As we warm up to the summer, the lighter nights and balmy evenings offer ample opportunities to discover longer walks, or re-vist well-trodden routes reserved only for the best months of the year.

Sadly, as the seasons change, so should the responsibilities of dog owners everywhere to ensure that their four-legged friends enjoy their walks as much as their owners, pain- and anxiety-free. Within every lush field, park and forest that’s just waiting to be discovered by excitable dogs, dangers exist, says Jitka Krizova, founder of www.vitacanis.co.uk, whose all-natural products help dogs deal with common ailments every summer.

“Whether it’s ticks, insect bites or fleas, the summer months can be problematical for dogs and their owners, so extra care is needed.”

With a career spanning 20 years caring for dogs, Jitka has treated many different breeds with common problems such as ear infections and ticks and has learned some valuable lessons in keeping man’s best friend in peak physical condition throughout the lovely summer months.

Top tips for a happy summer with your dog

1. Make sure your dog is protected
If not protected, dogs can be at risk of Lyme disease from ticks as well as nasty bites from fleas. It’s important to keep them and their coat protected with the right products that have aromas that ticks hate.

2. Keep your dog’s paws cool
When the sun is shining, surfaces like concrete or metal can get really hot! Try to keep your pet off of hot concrete; not only can it burn paws, but it can also increase body temperature and lead to overheating.

3. Fresh drinking water and shade
Our dogs get much thirstier than we do when they get hot, and other than panting and drinking, they really have no way to cool themselves down. Keep your pet in the shade as often as possible. While dogs and cats like to sunbathe, direct sunlight can overheat them (especially dogs) and cause heat stroke.

4. Give your dog his very own “paddling pool”
Dogs who love the water, naturally love it even more during the hot months, and getting wet keeps them cool. Provide a small paddling pool and your dog will no doubt love it and love you for it!

5. Don’t assume your dog can swim well
Just because dogs instinctively know how to swim, doesn’t mean they’re good swimmers. And if your dog jumps in a lake, canal, he might not be able to get out without help and could easily drown. Make sure your dog can’t get into water without you around.

6. Dogs get sunburns too!
Believe it or not, dogs can burn, especially those with short or light-colored coats. And just like us, sunburn can be painful for a dog and overexposure to the sun can lead to skin cancer. Ensure you invest in a good quality sun block to keep your dog safe all summer long.

7. The five second rule
During the summer months when the weather heats up consider your best friend’s paws! If you are unable to hold your hand on the pavement for five seconds then it will be too hot to walk your dog. Dogs paws are extremely sensitive and can easily burn.

Main image by Unsplash.

This is a guest essay by Jitka Krizova. Want to write for us? Visit www.dogstodaymagazine.co.uk/essay-submission or email editorial@dogstodaymagazine.co.uk

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