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Keeping your outdoor dog regularly groomed will help maintain a healthy hair coat. Long thick hair coats can be a problem in the summer heat. Some owners choose to visit the groomer in early summer and have the long thick hair trimmed. Whether your dog is trimmed or not, keeping the coat free of mats will help keep the dog cool.
Dogs kept outdoors in the summer do not use as much energy in regulating body temperature as in the winter. Make sure your dog is offered a good quality dog food. Be aware that dogs may not eat well in times of extreme heat. Monitor your dog closely during severe heat waves. Water is also essential in the summer. Provide plenty of fresh water daily. Stagnant pools of water or swimming pools can make your dog seriously ill if he drinks from them, so don't allow your dog to use these as water sources. Only fresh water is acceptable.
Annual physical exams are very important in the outdoor dog. Prompt diagnosis and treatment of illness is important. Make sure your outdoor dog is adequately protected from disease by vaccination. Have your dog checked for intestinal parasites and properly dewormed. Discuss flea and tick prevention alternatives with your veterinarian. Heartworm prevention is also very important in the outdoor dog. By being outdoors, his exposure to mosquitoes is great and the possibility of contracting heartworms is increased.
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