5 things everyone forgets about outdoor pet safety
Now that the earth is starting to thaw for spring, you and your furry friend can finally get back into a routine with your trips outside. You can pack away those puppy sweaters and break out the canine rain boots instead. Spring brings its own set of problems for pets, though. With more time spent outside, especially in the impending summer heat, your pooch needs careful supervision. Here are five things you should remember about outdoor pet safety this spring and summer.
- An adorably smooshed face = impaired panting.
If your pet is a breed with a flat face, like a pug, then you’re probably already aware that this involves some health issues. But you might not know that, when it’s hot out, your dog struggles more than others to cool off. That’s because he can’t breathe as easily, and therefore, can’t pant as effectively. So a dog who falls into this breed category should only be outside in the heat for a limited amount of time. Also, keep a close eye on his behaviors to make sure he’s not overheating.
- Pooches require pool supervision.
Most pups love the arrival of warmer temperatures for one reason and one reason only: the increased opportunities for swimming sessions. Of course, it’s totally natural and healthy for your dog to paddle around a local pool or lake, but only under certain conditions.
If the body of water contains salt or chlorine, make sure your pooch doesn’t lap up any of it and rinse her off after romping around. Opt for shallower waters when possible and, if the water is deep, never leave your dog unattended. Make sure she knows how to climb to dry land, too, in case you’re unable to get to her immediately.
- Puddles aren’t for playing.
There is one type of water that you should really keep your animals away from, regardless of the adorable photo ops, and that’s the puddle. They’re plentiful in the spring, so this can be a challenge, but it’s important to their health. The stagnant water that sits in puddles is a breeding ground for bacteria and parasites — not something you want your pup exposed to. Train him to navigate around puddles, not through them.
- Not all plants are safe.
When your dog is romping around in the sunshine and enjoying the fresh spring air, it’s probably hard to tell her no. But if you let her nibble on anything she comes across, you aren’t doing her a favor. Different types of mushrooms, flowers, and even grasses can make your dog sick or cause digestive issues. So keep a close eye on your pup at all times and train her to eat indoors only.
- Pets can get sunburn, too.
You might think that their fur keeps your pets safe from the strong rays of the sun, but that’s a misconception. If you cut the hair short anywhere on your pup, including his belly, he risks getting burned. So for any pet owner who keeps his dog’s coat short, apply pet-friendly sunscreen before heading outside, especially when it’s hot.
If you keep these things in mind, you and your canine friend will have a happy and healthy spring and summer.
Safety tips for active outdoor dogs [SheKnows]
Common Outdoor Pet Hazards [WebMD Pets]
Hot Weather Safety Tips [ASPCA]