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Is Your Dogs Body Summer Ready?

November is here which means summer is near! Read on for our top tips on preparing your pooch for the summer season.

Trimming the Tummy

If you think your dog has put on some winter pounds, you may want to consider the following tips to help them shed those unwanted kilos in time for summer.

  • One of the easiest things you can do to help your dog lose a bit of weight is to reduce their portion sizes. Follow the directions on their food to ensure you are not overfeeding them.
  • If they are still hungry and begging for food after they have eaten their allowance, you can swap their usual treats for something more healthy. Carrot sticks or green beans make great treats, or you can add vegetables like broccoli to their meal to fill them up.
  • Apples and blueberries are a nice sweet treat and can be served chilled or frozen for the perfect summer snack.
  • Increasing the amount of exercise your dog does is also helpful. You should avoid walking or playing in the middle of the day when it is too hot. Swimming is another great activity to help shed that unwanted weight and keep cool at the same time.

Be sure to check in with your dogs’ vet if they have suddenly gained or lost a large amount of weight to ensure there are no underlying health issues at play. They are also a great source of information and advice to help keep your dog at a healthy weight.

Season of Indulgence

Summer can be the season of indulgence for everyone, dogs included, and it can be hard to make sure Fido doesn’t get too many extra treats over the holidays. Summer also brings out more foods that can be dangerous or toxic to dogs, so keep a close eye on your dog when you bring out the roast at Christmas lunch and the chocolates at dessert.

Summer Skin Concerns

Dogs with short, thin fur and dogs with white fur are more prone to getting sunburnt, so extra care should be taken when out in the sun. Apply a dog-friendly sunscreen to the areas of your pooch that need extra protection such as their nose or ears. Avoid going out in the sun in the middle of the day and consider taking your walks in the early morning or late at night when it is cooler.

Handling the Heat

You may want to consider getting your dog clipped to help them cope in the summer weather.

But remember, dog breeds with a double coat should never be clipped. A double coat is designed to keep the dog cool in summer and warm in winter and their fur may not grow back properly if clipped.

Breeds with a double coat include Alaskan and Siberian Huskies, German Shepherds, Pomeranians, Malamutes, Samoyeds, Great Pyrenees, Australian Shepherds, Border Collies, Cattle Dogs, Labradors, many varieties of Terriers, Bernese Mountain Dogs and Golden Retrievers. Instead of clipping, regular grooming and brushing will help keep your double-coated companion cool.

Pest Protection

Fleas can seem more abundant in the summer months as they become more active in the warmer weather. Their breeding cycle also becomes shorter the higher the temperature. Before the weather gets really warm is the ideal time to ensure your dog’s flea prevention is up to date. Ticks also love the warmer weather so if they are known to live in your area, you may want to consider choosing a preventative that protects against ticks.

If your dog loves being in the water, be sure you are choosing a product that is waterproof. Chewable products are a great option as they do not require your dog to be kept out of the water for the product to remain effective.

Check out our full range of flea and tick products for dogs here.

Summertime Dangers

Snakes

As the weather warms up, snakes will soon be on the move again. Avoid walking your dog in long grass and in or around bushland. If you suspect your dog has been bitten by a snake, take them immediately to your nearest vet. They may or may not show any symptoms at first, and early treatment is key to a full recovery. Some symptoms your dog may display if they have been bitten include:

  • Sudden weakness followed by collapse
  • Vomiting
  • Blood in urine
  • Twitching or shaking muscles
  • Loss of bladder and bowel control
  • Paralysis
  • Dilated pupils
  • Swollen limbs

If you are able to, place a pressure bandage over the site of the bite. Do not apply a tourniquet or wash the wound. You do not need to try and catch the snake that has bitten your dog as vets can perform a test to identify the type of snake so they can select the appropriate treatment.

Drowning

If your dog is unable to swim, or is swimming in the ocean, they may be at risk of drowning. Never let your dog swim unattended and keep a close eye on them whenever they are near water. If you have a fence around your pool, ensure the fence is high enough so your dog cannot jump over and keep the gate closed at all times.

It is best that you start to introduce your dog to the water when they are a puppy (if you are able to), but it is never too late to help your dog become more comfortable in the water.

Another important thing to teach your dog is how to get out of your pool if they fall in. Stand on the stairs in the pool with treats and encourage your dog to use the stairs to get themselves out of the pool. Reward them with a treat and lots of praise when they do so and repeat at the beginning of summer just to remind them.

A doggy life jacket may also be helpful for dogs that spend a lot of time in and around water as an extra layer of protection.

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