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  • Second Opinion Magazine

Summer Essentials forDogs

By Melissa Kullman, Puckabee's Eco-Friendly Grooming

It's finally here! The temperatures are on the rise, the days are longer, we’re shedding our layers, we are ready for spring and summer! The snow and blistering temperatures are behind us and we’re planning summer getaways, weekends to cabins, outdoor adventures and backyard fun with family and friends. In all the excitement, let’s not forget the changing needs of our best fur buddies. Here are a few tips and reminders as we head into the glorious warm spring and summer months.

Fleas, Ticks & Mosquitoes (Oh, my!)

Yep, they’re back. As soon as we see temperatures rise, we will also see reemergence of ticks and fleas. Fleas and ticks are more than willing to share a variety of diseases with us and our dogs. From Ehrlichiosis and Anaplasmosis to the dreaded Lyme disease, these diseases are sure to make you and your pet miserable and ruin any planned summer fun. Speaking of pesky bugs, mosquitoes are high on the list of pests that target your dog, too. If you need to move indoors to avoid being a blood buffet, so does your fur friend! Avoid traditional bug sprays for your dog because dogs lick and will ingest what is sprayed on them. However, do check out Wondercide brand products for help keeping fleas, ticks and mosquitoes at bay. Wondercide has a wide range of plant-powered products to protect your pet this season!

Sun Protection

With all the sun in our future, it’s so important to remember that your dog can get sunburn too. Dogs that have very short haircuts, thinning hair areas, or bad spots due to various skin conditions are at a higher risk, but all dogs need protection on exposed skin areas, like those adorable snouts. Use extra care when your dogs are swimming all day at the lake, sleeping out in the yard in the sun and on the boat. Check out Petkin SPF 15 Doggy Sunstick or Lucky Pup Dog Sunbalm—both are nontoxic!

Keeping Cool

Summer heat is dangerous for dogs—they suffer from heatstroke just like we do! As a rule, never leave a dog in a heat trap. A heat trap is a space with little to no air circulation where heat can quickly increase: your car, rooms in your house, tents, enclosed plastic, metal or wooden kennels, or an enclosed garage or shed. It can take as little as 15 minutes for a dog to die of heatstroke. A dog’s healthy body temperature is 101°. At 103° heatstroke has set in and at 109° organs begin to fail, and sadly only about half of dogs with heatstroke survive. Minimize sun and heat exposure by restricting exercise and saving walks for early morning or later in the evening. Always offer plenty of cool fresh water, and consider investing in a cooling pad. Many dogs like a little pool time too: a small kiddie pool to wade through and lounge in to cool themselves.

Warmer weather can be an amazing time to find adventure and make memories with our family and pets. Make sure to take the proper precautions and plan ahead so you and your pet can enjoy this spring and summer to the fullest!

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