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Pet Health Issue: Young Pets, Overweight Pets, and Older Pets, During the Summer

Aug 18, 2007
The statistics of pet ownership has been climbing for years. Every day many more people go out and become new pet owners, and some of us have had pets longer then some jobs or even marriages. Regardless of how long you have had your pet, you will have to deal with at least two of the issues I am about to address, that of summer health issues and the age or weight of your pets.

At present we have 4 dogs being take care of at our small kennel. Recently we acquired two new German Shepherd puppies, both are now just over 3 months old, and we are caring for two older German shepherds, one at age 8 and the other at age 13.

Like humans, age and conditioning play an important part of our activities during the summer months. Regrettably we often fail to notice the effects that summer has on our four legged friends.

Pets do not have the same ability to cool down as you and I do. When it is excessively hot, like it can be during the summer months, we can sit in front of a fan, grab a cold soda, or crank up the air conditioners. But your pet must pant and pant until his body temperature is regulated. Even in an air conditioned room, your pet can be too hot if you have been outside running them around for a while. Remember, it will take considerable more time for him to cool down from his exercise, then it will for you.

To avoid putting your pet's health at serious risk this summer, follow a few simple steps that can make a big difference:

Walk your pets early in the morning or late at night. These times of day are much cooler, and they will appreciate not having the blazing sun on their fur coat.

Bring a large water bottle for your pet. Water bottles are not just for you. Get one for your pet. Use one that has a squirt top as they can lick the water out easier, and you will not spill as much.

Take your time walking your pet. If you must walk your pet during the hottest hours, (hey we all have schedules), then make sure you can go at a slow pace. Cut the walk short if you need to and take rest breaks during the walk. Better to walk your dog again later then to overdo it at noon time.

Monitor your pet's health. The more time you spend with your pet, the more you should know about your pet's health condition. Like the four dogs we have, I know the puppies are young, vibrant and healthy. They can walk much longer then the overweight or older dogs. You need to know the limits of the pets you have.

Always consider the weakest pet health link. If you have more then one pet, then make sure you always keep in mind that pet which will have the highest risk factors. The overweight German shepherd is a far greater risk factor in the summer then the older, but lighter dog. Even though she is an older dog, she is not lugging around extra fat.

Keeping your pet healthy during the summer is not hard at all. Simply keep in mind that they are much like us in some regards. They want to relax, have a cool drink and perhaps a dip in the pool. If you are going to walk them, and you should, just make sure that they can handle it as well as you can. Take your time, let them rest, give then a nice treat of some ice cubes when you're done. They will love you for the walk, and love you more for caring enough not to put them in harms way.
About the Author
Derek Wood breeds and trains large breed dogs through the use of healthy and humane techniques. He is a life-long pet advocate and animal friend.

Visit his websites for more pet health care tips, supplies, and articles.
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