The weather is warming up, the sun is coming out and you and your dog are ready to take to the sidewalks and dog parks once again for fun in the sun. Are you fully aware of the dangers that lurk in the great outdoors, and are you prepared for them? Take a look at some safety tips so that you and your dog can enjoy the weather changes to the fullest extent with peace of mind.
Stay Flea Free
Swim with a Life Vest
Bug repellent is just as important, if not more so, for your dog as it is for you! Fleas and ticks become more prevalent as the Spring turns into Summer and the weather becomes warmer and more humid. Is your dog fully protected against this dangerous and annoying little pests?
Commercially available flea and tick preventatives are the most popular form of keeping biting bugs away from your pet, but they are not always 100% effective. Some breeds, such as Australian Shepherds and Border Collies cannot be exposed to these pesticides at all due to the possibility of the MDR1 gene making them hypersensitive to them with deadly effects. There are other measures you can take, though, including all natural and affordable prevention plans.
Neem oil, an essential oil made from the leaves of an Indian tree, is a proven effective way of keeping all biting bugs off your dog’s skin and coat. Mix with water and citronella oil in a spray bottle and give your dog a light spray of the concoction before heading to the dog park for extra protection.
If you have a short haired dog, you may need to take the bright Spring sun into consideration before heading out for a day of exercise and fun. Just like people, dogs can get sunburned and suffer badly from it. While you can put sun block on your dog that is made for humans, if licked off this can be a dangerous situation and thus it is not recommended.
Instead, try the all natural and effective sun block found in coconut oil, with an SPF of 8! At room temperature, coconut oil in its liquid form and be rubbed on your dog’s thin or short coat and even around his face. He may try to lick some off, as it does taste good after all, but it will not hurt him when ingested. Furthermore, some dogs may have light sensitive eyes and require the use of a type of goggle made just for dogs to block out the harmful UVA and UVB rays that can damage their eyes. Not all blue eyed dogs have this issue, but consult your vet if you are concerned.
If you take your dog to the lake, river, or swim in your back yard you need to consider his safety just as much you would a child. Most breeds are naturally good swimmers, but anything can happen once they dive into the water. A river can sweep them away, a cramp or injury can prevent them from paddling or a smaller dog can just simply exhaust themselves in the water.
Life vests made just for dogs will guarantee your pooch’s head stays above water should anything prevent him from swimming correctly. These vests are often comfortable, light weight and not too bulk so that your dog still has full motion of all his limbs and can enjoy the day splashing at his favorite water hole.
For both you and your dog, have a couple water bottles on hand. Collapsible water bowls or traveling water bottles are cheap and easy to find at nearly every pet store and even some large department stores that can make it easy for your dog to drink up and stay hydrated as he enjoys the warmer weather romping in the grass, dirt and playing. You can prevent overheating and dehydration by simply keeping water on hand and ready to use at a moment’s notice.
Keep your dog safe as the weather changes, making it more enjoyable as the two of you head out to enjoy the sun and grass for the first time in 2014! Protection from biting pests, the burning sun, rushing water, and staying hydrated will ensure that you two have many more fun days in the sun together!