How To Take Care of Dogs In The Summer

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Jilene Jensen, Staff Writer

Summer is coming and it is getting hotter which means shedding season. Shedding is normal for animals and it means that they are getting rid of their winter coats. However, there are several major issues with the heat.

Shedding

For most dogs, shedding season starts around spring and summer. However, others can shed all the time year round. There is no way to stop it, only to control it. The best way is grooming family dogs from 6 to 8 weeks. For the long haired breeds like the Great Pyrenees it is better to groom them once a week. Not grooming would cause a dog to become matted, resulting in being shaved.

Grooming is not just about making pets look pretty. It’s also essential to an animal’s health whether it is trimming nails or brushing. According to an article from Pacific Animal Hospital, “Brushing also stimulates the natural oils in your pets’ fur, which are then spread across the coat leaving it with a glossy and healthy sheen.” Trimming a dog’s nails will reduce the risk of a nail growing in their pads.

Leaving Dogs in Hot Cars

Even though dogs shed during the spring to remove their winter coat, leaving dogs in hot cars is not a good idea, even with the air conditioning on. Since dogs can’t regulate their own body temperature they are likely to get heat stroke. “In our clinic this past summer we had about 1 out of every 50 pets seen in a day.  They number seem low, but over a months time that could mean as many as 10 to 15 deaths depending on when we were able to intervene and start treatment.” said Jennifer Ford, Vet Tech.

Outside of a car is cooler than inside of a car. For example, if it’s a 70 degree day and in a car it get hotter every second, in ten minutes the temperature could reach up to 89 degrees, according to a car temperature chart.

Dog Walking  

Walking dogs is an everyday routine for families who own dogs. This depends on age, the breed, behavior, and fitness of the dog. At a young age, puppies should be walked 30 minutes a day. Over exercising a dog can potentially cause injury to the muscle and joints. During the summer, hot pavement burns their pads, causing blisters.

The behavioral aspect on walking a dog can depend on how friendly they are with other dogs and people. Behavior like fear, aggression, and anxiety could cause fights to break out with other dogs. Socializing with dogs and people at a young age is very important. Depending on the breed some dogs are not meant to be around other dogs.

Another behavioral aspect could be the person who is handling the dog. Just like most companion animals (yes cats too), dogs can sense the emotions of his or her owner because the tenseness of the owner (when they are one the exact same street as another dog) and can be transmitted to the dog by the leash. Thinking that the owner is in danger, “I need to protect my human.”