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As summer leads to warmer weather and more time outside, Bark Busters advises pet owners to take special precautions for their dogs. Bark Busters - the world's largest dog training company offers some helpful tips for dog owners on how to keep their canine companions happy, cool and safe during the dog days of summer.
Summer is an incredible season for outdoor fun with our dogs, however, some people forget to take measures to keep their dog safe as temperatures rise and daily activities change.
Beat the Heat
Remember that a parked car can be like an oven and can become dangerously hot in only a few minutes. Dogs are not efficient at cooling themselves. They cannot perspire and can only dispel heat by panting and through the pads of their feet. Panting and drinking water helps to cool them, but if they have only overheated air to breathe in a parked car, dogs can suffer brain and organ damage after just 15 minutes.
Light-coloured dog coats can invite damage from the sun's ultraviolet rays, leading to sunburn and possible skin cancer. If your dog is light-coloured and / or he lacks black pigment around the eyes, ears and nose, keep him out of the bright sun. Ask your vet about sun block for your dog, preferably in a formula he can't lick off.
Dogs should always have access to cool shade and fresh water in the summer heat.
Rules of the Road
An unrestrained dog in a vehicle is dangerous to everyone in the car, including the dog himself. Secure your dog in the back seat with a safety harness or in a pet carrier fastened to a seatbelt. Another option is to install a pet barrier or crate to keep the dog in the back area of your vehicle. Dogs riding in the front can be seriously hurt if the airbags deploy.
Avoid allowing your dog to hang his head out the car window - he could suffer eye injury from flying debris or worse.
When stopping the car along your journey, attach a lead to the dog's collar before opening the door so he can't escape. Use a lead to walk your dog.
Waterproof Your Dog
Many dogs enjoy swimming, no matter how clean or dirty the water. If your dog has had a dip in a lake or river, rinse him off to avoid ear infections, eye infections and pesky clingy insects which can imbed themselves into his fur.
If your dog loves to jump into your swimming pool or paddling pool, make sure he knows how to get out safely. When a dog falls into a lake or river, his instinct tells him to turn around and get out from the point at which he fell in. However, in a swimming pool, a dog may drown if he follows this instinctive action. Therefore, teach your dog where and how to get out of the pool regardless of where he went in.
Not all dogs like or know how to swim. If your dog appears eager to give swimming a try, let him get used to it gradually. Refrain from throwing a nervous, inexperienced swimmer into the water.
Fear of Thunderstorms
Fear of thunderstorms is common in dogs. Many dogs can sense a storm coming from the rapidly falling barometric pressure. Your dog may show anxiety even before the storm can be heard.
Dogs can sense fear or discomfort from people, so it is important you develop a calm attitude toward storms. Let your dog stay close, and try to distract him with play. Do not try to comfort him in a sympathetic voice; this will sound like praise and may increase his nervousness and confusion.
Keep windows and curtains closed to reduce noise and bright flashes. Turn on a TV or radio at normal volume to distract your dog from loud noises and help him to relax.
Provide your dog with a safe place to be during storms, whether inside or out. Create a special den-like area in your home where your dog always feels safe and secure. If a storm is brewing, lead your dog to his special place to help him feel calm and protected.
By taking these precautions, you and your dog can enjoy a healthier, fun-filled summertime.