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Getting Ready for the Dog Days of Summer  

 May 26, 2020


It’s been an unusual spring for all of us, to be sure. But as the weather warms and Covid-19 state restrictions on public interactions start to loosen in Illinois and Wisconsin, it’s time to start preparing your pup for the summer months ahead. It seems like an easy transition, but in reality can be more challenging for your dog than you think. But a little planning and following these simple steps can help ensure you and your furry family members enjoy the great outdoors this summer.

Five Simple Steps to Summer Safety

While you’re planting the garden and prepping the lawn furniture, add these five steps to your “to do” list to get your dog ready for summer.

  1. Visit the Vet
    Your first priority should be taking your dog for his or her annual check-up at the veterinarian. Like its human counterpart, annual check-ups can catch and correct any potential issues before they become a problem. This is especially important because summertime fun tends to be more strenuous for your dog, so best to make sure he or she is ready for the good times ahead!

    Most veterinarian offices are once again operational, but you should call ahead to schedule your appointment and learn about the safety measures they have in place for office visits.
  2. Vaccinate, vaccinate, vaccinate
    During Fido’s annual check-up with the vet, be sure that all of his vaccinations are up to date. True, vaccinations are about as much fun for your dog as they are for us humans, but they provide your dog with protection against a wide range of serious medical conditions. Since you and your pup will be spending a lot more time outdoors with the warmer weather, their exposure to ticks, fleas and other risks will naturally increase – making vaccinations an absolute summer must.
  3. “Self-Care” for Dogs
    We’ve seen plenty of articles, posts and news segments about self-care for humans during the stay-at-home mandates. These segments are meant to help us continue to look and feel our best during stressful times. Let’s not forget our four-legged friends need a little self-care too. Primarily, good grooming helps dogs shed their winter coat this time of year. This is critical to help them from overhearing in hot summer months. This is always a great time for a nail trim and ear cleaning – two grooming essentials that need to happen on a regular basis anyway.
  4. Don’t Overheat!
    Just as some humans manage the heat better than others, the same is true of dog breeds. But regardless of your dogs’ breed, there are some easy tricks to keep them from overheating during sunny, warm and humid days. We covered the important first step in our last point – help them shed their winter coat with a good grooming session. Next, when they’re outside make sure your dog has easy access to water to quench their thirst and help them pick the perfect spot under a shade tree where they can relax and rest in between play times with you or when the sun is at its highest.

    Try to avoid leaving your dog outside unsupervised for an extended period of time. You want to keep an eye on him or her to make sure they don’t overheat. And above all else, never leave your dog alone in your car. Your car’s interior becomes much hotter – and does so more quickly – than its exterior because of the absorbed sunlight. Avoid leaving your dog in the car at all costs.

Activities
Summer is the time for all of us to get outside for a little fun and entertainment. Never has this been more true than now – all while adhering to appropriate social distancing protocols. Take a few moments to think of activities you can do with your dog while you’re outside, whether that’s something relaxing like a picnic or more strenuous like a long walk or hike. Whatever you choose in the end, make sure that you and your dog are well-prepared for the activity with the right equipment, water and treats.

Summer Fun for Everyone

Hopefully these tips provide some guidance as we all prepare for the warm summer months. At Alden’s Kennel we want both you and your dog to have a fantastic summer. We’re available to support your efforts through dog boarding options if you’re planning a trip without your dog, or dog training if you’re staying close to home this summer.