Summertime Safety Tips for Your Dog






Summertime is a time of year we all look forward to.

Swimming in the pool or lake, a cookout with friends in the backyard and for some of us doing long overdue household repairs are just a few of the things we look forward to doing.

Whatever activities you are planning keep the safety of your dog in mind.

Most of us have a preconceived idea that dogs are born swimmers. We seem to think that puppies were born to doggie paddle.

Not so!

Dogs have to learn to swim just as people do; they were not born as ducks.

Many a dog (and cat) has drowned in pools because they had never been in water before and could not swim and secondly because there was no way for them to get out of the pool and they drowned trying to stay afloat.

If you have a pool be certain your dog cannot fall into it.

If your dog is a swimmer make certain there is a means for your pet to get out of the pool by itself.

Either teach your dog to use the steps or have a ramp installed by the stairs for your pet to use.

There are many manufacturers that make such ramps if you cannot build one yourself.

Pool chemicals are another source of danger for your dog. Some of the chemicals are very corrosive and can burn your dog’s paw pads or skin.

As unappetizing as they seem to us, to a curious dog a lick or two could prove interesting and also be fatal.

Keep all chemicals on a shelf high up so “curious George” cannot get into them. This includes such things as anti freeze, windshield cleaner, products used in the garden, and bug sprays.

If you are using a liquid fertilizer on the grass or garden or spraying the grass for critters make certain your dog does not wander on the wet lawn or garden.

Dogs use their tongues as a towel to clean off wet paws and the products you are using are toxic. Keep your dog in, until things have dried off.

Should you dog get some of the product on its paws wash them with a detergent such as “Dawn” to remove the residue and oils.

If you are having problems with slugs and snails be very cautious using commercial bait traps as there is something in the chemicals that dogs love and they will eat them.

This is also true for certain fertilizers used for such flowers as roses. Even if the product is worked into the ground the dog’s nose knows where it is and will try to dig it up and consume some.

Summer is also the time for fleas, ticks and mosquitoes be certain you are using a flea and tick preventative on your dog and that your pet is current on its heartworm medication.

Hot weather can mean death to a dog if left in a car even for a short time in the summer. The heat especially affects snubbed-nosed dogs like Pugs and Pekinese.

Do not walk your dog in the middle of the day, heat exhaustion is possible and burned paw pads could result from walking on hot sidewalks.

Just try walking barefoot on a hot sidewalk, yourself.

Make certain your pet; if it is outside has accessibility to shade and plenty of water.

Should your dog show signs of heat exhaustion quickly wet it down with a hose, do not use ice water or really cold water.

Dogs do not sweat; panting is their body’s air conditioning system.

Do it yourselfer’s need to be cautious too, around the family dog.

All the solvents and glues that you use for those exciting projects can be toxic to your dog.

Keep everything off the floor and should you spill something, wipe it up immediately. For some reason that ever-ready nose is always leading a dog into what could be serious trouble.

If you are planning on using your backyard for fun and games this summer it would be wise to make certain that all gates leading to the yard have quick acting spring latches on them.

Many a curious dog has left home because a visiting guest “forgot” to close the gate.

A spring lock can be easily attached to any gate and will be worth all the time it took, if it means keeping your dog in and safe.

These are just a few tips to keep your dog safe and make your summer one that you both will remember.

An ounce of prevention is really worth the time that it takes to protect the health and safety of your precious dog.




Drs. Foster and Smith Inc.