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Dog Days of Summer

Summer is in full bloom in Nashville with temperatures reaching the high nineties nearly daily. As the weather continues to get warmer, it’s important to be mindful of our dogs safety.

During the winter months, fleas, ticks and misquitos are not quite as prevelant, but once the sun comes out and the ground warms up, they reappear in masses. Each of these pests can carry heart-worm disease as well as a slew of other illnesses damaging to your dog. It’s important to keep up with your dog’s heartworm prevention regiment, as well as a flea-and-tick preventative. If your dog currently has neither, please talk with your vet about the safest and most effective regime suited best for your dog’s needs.

Assuming your dog is well guarded against pests, he probably accompanies you outside for walks or trips around town. Unlike us, dogs do not have the luxury of wearing shoes, which is great for afternoon splashes at a local pond, but can be miserable for them if they’re required to walk on the pavement during hottest hours of the afternoon. While the pads of your dog’s paws are tough, they can be easily burned by the asphalt. If you see your dog hopping uncomfortably from paw to paw during an outing, it may be time to go back inside and relax in the air conditioning or sit down under some nearby shade.

If you do take your dog out during the day, even if the pavement is cooler, take into consideration how long you’re exercising your dog in the heat. Just like people, dogs are prone to heat exhaustion and heat related illnesses. They need to stay hydrated and be given frequent opportunities to rest in the shade. Usually, early morning or late evening walks/runs are best – for both you and your dog.

That being said, for those of you lucky enough to have a sweet faced Bulldog, Boxer, Pug or any pup with a shorter face, keep them inside in the air conditioning as much as possible. Because of the anatomy of their faces, these breeds are unable to as pant effectively as other dogs, and cannot cool their bodies down fast enough. Therefore, they need an environment conducive to their needs that is both cool and comfortable.

However, during the summer don’t leave any breed of dog in a closed car. Temperatures in a parked vehicle that is turned off can reach over 100 degrees within minutes, an environment that is fatal for man’s best friend. Your dog is more than happy to come with you on your daily errands, just don’t leave him behind!

And if all else fails and the heat starts to get to you and your favorite dog, we recommend an afternoon jump in the pool!

Caitlin is the studio manager for Adrian Hitt Photography. She keeps things running smoothly behind the scenes and frequents the blog with tips on what’s going on in the dog world. A recent graduate of Elon University, Caitlin holds degrees in both digital art and professional writing and rhetoric. In her spare time, she pens fiction novels, eats too many Twizzlers and sneaks down to the local animal shelter to snuggle with the all the playful dogs and puppies looking for a forever home.

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