Seasonal allergies come in two forms for dogs; atopic allergies and flea allergies.
Atopic allergies are those of inhaled allergens such as dust, pollen, and mold, often causing reactions on the skin and in the respiratory system. Flea allergies are very common, caused by fleas’ saliva when a dog is bitten.
- Itchy, red, or scabby skin
- Paw or body chewing/excessive licking
- Itchy ears and ear infections
- Itchy, runny, or discharging eyes
- Snoring caused by respiratory inflammation
Luckily, flea allergies can be relatively easily prevented with flea and tick products recommended by your veterinarian. Atopic allergies can be somewhat more difficult to treat, but there are several different options. Consult with your veterinarian to figure out your dog’s specific allergies and how to manage them. Some environmental factors such as dust and mold can be managed with regular cleaning and an air filtration unit. Other allergens like pollen are unfortunately more difficult to avoid, but other management options exist as well. Giving your dog frequent baths and wiping their paws, face, and ears after walks keeps them more free of allergens that stick to their body, alleviating itching and scratching symptoms. For serious conditions, you can consult your veterinarian about options such as medication or immunotherapy.
Know the feeling after the first gym session in a long time? Dogs can get sore and need to build up their stamina for exercise as well! Even though it’s tempting to take long runs on the first nice days, your dog may need some preparation first.
Start slow and with short exercise sessions, build up their exercise as their endurance increases. Remember to vary their types of exercise and walking routes to keep it exciting, and always bring or know where to find clean water.
Exercise your dog depending on their individual needs. Consider their breed, age, size, and physical condition. Keep in mind, most of our dogs were not made for the climate they live in!
- Breeds with long fur and breeds with flat noses can overheat quickly, and may require gentler or even less outdoor exercise in the warm months.
- Very large dogs can be prone to joint and hip problems, which long runs may exaggerate. Large dogs therefore they may need an even slower increase in exercise.
- Puppies should also not be taken for runs for long periods or distances, as their joints are not fully developed.
- Those of us with senior dogs also may need accomodate their limited abilities in the warm weather, which can be tiring or dehydrating for them.
* Always remember to let your dogwalkers know your dogs’ exercise needs and restrictions!
* If the hot weather makes it more difficult for your dog to exercise outside for any reason, supplement their exercise with indoor activities like games, puzzles, and treat toys.
Skateboarding, Biking, and Rollerblading
These activities can be dangerous to do with dogs unless they are properly trained for them. If your dog is easily distracted or likes to sniff around a lot outside, odds are that they will get distracted or stop to sniff even if you are attached to them and moving on wheels! You can train your dog to pay attention to you by rewarding them with small treats for looking forward or at you, for walking in the spot you’d like them to, and for not pulling. Let them have a sniff and potty break just before going biking or skating with them, and train a cue for them to know when it is time to start and jog politely beside you!