The dog days of summer are fast approaching, so make sure that your pet pooch is safe from the dangers these summers can entail.
I am an unabashed dog-lover. To me, wearing fur on my clothes to work is a badge of honour, getting jumped on is the highest form of affection, and being stern when an apologetic face drops the third ruined shoe this week is impossibly difficult.
I’m not alone, either. Dogs are often seen less as “pets” and more as “furry family members,” and I, for one, am all about keeping my furry family members safe. So, this summer, keep a close eye on Fluffy when you’re exercising, at the beach, or at a barbecue or campfire.
Working up a pant, beyond all of the physical benefits, provides our furry companions with much-loved social time, can stave off the destructive behaviour of pets who are bored or suffering from doggy anxiety disorders, and can keep unwanted late-night snuggles to a minimum.
Heat stroke, however, is a major concern for many outside activities that your dog may partake in. Limit dog walks to the morning or early evening, and always make sure that your dog has plenty of water.
Furthermore, summer is the time when lots of people put harsh pesticides or herbicides on their lawns. Dogs can sick get by wandering into areas where these chemicals have been spread, and ingesting the poisons by licking their paws. Keep Fido on a short leash to so he doesn’t explore these areas too much, and wash his paws once you get home.
At the beach
The beach is probably the world’s best place to chase balls, gnaw on sticks, and go for a doggy-paddle. Beaches are a great place for dogs to exercise, interact with others, and explore new smells, but these sandy oases do carry their own risks.
Hot sand can actually burn the pads of a dog’s paws, so remember to bring Fifi a beach towel to sit on in order to avoid prolonged contact. If you’re heading into the water, don’t let your dog drink salt water, as this can make him sick. And consider looking into doggy sunscreen—dogs, especially ones with short, white fur, can get a sunburn. Apply to the nose and ears 30 minutes before heading out. And of course, make sure that dogs are allowed at your beach before you bring your furry friend.
Having a barbecue or campfire
These social events are great for winding down from a week at work or wrapping up a great summer. Unfortunately, while roasting food over an open fire or cooking cobs of corn on the barbecue might seem tempting to us, snatching those scraps from our plates might also seem tempting to our furry friends.
Poultry, pork, or beef bones can splinter and, along with shish kabob sticks, perforate a dog’s digestive tract, and corn cobs can get lodged in his lower intestine. Lolling tongues, meanwhile, can get burnt when something tasty drips down the side of a hot barbecue.
All this results in a miserable pooch and—potentially—an expensive vet bill.
To keep your pooch safe, keep all foods out of reach of sniffing noses and make sure that any garbage is disposed of in a lidded garbage can.