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Hot Weather Hazards for Dogs

California summers sure are hot! If you own a dog, it’s important to keep after their health and happiness this season. Below, your Cameron Park, CA veterinarian tells you about the most common hot-weather hazards and how to have your pooch avoid the danger.

Dehydration and Heatstroke

Heat and humidity present two major dangers for our canine companions: heatstroke and dehydration. To combat the problem, make sure that your dog is allowed indoors frequently, where he can cool off in air-conditioned comfort. Also make sure that your dog has access to a large dish of cool, fresh water at all times, whether he’s outdoors or inside.

Try to exercise your pooch in the morning or evening hours, when it’s cooler and the sun isn’t directly overhead. This is a great way to get your dog the physical activity he needs without putting him at risk!

Paw Pad Burns

When the sun beats down on asphalt all day, the surface can heat up dramatically. If a dog were to linger on asphalt for too long, they can experience painful burns and blisters on the paw pads. Do your best to avoid asphalt surfaces like parking lots and driveways while walking your pooch—instead, choose grass or even dirt surfaces to keep your dog’s feet happy.

Sunburn

Did you know that dogs, just like us, can experience sunburn? It’s most likely to happen on areas of the body that aren’t completely covered in fur (the ridge of the nose, the edges of the ears, etc.). Part of avoiding sunburn is not having your dog stay outdoors for long stretches of time. You can also try out a canine-formulated sunscreen, available at certain pet supply stores and retail outlets. While it can be tricky to prevent many dogs from licking the sunscreen off, it’s quite effective at protecting your canine companion’s sensitive skin! Ask your vet for a recommendation.

Pests

Aside from the dangers associated with heat and sun, hot weather also brings with it the hazards of pests. Mosquitoes, fleas, ticks, and worms all love latching on to your dog and causing havoc. The trick is having your dog set up with proper preventive medications, usually administered at home on a monthly basis, to ward off these critters. Talk to your veterinarian if your dog isn’t already on monthly preventives.

For more hot-weather safety tips, call your Cameron Park, CA animal hospital.

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