Summer is the perfect time to own a pet. The long, warm days easily turn into cherished memories as you and your dog play, travel, or just relax in the sun. But the summer's lazy days shouldn't interrupt your pooch's regular care routine. Nor should you let down your guard with summer's heat and humidity, which can be dangerous to your pooch. Careful planning, conscientious care, and a little common sense, will ensure you and your dog can enjoy everything summer has to offer.
Visit your Veterinarian
Schedule your pet's annual checkup. Depending on where you live, testing your dog for heartworm
before starting a preventive is essential, as is controlling parasites like fleas and ticks. While you are there, get a current copy of your pet's medical history and vaccinations to keep with you when you travel.
Heel the Heat
Dogs don't sweat like humans. In fact, the only sweat glands on a dog's body are near her paws. Alone, this does little to cool your dog. To aid the cooling process, your dog pants. To help combat summer's heat and humidity, monitor her outdoor time, never leave her in the car, and keep her:
| Watered - Keep her home dish full and a travel dish always ready.
Leashed - Prevent her from escaping and getting lost in the hot sun. Be sure she has access to shade wherever she is confined.
Groomed - Help regulate her body temperature by trimming her coat.
Protected - Apply pet-specific sunscreen on her ear tips, nose, and other thinly haired areas.
Activity Level - Appropriate play, jogging, etc during cool hours of the day.
Pack for Prevention
Summer is often packed full of fun. But whether your dog accompanies you across town to the park, across the country to relatives, or stays behind in a local kennel, her needs should be top priority. As always, being prepared is the best preventive measure. Before you embark on any expedition, gather: