Summer is just around the corner, and it's a great time to get outside with your furry friend! As the days get hotter, it's a good idea to take some precautions so your pet can enjoy the season as much as you do.
K9s and UVs
Dogs actually don't need to hang in the sun like we do because they don't technically absorb any vitamin D from the UV rays in it. That's not to say dogs are vampires; it's just best to not leave them without shade for too long.
The skin he's in
Dog hair provides only minimal protection from UV rays. The sun can be especially harmful if a dog has short, light-colored or very fine hair. If your dog is going to be out in the sun for long periods of time, like on a beach day or a hike, he might appreciate the extra UV protection a light T-shirt provides. Plus, he'll look super cute!
To shave or not to shave
It may be tempting to give your long-haired dog a spring haircut, but in truth, a trim might leave him more vulnerable to sunburn.
Don't even zinc about it
The parts of your dog not covered by hair — light-colored noses, behind his back legs — should be protected from the sun. Talk to your vet to get recommendations for dog-friendly sunscreen. Be careful to never use sunscreen with zinc as an ingredient because this is especially harmful to dogs.
A drink for doggy
Staying hydrated is especially important on hot days. Make sure your dog always has access to lots of clean water. Some dogs may even appreciate being allowed to play in a kiddie pool or run through the sprinklers to help keep cool.
Be a little shady
Who can resist a shady place to rest on a hot day? Certainly not your pooch! Make sure he has access to cool, shaded spots if he's outside on a hot afternoon.
Protect the paws
If the sidewalk is hot enough to fry an egg on, it won't be pleasant for your dog to walk or lie around on. Put padding over concrete or asphalt so that your dog doesn't burn the pads of his feet.
We hope these tips help you and your furry friend enjoy the dog days of summer!
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By Nancy Buley, J. Frank Schmidt & Son Co., Wholesale Tree Growers
Photographs courtesy of J. Frank Schmidt & Son Co.
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