups have too much sun? Yes, they can. Dogs can get sunburn and skin cancer just like us. You’ll want to make sure before you take your fur baby out, that you rub them with some sunscreen.
Rubbing it on their nose, belly, ears and bald patches will help protect them from the harsh rays. Make sure to use either child sunscreen or sunscreen for pets. Some sunscreens contain zinc oxide, which can cause anemia. So you’ll want to stay away from any products that contain that ingredient.
You also need to be vigilant and keep your pet cool. I can’t tell you how many times we’ve seen someone jogging on the side of the road and the dog is struggling to keep up with them! It’s not because the dog is out of shape either, it’s because the heat is too darn unbearable.
Dogs with dark fur or longer coats will have a much more difficult time during the summer. If you insist on taking your pet with you to exercise, make sure you carry some ice water and a bowl for them. Every so often makes a stop and take a water break. Remember, you aren’t the only one that needs water.
Another important fact you’ll need to take great care of is your pup’s paws. Many people believe that the pads of a dog’s paws are indestructible and that couldn’t be more false. They are as sensitive as our feet.
So if it’s too hot for you to go barefoot on the asphalt/concrete, then it’s too hot for your pet. Try to keep your activities on grassy areas; if you are unable to do so, then you can either put your little one in a stroller (we do this for our fur kids) or have them wear some dog boots (they are so adorable).
The summer season is a time where family members spend more time together, and it’s a time when a lot of great memories are made. Just be sure that while making those memories you keep both yourself and your pups cool. If you find yourself having difficulty following any of the tips above, perhaps forego all the outdoor fun, stay indoors and crank up the air conditioning. 😉
For more tips and articles on the health, wellness and longevity of your pets visit The Dog Advertiser