Updated: Nov 30, 2021
Every dog (well, almost every dog) spends time outdoors. Keeping your dog healthy regardless of the elements is an important task.
For example, during very hot or very cold weather, you should check your dog’s paws for cracked pads. These can be very painful and may become infected.
You can buy special shoes for protection if your dog has particularly sensitive feet.
Massaging their pads with a moisturizer will keep them supple and in good condition.
Foot care is something to be particularly aware of if your dogs are working dogs who live outdoors as well.
There are some dogs’ clothes that you can purchase, apart from shoes, that will help them survive in extreme weather.
If your dog is a small or short-haired type, they’ll appreciate having a coat or sweater to protect them from the cold when they go outside.
When you’re out and about, though, it’s not just the element you need protecting from.
Summer months can bring extra health problems.
There are all sorts of viruses and parasites that can be picked up that may compromise your dog’s health. It doesn’t matter if you live in the country or in a town, they can still fall foul of them.
During the summer months, dogs often get ticks attaching themselves. Fortunately, by treating them every month with a flea & tick treatment you can prevent this from happening. But it pays to get one from a pet pharmacy rather than just online or at your local pet store. There is definitely a difference.
In warmer months – and especially near rivers and lakes -you often see clouds of mosquitoes. These have the potential to infect dogs with heartworms, so a good insect spray for dogs is worth having.
But it’s not just insects and other bugs you need to be aware of. Heat can be a killer – 1 in 7 dogs suffering from heatstroke in the UK don’t survive!
So, make sure you always provide a way to cool down quickly and easily. It’s a simple way of keeping your dog healthy & safe. Cool mats are a great help (and they really like them), but always be aware of shady areas that you can take them to.
And, of course, whether you’re indoors or out, make sure they have plenty of water to drink. Dogs can become dehydrated pretty quickly.
Dogs die in hot cars!
If you’re just popping to the shops, leave your dog at home. You can regularly dogs that have been left in cars for “just a couple of minutes”. It’s rarely that short time and cars heat up rapidly.
Here’s a temperature chart showing how the inside of a car heats up compared to outside temperature https://www.vets-now.com/summer/dogs-in-hot-cars/.
As a rule-of-thumb, within 10 minutes the inside temperature will be roughly 10 degrees C higher than outside. And after 30 minutes that will be an increase of 20 degrees!
You may assume that the weather is nice enough to take your dog with you. But, even if it’s balmy outside, the inside of your car can be a fatal trap as it heats up so quickly.
Being aware of all these things isn’t exactly second. But if you pay attention to your dog and apply what you’ve learned here, keeping your dog healthy should become more of a habit.
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