Monday, July 29, 2019

Enjoy the Summer Safely with Your Pup

By Ayako Lainez

Summer is in full gear and it’s time to have some outdoor fun!  To keep our pup friends safe, here are a few things to keep in mind.

Hydration — Just as we humans need water, our pup friends do too.  Make sure your pet has access to clean, fresh drinking water, and carry a collapsible bowl and water if you are taking a longer walk or traveling.  At home, adding an ice cube to their water is a good way to keep it cool.

Heat —Dogs do not sweat as much as humans do and rely on panting to cool down.
If you have a flat-faced animal such as a pug or bulldog, be aware that they may be more susceptible to heat stroke because they do not pant as well. Some signs your pet may be having a heat stroke are: heavy panting, body feels warm, dehydration, red gums, seizures, unconsciousness. If they are showing any signs that arise concern, consult with your veterinarian immediately.

Exercise — Dogs need exercise as we all know, but on hot days, it may not be the best idea to take a walk outside.  Asphalt soaks up the sun and becomes very hot, and may burn your pet’s paws as they walk. One way to check if you should consider walking is to place your hand on the
asphalt for 7 seconds.  If it is too hot for you to keep your hand down, it is too hot for your dog. If walking, try to stick to early morning or evening times when it is cooler. Natural grass is a better place to walk than asphalt or artificial grass.  You could also look into boots as a way to protect their sensitive paws.

Cars and Swimming Pools — Never leave your pup unsupervised!  Leaving your pet in a car in the parking lot can lead to heat stroke and other problems that can be fatal.  If you have a swimming pool, be aware that all pups do not know how to swim. In addition, try to keep them from drinking pool water as it may contain chlorine.

BBQ’s —It’s grilling season! Human food may not be the best choice for your pup.  It is tempting to give a bone to your furry friend, but bones may break and become a choking hazard.  Keep trash containers and leftovers out of reach to prevent pets from getting into the foil, chewing on a kebab skewer or getting sick or injured.  Also keep insect repellant and citronella candles out of reach as they can be toxic.

Hiking — Keep your pup on the trail to keep them away from dangers such as snakes and plants that, if eaten, may be toxic. Also be sure to bring enough water with you to keep the both of you hydrated. 

ID tags/microchips — In all circumstances, be sure that your pup has an ID tag and your microchip information is up to date in case of emergency or if they get lost. SVPP is offering a low-cost microchip clinic at Pup Plaza on August 24 from 3:00 p.m. to 5:00 p.m. No appointment needed.  

Stay safe, happy summer adventures!