It’s happened – the snow has melted, the flowers have bloomed and we are headed full force into the heat of summer. Depending on what part of the nation you live, your summer experience will vary greatly, but there are a few things you can count on – the kids being out of school, warmer weather and longer days. For most people, these are all wonderful characteristics of this time of the year, and, as such, you have already made a long list of plans to take advantage of this time of the year. However, we don’t want your excitement for the season to cause you to overlook the potential hazards – specifically for your four legged family members. So, we at ProGreen want to go over a few ways to help ensure a safe summer for your pets.
Dog Summer Safety Tips:
- Flea and Tick Prevention: The warm weather also means a significant increase in the threat of ticks, fleas and heartworms. The best way to ensure your dog will be free from these pests is to invest in preventative treatments. There is a wide variety of products available – some that battle a combination of all three, some that only focus on one threat, some that are applied topically, some that are ingested, some that kill all pests, some that only sterilize them and more. They also vary greatly in price. We want to stress the fact that just because it is more expensive does not mean it is more effective. Wal-mart carries flea prevention with the same active ingredient as the name brands, and it is just as effective. Take the time to do your research, and find the product that is right for you, for your pet and for your budget. The bottom line is that you do need to make sure that your dog is protected because ticks, fleas and heartworms can all lead to life threatening diseases.
- Hydration: Remember that the warmer weather will also mean that your dog needs more water. Make sure he/she has a constant supply of fresh water readily available at all times, especially when he/she is outside. In fact, if it is a really hot day, then you should probably limit outdoor exercise.
- Haircuts: Should I shave my dog to help keep him/her cool during the summer? This is the question on the mind of many pet owners. Well, it is not a necessity, but a personal preference. In fact, keeping the hair long will keep your dog cooler than if you shaved it off because the fur acts as insulation against the heat. Of course, you do need to make sure you are taking the time to properly groom/brush the fur, to ensure that the undercoat has been shed. If giving your dog a daily brushing is not how you planned to spend your summer vacation, then a head-to-toe shave might be the better choice.
- Summer Storms: Scattered thunderstorms are another indicator of summer. If your dog is sensitive/scared of storms, make sure you are ready when one is approaching. As far as the aftermath, try putting a towel on the floor for your dog to wipe his/her muddy paws so that he/she does not slip or track mud into the house. Of course, if you have artificial grass for your dogs, then you don’t have to worry about mud at all. It also is completely dry only 15 minutes after the rain stops.
However you are spending your summer, we at ProGreen hope that you and your pets have a safe and enjoyable one!