Warm Weather Safety Tips for Dogs
American Kennel Club Canine Partners offers tips to help dog lovers prepare their dogs for warm-weather activities.
Posted: May 3, 2011, 3 a.m. EDT
Now that warm weather is here, it’s time to enjoy the great outdoors. To help get your dog ready, American Kennel Club Canine Partners offers the following tips:
According to AKC Canine Partners, the chemicals used on lawns don’t belong on your dog’s paws or your house. Clean your dog’s paws after a romp on the grass.
Drop excess winter weight. Many of us pack on a few pounds during the cold winter months, and it’s no different for our dogs. If your dog is overweight, it’s time to talk to your veterinarian about a safe weight-loss regimen. Only a few extra pounds to trim? Try cutting back on high-cal treats. Try these two healthy snacks that dogs love: sliced apples and baby carrots.
Get a clean bill of health. It’s good to take your dog for a checkup if you’ve had a mostly sedentary winter or if your dog's due for his annual exam. This will ensure he’s healthy and ready to start warm-weather activities.
Build endurance. Start slowly if your dog hasn’t exercised much over the winter. Activities to try: a fast walk around the local park or a game of fetch in your yard. Aim to exercise your dog for 15 or 20 minutes at a time, and build up from there. (Be sure to watch older dogs for signs of arthritis or other hip or joint issues, and be sure to talk to your vet if you’re unsure about your dog’s condition.) Some fun warm-weather sports to try: agility, obedience and dock jumping.
Groom your dog's coat. Shedding increases during warm weather as dogs lose their winter coats. Brushing loosens and removes dead hair and dandruff, and helps control shedding. Be sure to treat your dog with a flea and tick prevention product as pests are a big issue during warmer weather (or all year, depending on where you live).
Beware of the grass. Your dog will finally be able to run and play on the grass, but be careful where you let him romp. The chemicals used on lawns don’t belong on your dog’s paws – or in your house. Make sure to clean your dog’s paw pads after he plays on grass – at home or at the park.
For more information about summertime activities or other warm-weather tips, visit the AKC Canine Partners website.
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