Rising temperatures can be hazardous for our four-legged friends, however there are things you can do to help ensure they stay happy and healthy this summer. At Bob Martin, we have been looking out for pets for over 130 years and in that time we have hopefully learned a thing or two about keeping them safe during the warmer weather. Here are our top 5 tips to keep your dog happy and healthy this summer:
Provide areas of shade and fresh water
We know that most dogs love basking in the sunshine and will often find the warmest spot in the garden to relax. Unfortunately, dogs can’t regulate their body temperatures as well as humans, so it’s not as easy for them to stay cool. Prolonged exposure puts them at risk for developing heat stroke.
Your dog can easily get dehydrated in warmer weather, so it’s important to do everything you can to keep them cool and encourage them to take on more fluids. Ensure you provide them with plenty of shade and fresh drinking water. You could even put ice cubes into your dog's water bowl or create some homemade frozen treats to help keep them cool (and occupied).
How do I tell if my dog is dehydrated?
- Inspect their gums. Are they sticky or tacky? If so, this may be the first sign of dehydration.
- Test the elasticity of their skin. A well-hydrated dog’s skin will slip back into place immediately.
- Check their eyes. Sunken eyes that appear dry could indicate dehydration.
- Look out for excessive panting, reduced energy levels and lethargy.
You could even consider keeping them indoors during the hottest hours of the day, usually between 10am and 3pm, when the sun is at its hottest.
Create circulation around the home
If you do keep your dog indoors, ensure adequate ventilation and air flow around the home. Consider placing fans around the house to keep the air moving, however remember not to point the fan directly at your dog. It also goes without saying that you should never leave your dog in the car during hot weather. An open window isn’t enough to keep the car cool.
Avoid strenuous exercise or long walks
Whilst dogs do need exercise (even when it's hot), we recommend walking them in the morning or evening when it's cooler to reduce the risk of heatstroke and burning their paws on the pavement. Be particularly careful if your dog is unfit, overweight or suffers from breathing difficulties.
Signs of heatstroke:
- Heavy panting and difficulty breathing
- Excessive drooling
- The dog appears lethargic, drowsy or uncoordinated
- Collapsed or vomiting
If your dog is showing any of these signs, please contact your nearest vet immediately.
If you are going out for a walk, be aware that tarmac can get very hot in the sun, so it’s important to check it with your hand before you set off. Try the ‘five-second test’; if it’s too hot for your hand, it’s too hot for your dog’s paws.
Signs of burned paws:
- Limping or refusing to walk
- Licking or chewing at the feet
- Pads darker in colour
- Blisters or redness
Keep an eye out for fleas and ticks
Unfortunately, warmer weather can bring with it some unwanted hazards for our four-legged friends in the shape of fleas and ticks. Both fleas and ticks feed on your dog’s blood, with adult fleas able to lay up to 60 eggs a day, meaning that even one little critter on your pet could lead to a nasty infestation in no time.
The warmer weather provides a perfect breeding ground for these pesky parasites and if your pet is spending more time outdoors, they’re more likely to come into contact with them.
Whilst adult fleas and ticks live on your pet, their eggs, larvae and pupae will be found all over your home including your pet’s bedding, carpets and other soft furnishings. This is why it’s so important to treat both your pet and your home. More detail on fleas and ticks can be found in our previous Blog here.
How can I tell if my dog has fleas or ticks?
- Are they scratching more than normal? This is usually the most obvious sign they have fleas.
- Part your pet’s fur and look for any small black ‘crumbs’; these are actually flea faeces!
- Comb through their fur in both directions, paying particular attention to their armpits, groin, ears and neck areas. Don’t forget to check for ticks between their toes and other tricky to reach spots.
More detail on how to treat your pet for fleas and ticks can be found here.
How do I prevent my pet from getting fleas or ticks in the first place?
To help keep your pet flea and tick free, use an easy to apply spot-on treatment as part of their regular healthcare routine. Selecting a product containing S-methoprene, as this will ensure you’re breaking the flea lifecycle by preventing any eggs or larvae from developing.
We recommend treating your pet monthly, however it’s important that you carefully read the packaging of whatever product you’re using. Not all flea and tick treatments are the same, with some products lasting longer than others. Some are effective against fleas and ticks, whereas others are not, so it’s important to always check the pack. We also suggest making a note on your calendar of when treatments are due so that you don't forget.
For more helpful advice on caring for your pet’s healthcare needs, head over to bobmartin.co.uk.
About Bob Martin
For over 130 years, Bob Martin have been helping take care of the little things (and we don’t just mean fleas and ticks) that pet owners love most about life with their pets.
Bob Martin continue to help pet owners keep their pets healthy and free from fleas, ticks and worms; making vet-quality products available and affordable, without compromising on quality.
With Bob Martin’s range of treatment and prevention products, it couldn’t be easier to say goodbye to pesky parasites. Offering a comprehensive range of products for both pet and home, Bob Martin’s products are regulated and approved by the Veterinary Medicines Directorate. This means you can have added peace of mind that they are not only safe, but also effective.
Bob Martin can be found in pet aisles of all major supermarkets, pet specialists and independent pet retailers, and is now available to order direct from bobmartin.co.uk.
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