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Prep Your Pup For Summertime

I’m a dog-person. Not like I’m half-dog and half-person…I think you get what I mean. Anyway–I love dogs. And the summer weather here in Tulsa can become treacherous for our canine companions. So, here are some things to look out for as our weather begins to really heat up.

Water, Water, Water!
Make sure your pup has lots of cool, clean, fresh water. I’ve also read about making low sodium chicken broth or yogurt ice cubes, and introducing canned dog foods (freeze and toss into a Kong!!!). Canned dog food will help increase the moisture content in your dog’s diet.

My Dog Pads Are Barkin’!
The super hot sun really heats up the asphalt on sidewalks and streets. So much so, that it can heat to a temperature that can burn our dog’s paws. To avoid this try to walk your dog very early in the morning or in the late evening when the streets have cooled off. If you have no choice, walk your dog during the day and rock some dog booties in an effort to protect his feet or try and find space in shade with some grass. The hand test is the best way to determine if it’s too hot to walk. Just place your hand down on the asphalt for about thirty seconds–if you need to pull your hand away because the street is too hot, it’s too hot for Fido to walk on without hurting his paws. The rule of paw (or thumb): if you don’t want your hand on the street for thirty seconds, your pup probably does not want his paws on it for thirty or more minutes of walking. Check out some cool booties at The Dog Bowl – Eatery and Boutique for Dogs at 4250 South Peoria in Tulsa, or call them at (918) 574-BARK.

Icky Parasites
Summer is the season for fleas, ticks and mosquitoes; pests which can present a minor discomfort to your dog at best and at worst may be life threatening or cause self-mutilating behaviors. There are a wide variety of products out there, such as chemical spot-on treatments, repellent shampoos, essential oils, and the old school flea/tick collar. Check in with your vet to see what would be recommended for your dog. I put Frontline on Lola and she has been doing great for years.

Heat Stroke
Heat stroke is no laughing matter. I despise seeing dogs stranded in hot cars. Can you imagine if someone locked you up in your car when the ouLolatdoor temperature is a blazing 98 degrees? I can’t because I’d probably die! So, if I see you and you’ve locked your dog in the car I will punch you in the nose, take your car keys and drive your dog to my house…and then set your car on fire. But really, heat stroke is a serious risk to your dog’s health – it can be fatal. Prevent heat stroke by restricting your pet’s exercise and lots of fresh water, provide a cool place to rest, if your dog likes to swim–go find a spot to hop in the water, cooling mats are a great option too, and puh-lease do not leave your dog unattended in the car during summer heat.

People think that you can simply crack your your car windows, find some shade and everything will be alright. Nope. You’re wrong. If it’s 95 degrees in the middle of the day and you leave your windows cracked, the temperature in your car can actually get as high as 113 degrees. If you must leave your dog in the car the air conditioning should stay on. It’s that simple. Leaving a dog to die in a hot car is animal cruelty. ‘Nuff said!

Seasonal allergies can include fleas, grass and various plants, and mold. Your dog may have seasonal allergies if you notice them scratching and losing fur. If that’s the case, I’d set up a visit with your vet. Run a Google search because there are plenty of informative websites where you can learn more about the various kinds of allergies affecting dogs and treatments for canine allergies in any season. I’ve used this miracle supplement on Lola before and couldn’t believe the difference!

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June 8th, 2011


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