Monday, July 23, 2012

Summer Safety Tips

Tackle boxes – Cats find the fishing lures very interesting, as they look like cat toys. Be mindful of where your tackle box is left out and open. Dogs like to grab the fish with the lure still in the fish’s mouth.

Hot cars - We know this is a very common one but it still happens.  Cars heat up so much faster than we think even with the windows open. Please leave your dog at home on these hot days.

Hot temperatures – Make sure on hot days animals have plenty of shade and water. An interesting fact is that hosing a black dog down in the sun will make him even hotter.  Shaving a double coated breed (a dog that has a fluffy under coat and a more coarse outer coat) will not help them stay cool. Their coat, after shedding the way they should (losing the fluffy undercoat), will keep them cool just fine.  Dogs who have a double coat require a good bath, and blow dry (with a special dog blow dryer  that blows cool air at a higher force then a human handheld dryer) to shed that thick undercoat.  Brushing with a brush that is designed for their coat type, after a bath to loosen the coat, helps also. Make sure to check with your groomer about brushes designed for your dog’s coat.
If you suspect your dog has heat stroke, contact your veterinarian immediately and move the dog to an air conditioned area or the shade. Do not use COLD water to cool his skin, this can cause problems if the body is cooled too quickly when they have a high temperature.

Water safety – Make sure to watch dogs when around any sort of water, whether it be a pool, lake or on your boat. They can fall in just like kids can. A lifejacket is recommended for any dog, even if he is a strong swimmer, when in a boat or retrieving a toy from shore. Get your dog used to wearing it around the house and make sure it fits properly.
Pool covers can also be a deceiving safety guard. Dogs can step on them and break through.  Pay attention to posted warnings around lakes; blue green algae can make humans and dogs sick.

BBQ safety- Cooking food around a campfire or a grill is a very inviting smell for our four legged companions. Burns or accidental eating of fatty foods, meat included, can be dangerous for your pet.  Corn cobs are another hazard that doesn’t come up as a danger to dogs. Many eat the whole cob!
Other foods to be careful of at picnics are grapes, cherries, onions, avocados and alcohol.
Make sure to keep an eye on your grilling meat (raw or cooked) and especially those kabobs.  Another thing that lures dogs in is grease in a fire pit after cooking over a campfire.