Summer is a great time for most dogs. The weather is warm and there seem to be endless days to play outside, run, and swim.
However, it’s also a dangerous time, especially as hot at Little Rock can get. Not only are there heat-related hazards, but pests like ticks can be a major concern as well.
How do you keep your dog safe in the summer? From how to remove ticks to handling the heat, here’s what you need to know.
How to Remove Ticks
Knowing how to remove ticks is essential during summers in Arkansas. Letting your dog play in the park, hike in the woods with you, or romp near a lake is a great way to burn energy and get them great exercise, but ticks are part of the deal, and it’s essential to prevent problems if possible.
The first step is to carefully check for ticks before you go home. The sooner you find and remove these pests, the better. Ticks carry diseases including babesiosis, Lyme disease, and ehrlichiosis. Disease transfer can happen as soon as three to six hours after a bite, so the quicker you are able to remove the tick the better.
Once you know how to remove ticks, the process is fairly simple. You need fine-point tweezers (not the usual blunt kind) to do the job. Spread the fur and grab the tick gently as close to the skin as possible. Gently pull straight upward in a smooth slow motion. That way, you can avoid having the mouth parts break off and stay in your pet.
To make things even easier, get a tick removal hook. This device has prongs that you place on either side of the tick. A simply twist upward removes the pest. Never use your fingers – you can squish toxins into your dog and you likely won’t remove the tick.
Beat the Heat With Water and Rest
Know that you know how to remove ticks, it’s time to talk about heat. Unfortunately there are hundreds of dogs that die each year due to being in hot vehicles, and dogs have been known to die in the heat of the own backyards as well.
You can’t simply leave the air conditioner on and expect your pet to be OK. If they are not in the front of the car, the air may not reach them. Also, the air conditioner in an idling car is not as efficient as a moving car and may not stay cold.
It doesn’t take long for a car to overheat. In only 20 minutes a car parked on a hot but cloudy day can reach 125 degrees on the inside.
How do you beat the heat?
Be sure your pooch is with you at all times, and never leave them unattended in a yard or vehicle. Cover their feet with booties (even if they hate it!) if the pavement is too hot. Bring water for your pet, and be sure to rest often in the shade.
Do your best to take your dog out during the early morning or later at night, avoiding the heat of the day. Even then, be aware that humidity can affect your dog’s ability to cool off, so on extremely humid days keep them inside.
Keep Your Dog Safe This Summer!
At Bowman Road Animal Clinic, we want you and your dog to stay happy and healthy this summer. Now you know how to remove ticks and how to manage heat, two of the biggest threats in the hot months.
However, there are still unfortunate things that happen. If your furry friend needs help, we’re here. From emergency care to routine exams, contact us for an appointment if your dog needs care from a Little Rock vet.