This weather can be particularly hard on your dogs. We must consider not just keeping them out of the sun, but handling issues associated with thunder and heavy rainstorms.
Some of this information is just plain common sense, but we don’t always think about it. When we go outside, we choose the proper attire for ourselves, but your dog’s attire never changes. Is it too hot for him on your walk through the neighborhood?
We also bring supplies for ourselves and need to think about the dog’s needs as well. What does that mean? It definitely depends where you and your dog are going.
Here are some items you can take along for your furry friends and tips for your summer excursions.
Beach or lake: Lots of fresh water and a bowl, sunscreen for nose, long line that can get wet or off-leash equipment, water toys, shade cover for rest with you, towels, Benadryl spray for bites, Neosporin ointment for cuts. Possibly Doggles, depending on the dog.
Don’t let dogs play obsessively without a timeout. If they like water, the ocean will cool them down. If your dog swims or can be on a boat, don’t forget the life jacket. When you leave the beach, hose them down with fresh water and check their paws for any cuts or burrs. When you get home, bathe them and continue checking for burrs and sand fleas.
Mountains or hiking: Pre-spray dogs with insect repellent containing citronella. Take along a cooling bandana, first aid kit containing bandages, antibiotic ointment, Benadryl – both oral pills and spray for bites, self-stick vet wrap, gauze pads, cleaning cloths such as those soaked in hydrogen peroxide or alcohol. Water and food, of course, if you are spending time away. Plan on keeping the dog near you on a short leash since exploring new places can be dangerous.
If the terrain is rough, your dog can wear booties similar to that of Search and Rescue dogs. Booties will protect a dog’s feet from anything sharp, or even areas that might be slick due to dampness.
Anywhere you might go where your dog might burn his paw pads is a place for booties – even for bike riding, jogging or walking on hot pavement. Also consider going out with your dog early in the morning or late in the evening while it is still light but the sun is not so strong.
When traveling, always have your vet records, including rabies, and plenty of food. Have all their vaccines updated before you travel.
Calming medication is a must if your dog is afraid of thunder, strange places and car riding.
I like to travel with Imodium in case of diarrhea and, if possible, use bottled water while travelling since a change in water may cause intestinal distress.
Coated aspirin, if your dog ends up limping, will help until you can see your vet. Take their monthly medication along since you may not be able to get them readily if you are travelling.
Have fun and keep everyone safe, two- and four-legged ones!
Abby Bird is owner of Alphadog Training Academy. AlphadogTrainingAcademy@gmail.com