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Life-Saving Summer Tips for Dogs and New Bedford Pet Owners

summer-dog-tripsSummer is a wonderful time of year full of many outdoor opportunities, beautiful weather and situations where New Bedford pet owners will want to bring their dogs along to enjoy the beauty and activities of the season. It is important to bring your dog in for an annual check-up to your local Anchor Animal Hospital in Dartmouth to evaluate his ability to participate in summer fun. Older dogs, young pups and dogs with medical conditions should especially be evaluated to ensure that they don’t become injured or over-do it with too much activity due to their special circumstances.

Always have the number for your Dartmouth emergency vet handy along with a first-aid kit just in case. Read through our past articles on first-aid for New Bedford pet owners and create a home or travel kit that you can use temporarily to help your dog until you can get him professional medical attention. Even if you are out of the South Coast area, make sure to have your veterinary information handy so you can share it with an out-of-town vet for a consultation with your regular vet or to get a recommendation for an out-of-state veterinarian when you need one.

Tip #1 – Never Ever Ever Ever Leave Your Dog in the Car
Dogs love car rides. It’s one of their favorite things to do because it gets them out in the fresh air, allow them to smell and experience new things and, of course, it lets them be with you – their favorite person in the whole wide world. Running errands with your dog can be a lot of fun for both of you, but you should never leave your dog in the car if you have to go into a store to go shopping or even just to pick up something real quick. Visit dog-friendly establishments or make those trips at a time when you don’t have your dog with you. Bring along a friend or family member that you trust to stay in the car with your dog – or don’t bring him at all. The temperature outside is often much less than the temperature inside a hot car, whether it’s in the shade or not. Regardless of the weather or the season, you should never ever ever ever leave your dog in the car.

Tip #2 – Always Provide Access to Fresh, Clean Water
No matter where you are or what you are doing, it is important to ensure that your dog has access to fresh, clean water. Even if you are just going out for an hour or two, ensure that his bowl is filled completely in case he needs it. Air conditioning units can break down five minutes after you walk out the door to go to work and eight hours shut up alone inside the house can be dangerous for any pet, but especially for a pet that does not have access to water.

Tip #3 – Walk When Its Cool and Provide Lots of Shade
When playing or doing activities outdoors, New Bedford pet owners need to make sure that their dog has access to lots of cool shade. Shade doesn’t just keep your dog’s core temperature cooler than if he were stuck in the sunshine, but it also helps to protect his skin from burning. Your local Dartmouth emergency vet sees lots of dogs each year who have become burned from being in the hot sun. Taking your daily walks early in the morning or after sunset in the evening can prevent your dog from becoming over-heated and from getting a sunburn from over-exposure.

Tip #4 – Think About Hot Surfaces and How They Feel on Bare Feet
Would you walk out on the hot asphalt in the middle of a warm summer day? Your dog has sensitive foot pads that can become burned or damaged just by walking on hot concrete, asphalt and other man-made surfaces. One of the most neglected summer tips for dogs, ensure that your pet can walk in grass or on other surfaces that stay cool. Even sand in the middle of a heat wave can burn sensitive feet, so it is important to think smart and not lead your dog onto a surface that could hurt him.

Other Things to Remember
In addition to these important tips, New Bedford pet owners should also make sure that their pet has a way of cooling off when the temperatures rise. Ceiling fans in outdoor dog houses, air conditioning in the house and cool surfaces to lay on when they come in from being outdoors can really be beneficial. Treat your dog before the weather gets warm for fleas, ticks, flies, heartworms and any other local pests. Visit Anchor Animal Hospital in Dartmouth to find out what types of treatments are most important based upon the area you live in and the activity level of your dog.

In some cases, dogs that have long or thick coats might benefit from a summer hair cut. However, some breeds may have issues with sunburns as a result of over-grooming and dogs that already have thin coats or specific colors of fur might also be just as susceptible to burning. Ask your Dartmouth emergency vet about sunscreen and other summer tips for dogs to ensure your pet’s safety during the summer months. If you will be going out of town on vacation, make sure to tell your vet about the area you will be visiting to ensure your dog will be protected when you are out of the area.

Contact Anchor Animal Hospital by calling 508-996-3731 to schedule an appointment or to speak with one of our veterinary staff members. New Bedford pet owners – and pet owners throughout the Southeastern Massachusetts and Rhode Island area – should work to ensure that all of your family members know about these important summer tips for dogs to help keep them safe.