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Summer Safety Tips - June 2006

Summer is such a fun time, but with so many different activities going on it can also be a dangerous time of year. However, with careful planning you and your pug can make the most of the summer months. To help you and your pug enjoy the warm weather, each day this month we will offer up a Summer Safety Tip.

The Tips:

#01  Car Safety

Sure, your pug may love car rides but when the weather starts to get warm leaving your pug in the car becomes extremely dangerous.  On warm days, the temperature in your car can rise to an extremely dangerous level in a matter of minutes.

#02  Fresh Water

Make sure you have plenty of fresh water available.  During the warm weather your pug will drink more water and your water bowl filling routine will likely change.  With 3 pugs, I am sometimes surprised how quickly they can empty a water bowl when it is warm outside.

#03  Sunscreen

Sunscreen for dogs?  It does sound odd, but believe it or not dogs can get sunburned too.  The most sensitive spots on dogs are their noses, the tips of their ears and their bellies. Breeds with short hair are also more likely to burn than breeds with longer coats.  So if you are going to be out in the sun for a prolonged amount of time, remember to take precautions to prevent your pug from getting sunburned.

#04  Taking Walks

To beat the heat on a hot summer day, try to find a route to walk that includes plenty of shade.  Shaded paths will help to keep both you and your pug cool while walking.  Also try to go on your normal walks in the early morning or in the evening when the sun is not as strong.

#05  Water Related Activities

If your pug enjoys water, beat the heat by doing various water activities.  Take your pug swimming, get out the hose or setup a sprinkler.  The water will keep you and your pug cool and will give you both a chance to safely enjoy the warm weather.

#06  Cool Treats - Frozen Kong

One way to help keep your pug cool during the summer months is to spoil them with cool treats.  One of my favorites, is a frozen Kong.  To create this treat, plug up the small hole at the end of the Kong and then fill the Kong with one of your pug’s favorite liquids.  I mainly use water as my pugs love ice cubes.  Then freeze the Kong.  Once frozen, give your pug the Kong and they can enjoy licking the stuffing from the Kong as the special filling melts.

#07  Pamper your pug’s paws

When taking walks during the day remember that asphalt and sidewalks can get pretty hot.  Make sure the surface you are walking on is not too hot for your pug’s paws.

#08  Swimming Safety

If your pug likes to swim, make sure he doesn’t overdo it.  Swimming makes uses of a lot of your pug’s muscles and after a few minutes of swimming your pug can easily become exhausted.

#09  Doggie Life vests

To help ensure your pug’s safety while swimming, consider using a doggie life vest.  Life vests help your pug stay afloat and many vests have handles that can be used to easily pull your pug out of the water.

#10  Beware of tides

If your pug is swimming in the ocean or a river be aware of the tide or current.  Swimming is hard work for a pug and a strong tide may be too much for him to handle.

#11  Saltwater

On warm days while swimming in the ocean your pug may be tempted to drink the saltwater.  Don’t let your puggie drink too much seawater, though.  There is a good chance it will make him sick.  Instead, make sure you have plenty of fresh water on hand.

#12  Wrinkles

Keep your pug’s wrinkles extra clean.  During the summer months, the hot weather causes moisture to build up in the wrinkles.  You want to keep your pug’s wrinkles clean and as dry as possible prevent any infections or yeast from forming.

#13  Cool Treat - Peanut Butter Ice Cubes

If your pug is a peanut butter fan she will love this cool treat on a hot summer day.  Take an ice cube tray and put a small dab of peanut butter in each spot in the tray.  Fill the tray with water and freeze the cubes.  Once frozen, your pug will have an ice cube with a peanut butter filling.  The smell of the peanut butter will keep your pug interested in licking the melting ice.  A great treat that cools and hydrates your pug at the same time.

#14  Fleas and Ticks

Protect your pug from fleas and ticks by using a topical treatment.  Ask your veterinarian which flea and tick product will work the best for your pug.

#15  Checking for Fleas and Ticks

During the summer your pug will likely be outside more often so be sure to regularly check your pug for fleas and ticks.  When doing your inspection don’t forget to check your pug’s paws, belly and underarms.

#16  Car Safety

It may be tempting to let your pug ride in the car with its head out of the window, but be aware that your pug’s eyes could easily get dirt and other particles in them.  Remember pugs have buggy eyes and they can easily be damaged.

#17  Sunglasses

If you pug will allow it, consider protecting your pug’s bulging eyes with doggie sunglasses or goggles.  They are a great investment if your pug likes ride in the car with his head out the window.

#18  Travel

If you are traveling with your pug, be sure to locate Veterinarians that are near your destination.  If your pug becomes sick or gets injured knowing the locations of the closest veterinarians can save you precious time.

#19  Pesticides & Fertilizers

Spring and early summer is when many people take to the yard and apply pesticides and fertilizers.  On walks, keep an eye out for freshly treated lawns and be sure to keep your pug away from the newly treated grass.

#20  Cool Treat - Frozen Yogurt

If making a stop at the ice cream shop, consider getting a kid size dish of frozen yogurt for your pug.  Remember to avoid any flavors that have chocolate in them.

#21  Bee Stings & Bug Bites

Talk to your vet about the best way to treat any bee stings or bug bites that your pug might get from being outside this summer. Some pugs are much more sensitive than others and may have stronger reactions to things like mosquito bites and bites from other summertime critters. Make sure that you have the medication that your veterinarian prescribes on hand around the house and while traveling.

#22  Shots

Make sure you pug is up to date on all its shots.  This is not only important during the summer months, but all year long.

#23  Waterplay Collars / Harnesses

If your pug likes to swim or get wet consider having an extra collar or harness for water related activities. Saltwater takes a toll and easily damages collars and leashes. Plus, if not dried properly these items will mildew.

#24  Boating

If your pug is the adventurous type and likes to go boating with you be sure to have a leash on board and keep your pug under your control at all times. Having a doggie life vest on the boat as well will help to keep your pug safe.

#25  Ears

Keep your pug’s ears clean and be sure to inspect them every now and then to make sure they are not infected and they do not have mites.

#26  Car Rides

When your pug takes car trips with you, keep him cool by riding with the air conditioner on.  On hot days, riding with the windows down is not always enough to keep your pug cool.

#27  Cool Treat - Popsicle

On hot summer days treat your pug to a couple of bites of a popsicle.  Be cautious not to give your pug too much though as most popsicles are high in sugar

#28  Heat Exhaustion

If your pug becomes overheated, immediately bring them inside or to a shady area.  Encourage them to drink water and apply cool, not cold, compresses to the back of their necks and on their belly.  If your pug vomits or becomes unable to stand take them to the vet immediately.

#29  First aid kits

Always have a dog first aid kit available when traveling or going on walks in wooded areas.  Having the kit with you will enable you to quickly treat any injury that may occur.

#30  Long Walks

When planning long walks, take into consideration how hard your pug must work to keep up with you.  For every step we take our pugs must take 3 or 4 steps.  During the summer months, all these extra steps quickly add up and your pug can quickly become over heated.

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