June 26, 2017

What to know to keep your dog happy in summer

Summer’s very nearly here, and at Lintbells, we couldn’t be happier. Lovely light mornings and long evenings mean plenty of walkies – and our calendars are packed with pet-friendly fun, like beach trips and BBQs. But despite all the good times, there are some things we all need to watch out for if we want happy, healthy dogs in summertime.

Though we humans (mostly) love it when temperatures rise, summer heat isn’t quite so simple for dogs. We all know that dogs and hot cars don’t mix, but did you know that the rise in body temperature isn’t the only thing that can leave your best friend feeling unhappy? (Cold water at hand!)

Let’s take a closer look at the things the best pet parents watch out for in the warmer months...

Doggie hayfever – it’s a thing!

Dog in field of flowers

Yes, really. We’re always having conversations with dog owners who are unaware that their dog might have hayfever. Not many people know how to spot a pollen allergy or know how to help their dogs deal with it. Dogs in summertime don’t sneeze – but there are other signs to watch out for:

  • Scratching or nibbling at their body
  • Licking or biting at their paws
  • Rubbing their face on the furniture or the floor

If your dog has started to show these signs – and it’s seasonal – they may be sensitive to pollen. Thankfully, there’s a lot you can do to help your dog feel less uncomfortable – it’s all covered in our guide to dog hayfever.

Top tip: one of the best ways to soothe seasonal itches is to support their skin’s natural defences with a supplement like YuMEGA Itchy Dog.

Looking after your dog’s skin in summertime

Dog on grass staring up

Hayfever isn’t the only one to watch when it comes to skincare for dogs in summer. To help keep tails wagging, you’ll need to keep an eye on:

Sunburn – particularly in pale coloured dogs and dogs with very short coats. Keep them out of the sun, or use a dog-safe SPF.

Hotspots – bacteria thrives in moist environments, so humid weather and lots of swimming can see dogs who often get hotspots having flare-ups. Keep an eye out, and some antibacterial YuCARE Cream on hand.

Sore paws from hot pavements – if it’s too hot for you to walk barefoot, it’s too hot for you to walk your dog! Instead, try going for a walk early morning when the hot weather is not at its worst yet, or even paw pads.

There’s much more info about protecting your dog’s skin in the summer in our Summer Skincare guide.

Be BBQ savvy and care for your best friend’s tummy

The great British BBQ! The highlight of a long sunny weekend? Most definitely. However, lots of meat, heat and dogs don’t always happily mix. Many dogs love to steal a sausage or two, and many guests will offer treats you wouldn’t normally feed, so here are some ideas to stop sensitive tummies spoiling the fun.

Set some firm ground rules – for everyone! If your dog can be a bit excitable or isn’t always the most attentive listener, consider popping them indoors. If you want them outside to enjoy the fun, perhaps having them on a long lead or pop them in a shady crate, to keep them well away from the hot BBQ. And when it comes to parties, picnics and outdoor dining, be strict on your doggie treats policy, and ask everyone not to feed your pooch – however cute those pleading eyes!

It’s always worth keeping a digestive support supplement like  YuDIGEST PLUS for Dogs on hand if you’re planning on entertaining. If your pet scavenges something they shouldn't have (with digestive consequences) this vet-strength tummy soother will restore their natural balance quickly and naturally.

When to visit the vet

Dog in field

The results of a stolen sausage may not be fun, but an unsettled tummy isn’t dangerous. However, if your dog snacks on any of the following, seek your vet’s advice straight away – these items are potentially poisonous to dogs:

  • Chocolate
  • Alcohol
  • Diet soft drinks or desserts that contain artificial sweeteners
  • Cooked bones
  • Garden chemicals – like fertilizer or weed killer
  • Insect repellents or citronella candles
  • Bin buffet – don’t take a risk in case they’ve eaten something harmful

Summer can be stressful for dogs

Though summer is great fun for most dogs – and their people – it can be stressful too. We tend to travel more, have more visitors, and mix up our routines more. We’re also out and about lots, which can lead to meeting lots of other dogs, visiting unfamiliar places and experiencing unfamiliar things. From scary sunhats to crazy kites, unnerving loudspeakers, through to terrifying play tents and their unpredictable young occupants, unfamiliar beaches and parks can change a dogs character in summertime.

While more confident dogs will take all of this in their stride, nervous or sensitive dogs can struggle, so it’s really important to be aware of how they’re feeling. Overwhelmed dogs aren’t at their happiest, and may even bite if they’re feeling very fearful. As owners we need to be careful to avoid situations they can’t manage, or provide the support they need to feel happier and more confident.

Help for stressed or anxious dogs

Happy dog running

We’ve produced a handy guide to the secret signs of anxious dogs. If your dog needs a little help coping with summer stresses, a supplement like YuCALM Dog

can be really helpful. It includes a clever combination of scientifically proven ingredients to make a tail-wagging difference in 6 weeks, by supporting natural calming pathways in the brain.

Top 7 hazards for dogs in summer time

  • Bones – they can cause choking, or splinter and cause intestinal bleeding.
  • Garden plants – be sure your new scheme isn’t poisonous to pets with thisKennel Club guide.
  • Heat stroke – know the signs, and never leave dogs in cars or conservatories.
  • Straying – open doors and lots of visitors mean it’s easy for dogs to escape.
  • Eating greasy gravel – so you’ve been super-careful with a no-treats BBQ. But what about the chicken grease that’s dripped on the floor? Dogs can be greedy scavengers, and ingesting mud or pebbles can end in an expensive trip to the vet.
  • Travel – make trips with dogs easier for all with our  top tips for happy journeys.
  • Homesickness – many dogs miss their ‘parents’ when they go on hols, so why not take your pet along?

Have we covered all the essentials for happy summer with your dog?  Did they help? Is there a top tip you’d like to share? Please do leave a comment below – or say hello on our Facebook page.