When it comes to your dog's health, you want what is absolutely the best for them. There are numerous things to make yourself aware of when it comes to your dog's health. A proper diet, proper grooming and regular visits to the vet's office are all things that your dog should experience on a regular basis. Having said that, there are some health problems that can especially affect your dog during the hot summer months. You should know what health issues are especially prevalent for your dog during the summer months in order to prevent these problems or treat your dog at the first symptom of trouble.
Remember that if you are dripping with a bit of sweat outside, think about how your dog feels, considering he or she is covered in fur! Older dogs, puppies and northern breeds with heavy coats are especially susceptible to heatstroke during the warmer months of summer. Luckily, there are a few things you can do to combat heatstroke with your dog. First and foremost, walk your dog during the earlier morning hours and perhaps in the evening. Make sure that there is always fresh, cold water available for them to drink and be sure to let them rest in the shade if you are out and about during the day.
The signs of heatstroke in dog include excessive drooling, excessive panting, decreased urine production, and reddening gums. Keep an eye out for these symptoms so you can take action at the first sign of a possible problem.
During the summer months, the heat can really start to bring up the temperature of the asphalt that your dog will undoubtedly walk upon. When it is 77 degrees Fahrenheit, the temperature of the areas of asphalt in the sun reaches temperatures as high as 125 degrees Fahrenheit. As such, it's important to be aware that this heat can burn and crack your dog's paws. While padded, they're not invincible. During these hot moments, walk your dog on grassy areas, so he or she is not burning his or her paws on the hot, hot asphalt. For some dogs, try out dog booties. Although generally used during wet and cold weather, they can be helpful during the months where it may be too hot for your dog to walk on the sidewalk.
One of the big problems, especially in rural areas, for dogs, is to come into contact with Lyme disease. This is a serious issue as it is one that is usually passed over by numerous people. Ticks can carry Lyme disease, among other diseases to which dogs are susceptible. During the summer months, many unleashed dogs find their way into wooded areas full of ticks. As such, it is important to leash your dog during these summer months. It is also helpful to apply preventative tick medication to your dog. Your local vet should be able to recommend a solid anti-tick medication that can be applied to areas around your dog's shoulder blade and back.
The symptoms of Lyme disease include a high fever, which can be diagnosed by a vet, swelling of their joints, swollen lymph nodes, general lethargy and loss of appetite. If you notice your dog exhibiting these symptoms, take them into the vet immediately.
Heartworms are a serious issue for a number of reasons. Unleashed dogs tend to eat whatever they can, wherever they can find it — this includes roadkill and trash. Rotting food is something that dogs can generally digest, but it often contains unwanted parasites, such as heartworms. Make sure that your dog doesn't eat garbage, especially garbage that has been out in the sun, ensure your dog isn't overly exposed to mosquitoes, and talk to your vet about preventative prescriptions that might be available for your dog.
The symptoms of heartworms include a mild cough, fatigue after even a small amount of exercise and weight loss. If you suspect your dog has a heartworm, you will need to have him treated right away.
Erlichiosis is another disease that is generally carried by ticks and fleas. To prevent your dog from getting this disease you should avoid taking your dog into heavily wooded areas where they might be bitten by a tick.
The symptoms of erlichiosis include abnormal bleeding, sudden weight loss, a hard time breathing and can even include seizures. Some animals can fight off the infection naturally, but in other animals the infection may lead to death if not treated.
There are numerous problems from which your pet can suffer during the hot summer months. Click here for more information on ways you can help keep your dog healthy all year long.