You may love warm weather, but summer’s not always great for dogs. In fact, medical claims data from pet insurance companies, shows that as dogs spend more time outside in warm weather, they are more likely to be injured, suffer from heat stroke or be affected by a number of other problems that mean a trip to the Vet.
Of course, that doesn’t mean dogs have to be kept on a short leash just because it’s nice out. Morkie owners, just take some precautions.
Exposure to outdoors = increased risks
“Pets are treated more frequently in the warm months due to their increased exposure to the outdoors. Warm weather means more insects — and insect bites,” says Dr. Carol McConnell, director of veterinary education and services for Veterinary Pet Insurance Co. (VPI).
“High temperatures can lead to sunburn and heatstroke. Exposure to swimming pools can lead to ear infections or-worse-case scenario-a pet accidentally falling into a pool and drowning.”
Dr. McConnell says her company, VPI Pets, sees a significant spike in veterinary claims during the warmer months. She suggests you keep a watchful eye on your Morkie and also consider buying pet insurance.
“Protecting your dog or cat with a pet health insurance policy is not only a smart decision prior to warm weather months, but all year round,” she explains.
Most pet insurance is offered in several levels of coverage, so read the policy well before buying. Check whether pre-existing conditions are covered, and what the deductible is.
Common warm weather injuries
Dry grasses with Foxtails – foxtails are simply clumps of seeds, gathered on the end of many types of grasses. By summer, they are very dry and develop sharp points, designed to hook on to animals to reseed and spread the plant.
Those sharp points can get embedded into dogs’ paws, ears, eyes or noses. Then they work in deeper and deeper until they’re well into the flesh. There, its bacterial enzymes will cause the dog’s hair and tissues to break down. A nasty infection follows.
Because they’re barbed, foxtails are hard to remove and can be a major nuisance.
Stings/Bites – Insects and spiders of all shapes and sizes come out of their hiding places in the warm weather months. Mosquitoes congregate near pools of water. Drain even the most shallow pools of water (including the toddler’s pool) so mosquitoes don’t breed. Plus keep your Morkie away from bees, wasps and woodpiles that may house spiders.
Heat stroke – When it’s over 75 degrees, try to keep your Morkie indoors as much as possible, especially during the hottest hours of 10:00 am to 4:00 pm. NEVER leave your pet in the car unattended, EVEN FOR A ‘MOMENT.’
Burns – Hot sidewalks or sandy beaches can painful for small dogs and can cause serious burns. Your Morkie’s paws are probably quite soft. To avoid the heat, walk him early or late, when it’s cooler, and keep him on grass. Use an approved product like PawWax to help protect your Morkie’s delicate paws. It’s sold on Amazon or in many pet stores and works well in icy winter weather too.
Near Drownings – Although relatively rare, cases of near drownings do increase in warm weather summer months. If this happens, be sure to keep your Morkie warm, and dry thoroughly with towels. Then, take him to the Veterinarian immediately.
And consider a dog life jacket if your Morkie can’t swim or water is rough. You can see a whole collection of doggy life vests here on Amazon.