Just like during the winter months, the summer months also bring special concerns that need to be addressed, especially when you have a big dog like a German Shepherd. From fireworks to dehydration, from insect bites and stings to water safety, there are plenty of things to keep in mind during the summer.
Insect bites and stings.
Insect bites and stings (bees, ticks, etc.) can be one of the worst parts of summer for both people and dogs. Dogs love to chase bugs, just like cats do, and often find themselves snapping at bees and wasps, or running out into the bush and picking up ticks. It’s important to keep an eye on your pets while outside – protect them from insect stings by keeping them away from bees and wasps whenever possible, and if your dog does end up picking up a tick while out on a walk, be sure to consult your veterinarian for proper tick removal, or an appointment to have it removed professionally.
Keep your German Shepherd hydrated.
Make sure your pet is drinking plenty of water – provide them with clean water several times each day, and even more if they are spending good portions of time outside. If you are walking a lot or playing outside in the sun, remember to keep some bottled water handy, along with a collapsible doggy bowl to put it in.
Learn the signs of overheating in dogs.
While some breeds are more susceptible to heatstroke than others, it is vital that you learn the signs of this before they happen. Keep a look out for your dog becoming lethargic, panting and drooling excessively, an increased heart rate, rapid breathing, and signs of weakness. If these symptoms occur, move your pet indoors and call your veterinarian if signs do not improve.
Don’t allow your dog near fireworks.
Although you may love heading out to see the beautiful fireworks displays, your dog would appreciate it a lot more if you left him or her at home. The loud noises frequently frighten dogs, and they can panic if they are too close to them. Also, fireworks used at home in neighborhoods can also be dangerous to your pet, so keep him or her away from those, as well!
Pool safety is key.
Even if your dog is an experienced swimmer and loves to swim in ponds and lakes, you must always keep your dog away from bodies of water if unsupervised – most importantly pools. Dogs can fall into pools and have a difficult time getting back out – especially puppies.
Don’t shave your dog’s hair.
Many people think that breeds that have such long coats, or an under coat, can be shaved to keep them cooler. Unfortunately, that isn’t the case at all – in fact, shaving your dog can even cause them to get painful sunburns. Your German Shepherd’s long coat and undercoat are designed to help keep them cooler.
Beware of insecticides.
Many of the common garden chemicals that you and your neighbors use to keep bugs out of your yard are very harmful to pets if ingested. Keep a close eye on your German Shepherd, and don’t use harmful chemicals at home (and if you do, make sure to keep them locked up tightly where your dog cannot access them).