This time of year people are doing tons of fun summer activities like heading to the lake, floating, camping and swimming, and many of those people are bringing their dogs with them on these outings. If your dog loves this time of year as much as our beasts do, make sure you keep them safe with these summer safety tips.
1. If swimming in an area of unknown depth and currents (such as a floating river or a lake) please use a canine life jacket. Doing this will keep your pal safe even if they get too focused on retrieving or chasing other things that are too far out in the water. Take this from us – Lizzi found out the hard way how important life jackets can be one year when she got caught in a fast current.
2. Always provide access to cool, clean water, whether at home or out at play. Try to avoid letting your dog drink the water they are playing in, because no matter how clear the water may look, it could still harbor bacteria that can cause sickness.
3. Post-swim rinse all chlorine and sand from your dog’s coat to avoid any skin irritation, and always clean and dry your dog’s ears to avoid any bacterial ear infections.
4. NEVER leave your pup in a parked car – even in the shade or with the windows cracked. The internal temperature of your car can skyrocket very quickly, and can easily lead your dog to heat stroke (or worse) in just a matter of minutes.
5. Avoid strenuous exercise on extremely hot days. Take walks in the early mornings or evenings, when the sun’s heat is less intense.
6. Pay attention to your breed’s special summer needs. Some light-colored short-coated dogs like Dalmatians, and hairless breeds like the Chinese Crested, need sunscreen, especially on their nose and ear tips. Pay special attention to their bellies if they’re on the water; that water reflection can leave a nasty sunburn. Other breeds, like Pugs or Boxers, have a very low heat tolerance because of their flattened faces. Huskies and dogs with thick undercoats will get overheated much quicker than breeds with short or silky coats. Know what your pup’s limits are!
7. Make sure your dog is wearing a collar with identification tags any time you’re out and about – especially when traveling. It’s the quickest and easiest way to make sure they’re returned to you if they get lost. And if your dog isn’t already microchipped, that’s a great idea too. L&R will be hosting two microchipping events this month (June 11 and June 18) for just $25.
8. Watch out for insects! Keep your pet protected from fleas and ticks by using one of our incredibly effective all-natural repellents or a flea/tick treatment from your vet’s office. If they get stung by something like a bee or wasp, remove the stinger and watch the site for an allergic reaction. If a reaction occurs or there have been multiple wasp, bee or mosquito bites, take them to the vet.
9. Many of the plants blooming now are beautiful, but remember that they can also pose a toxic danger to your pets! Check out the ASPCA’s list of toxic plants and make sure you pet-proof your garden. If you have some of these plants but want to keep the dogs and cats at bay, try out the Liquid Net barrier spray that we carry for an effective way to keep your plants AND your pets safe! On a similar note, be very careful about choosing insecticides and fertilizers to use in your garden, as these can also be harmful to your pets.
10. Make sure your pet is up to date on their vaccinations, and keep up with that regular heartworm medication. Pets get heartworms from mosquitoes, and since we don’t have a shortage of those around here, it’s vital to keep them up to date on their heartworm preventative.