There are a good many things that your Raleigh veterinarian wants you to remember each time summer rolls around. These things range from how to keep your dog healthy in the heat to how to remove ticks!
Today we want to talk about 5 of these things, why you need to know them, and how they impact your dog!
5 Things Your Raleigh Veterinarian Wants You To Know For Summer!
1. How to Tell When the Sidewalk is Too Hot For Walking!
Just because it’s summertime doesn’t mean that you can’t walk your dog. It is important, however, to make sure that you are timing your dog’s walks correctly so that they do not burn their feet.
To determine whether the sidewalk is too hot for your dog, place the back of your hand against the concrete and hold it for five seconds. If it’s too hot against your hand, it is too hot for your dog’s feet.
It is also important to remember that you should never walk your dog during peak sun hours in the summer. Walking before sunup and after sundown is always best and if humidity is too high, try indoor day camps instead!
2. How Much Water Your Dog Needs During Summer to Stay Hydrated!
The amount of water that an individual dog needs varies depending on a number of factors like weight, medical conditions, humidity, and temperature. With that said, however, the general rule of thumb when answering “how much water should a dog drink?” is ½ to 1 ounce of water per pound of body weight daily.
During summer it is particularly important to make sure that your dog has constant access to clean water to rehydrate themselves. Take note of how much your dog is drinking and if you notice any significant changes in their drinking habits, it’s time to come by and see one of our vets! Increased or decreased thirst/drinking can be symptomatic of a number of severe health crises.
3. The Importance of Grooming in the Summer!
Grooming is not only important for removing dead hair when your dog is “blowing their coat”. Grooming also helps to keep thick hair thinned out during hotter weather, trim excess hair that can contribute to overheating, and prevent pesky parasites from taking up residence in thick fur.
Even if your dog is a breed that does not require grooming in the more traditional sense, you should always make a habit of regularly brushing your dog’s coat. This removes dead hair, stimulates the oil glands, and helps you to spot any stubborn ticks!
4. Don’t Keep Your Dog As An “Outside Dog”
Dogs are sociable animals and they do not thrive when kept contained outdoors and away from their family. Being contained outdoors also carries additional concerns such as overheating and lack of access to clean water and shade. When you keep your dog outdoors in the summer, they are often exposed to direct sunlight and heat and humidity. These things can cause your dog to feel overheated and lead to them finishing their water rather quickly. Since your “outside dog” is not within your constant line of sight, you can easily forget to refill that empty water bowl and leave your dog to overheat and dehydrate!
5. Check Regularly For Ticks AND Use Monthly Preventatives!
Ticks LOVE summertime! For this reason, it is crucial that you maintain regular monthly preventative medications as well as do regular parasite checks on your dog. Left unchecked, ticks can transmit a variety of serious illnesses that can even be fatal!
When checking your dog for ticks, chek them all over, but pay particular attention to the warm folds of skin (where the legs meet the trunk of the body etc.)