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Some dogs can’t wait to get wet. If your furry friend is a swimmer, watching them leap into the water can be very satisfying. However, by coming into contact with lakes and ponds, your dog may also be exposed to bacteria. While this needn’t be a problem, following these tips will help prevent any infections.

Pre dip

  • Bring fresh water and a bowl so your dog isn’t tempted to drink contaminated water. A collapsible bowl can be carried around easily.
  • If your dog is prone to ear infections, bring some ear cleanser with you.
  • Keep your dog away from lakes and ponds that may contain blue-green algae. These can be toxic to them and, in some cases, fatal.
  • Pack a small towel and cotton pads to clean and dry your dog’s ears. Pet wipes may come in handy, too.

Post dip

  • If possible, rinse your dog off with clean water when you’re coming back home.
  • Give him a good brushing and check for any ticks, cuts or skin reactions.
  • Dogs with floppy ears are more prone to getting infections as heat and moisture accumulate inside (making it the ideal environment for bacteria). Dry ears thoroughly after they get wet using a towel.
  • Use a cotton pad to clean out the inner part of the ear flap, starting at the canal exit and moving upwards. Add some ear cleanser to the cotton pad, but do not soak it. Once the ear is clean, add 2-3 drops of ear cleanser to the ear canal. Apply a little pressure around the ear base to mix well.

That's it, just remember these tips and your pooch will be safely in the swim of things!

A word about hot cars

It’s also worth remembering some essential information about keeping your dog cool in warmer weather. Starting with leaving dogs in hot cars, here's what you should know:

A parked car heats up like an oven. On an 24°C day, the interior of the car can reach 34°C in 10 minutes.

Dogs don’t sweat through their whole bodies like us, but only through their paws, and so they have to pant to cool themselves down. Not to mention the big furry coat!

Leaving the window open a few inches or parking in the shade makes virtually no difference to the temperature inside the car.

Dogs can die from heatstroke in as little as 15 minutes, and heatstroke can cause serious brain damage in a very short time.

The bottom line is, we should never leave our dog in the car. Even for a few minutes, and even on a relatively cool day.

Don't forget to protect their paws

And finally, when it’s warm outside we should be taking care of our dog’s paws, ensuring they don’t burn on surfaces that get particularly hot in the sun. Here are some things to remember when the sun is out.

When very warm and sunny days are forecast, it’s worth trying to walk your dog in the morning and the late evening as it’s cooler. This may seem obvious but choosing a time when the pavement is at its coolest will keep your dog comfortable.

If you’re only able to take your dog out when it’s warm, opt for grassier routes where they’ll be less likely to walk on scorching pavement and cause any damage to their paw pads. Seeking out a shaded area is also advised.

If you know your dog will be exposed to sunny climes on a regular basis, it might be worth investing in a pair of dog shoes, to ensure their paws are protected at all times. Just be conscious that not all dogs can adapt to wearing them, and it may take a few attempts for them to get used to these new accessories!