Dog and woman at beach

The Dog Days of Summer

Summer Fun for Your Senior Doggie

Part 1 of 2 in the series

Summer isn’t just for humans. No, it’s very much a time for us to bond with our furry friends. And, summer bonding can be a snap. Yes, even during Covid-19, there are still many outdoor activities in which you can participate. Covid-19 has thwarted our summer plans, with all the rules and regulations set forth by our states and local governments. Before you venture out with your pet, make sure you check with your local governments.  We don’t want you to get cited for some infraction of the law.

Head to the beach! Whether your beach happens to be the ocean, the Gulf, a lake, or just a pond or stream, they’ll love it. Unlike summers of the past, be sure to take all necessary precautions. Choose a less crowded beach, stay away from others as much as possible, and limit your interactions with others. If you have a little private beach nearby, go there. Make certain you bring plenty of drinking water and a bowl. Just like us, they can become dehydrated.

Here’s a list of beach must-haves besides water and bowl. Be sure to have your dog’s leash, his dog tags on his collar, all his shots up to date, and if a beach permit is required, please be sure you have it. Take disposable bags for when he relieves himself. Don’t forget tennis balls, frisbees, his favorite toy, and plenty of doggie treats. And of course, plenty of beach towels for both at the beach and in the car.

And, YES is the answer to the question you’re probably thinking about right now. Dogs can and do sunburn. Just not as fast as we humans. And please remember, the hot sand can be very uncomfortable to your pup’s paws and can lead to burning. If the ground is too hot for your feet, then it’s most assuredly too hot for his feet. And that is one thing you neither want nor need. You want his trip to the beach to be enjoyable, so he’ll look forward to going again. You can always use paw protection ointment/cream to help. But just use good common sense. If it’s too hot on your feet, it’s too hot on his. I cannot reiterate this enough. Before attempting to walk your dog in summer, always check the surface he’ll be walking on. Grass is fine. Remember, his pads can burn and blister.

There are some things you can do before his walk. You can use Vaseline or Musher’s Secret paw balm to coat their paw pads, which will create a breathable barrier that keeps their pads hydrated to prevent cracking, peeling, and minor pad cuts. These types of injuries can cause his pads to become more sensitive once healing is complete. So, preventing injury in the first place is vital.

Do not put booties on your dog! t, you ask? The answer is simple. Dogs breathe through their feet and cool themselves through the area in between their pads and their tongue. If you put booties on them, you shut down more than half of their ability to cool themselves.

Dogs who spend a lot of time in the water are more likely to incur injury because their pads have been softened.

Never take your dog to the beach without first securing a shady place for him and making sure he has plenty of fresh drinking water. Always remember to rinse him thoroughly after he’s been in saltwater.

Please be sensitive to our old and overweight pets in hot weather. Flat or snub-nosed dogs and those with heart or lung conditions should be kept indoors in air-conditioning as much as possible.

Don’t forget to apply a good sunscreen, especially on their noses, face, and ears, doubly so if they are a short-haired breed. When spraying on their body, always cover their face with a towel. When applying on their face, first spray into your hand and apply to their nose, ears, and face. Just as you would for a child. Never spray directly onto their face.

Have a blast with your senior pups this summer. Just use common sense and be careful. They’ll thank you for it.

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