Five Common Summer Health Concerns And Your Dog

Everyone looks forward to the coming of warm weather and with it walks in the woods with your dog, running on trails, swimming and just being outside more with your canine companions. 

But with the coming of summer, these common health concerns also make their arrival. 

Here’s what you need to know:

Dehydration – Your dog always needs access to fresh clean drinking water, but this is especially important in warm weather. Severe dehydration can lead to weakness, lethargy, difficulty breathing and eventual collapse. 

Heat Exhaustion and Heat Stroke – Dogs, unlike humans, don’t sweat to cool off their bodies. They must rely on panting to dissipate heat. If your dog gets severely overheated, his body temperature could rise to the point where irreversible organ damage and death could occur. 

Avoid exercising your dog in the heat of the day and never leave him in a car in the summer, even with the window cracked open part way. The interior of a car can heat up to dangerous levels in just minutes.

Fleas and Ticks  – Fleas and ticks are not only aggravating, they can carry diseases which are dangerous to your dog, such as Lyme disease. Use a veterinarian approved flea and tick repellant to nip this problem in the bud.

Sunburn – Yes dogs can get sunburned, especially in sensitive areas such as the tops of their noses, belly skin and the skin in the groin. Short haired dogs are at more risk and as well as dogs with white coats. 

Mosquitoes – These pesky insects can harbor the organism that causes heart worm in dogs. Heart worm is a potentially fatal disease but is preventable. Keep your dog on a heart worm preventative medication year round. is a comprehensive site for information dog owners can rely on, and includes tips on health, exercise, fun facts, breed profiles and much more. has a free active Facebook Group of dog parents which any dog owner is welcome to join at  The WoofPost’s official hashtag is #woofpost

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By Ellen Britt

Dr. Ellen Britt has loved dogs since she was a child. She is particularly fond of the Northern breeds, especially Alaskan Malamutes. Ellen worked as a PA in Emergency and Occupational Medicine for two decades and holds a doctorate (Ed.D.) in biology.

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