weather has returned, and now is a good time to make
needed changes in your dog’s routine and environment
to ensure a safe and comfortable spring and summer.
your dog’s outdoor environment. Did your fence survive
the winter intact? Check for loose boards and areas at
the bottom of the fence for any signs of a lapse in
security. Your dog should not be able to push through or
dig under the fence to freedom, and possible danger; nor
should a neighbor’s dog be able to make it into your
sure your dog’s water source is kept in an area that
is shaded for the majority of the day, and use a larger
container to ensure it always has access to an abundant
amount of cool water. Do not use any of the
"automatic water" devices that screw directly
onto a hose bib. Water can heat up in the pipes to
scalding temperatures and, as a result, your dog will
not be able to drink during the hottest portion of the
many dogs don’t enjoy swimming, the vast majority of
them appreciate lying in a shallow pool of cool water.
Purchasing a small plastic pool for your dog is an
inexpensive way to offer more comfort in the summer.
Just fill it with a few inches of water, and let your
dog do what it wants to with it. Rinse and refill daily.
and stickers that may have germinated in your yard need
to be removed, as they have an uncanny way of ending up
in your dog’s ears, between toes, and even sniffed up
the nose, all of which require veterinary attention.
you have a short-muzzled dog — bulldogs, pugs, bull
mastiffs, boxers, Boston terriers, Cavalier King Charles
spaniels, etc., be aware that these breeds simply cannot
adequately keep themselves cool outdoors in extreme
heat. These dogs need to be indoors during the day, and
exercise should occur in the early mornings or evenings.
your dog is a great way to get in some good exercise and
enjoy the beautiful weather. Keep in mind, however, that
although a dog’s foot pads are thick and tough, they
cannot stand extreme heat. Plan to walk your dog during
the cooler mornings or evenings, or walk on grass
instead of concrete or asphalt. If your dog is on a hot
surface — the back of a pickup can get too hot, too
— and is alternately picking up one paw after the
other, your dog is uncomfortable and burning its foot
pads. Move it immediately to a cooler area.
have a few dogs that love to ride in the car, so I
frequently take one or more of them with me when I run
errands. As fun as this is, it has to stop when the
weather warms. Finding a shady spot and rolling down the
windows will not effectively lower the risk of your dog
over-heating in your vehicle, which can happen quickly.
Better to leave your dog at home until the cooler
"pooper patrol" duty will help keep the fly
population down in your yard, and help prevent the
spread of disease. And let’s remember that picking up
after your dog is just as important out in public.
expect your dog to start shedding its winter undercoat.
Even short-coated dogs benefits from some extra coat
attention. If you can’t keep up with the brushing out
of dead coat, get your dog to a professional groomer to
prevent the coat from painfully matting and possibly
causing skin irritation.
the weather with your dog when and where you safely can;
as always, your dog is relying on your good judgment to
keep it safe, happy and healthy.