I’ll admit, I’m guilty of the first two! I didn’t know that some of the things I thought would help my pooch during the hot summer months – were actually not ideal. What about you? What tips can you add to the three below?
Dog owners might think they are helping their dog beat the summer heat or giving them a good time with certain activities, but canine authority Jeff Franklin warns of 3 Summer Don’ts for Dogs that can actually be harmful.
1. Shaving long-haired dogs because it’s hot.
“Over the years, I have had hundreds of folks that take their long-haired dogs and shave them for the summer to keep them cool,” says Franklin. “I suppose that is some cases it works OK. However, I have seen dogs that are shaved get hot much quicker due to not being used to having their skin that exposed to direct sun. It reminds me of my first experience working near the equator. I was unaware and didn’t know nor ask about sun safety. I got sun poison within the first few days as even though it was only 70/80 degrees outside, my skin was not conditioned for this type of sun exposure. So I also tell folks if you are shaving your dog for the summer give their skin time to accumulate to all and use sunscreen. If you think this is a fix-all for dogs, know that in the heat, especially the direct sun, dogs (maybe most mammals) are not intended to live and or work in for extended amounts of time. So many people do not think about dogs getting sunburned and the long-term side effects as well. Of course, there are some times when I see dogs getting shaved late in the year and now we have a dog with a naturally long and probably double coat almost hairless as winter arrives. Remember, these think longer coats do not grow back overnight.”
2. Dogs swimming.
“Salt, chorine, and or pond waters all have side effects for dogs. Depending on the type of dog and the overall conditions of the weather and water, year-round, beware. I do caution with salt water as it certainly will get swallowed causing diarrhea and sometimes vomiting. Next, the salt needs to be washed off the hair and skin, because it will dry them out and cause issues over time much like we need to do for ourselves after playing in the ocean. Pools are great, but again, chorine and or salt-based pools, we just need to be cautious with the amount of sun exposure, getting the dogs water off after and not to overdo it with our pups that would jump into the water to play and or retrieve all day long. They probably need mandatory breaks at times much as some kids would. Pond or lake waters are often the better type do to being more natural for the dogs, however, they are still sometimes stagnant (especially ponds) and the dogs will need a cleaning afterward, if for nothing else the smell. Stagnant smaller bodies of water also tend to be breeding and living grounds for internal parasites, bacteria, mosquitoes, other unwanted insects not to mention other animals. So, for me, these small pondlike areas with stagnate waters are just a no-go for my dogs. Many dogs have had some injuries while swimming when mixing it up with snakes, turtles and other critters that live in or around waters. It’s not necessarily their fault, as we all protect our home and families, so I just try to be mindful of this, keep an eye out, and for sure I do my best to keep my dog away from other animals in or around the water (actually the same everywhere….neighborhoods, hiking, stores, etc).
Another consideration while are dogs are exercising and playing in and or around water are hazards such as fish hooks, fishing lines, garbage, debris, leftover human food, and animal carcasses (especially fish). We all can love our dogs to death but the reality is they will eat about anything, disgusting to us or not, and often times it’s not good for them in these scenarios. Folks do not think about the dogs as they do humans and much of the time, that is often great, but these types of water all can be great but also will side effects that are largely easy to minimize.
3. Dogs in vehicles.
If your dog is with you on a road trip, be sure to have the air conditioner running. Don’t keep your dog in the back of a truck. They need shade and to have available water while being in a vehicle.
Franklin is the owner of Cobra Canine and has worked with over 10,000 pet dogs and families. He gives dogs and their owners a new leash on life and turns pets with behavioral issues into family assets. His memoir by Matthew Duffy, Franklin: The Man Behind the United States Commando Dogs, offers an exhilarating look into his fascinating career as the pioneer behind Elite Working dogs trained for the United States Military. Connect with Jeff Franklin on Facebook @franklinjcanine, Twitter @CobraCanine, Instagram @franklincanine and visit www.cobracanine.com. Franklin has been see on MSNBC and The Pet Show.
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