Just because Labor Day is right around the corner, don’t stop being vigilant when it comes to keeping your dogs safe in the summer months. Here’s how to recognize and neutralize two potential dangers that your pet could face in summer:
Prevent Deadly Heat Stroke
Summer sun and temps won’t go away just because the calendar says September, especially in California and parts of the South and Southwest. With the glow of the sun comes high temperatures, and that intense heat can pose a danger to your pets, who can easily become overheated. Overheating could lead to heat stroke, which could be deadly to your pet. Here are some tips from the Central Oregon Veterinary Group on how to prevent heat stroke in dogs:
Your dog can’t fill his own water bowl. Make sure he or she has an adequate supply.
Never chain your pet in a spot where shade is not (or will not be) available.
Never leave your pet inside the car while you leave for “just a minute.”
Take your pet for walks during the cooler parts of the day.
Head for the river! A dip in the stream will feel good for both of you.
Signs of heatstroke include excessive panting, pale gums, thick drool, and vomiting. Heat stroke is a serious condition and needs immediate attention, so if your dog is showing signs of any of these symptoms, call your veterinarian right away. In the meantime, provide your dog with cool (not cold!) drinking water and use a cool damp towel over his or her fur and belly to help draw out some of the body heat.
Prevent Swimming Pool Drownings
Among Americans’ favorite summertime activities is floating down a local river on inner tubes and rafts. Swimming, of course, is popular too. Many locals also retreat to their own backyard swimming pools, which is a convenience and a great source of entertainment, but also poses a potential hazard for dogs. If your dog jumps or falls into a pool of water, it may be difficult for him or her to get back out. Most dogs can tread water for a few hours, but once exhaustion sets in, they could drown. Dogs can be trained to get out of a pool on their own, but don’t count on yours knowing how to instinctively.
Ask your pool installer or vet about safety measures to prevent pet drownings. Visit PoolProducts.com and review the variety of safety products available. There are “skamper ramps” and dog safety life jackets available for purchase. Make your pool pet-friendly and rest with the peace of mind that your backyard is safe for your family and pets.
Be Wise, Have Fun and Keep Your Pet Safe
Don’t let concerns about heat stroke and drowning prevent you from having fun in the sun with your pets and loved ones. By taking simple preventative measures and keeping a close watch on the health and location of your pet, there are only good times ahead.
Warm weather is here and it’s time to start thinking about your pet’s safety. Here’s a list of some safety tips to keep your best friend(s) happy and enjoying the summer fun:
Never leave animals alone in the car. Even when it’s only 70 degrees outside, your car can reach 90 degrees on the inside within 10 minutes greatly increasing the risk of heat stroke.
Repeat… Never leave animals alone in the car. Even if you leave it running! Your dog could accidentally put the car in gear or cause other damage.
Think about your dog’s feet when walking. A 77 degree day means that the asphalt on the street is 125 degrees if it’s sunny outside. We know you don’t want to walk barefoot on that, neither do they! Try taking a walk in the early morning before it heats up.
Make sure there is pleanty of water. Dogs cannot cool themselves by sweating like we do. Panting is the only option they have. Make sure there is access to cool, clean water to drink.
Fleas, ticks and mosquitoes abound when it’s warm out. Make sure your pet is protected as to not get heart worms, lyme disease or others.
Read the label on that yard treatment. Although everyone wants a nice green yard with no weeds, the treatment you put down may poison your pet. Read the label to ensure it is safe.
Ensure tags are up-to-date and readable. Summertime is when everyone is outside and the chances for a dog to get out increase. To help them get back to you quickly, make sure tags are up to date with your mobile number.
Plan ahead for vacations. If Fido is going with you, make sure to book dog friendly hotels in advance so they are not full. If they are not going, make sure a dog sitter or kennel is booked. No one wants to cancel a vacation at the last minute because Fido doesn’t have a place to go.
Get rid of the winter coats. You put your’s away, so should they. Shedding is natural and helps remove some of the winter fur, but your best friend could use some help. Shaving is never a good option since it opens their skin up to burning but a good dog grooming will help rmove the excess fur.
The trees and flowers are blooming and your allergies are taking over. This could mean only one thing, it’s spring! While spring is a great time to get out in the yard and celebrate with your family, there are some potential hazards for your dog. Easter brings celebration but it also brings a lot of toxic dangers around for your dogs. Here’s a list to watch out for:
Easter Grass – That colorful fake grass used to make your Easter basket so vibrant. Ingesting this “grass” can be lethal to your dogs and other pets because they can not digest it. The threads get stuck in their intestines causing damage.
Plastic Eggs – Those shiny plastic eggs that contain goodies and sometimes, if you’re a really lucky kid, money. If chewed and swallowed the plastic can cause intestinal problems that may require surgery. Make sure you keep track of how many you put out and that they are all found by who should find them, not Fido days later.
Chocolate – We all know that chocolate is dangerous to pets, but make sure your children know. Besides, puppies love bunnies, they just shouldn’t have chocolate ones.
Easter Lillies – They are a sign that spring is a coming, brining new life out of winter. But, did you know that they are one of the most poisinous plants for pets? Especially cats. They can cause kidney failure in less than two days if untreated.
Toys – Don’t forget those small and fun toy bunnies, chicks and others Easter basket stuffers that post a potential choking hazard for Fido.
Find more information about pet toxins and poisonous items for dogs and cats at the Pet Poison Helpline at www.petpoisonhelponline.com. The helpline is also open 24/7 at (800) 213-6680.
Springtime is coming and everyone wants to get outside. Here are a few tips to keep your dog safe:
Make sure your vacuum is cleaned. Flea larvae that can live in carpets and furniture can get sucked up in your into your vacuum and can hatch. Make sure that you empty your vacuum often. Bagless vacuum cleaners are great to ensure that flea larvae do not hatch.
Find organic/chemical free ways to rid your yard of fleas and other pests.
So you’re self-quarantined, you’re out of Netflix shows you “want” to watch, you don’t want to go to the dog park, your dog has the zoomies and they have destroyed all the new toys… what to do? Here’s some games you can play with your best friend to get off the couch and get some of that great puppy bonding time!
Hide and Seek This game may start with teaching your dog how to sit and stay. Start by having him sit and stay while you place a favorite toy (squeaky ones are a favorite in our house) where he can see it, but away from him (like across the room). Use your release word (ours is “OK”) and let him go fetch the toy, making sure to allow enough time to celebrate the reward of waiting patiently, by dancing around with his toy in his mouth. You can make this game more and more complicated, incrementally, by moving further and further away with the toy, around a corner, to another room, up a flight of stairs and eventually by hiding the toy in places where your dog could eventually find it. When hiding the toy, think about a child’s Easter egg hunt. Don’t make it too hard, you do want your dog to be successful, eventually!
Keep Away There are many variations on this game. With two people, you can simply toss a toy or ball back and forth to each other, letting your dog chase it in each direction. We’ve even gone as far as to use tennis rackets and a tennis ball in the garage, for greater distance. Be sure to “accidentally” drop the ball once in a while, to keep your dog a part of the game.
Agility Training You can get very creative at home with simple props, like a hula hoop. Start by using a piece of kibble to coax your dog to walk through the hoop, as it rests on the floor. Once your dog is used to walking through the hoop on ground level, lift it off the ground one inch at time. By the end of a very rainy week, you might have your pal leaping through the hoop a couple of feet off the ground!
Puzzles and Toys There are many treat-dispensing and puzzle toys on the market for dogs now. These toys are mentally challenging, requiring your dogs to ‘figure out’ how to get the treat out from it’s hiding spot. Look for sturdy toys that will withstand heavy chewing.
Fetch A hallway with doors closed makes for a perfect runway for a game of fetch. A straight stairwell does, too. Use a plush ball or toy to avoid the ball going in all directions and to get the most distance out of running to fetch.
Mental and physical exercise are both an important part of your’s and your dog’s health. It’s fun, relieves boredom, and can be extremely bonding for the both of you!