Top Veterinary Articles of the Week: Summer Safety and more ...

Poolside Safety: Prevent Pet Drowning Deaths

This article isn't new but it is relevant for this season. Many dogs love water. Jasmine did, Cookie does. Particularly on hot day, swimming and playing in the water is an awesome exercise for dogs.

We never had a swimming pool but if you do, be aware of the danger it pose to unsupervised dogs. Every year, dogs drown in swimming pools. Not all dogs are good swimmers. And even if they were bad things could still happen. It is one thing to leap into the pool, it is another being able to climb out of it.

Photo Wetsun

Do Dogs Need Sunscreen?

Our guys have thick, dark coats and black noses. They also don't like it too hot so on summer days they mostly exercise early in the morning and later in the afternoon. We never used sunscreen for our dogs. However, if we had a light-colored breed, or a breed with thin coat, we'd give this a serious thought.

The most affected areas are ear flaps, noses and bellies. Though with our guys, running around, the belly doesn't get to see much sun. Many dogs, however, like to lay around in the sun, bellies exposed.

An important note about sunscreens, avoid any that contain PABA or zinc oxide. Summer is a great season but it does bring its own risks.

Five Reasons to Consider Fish Oil Supplementation for Your Dog

There are two things you will be hearing about more and more. Probiotics and omega-3 fatty acids. Research is continuously discovering how beneficial these supplements really are.

I started supplementing with fish oil when we learned about Jasmine's arthritis and other chronic inflammation issues. I've been giving it to our dogs ever since, and when we remember, we take some ourselves. If I had to choose just one supplement for our dogs, it would be omega-3 fatty acids.

Fish oil is great for arthritis, any inflammatory conditions, and even in treatment of heart disease, kidney disease and cognitive dysfuction.

Supplementing is even more important these days, when most animal protein sources are higher in omega-6 fatty acids than they used to be, because of what they are being fed.

Like with any supplement, not all products were created equal and it is important to choose wisely. I like to rotate our sources between couple different types of fish oil and krill oil. I also select only pharmaceutic-grade products.

And like with any supplement, too much of a good thing is no good. When selecting a dosage, it is always best to work with your veterinarian or a nutritionist. With omega-3 and omega-6 fatty acids, it is not the actual volume that is important, it is the ratio between them.