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Get your dog ready for summer

The sunshine is on its way, so make sure your pooch is summer-ready!

There’s no doubt about it, summer is a great time to be a dog! Long days filled with activities, sun-basked afternoons, and humans that want to hang out at the beach.

However, as the weather gets warmer and the days get longer, there’s all sorts of things to consider when it comes to keeping your pooch safe and happy.

To help, we’ve put together a prep guide with some tips for keeping dogs cool in summer.

Your dog needs to be sun smart, too. Especially with our harsh Kiwi sun, it’s important make sun protection a priority for your pooch.

1. Pick the right dog sunscreen

For dogs with thinner coats or lighter skin, the risk of burn is high, and sunblock can be a good idea.

According to the experts, avoid any product with zinc oxide, which is toxic to pets. Choosing the best dog sunscreen is simple - go for a children’s sunblock.

One area to be particularly vigilant with is your pooch’s inguinal area (the exposed stretch of skin where the belly and the hind legs meet).

This is especially important if you have yourself a ‘sun worshipper’ who likes to lie on their back to soak in the sun.

It’s always a wise idea to test out any sunblock on a patch of your pup’s skin for allergies before applying all over.

2. Use protective clothing if needed

If you know you’re going to be spending hours in the sun with your canine companion, well, firstly, lucky you!

But think about fitting a light t-shirt on your pup to protect them from the sun, especially if they’re fair-skinned or have been shaved for surgery lately.

For a more long-term solution, there is also high performance sun protection dog clothing available.

3. Soothing a burnt pooch

As hard as we try, sometimes the sun simply gets the better of us, and we’ve got to be ready with something to ease the pain.

For dogs it’s no different.

A good way to ease your pooch’s burn is a cool bath with a soap-free pet shampoo and a few drops of Neem Oil, which has healing properties for burns.

An all-natural balm is also a good idea for a pink, burned snout, and there are balms designed specifically for dogs, too!

For us humans, summer means cooling off with ice blocks and wearing less clothes.

Our dogs, however, can be much more sensitive to the effects of heat, and they have less ways to escape the rise in temperature.

Here are a few things to keep in mind as the days get warmer, and some tips for keeping dogs cool in summer.

1. Hydration is key

As any dog owner will know, dogs can’t sweat to cool off. Instead, they rely on panting, and can get dehydrated very fast!

A dehydrated pup will become lethargic, have bloodshot eyes and may look a little pale.

Make sure your pooch always has access to fresh water. Increase their fluid intake by giving them ice cubes or frozen chicken broth, and feeding them wet dog food during summer.

Bringing water along is absolutely essential for beach days, when your dehydrated pooch may try to drink sea water to quench their thirst.

This can lead to diarrhea and vomiting (often called ‘beach diarrhea’), which can lead to further dehydration.

2. Burnt foot pads

Dogs absorb and release heat through their feet, which makes them super sensitive to hot pavements and sand.

Keep walks to early or late in the day, or invest in some doggie boots.

You can test out the temperature of the ground before you go for a walk by pressing your palm to it for thirty seconds - if it hurts, it will hurt your pooch!

3. Watch out for heat stroke

Heat stroke happens when your pooch’s body temperature becomes too high, and can be fatal if left unattended.

Luckily, there are some fairly simple measures you can take to keep your dog nice and cool.

Never leave your pooch in the car, which can quickly become like a sauna and cause them to overheat.

  • Exercise your dog in the morning or night to avoid the heat of the day
  • Make sure there’s always shade available for your pup if you’re out on a summer’s day
  • Avoid muzzling your dog - it will interfere with their own cooling mechanism: panting!
  • On hot days, instead of taking your dog for a run, take them for a swim!

Long days in the sun with family, friends and canine pals are what summer’s all about! Make sure you protect your pooch so they can enjoy summer as much as you do!

Here at Nose to Tail, we’ve got plenty of gear to help your pooch stay safe and cool this summer.

Give us a call on 09 448 2227 to order or pop in to Nose to Tail to pick up yours today!