Friday, June 2, 2017

Summer Safety Tips For Pets

Summer Time, Summer Time, Sum... Sum... Summer Time!!

It's Summer, the time of year both pets and their people look forward to all year.  It's the time of year dogs don't have to beg their people to take them outside, their people are begging them to go outdoors!

Along with all that fun outdoor activity comes a variety of pet safety tips we've packed away in the closet of our minds for Winter storage.  I haven't thought much about all the safety tips for dogs in the Summer, those important pet safety measures I follow in Summer, until now.  

Summer safety tips for pets
Icy and Phoebe love going to the beach!
I've unpacked those important safety tips for dog owners from my mind's closet and jotted them down so they're top of  mind as my dogs and I enjoy the great outdoors from Memorial Day through Labor Day.  Here are my top Summer safety tips for dogs, most of which apply to cats and other pets you may bring along on outdoor adventures.


THE BEACH


I can't write about safety tips for dogs in the Summer without starting with the beach!  Dogs love the beach and so do their people, but it's important to keep dogs safe, there are some potential dangers for dogs at the beach.

Dehydration is the first thing to worry about.  Bring lots of water along and make sure your pet stays well hydrated!

Take dogs to the beach before 10am or after sunset when the sand is cool.  Sand can easily scorch your pet's paws!  Be careful as you walk across asphalt or concrete parking lots, it can burn your pup's sensitive paws too.  You may want to carry your dog or put some pet booties on him.

The beach can be a great outing for you and your dog.  Here are some additional Beach safety tips for dogs.

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MOVING ALONG


Watch out for Bicycles, Skate boards, and other things that keep people, especially kids, on the move along sidewalks or in parks.  Many dogs are afraid of skate boards and bicycles and will bark at or chase them as they whiz by.  This can be a danger to your pet as well as the person riding by them.  Try to get your dog used to bikes and skate boards, or any other contraption that might zoom by.  Create a positive association with these items and the people riding them for your dog, perhaps using some training exercises and treats.

Speaking of kids, not every child knows how to properly approach or interact with a dog.  Don't be afraid to tell the child to wait until you know a parent is nearby or that the kid knows how to approach and interact with dogs.  As a Therapy Dog handler, I am always aware of this.  It's amazing but some kids have never been taught how to properly pet or treat a dog. I've had kids get really close to Icy's eyes or mouth and I have to instruct them how to pet her, gently and along her side.

Summer safety tips for dogs
Icy is always running through the bushes & rolling in the grass in our yard.

FLEAS BITE, TICKS SUCK!


Another danger pets face even more so in Summer (as well as Fall) are fleas and ticks!  Dogs love to run through bushes and tall grasses, swim in lakes and ponds, and lay in the dirt and wet sand.  Although they're a threat all year long, with Summer comes an increased risk of fleas and ticks.  Protection against fleas and ticks is an important aspect of pet health.  Tickborne diseases like Tick Fever (Anaplasmosis) can really make your dog sick!  There are many ways to keep your dog protected against fleas and ticks. I use Bravecto, an oral flea/tick medication, all year long to protect Icy and Phoebe.  


OTHER DOGS 


Unfortunately, people often don't adhere to rules about keeping their dogs on leash.  Despite the fact that a park, campground, or hiking trail may have warning signs that all dogs must be leashed, there are always people who violate the rules.  This is one of my personal pet peeves.  I don't bring my dogs to off leash areas, other than one local dog park where I know many of the people and their dogs.  I'm always wary of loose dogs in public areas, and the all too familiar "Don't worry, he's friendly!" line that people who insist on letting their dogs run loose spew out.  You never know how any dog may react to your dog and vice versa.  Just like people, every dog is an individual and every situation is different.  

Make sure your dog has solid Leave It! and Emergency Recall training skills.  Be aware.  Please don't bring a reactive or skittish dog into an off leash area, it's so stressful for them.  Please keep your dog on leash if you're in an area where that is the rule.


THE GREEN GREEN GRASS & PESTICIDES


Around here, it seems like gardeners are out nearly every day mowing, pruning, fertilizing and applying those nasty Pesticides!  Those dreaded tiny yellow signs on lawns that warn you dangerous pesticides have been applied make me cringe.  In fact, we got a letter last week from a company that sprays for mosquitoes.  Apparently, our neighbors are sick of the blood sucking mosquitoes we have in our area and have hired reinforcements.  The letter "recommends" that we keep our pets indoors for one hour after they have sprayed at our neighbor's house!  They also advise keeping our doors & windows shut during and after they've sprayed.  They plan to spray twice a month through September!  We do not look forward to that.

Pet safety tips for Summer
Phoebe loves to smell all the flowers in our yard and in other peoples' yards

ALL THOSE CRITTERS

Wildlife is also out in droves all Summer long.  Critters from raccoons to squirrels, moles, deer, rabbits, frogs, birds, opossums (yes, an opossum is the same thing as a possum!), and who knows what else may end  up in your yard, at parks, or on hiking trails!  

We have a possum that hangs out behind our garage at night and Icy is so curious about him.  I worry because if cornered it may try to scratch her face.  I don't let her spend more than a couple of moments out there at night.  Some wildlife may be aggressive and can potentially carry diseases.  If your dog bites a wild animal, she could get infected with Leptospirosis or other disease.  If your pet gets bitten by any wild animal, you should call your Veterinarian right away.  

Keep these safety tips for dogs and other pets in mind as you enjoy the Summer!!

Do you know of any other pet safety tips for Summer ?  Please leave us a comment & share, we always LOVE hearing from you!

31 comments:

  1. I am actually seriously considering a onesie for Cookie to protect her from the bugs, particularly from the biting flies. Tomorrow we're going to measure her and order one. We'll see how that goes.

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    1. That's not a bad idea at all! Anything helps. Let us know how it works out for Cookie.

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  2. Foxtails are a summer problem here. They're these little plants that burrow into your dog's skin. Mr. N got one in his foot once although thankfully he didn't need surgery to get it removed.

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    1. I'm familiar with Foxtails, they are so scary! I can't believe a plant can do so much damage to pets. Thank goodness Mr. N. didn't require surgery to remove the foxtail from his foot!

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  3. Great tips to keep pets safe this summer. This reminds me of another point; don't leave your pets in a hot car.

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    1. Thanks Kamira! I'm glad you like these tips. YES! Hot cars are definitely a danger to pets! Great point, thanks for bringing it up here.

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  4. Summer is such a fun time of the year but there are so many dangers out there! We had a snake in our garden the other day. Scared me half to death! LOL! We are going to be extra careful. Thanks for these warnings.

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    1. GASP!! A snake - Yuk! Each season carries some form of hazard, we just need to be very aware. I hope that snake get a move on & leaves your garden.

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  5. These are some great tips! So often with summer tips it's the same "don't leave your dog in the car" "give them extra water" "watch for hot asphalt". These tips go above and beyond and are practical information for dog owners everywhere. Kids, loose dogs, pesticides. These are things that not enough people talk about. Great post!

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    1. Thanks, I'm so glad you find them useful! I was hoping to shed some light on the not so common things I've been concerned about with my own dogs.

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  6. Good tips for every dog owner! That's scary about the pesticides. If the company is warning you about their product like that, makes me shudder to think of the poisons on the ground and air for much more than an hour after they spray

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    1. Thanks Karen, I'm glad you liked my tips! That letter made me shake a little, I couldn't believe it. Our neighbor has little kids, it surprised me they would even use those pesticides around their property!

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  7. Great post and in the summer when I take Layla for adventures if it is the beach then I have a pop up canopy for her for shade and parks we visit I make sure to do the ones where there is shade also. I keep her as cool as possible with loads of water. As for the bugs she is wearing her anti bug disc so all good there.

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    1. Thanks Ruth. I'm glad Layla is safe on her exciting adventures with you!

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  8. I thought of another thing to watch out for on the beach - the critters! There are sand fleas, jelly fish, and sometimes sharks on the beach.

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    1. Oh gosh yes, jelly fish always wash up on the beach once or twice a Summer - Ouch! Sand fleas are gross, we always have to be mindful of fleas & ticks. Sharks, yikes! It's rare but I have heard of them washing up on shore & one even jumped into a boat recently! It was on last week's news - crazy!! Thanks for bringing up these points Paula, I appreciate that!

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  9. Really amazing tips! This is important for all dog owners to know and implement.

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    1. Oh, thank you Heather, I really appreciate that. I'm so glad you think they're useful!

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  10. Wonderful post! When we were at Myrtle Beach I got to feel the sand between my paws! It was already getting warm at 8am. I loved that you shared to try to bring your pups to the beach before 10am, it's something many humans forget about, our paws!

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    1. I'm so happy for Spencer that he got to go to the beach in Myrtle Beach and have those awesome photos taken!! I'll bet it was getting warm, but I'm so glad you went early in the am. We didn't get to bring our dogs to the beach there )- :

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  11. Still freezing out there for us (only 13C today) so it's hard to think of summer being just a little ways off. All good tips ... For us the best thing we ever did was get a cooling vest.

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    1. Keep these tips handy for when you do need them. I got Icy, my Husky, a cool mat last Summer & it was the best thing I've gotten her in so long! I'd love a vest as well, that way she'd have it on all the time.

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  12. So very true! I'd add getting a first aid kit for car trips, only because my dogs have taught me that they can find something to get tangled up in no matter where they are. And the pesticides issue drives me nuts. I have stopped fertilizing my back yard (and it looks like crap, by the way) but I'd like to see companies move to fewer toxic gardening products!

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    1. OMG, you're so right about the first aid kit! Between my husband and my Husky, someone's getting injured so we are never without our first aid kit when we travel. You're right though, it's a great idea to have one in the car as well for all our local outings - thanks Amy!!

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  13. Every season gives us things to enjoy, but also things to be aware of. Thanks for these great tips.

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    1. Exactly! Being aware is the key to having a wonderful season & keeping trouble at bay!

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  14. Checking the temperature of the sand (or cement) is something people probably forget a lot! That is something I will have to be more aware of this year as I now have kitties that like to walk with me (at least sometimes). My kitties will never be far from me outside, but I can only imagine what dogs get into out there! Other animals and pesticides have to be a constant worry for dog owners. For kitties, I think hydration is the most important one. Cats are reluctant to drink water, so having wet food, tuna juice, or chicken broth around can help get fluids in them.
    -Purrs from your friends at www.PlayfulKitty.net

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    1. You're right Robin, most people don't even think about how hot the sand and pavement can get - they can be scalding for paws! There's so much more to worry about with dogs, but kitties need to be cautious too.

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  15. We're still waiting for summer here in NH! Word has it we might see it by the weekend though.
    I think you covered everything very well. I wrote a similar post recently, hit most of the same points, but I also talked about keeping your dogs out of foods at picnics that might not be good for them.
    One thing is for sure, we always have to be on our toes during the summer, with so much going on! :)
    Jan, Wag 'n Woof Pets

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    1. Oh wow, really? Boy do I love NH! We were there in Winter, and I hope to get up there this summer too. It's a bit chilly in NY this week as well- how weird is that, it's June! Yes, the picnic and BBQ food can be irresistible to pets but can also be very toxic - good point, thanks Janet!

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  16. Ugh, I hate when people use pesticides on their lawns!!!! Not only is it linked to the death of songbirds and bees, they are linking the use of these pesticides to cancer in dogs and cats!

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