Everyone loves summer weather and being able to spend time outdoors. Your Beagle is no different than you when it comes to that. However, summer presents its own set of dangers and health hazards for Beagles. It is your job to protect that precious little ball of energy from summer mishaps, and from his naturally inquisitive nature.
Beagles cannot help their lively manner when they are outside; after all, they were born to hunt. Even the most well behaved and well trained Beagle can jump right into trouble, when his sensitive little nose catches an irresistible scent. This is not to mention all of the health issues that summer brings for any canine.
Most Common Summer Health Hazards
Make sure your Beagle is protected from all of the health issues that are more prevalent in summer. Keep all of his vaccinations up-to-date, watch him carefully for any unexplained behavior, and protect him from insects and parasites. Some common summer health issues include:
- Fleas and Ticks – These insects bite and feed off your Beagle’s blood. They can carry diseases and cause skin irritation, scratching and allergic reactions. You can use spot treatments, monthly pills, shampoos and sprays. Ask your Vet which is best for your dog.
- Mosquitos – They bite dogs just like they do humans, and they carry heartworms and West Nile Virus. Most dog flea and tick repellents are also effective against mosquitos.
- Rabies – Many wild animals carry and pass on rabies through their bites. Since Beagles are prone to chase other animals, make sure rabies vaccinations are current, and keep him leashed if wild animals are likely to roam in the area where you are.
- Plants – Poisonous mushrooms and plants in the yard are attractive to some dogs, and they will eat them or chew on them. They are toxic and possibly fatal without emergency treatment. Cacao mulch is also toxic to dogs, and the chocolate scent is something they cannot resist.
- Pesticides, Fertilizers and other Lawn Care Chemicals – Dogs like to eat grass, and though it will usually make them vomit, the chemicals are toxic and can actually poison them.
- Antifreeze – When the weather is hot cars tend to lose small amounts of antifreeze through the overflow. Puddles can form that are irresistible to dogs because it tastes sweet to them.
- Parasites – Don’t allow your Beagle to drink from stagnant water sources. They may catch giardia or other parasites from the water where they breed.
- DEET – The main ingredient in mosquito repellents for humans is highly poisonous to dogs. So not apply it to the dog, nor allow him to lick you when you have treated yourself with it. Signs of DEET poisoning include; drooling, wobbling, vomiting, appetite loss and/or seizures.
There are many home remedy insect repellents that you can make. Use caution and be sure of your ingredients, if you choose this route. Some essential oils and other ingredients that are harmless to you are toxic to your Beagle. They will not be nearly as effective as the Vet recommended variety. Avon Skin So Soft is one option that will work on your Beagle and yourself, and is not harmful to the dog. However, on average it is only effective for about 10 minutes and then has to be reapplied.
Hazards to Your Beagle from the Summer Heat and Sun
The heat itself is a danger to your Beagle, in more ways than one. Here are some things you need to be especially careful of.
- Humidity – Beagles do not sweat like humans. They pant in order to cool themselves. When the humidity is high and they are breathing in nearly as much moisture as they are expelling, their cooling system is not very effective and heat exhaustion can easily follow.
- Over Exertion – Exercise is good, but too much in the heat can also cause heat exhaustion. Beagles are very hard to discourage from playing when they are having fun, even when it is very hot.
- Heatstroke – This happens when the dog’s body temperature rises way above normal in the heat and he cannot cool down. Cool wet towels should be applied while seeking immediate medical attention. Heatstroke can very easily be fatal to the Beagle and even if it is not, it can cause brain damage. Signs of heatstroke include; panting, staring, anxiousness, rapid heartbeat, fever, refusal to respond to you and collapse.
- Sunburn – Anyplace on your Beagles body, that has white hair or exposed skin, can get sunburn as easily as your skin can. Use a zinc oxide sunscreen on the exposed areas of skin when he is going to be in the sun.
- Burns of the Pads on the Feet – This is a very real danger if your Beagle walks on concrete or asphalt. The pads of their feet are very tough except in young puppies, but they will burn. They can turn red, blister and even have the pads burned completely off. It is best to keep your little guy or gal on the grass, whenever possible on hot days.
Here is a checklist to help prevent these common sun and heat problems.
- Make sure your dog has unlimited access to fresh clean drinking water. If you are out and about, take water along with you.
- Make sure your Beagle has access to a shaded area with good ventilation at all times.
- Never, ever leave your Beagle in a car when it is hot. This is the number one cause of heatstroke that results in fatality in dogs. Even a cracked window is not sufficient in the summer.
- Overweight, elderly, sick and very young Beagles are more susceptible to the heat.
Summertime is Accidental Injury Time for Beagles
When the weather is hot, seasonal activities that you may not think twice about, can pose real danger for your Beagle.
- Falls – When windows in your house are open there is always danger that a curious pet could fall out and be injured seriously.
- Swimming Pools and Open Bodies of Water – Beagles can swim quite well. There is always the danger of panic in the water. They do make life saving vests for dogs. You might want to consider this if you spend a lot of time around water. Swimming pool chemicals are harmful to your Beagle; they do make dog friendly chemicals now, so that your dog can enjoy the pool along with you.
The number one safety precaution that you can take this summer is also the simplest and easiest. Keep your Beagle on a leash. Supervision is your responsibility.