Sunday, April 29, 2012

Preparing for Summer Fun with Your Dog

Hot summer months are just around the corner, and as you begin to plan family vacations and outings, remember that your furry best friend will need special considerations as well. We have a tendency to think that we can just put the family dog in the car and go, but safely navigating rising temperatures and longer days take some planning and preparation. Follow these simple steps to ensure that your dog has just as much fun as you and your family when out and about this summer.

1.  Age and Ability – As the owner of a rescued greyhound, I used to take my loyal furry friend to almost every picnic and family reunion during the summer. Mudslide loves people, children especially, and he will lean against your leg to get as many pets as possible. However, he’s almost nine now, and he’s a bit grumpier than he used to be. He barks at other dogs and gets tired easily. I still take him places, but I make sure that there aren’t other dogs in attendance. Otherwise it’s too stressful for both of us. I take a supply of clean, fresh water and a bowl. I also take snacks in case children want to feed him.

I also had to adjust our daily walks in the summer. We used to be running buddies, but now because of his age and stiff joints we only walk a couple of blocks twice a day. He still loves the outdoors, but I’ve had to adjust the duration of our outings when it’s hot outside. He gets fresh air and exercise but less stress on his body and nerves.

2.  Location, Location, Location - Here in the south, temperatures are usually already in the nineties by mid-June. I keep Mudslide inside more often than not especially on hot days when there’s poor air quality.

If we have an outing at a lake or if we venture further away to a national park, I always check their pet policy before leaving the house. If pets are allowed, I pack a lot of plastic bags to clean up any mess he creates along with food and water. Hiking with my dog is one of the pleasures in my life, but I make sure that I’m taking him on a trail that allows dogs so that we don’t bother other hikers or wildlife.

3.  Vehicle Safety – It’s hot outside, so we often have the windows down in the car. Your dog may enjoy having his head out the window, but flying insects and debris can hurt his eyes and ears at high speeds. There are a variety of safety harnesses for dogs of all sizes to keep them safe and secure in the back seat. Under no circumstances is it a good idea to transport your dog in the bed of a truck, because there’s nothing to keep him from being thrown from the truck if it comes to a sudden stop.

Keeping your dog healthy and happy during the hot summer months while still enjoying time outside with you and your family is simple with a little forethought and planning. Adjust for their age and the activity, and then have fun on your outing with the furry part of your family. Our lives are enriched by our pets. Let’s keep them healthy and happy even in the heat.

Preparing for Summer Fun with Your Dog is a Guest Post by Amy L Overley:

Amy L Overley is a freelance writer and blogger at CreativeSpace. When not writing (yeah right!) she's stepping over a vegetating greyhound and experimenting with placecards.

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Heather W,  May 11, 2012 12:12 PM  

These are some great tips!! Thank you for posting them.
Our little dog will Turn 2 late June so this is her first year with all of the fur she has. It's shedding every were! Im hoping I can just brush her really good every day to keep her comfortable in this hot AR heat. I don't want to have to cut her off real short. But if I need to I will. She is always laying on the AC vents already to keep cool. I'm not sure if she just likes it or is really that hot. We keep it around 73 and always fresh cool water (she loves ice water) so I think it's more of a her liking the cold vents than her being to hot.
Anyhow thank you again for the tips.
Great Blog!!

Fay May 12, 2012 9:13 AM  

Your welcome Heather, thank you for your comment. Happy early birthday to your doggie!

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