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Summer Care

By Cathy Goetz-Perry

It's summer and there's lots to do,
Just your beardie and you,
But you must be wise,
About weather, bugs and flies,
To keep your best friend fit and true blue.

Summer is the most joyous time to be with your Beardie. There are limitless things to do. Include your Beardie in all your family activities. 

Summer is also a time when you must be extra careful with your friend's health.

If you haven't already done so, ensure your Beardie's vaccinations are up-to-date. For puppies, many vets are now recommending an extra booster for canine parvovirus at 20 weeks and an extra booster for rabies at about six months. For those of you that live in areas with tick infestation, there is now a vaccine available to fight Lyme Disease. It require two vaccinations. Lyme Disease can be as debilitating for dogs as it is for people. 

Also ensure your friend has been tested for heart worm. If the test is negative, start your Beardie on heart worm preventative medication. We have heard of many cases of Beardies being sensitive to Ivermectin, the major drug in the once-a-month heart worm medications. You may want to discuss alternatives with your vet. Take a stool sample into your vet for analysis. Round worms, hook worms and whip worms are active throughout the warm months. Deworm your Beardie if necessary. To prevent exposure or re--exposure of your Beardie to worms and other bugs that thrive in the summer, ensure poo detail is done once daily and kennel surfaces are cleaned and washed down daily and bleached with a 1 part bleach to 10 parts hot water solution once a week. 

You all know the car routine. Never leave your Beardie in a closed car in the summer, even with windows down a bit. The interior of a car can reach over 40- degrees in less than five minutes. We both carry two sets of keys and if we must leave our dogs for a few minutes, we lock the van with the van and air conditioning running. 

Never leave your Beardie outside in warm weather without shade and fresh cool water. A good gauge for your Beardie's tolerance of warm weather is your own tolerance. If it's hot and humid, take your Beardie out during the cooler parts of the day or evening. Beardies' double coats help cool them in the summer, but dogs have no means to perspire other than through the pads of their feet and throughout panting. 

Heat or sun stroke can happen quickly. Signs include shock, dehydration, collapse, bright red lips and gums, unconsciousness and in extreme situations, seizures. If your dog collapses due to heat stroke, immerse him/her in lukewarm or cool, NOT cold, water. Immersion in cold water can aggravate shock. Then transport your dog immediately to the vet. We also strongly recommend you learn CPR for your dog. Your vet can demonstrate the technique and you could save your friend's life.

The list of activities you can enjoy with your Beardie are limitless, but here are a few: 

Agility - many beardies excel at this sport. Quite a number of beardies are enthusiastic about agility.

Boating - Beardies can swim, but equip your dog with a life preserver.

Canoeing/rafting - Brigitte Nowak and her family take their Beardies canoeing regularly.

Frisbee - a portable sport. Our dogs enjoy the small pink washable, indestructible frisbees you can get through pet shops.

Golf - if you are like me and don't even qualify for a handicap, golf with you Beardie is great. Make sure you use a very soft practice ball.

Fetch, T-ball - Spike has been invited to join Jarett's T-ball team. He fields a grounder better and doesn't need a glove. Now if we could just teach him to throw the ball!

Herding trials - you need to check in your area for opportunities.

Sailing - see above. Swimming - we live 15 minutes from the Great Lakes and our dogs love swimming. Make sure dogs are allowed at the beach you use.

Travelling - There are now safety harnesses for dogs for use in cars. If your dog is crate trained and crated, you will be welcome in most motes/hotels. Make sure you pick up after your pooch. Some of our most memorable vacations have included our dogs.

Photography - if you are any good with a camera, Beardies are wonderful subjects and give interest to any setting. Be prepared with lots of film and lots of patience. 

Whatever activities you are involved in with your Beardie this summer, have fun and stay safe!

Copyright © 1997 [Cathy Goetz-Perry]
All rights reserved

 
 
 
 
 
   


© Bearded Collie Club of Canada 1997 - 2010
All rights reserved

Last revised: November 11, 2010