Happy Solstice!

I am writing this on the first day of summer, although here in Portland, with the temperature dipping into the 50s, you might not realize it.

Soon enough, the temps will rise and we’ll all be having fun in the sun, with swimming, hiking, vacations, and all the other excitement that summer brings with it. Despite all the good times, there are some serious dangers for our pups this time of year.

Here are a few pointers to make sure this season is a safe one.

    Beat the heat!

        Even on days when the weather is perfect, it can get fatally hot inside a car. Don’t bring your dog with you if you will need to leave him locked in a car. Even a few minutes can cause a serious health threat to some dogs.

        Check the sidewalk. A nice walk can become torture if your pup is forced to walk on hot asphalt or concrete. Touch the ground with the back of your hand and use good sense when it comes to walks. Early morning or later evening are better than during the middle of the day.

        Always have cool fresh water available. This is good advice anytime of year, but summer especially.This is true even if you are at a lake or pool. Dogs need a clean source of water to drink to avoid bacteria, water-borne parasites, and stomach upset.

        If you are active outside, acclimate your dog. Don’t start her summer adventure with a three-day hike, ease her into it with several short walks and let her get used to the weather. Never shave your dog thinking that will help keep them cool. A dog’s fur will help insulate them from the heat.

        Know the signs of heat stroke or heat exhaustion. Click here (https://www.petmd.com/dog/emergency/common-emergencies/e_dg_heat_stroke) if you need to learn the signs.

    Keep your dog up to date on flea/tick prevention. Summer is prime time for these parasites, along with heartworm-carrying mosquitos.

    Keep your pet safe from fireworks. If your dog has an aversion to the noise, be sure to give them a safe, quieter area to escape to. Speaking of escapes, watch doors and even windows so scared pups don’t go AWOL. If your dog’s sensitivity is higher and you can’t get them somewhere quiet, talk to your vet about the possibility of sedatives.

Have fun this summer, but use common sense and don’t become another tragic story of pet loss or injury.

Do you have any big plans for this summer? Whether traveling or kicking back poolside, this is a great time of year to catch up on some reading. In an upcoming blog, we’ll give you the rundown of our summer reading list for you. Until then, be safe and go do something with your dog!

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