3 Summer Health Risks For Your Dog

Summer is a great time of year for dogs and dog lovers. You and your furry friend can enjoy the warm weather by playing outside, going to the dog park, or simply taking a nice walk through the neighborhood. While summer may be an enjoyable time of the year, it can also present unique health risks, especially to dogs. Below are a few risks that could lead to injury, illness, or even death. Be sure to take steps to minimize these risks and protect your furry friend.

Heat. Heat is a constant danger for dogs. Humans are able to reduce heat risk by sweating. However, dogs don't have that same option. That's why heat can often be much more dangerous for a dog than it is for their human counterpart. Obviously, dogs shouldn't be left in a hot car as that can lead to severe heat stroke. However, you also may not want to leave them outside for too long in high temperatures. If the dog must be outside, be sure they have plenty of water, access to shade, and possibly either a sprinkler or some other water device.

Also be careful about walking on hot pavement. If the asphalt or concrete is too hot for your bare feet, it's probably too hot for your dog too. While your dog may follow your lead, it's possible that the hot surface could burn their paws. Consider a walk through grass or a shady path instead.

Poisonous materials. There are a wide range of materials that are used in the summer that can be poisonous to dogs. Sunscreen contains elements that can cause vomit, diarrhea, and even internal bleeding. If your dog licks your hand or leg after you apply sunscreen, they could ingest some. Consider buying pet-safe sunscreen that doesn't include dangerous chemicals.

Lawncare chemicals and fertilizers are often common during the summer. If ingested, these materials can also cause serious stomach issues. If you apply lawncare chemicals, keep your dog off the lawn for a couple days. Also, avoid lawns in your area that have chemical warning signs or that you've seen treated recently.

Bugs. Mosquitoes and other bugs can be pesky for humans during warm weather. But they can be downright dangerous for dogs. Mosquitoes carry heartworm, a dangerous dog illness. Fleas and ticks are also prevalent and can carry a number of different diseases. The best way to minimize this risk is to keep your dog on flea and tick and heartworm medicines. You can pick up monthly tablets from your vet or local pet store. Also, be sure to check your dog for flea and ticks each night and possibly use a topical ointment if you find any.

Ready to keep your four-legged friend healthy this summer? Talk to your local veterinarian. They can provide suggestions to reduce your dog's risk.

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