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How to keep you dog safe this summer

dogs and summer, dog swimming in ocean, dog on beach

Dog days of Summer 

Sum Sum Summertime is finally here! Everyone is ready to stretch their legs, beit 2 or 4, and run outside! Summer can be an super fun time for you to spend time outdoors with your dog running, lying around, going to the beach, swimming and all the other fun activities that come along with summer. Here are some tips to have a care-free summer with your dog. 

Can Your Dog Get Allergies?

Yes! Allergies are very common in dogs. 

The 3 most common dog allergies are: 

  1. Food
  2. Fleas
  3. Environment

1. FOOD

Food allergies can obviously occur all year round but we want to include it so you don't mistake a tick bite for an intolerance to gluten.

Indications of a food allergy in your dog:

Itchy skin. If you notice your pup scratching and/or licking his skin excessively, he MAY be suffering from an allergic reaction to his food. Dogs can be allergic to something as basic as chicken. Call your vet to see if she has suggestions. There are a lot of all-natural dog food companies out there that you may want to try.

We like Clean Bowl Club where you can choose between chicken, meat, turkey, and dry or fresh food.

tick bite in dogs, fleas in dogs, cocker spaniel, dog scratching

Cocker Spaniel scratching himself in the shade. 

2. FLEAS

A flea allergy is a severe reaction to a flea bite. It can cause severe itching. The intense scratching can cause skin wounds. Some dogs are allergic to the Flea saliva.

Your dog should be on Flea prevention all year round. We like Simparica or Nexgard but you can always ask your Vet for a suggestion.

All flea and tick prevention comes specific for your dog’s size so be sure to make sure you get the correct dosage. 

If you think your dog is having an allergic reaction to fleas, call your Vet immediately. They may recommend oral, topical or injected medication in addition to prescribing a topical ointment.

corgi, dogs and grass, dogs and pollen, dogs and pesticides

Cute Corgi enjoy a romp through the grass

3. ENVIRONMENT

Environmental allergens are most often seasonal so you may notice a change in you dog’s behavior in the warmer months when she is spending more time outside, rolling in the grass and sniffing the great outdoors. Pollen, grass, mold and  dust, can cause an allergic reaction in your dog. The most common areas affected by such allergens are itchy skin, paws, and ears but can also be seen around the eyes and snout. If you notice your dog licking or scratching these areas excessively, call your vet. 

Not as common but also can be signs of an allergic reaction is diarrhea and vomiting. 

All skin allergies pose the risk of secondary infection. As your dog scratches, bites, and licks at his skin, he risks opening up his skin to yeast and bacterial infections that may require treatment.

What to do if you want to treat your lawn with pesticides 

Just like humans, dogs can have an allergic reaction to pesticides. If you ever let your roam free in a yard or park you will notice that he rarely simply walks around the part the way we humans might. Dog go full-on, rolling, lying, digging and shoving their snout into any nook and cranny. Even if you are one of the lucky ones who’s dog simply strolls and sniffs, their close proximity to the ground can cause them to inhale more fumes than us. 

You never want to let your pooch free on a lawn that has been treated with pesticides. Even in the best of controlled circumstances i.e: organic product or you know exactly what has been applied to the grass, your dog can have an allergic reaction. 

What are Allergic reactions from pesticides:

  1. Skin rash
  2. Nausea and vomiting
  3. Eye irritations
  4. Respiratory problems

Call your vet immediately if you notice any of the above symptoms. 

Recommendations for how long you should keep your dog off treated grass ranges from 3-6-48 hours. Ask your trusted Vet. 

 

dogs and pesticides, dogs and grass, keeping dog safe from pesticides

Tall summer grass can hide hidden dangers for you dog

How do you protect your dog from Ticks 

Unfortunately, warmer months also mean ticks are out in full force. Ticks are parasites and attach themselves to dogs and cats. No dog owner wants their dog to be bitten by a tick. 

There are many tick-born diseases including Lyme disease,Bartonella and Rocky Mountain Spotted Fever.

LYME DISEASE

Lyme Disease comes from what we call a Deer Tick but also knows as the Black-Legged Tick. The good news is that the tick has to be attached to his host for about 36-48 hours in order to transmit the disease. That said, signs of illness can take 2-5 months to show. 

The most common cases of Lym disease are reported in the United States in the Northeast, Upper Midwest and Northwestern states. That said, Lyme disease is found in almost every U.S State, Europe and Asia.

Signs of Lyme Disease can be fever, lethargy, limpness and/or swelling of lymph nodes. If your dog seems “off” then take him to the Vet. A blood test can determine Lyme Disease. 

In addition to many Tick preventatives out there such as Nexgard, Simparica, Frontline, there is also a Vaccine. Ask your vet if your dog is a good candidate. 

BARTONELLA

Bartonella is a bacterial infection that can affect dogs and cats in their bloodstream. It is carried by fleas, ticks, lice, and sand flies. It can cause fever, vomiting, diarhea and organ inflammation. It is most prevalent in in the South. Diagnosis comes from a blood test. If your dog has Bartonella he will most likely be treated with antibiotics. Just like Lyme Disease, there is a vaccine for Bartonella. 

ROCKY MOUNTAIN SPOTTED FEVER

RMSF is transmitted by the American Dog Tick and the Rocky Mountain Wood Tick (thus its name) and the Brown Deer Tick. Symptoms include fever, loss of appetite, swollen lymph nodes and joint pain. it is most prevalent in North, South and Central America.

dog running on beach, dogs and sand, large dogs on the beach, dog eating san
This dog comes running back when playtime is over.

Is the beach safe for your dog?

Just like the joy your dog experiences when she sticks her head out of the car window, taking your dog to the beach can be equally exciting for her! Freedom… new sights and smells…water…sand…endless digging…fellow dogs to play with… the list goes on. Mixed in with all this goodness are some doggie dangers. 

Can you let your dog off leash on the beach?

While many beaches do not allow dogs, most allow them to romp before 9am and after 6pm and some require them to be on a leash at all times. Do your research before you head for a day at the beach with your dog. 

If the beach allows your dog to be off leash, make sure you do not have a dog who will simply take off running and never come back. There is nothing my dog Pepper likes more than a run on the beach. It’s her own party and she would run all day if I let her She runs back and forth and back and forth along the coast line. If I call her to come back she will not listen. BUT if I start to walk off the beach somehow she has some 6th sense and will come running. 

If you do not have a reliable recall for your dog we do not recommend you letting him off leash on the beach. 

dog digging on beach, dog eating sand, dogs and summer

Sometimes dogs like to dig a whole to get to the cooler sand beneath.

What happens if your dog eats sand?

Eating sand is very dangerous for dogs if they eat too much. A little bit will simply come out in their poop but if they eat too much, it can block their intestines causing blockage and a trip to the vet may be necessary. 

Does my Dog need Sunblock

Yes and no. If your dog has a healthy coat long enough to cover their body, head ears and tail then sunscreen may not be necessary. For dogs with sparse fur we recommend a pet safe sunblock such as Epi-Pet

Should I give my dog a “Summer Cut”

We are not sure when, why or how the summer cut started but the answer from all vets and professionals is a resounding NO! The coat and fur of dogs is designed to keep them warm in winter and cool/protected in summer. A trim is fine but do not expose skin. If you do, make sure you have lots of pet-safe sunscreen on hand. 

keeping dog hydrated, dogs overheating, dogs and summer

This dude likes the game of catching the water from the hose. 

Water water and more water!

Dogs can sugar from dehydration and heatstroke. Make sure you have plenty of water on hand and if possible, a shady place for your dog to rest. We love the chic, convenient and well-designed Swell water bottle.

Should You Protect Dog Paws in Summer

Just like salt, snow and frozen ground can hurt your little ones paws in winter the opposite is true in summer. Hot pavement, and sand can burn a dog’s paws. If the sand is too hot for your feet, chances are it’s too hot for your dog as well. 

Moisturizing your dog’s paws with a balm can help prevent cuts and cracking. There are many brands out there but the origin, tried and true is Musher’s. If you put booties on your dog during the winter months then go ahead and do it on those super hot days where you can feel the heat coming up off the pavement. 

We hope you enjoyed reading. Now shut down your computer, put down your phone and get outside! 






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