The essentials you need 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 isn’t quite so simple for dogs. We all know that dogs and hot cars don’t mix, but did you know that the temperature isn’t the only thing that can leave your best friend feeling less than 100%?
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!
Yes, really. In fact, here at Lintbells, 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 doggie pollen allergy, or know how to help their dogs deal with it. Dogs in summertime don’t sneeze – but there are other sign 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
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 walkies! 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, or having them on a long lead or 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
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:
Diet soft drinks or desserts that contain artificial sweeteners
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 – so 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
We’ve produced a handy guide to the secret signs of anxious dogs – and 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 this Kennel Club guide.
Heatstroke – 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.
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