Summer tips for dog owners

When I was younger, we had a dog that would stay outside during the day.
One summer, we put the dog outside for a little bit only to come outside to see him both passed out in the yard.
While the dogs weren’t outside for very long, the temperature outside was so hot that is caused the dogs to get a heatstroke and die.
This memory has stuck with me for a long time, and has helped me to take extra precautions to ensure it does not happen again.
Summer is officially here and that means the temperatures are starting to rise, and more people will be leaving their dogs out in the heat.
One thing to remember is dogs should not be left in direct sunlight for too long. Doggy heatstroke’s are common and are easily avoidable.
If your dog is in a fenced in area where they can roam free, make sure there is plenty of shade for your dog to lounge in. Too much time in the heat will cause your dog to get sick and it could get serious.
Always make sure your dog has plenty of water. Just like humans, dogs need plenty of hydration to get through these hot summer days.
One thing my mom always did was put a few ice cubes in our dog’s water bowl just to help cool them down a little bit more.
Before you take your dog for a walk, you should think about the temperature of the concrete or asphalt.
Dogs don’t have the pleasure of wearing shoes to protect their feet, and while their paw pads do protect them from lots of things, they can still get a burn from the concrete if it’s too hot.
One way you can check to see if the concrete is too hot is to place your hand on the ground, if you can keep it there for more than five seconds then it is safe for your dog; if the concrete is too hot for your hand, then it is too hot for your dog.
Just like humans, dogs can also get a sunburn. If you are thinking about taking your dog to the beach with you, bring some extra sunblock for your beloved pup as well.
Apply a little bit of sunblock on your dog’s ears just as you would apply sunblock to your shoulders.
Apply throughout the day to ensure your dog doesn’t suffer from a sunburn.
Dogs are known to drink whatever water they see in front of them.
Make sure to bring plenty of freshwater to the beach.
Drinking saltwater can cause damage to your dog’s coat and can cause them to get sick.
One last thing to remember this summer is to watch your dog around the pool because not all dogs know how to swim.
Never throw a dog into a pool and expect them to start swimming.
Start in the shallow end of the pool with your dog and slowly ease them into swimming.
Your dog is like your family and should be thought about when preparing for the summer.
These are just a few things to remember to make sure your dog enjoys these summer days with you.

This originally appeared in the Ruston Daily Leader

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