Out and About with Fido
Submitted by Susan on Mon, 07/23/2012 - 15:48
It's that time of year when block parties and street festivals are happening almost every weekend. Dog lovers are out and about enjoying all the fun summer activities with their canine companions. Here are some things that need to be considered BEFORE heading out with Fido.
Is the event pet friendly?
Yes, people bring dogs with them to places that don't allow dogs. Know before you go!
You can't just leave the dog in the car. On a hot summer day the inside of a car heats very quickly. On an 85 degree day the temperature inside your car, with windows open, will reach 102 degrees in 10 minutes. In 30 minutes it will go up to 120 degrees. The back of a pick up truck is NOT a safe place for a dog either!
Is your pet ready for the social scene?
Too often we assume our dogs will enjoy an outing just because we humans think it's fun. If your dog is easily frightened by crowds, sounds, children or other dogs, they would be much happier left at home! Fireworks and marching bands don't impress dogs.
What do you need to keep Fido safe, happy & comfortable?
Be prepared with plenty of water and a bowl to put it in. Make sure there is shade/shelter for your dog to escape the heat. If you will be on concrete or pavement for long periods, leave Fido at home! Paws can burn on these hot surfaces. Feel the ground, if it's too hot for you to hold your hand on it for 30 seconds, it is too hot for your dog to be walking on it!
Please use a standard leash when out in public. Retractable leashes are great for letting Fido romp in the meadow, but they just don't provide enough control for walking in a crowd. Basic manners are a must. Not everyone enjoys an excited dog jumping on them, knocking over the children or stealing food.
Don't forget to clean up after your dog!
Are your dogs vaccinations up to date?
While vaccines can't protect against all the things that can make your pet sick, most states require at least some ( Rabies for example) and if there might be other dogs at the event, you need to be aware of viruses like Parvo that are easily spread among dogs and can be deadly. Parasite protection against fleas, ticks, mosquitos and intestinal parasites (worms) should be in place as well. Talk to your vet about your dogs active lifestyle and the best ways to protect him/her.
It is a MYTH that all dogs can swim and a fact that any dog can drown.
Never throw a dog into the water! There are also many hazards in the water.
Dogs have been lured out into deep water while chasing water birds ( ducks, geese, swans etc) and can drown from exhaustion.
Beavers can grow to 50+lbs and will defend their turf, attacking even large dogs.
Algae bloom is toxic to dogs http://www.petpoisonhelpline.com/poison/blue-green-algae/ and ingesting large quantities of water can cause brain edema and death. http://thebark.com/content/danger-water-intoxication#.UA1mZdReOM8
The very safest way to allow your dog to swim in open water is with a floatation vest and a long leash on. There is some risk that the dog could get tangled in a long line, so you will need to be careful, but at least you can reel the dog in if needed.
Swimming pools have their own hazards and dogs should never be left unattended near or in a pool. Show the dog where and how to climb out of the pool and again, use a flotation vest.