Tips for Keeping Dogs Healthy in Summer is a collaborative post in association with Drontal.
Friends, I have a confession to make.
Until about 10 years ago I was… (wait for it) … a Cat Person.
I can only say that I was younger then. Ignorant of the joy that is rubbing a fuzzy tummy and always having a friend who will be wildly excited when you get home. Even if you just left the house for five minutes.
WHO COULD RESIST THIS FACE?
These days, Teddy is a vital part of our little family, and I can’t imagine life without my furry best friend. For a start, now Flea is 12, Teddy is the only one who’s likely to be excited when I get home from work…
As summer rolls around, I’m sharing our family’s top five tips for keeping your dog healthy and happy.
Worm your Dog Regularly
There isn’t much Teddy loves more than getting dirty. During the summer months, we’re regularly to be found on the beach or in local woods.
Teddy’s mission at these times is to find the muddiest thing she can to roll in, or (even better) something dead to carry around like a trophy. I never felt more like a Cat Person than the time I chased my dog down the beach trying to retrieve a dead seagull from between her triumphant jaws.
This means my doggo is a prime candidate for intestinal worms and other nasties.
It’s essential to worm your dog every three months. It’s really a preventative measure, as you may not be able to see when your dog has worms. But they’re nasty things. Worms can cause gastro problems, tiredness, and weight loss.
Did you know that a single tapeworm can grow to 16 feet inside your dog? I saw that on a bus last night and felt a bit ill.
One of Teddy’s other charming traits is that it usually takes 3 adults (minimum) to wrestle her into taking any medications – but she gobbled up her Drontal worming tablet thinking it was a treat. Video proof of this can be found below. They’re bone shaped little biscuits and very easy for your dog to take. They’re clinically proven to kill off all the worms commonly found in the UK, and available at most pet stores.
My top tip? Just pop some Drontal worming tablets in the dog’s food cupboard, and write on them in marker pen when you’re next due to dose your pet. Simples!
Keep Your Dog Hydrated
Running around in the sunshine is hot work when you have a furry coat.
Although we do trim Teddy’s fur in the summer months, she still gets very hot on sunny days.
Dogs should drink around 1 litre of water per day for every 10 kilos of weight.
But during hot weather they may well need more. We picked up a rubber water bowl from a pet store that collapses flat, and we keep it in the boot of the car with a bottle of water. It means we can easily give Teddy a drink before and after walks on hot days.
Keep on Top of Skin Allergies
Like lots of Westies, Teddy is a bit prone to itchy skin problems. During the summer (and flea season) those can get far worse.
What’s worked for us is ensuring she’s dried off quickly after she’s paddled in the sea, especially between her toes.
If we do spot that she’s getting extra itchy we’ve found that Hibi Scrub is really useful. Just mix a little of the lotion with warm water, wash your dog’s skin, and rinse thoroughly. You can get this from your vet, but we’ve found it cheaper to buy on the high street at major chemists.
Don’t Forget Inoculations and Flea Treatments
During the summer, fleas can be a real problem – especially if there’s also a cat in the house. We tend to give flea treatments at the same time as worming, to ensure we remember.
For us, this is especially important as we rely on our fabulous dog sitter, Janet, to look after Teddy if we’re away on hols. Like most boarding companies, Janet insists on all dogs with her being up to date with their various jabs and tablets, to avoid picking up anything nasty from other dogs she might be looking after.
Walk Dogs in the Evening
During the summer months, I’ve noticed that Teddy won’t walk for as long, and quickly gets tired out. On a hot day, she can even make a break for the car if she wants to let me know that she’s had enough!
With this in mind, we try to walk her during the evening. This means the temperature is more comfortable, and she gets more exercise. Our dog does not cope well with being under-exercised and tends to get very whiny and starts stealing things for attention.
Our vet’s advice is that you shouldn’t walk a smaller dog for more than 30 minutes on a really hot day. So Teddy gets a longer walk in the early evening, with the added bonus there are fewer people on the beach, and less traffic generally.
About Drontal Worming Tablets