Summer is a wonderful time to get a new puppy. There's no snow to trudge through while housebreaking him and no deicing chemicals to damage his paws on walks. But high temperatures and blazing sun can cause other problems, especially for curious puppies. Their systems are more delicate than adult dogs, and their natural curiosity makes them at risk for environmental hazards as well. If you add a new puppy to your household this summer, be sure to pay extra attention to these summertime hazards.
Water - Puppies can dehydrate very quickly and should always have a good supply of fresh, cool water. If you keep a water dish outside, make sure it is located in the shade and anchored so that it cannot be overturned.
Shade - Whether you keep your puppy outside or just let him out for short periods at a time, it is important that you provide a shaded area to allow him to get out of the blazing sun. Keep in mind that as the sun's position changes throughout the day, so will the shaded areas in your yard.
Exercise - Puppies tend to exercise with full force and then crash until they regain their strength. Letting them become too exhausted in the summer heat can be dangerous and lead to heat stroke, which can be fatal. Adjust the timing of your outdoor exercise to early mornings or later in the evening, when the sun is down and temperatures are cooler.
Speargrass - There are a number of wild grasses that grow in summer and as the season progresses they dry out and present barbed seed heads. These can get impaled in a puppy's paw or lodged in an ear. In many cases, they must be surgically removed.
Rattlesnakes & Toads - Puppies are very curious and do not know that a snake or toad can be deadly. Be sure not to let your puppy explore overgrown or rocky areas where your visibility is limited.
Car Safety - Never leave your puppy in a car unattended during the summer, even if you have left the windows cracked. Temperatures inside a vehicle during the summer can easily climb beyond 120 degrees and kill a puppy in a very short time.
Pools - Water sources of any kind can be dangerous for a puppy, but in the summer, pools can be particularly hazardous. Don't allow your puppy outside alone if you have a pool, or fence it in securely to prevent his access. Contrary to popular belief, not all dogs swim well.
Sunburn - Puppies with short hair, white fur or pink skin are particularly at risk from getting sunburned. In addition to limiting your puppy's time in the sun, you should apply sunscreen to his ears and nose.
Dr. Eva Dudzic, "Summer Dangers for Dogs," DocStoc.com
"How Hot Do Cars Get?" MyDogIsCool.com
"Summer Safety Tips," AKC.org
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