Summer's Dog Days are Ruff

Keeping Your Dog Happy and Healthy When the Weather is at its Hottest

When the weather is beautiful, there’s always a temptation to just fling the doors open and let your dogs frolic freely for hours in the yard. But like all of us humans, summertime vibes come with hidden health hazards for our furry family members.

We spoke to Alexandra Ciampa, the legendary dog and cat groomer from Beautified Breeds.  She gave us some advice about summer care for your dog.

Resist the urge to shave them (especially double-coated dogs like Labs, Golden Retrievers, German Shepherds, etc.).

A dog’s hair is their natural SPF protection against the sun and heat. It’s their insulation. Clipping hair too short exposes them to the sun’s harmful rays. Crew cuts don’t help dogs.

Air temperature of 77⁰ =  125⁰ pavement.

Before walking your dog, put your hand on the road for 10 seconds. If it’s too hot for you, it’s too hot for them. For reference, an egg can fry in five seconds at 131⁰.

Moisturize their pads.

Dry pads on their paws are less resistant to heat. Keep them well moisturized during summer months with dog-specific paw products (not ones made for humans). In a pinch, coconut oil works, just rub it in thoroughly so your dog doesn’t think you’re just basting him with a treat.

Always check for ticks.

After a long walk — or especially after a hike through the woods — check them for ticks by running your hand along their entire body to check for any bumps. Don’t forget between their toes and groin. Ticks like to hide in dark places. A good quality tick brush is great for this also.

Frozen treats for pups, too.

Freeze pumpkin puree, yogurt, or peanut butter in hollow dog toys or silicon molds. Don’t skip them when handing out watermelon, either.

Mostly, caring for dogs just takes a big bucket of common sense. Keep them hydrated, don’t let them burn, watch them when they swim. Reapply parenting rules frequently.

Beautified Breeds (beautifiedbreeds.com) is in Pompton Plains.

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