We all want to have a happy, healthy and safe summer with our dog, but want to remind people that the beach and sand can poses a threat to many dogs as I shared last year with Josie ending up in the hospital for the night after a day at the beach. The four major safety concerns are: dehydration, salt intoxication, sunburns (including paws) and a heat stroke. When heading out to the beach this year with your pet-keep in mind-they will need shade, if the sand is to hot for your feet, it is just as hot for your fur kid, and don't forget water! Also, sunscreen..I really want to touch on this. It's very important to put sunscreen on dogs, especially those with light skin and white fur or hair, a dog's skin can be damaged by the sun just like our own, so they require the same protection against the development of sunburn and skin cancer. Josie is a mix with darker hair, and semi black so absorbs the suns like we would wearing dark colors. Keep in mind, darker dogs are at a higher risk of overheating.
If your dog has to be outdoors during peak sun exposure hours (10 am to 4 pm), sunscreen should be reapplied to sun-sensitive areas of the body-the nose, around the lips, tips of the ears, the groin, and the belly-throughout the day. If your dog has gone swimming, the sunscreen should be immediately reapplied-just as you would your children. The safest and most effective sunscreen to put on your dogs is one that is specifically designed for dogs. I personally use https://mydognoseit.com/ and there are many other great natural brands on the market. These sunscreens are designed with dogs in mind and don't pose any health risks.
Also, just because it's heating up-doesn't mean you can't do things-you just have to be a little more flexible in your hours, and be more aware and prepared.
Living in California, once it starts to get hot- I move Josie's morning walks to earlier hours and go out later when the sun is setting. I always carry a bottle of water, and a collapsible bowl, and try to walk the shady route since asphalt can burn dogs' paws. I always bring a big bottle as well just in case-someone forgets. On later afternoon walks to play fetch -I also make sure to keep Josie up to date on her flee and tick medication. This is the time of year when it's warmer all the bugs are out. I prefer to give Josie oral medication (this way I just do it once a month on the 1st so I don't forget), but there are great collars and drops as well. Whatever your choice-just make sure to keep your pet protected.
The summer is fun since we can be outside longer, and spend more time enjoying the outdoors. Being a FirstTimeFurMom- I never really thought about sunscreen for my dog, salt intoxication, sand, or heat stroke. I hope these reminders help you enjoy this kickoff to warmer weather and safe-fun in the sun.
Always try to adopt or rescue when pawsible,
It's Time for Summer
Dawn McCarthy June 2018
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