Dog Days – Preparation 101

Photo credit: Pine Valley Animal Hospital 

Dogs are people too. Are your canine kids ready for the dog days of the late spring and summer months?

Didn’t know about doggie summer camps? Ouch. Bad dog-parent moment. So, we won’t even ask (because we didn’t know all of them either), we’ll just say that there are also a few vaccinations and precautions to be in the know about as the out-more-than-in spring and summer months approach.

We did a little field research, including talking to the folks at Pine Valley Animal Hospital, to see how we can best prepare our little (and big) ones for the months to come. Here are a few reminders Pine Valley passed along.

1 – Heart Worm Prevention – Most of us know that this is vital for dogs year round here in the sunny southeast. Timeliness in administering monthly prevention meds in the spring and summer months is especially crucial.

2 – Lyme’s Disease – We’re in a Lyme-prone area! At least one dog per month tests positive at Pine Valley Animal Hospital. So, vaccinate your pet…soon. An added bonus? Studies show that when we protect our pets, we protect ourselves. It’s been proven that ticks that infect dogs often infect owners as well.

3 – Bordatella (Kennel Cough) vaccination – Not to be mistaken for: Only needed if I board my pet. Dogs can catch kennel cough anywhere that other dogs are present – through sharing water bowls, etc. So, for all the furry socialites out there, especially canine campers and daycare visitors, this one is a must.

4 – Keep Them Active, but Proceed with Caution – Keep your pup on the run for optimal fitness, but take it easy as temps increase. A few great local spots? Dog parks, parks with walking trails (Halyburton, Ogden Park, etc.), Carolina Beach State Park, the beach (until April 1st) the North End of Carolina Beach, and Fort Fisher State Park year round. Careful in the summer months as scorching sand can blister paws. Swimming? Absolutely awesome for dogs. But, for all the lab-lovers out there, make sure they know when to quit!

5 – Keep Them Hydrated – The average 50 pound dog needs about a quarter to a half-gallon of water per day (around 17 ounces per 10 pounds), depending on activity level. So, be attentive (but, don’t overdo it) during the summer months and always have water on hand when out and about with your dog.

Like the sound of canine camps? Think Vermont, in June. Your pet will let you tag along when you book with Camp Gone to the Dogs. Or, jump on the web. There are several East coast options.

*Sponsored by Pine Valley Animal Hospital, PC at 106 Longstreet Dr. near the intersection of Shipyard Blvd. and S. College Rd.

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