Enjoying the great outdoors
Spending time outdoors with family, friends, and your pets can be enjoyable for all. But even during the summer month’s precaution must be taken to keep your pet healthy. The following tips will help you keep your pet safe and happy.
Not just for outdoor pets...
Pets that live inside and may only go out for short periods of time are just as susceptible to the dangers of pests as pets that are left outside all the time, or even those who are considered indoor/outdoor.
1) Mosquitoes cause heartworms in dogs and cats if they are not protected. Heartworms are very hard to treat and are potentially lethal. To protect your pet from heartworms be sure to get the monthly heartworm preventative from your vet.
2) Also make sure there are no standing pools of water. Whether it be an old pot, a kiddie pool, or even puddles, they can all spawn families of mosquitoes. They are not only a pest your pets, but also to you.
3) Ticks and fleas can infest your dog very quickly and if they are not eliminated they can cause dehydration and loss of weight. Ticks also carry lime disease that is not only deadly for your pet but can be transferred to you. To protect your pet from fleas and ticks ask your vet for a monthly topical medicine.
4) Shaving your dog during the summer months can sometimes help with keeping your pet cool. The fur on your pet will help to protect their skin against the sun. All dogs can get sunburned; especially light skinned dogs. So be sure your dog is not prone to sunburns before they get shaved.
5) DO NOT leave your pets in a cage, crate, or airline carrier outside! These are not made to be proper shelter against the heat and they have no where to go to get away. This includes apartment and condo balconies.
Love to go hiking? Love to bring your dog along with you? Going out camping or going for hikes can be great fun and even challenging. Some dogs enjoy a good romp through the wood trails and maybe even climbing up hills and mountain trails. But there are some safety tips that you should know about before deciding of that hike is really safe for your pet.
1) Walking your pet in the early morning or late evening will help to eliminate over heating and heat stroke.
2) Be sure to bring lots of water with you no matter where your walk takes you. Especially for the smaller dogs.
3) Humidity makes it difficult for pets to breathe as well as weigh down their coat. If it’s humid outside you may want to think about shortening the length of time you are out.
4) Be sure to do research on your dog’s breed when it comes to being outside. Some dogs have a harder time in the heat and humidity than others and are more susceptible to having breathing issues. Examples are Pugs, Boxers, Bulldogs, Boston Terriers, and Shih Tzus.
5) When taking your dog on long walks through the woods and trails, be sure to walk your dog on a leash that is no longer than 6 feet. Flexi-leads allow the dog to wander into brush and trees which not only will tangle up you and your dog but may also lead to potential dangers. It will also help to prevent them for eating things off the forest floor they shouldn’t. Some wild mushrooms are toxic to dogs.
6) Snakes are very common to be found among the brush and leaves. As you walk, keep your dog close to you and stomp your feet to keep the snakes away from you and your pet. The sound alerts them to your presence and they will usually head in the opposite direction.
Copperhead Snake - venomous.
Copperhead Snake - The heart shaped head and vertical slit eyes are indications of a venomous snake.
Black Rat Snake - non-venomous.
Eats mice, rats, and even baby copperhead snakes so they are good to have around your house and garden.
7) There’s also plenty of wildlife in the woods and trails. Keeping your dog leashed will help prevent them from becoming entangled with squirrels, deer and even raccoons.
8) Be sure that your dog is up to date on all their required shots and that they have some sort of ID. Whether it be an ID tag or microchip, ID is the best way to get your dog home to you should he slip the collar or leash and run off into the woods.
9) Always be sure to bring poop bags with you on your hike. As annoying as it might be to pick up after your pet, leash laws and defecation laws are in effect. Even if you’re in the middle of the woods. Most parks and hiking trails have poop stations along the way for your convenience.
10) Be sure you check your dog over for ticks, fleas, and any other scratches or marks after you’ve enjoyed your hike together.
More safety tips
1) Keep alcohol away from your pets. They can be poisonous and potentially lethal. Other foods such as onions, grapes, and raisins are also poisonous to your pet.
2) Sunscreen and insect repellent that you use on yourself is not safe for your pet. If you feel that your pet needs some repellent on those relentless bugs or might need some sunscreen on their noses, be sure you get products that are specifically made for pets.
3) Lighter fluid and matches should stay out of reach of your pets. Ingesting either of these is poison toward your pet and could result in difficulty breathing, and even kidney disease.
4) Don’t feed your pet anything off the dinner table. Some foods can be toxic for your pet and other foods, such as chocolate, can be lethal.
5) Though playing with glow jewelry may be fun for you and the kids never allow your pets to wear or play with it. The luminescent substance inside could result in gastrointestinal irritation and blockage if ingested.
6) Keep oil products that repel bugs out of reach of your pet.
7) When having a bonfire out back, be sure to keep your pet away from it. Coming into close proximity can cause burns from fly away pieces or burn their feet on the ashes on the ground.