It’s a great time of year to be a dog! Sunshine, long days, and warm weather draw pets and owners alike outdoors, and living in a place like Long Island means there are plenty of parks, beaches, and other fun destinations at you and your pup’s disposal. But before things heat up, take some time to look through these tips and ensure your furry friend has a fun and safe summer.
Get Groomed! For many owners of long-haired breeds especially, it may be tempting to keep a dog’s coat long in winter and shaved in summer. However, your pet’s fur is designed to protect him year-round. So instead of shaving your furry friend (which could leave skin over-exposed to the sun), make sure his coat is cleaned and brushed regularly. Anyone who’s ever had (or been) a little girl knows how terrible it can be if you go even a day without brushing out all the tangles and knots—your poor pup feels the same way if you don’t take the time to brush out his undercoat!
Beware of the Sun! If Fluffy’s fur is too dirty or matted to care for, a shave might be the only appropriate option. All dogs should have sun block on sensitive, hairless areas, especially where the skin is light or white such as the tip of the nose or the inguinal area. If your dog is shaved, sunscreen is necessary to protect your dog from sunburn. This may sound silly, but a burn can be just as serious for a dog as for a person. While there are some sunscreens manufactured specifically for pets, a sensitive skin or baby sunscreen can also be used. Anything you can put on a child under five’s skin is probably fine for Fido’s skin too.
Hydrate, hydrate, hydrate. Dogs, just like people, can suffer adverse health effects from too much sun, so it’s important for owners to make sure that their pets have access to a shady place to relax, and to encourage them to come in out of the sun while outside playing. Ideally, pets should be kept in an air conditioned environment most of the day throughout the summer months, but this isn’t always possible, so to help them keep cool, dogs should also be encouraged to drink plenty of water. If you have to leave Fido at home for the day, leaving a bowl of water with ice in it is a good trick. If you have a secondary water bottle, you can even fill it half way with water overnight and put fresh water on top in the morning. The water will stay cool, and as the ice melts, the bowl will be automatically refilled. This is especially helpful if you have a water-crazy dog who likes to drink himself sick on hot days! Don’t forget to bring a large water bottle and bowl on outdoor excursions and long car rides.
Speaking of Long Car Trips…For lots of pet owners, family vacations include the whole family. When travelling with pets, it’s important to remember to take frequent breaks to let animals stretch their legs, eat some food, drink plenty of water, and relieve themselves.
Most importantly, never leave a pet in a car. Anytime you take an animal along for a ride in the car never ever leave him unattended! The inside of a car gets very, very hot very, very quickly, so cool days outside will still cause the inside of a car to reach fatal temperatures. Even with the windows cracked, a five minute trip to the grocery store can have tragic consequences for your beloved pet. Just don’t do it!
For more information, visit us at www.willowpethotel.com.
Everyone at Willow Pet Hotel wishes you and your pets a healthy and happy summer!