Keep your dogs safe this summer with these tips

by | Jun 5, 2023 | Arts & Life

Dog parks are a great place for dogs to play, stretch their legs and enjoy the sunshine. But there are also potential risks when socializing with other dogs. From fights, illness or even overheating, the best dog parents should prepare for anything before heading to the park. Here’s a few tips to make sure your precious pooches are safe and healthy this summer. 

Stranger danger

Safety at the dog park begins before your dog steps into a dog park. You don’t know how other people’s dogs will behave. It’s a good idea to walk by the park to see how other dogs are behaving and see if their owners are watching them. If you’re worried that your dog might not get along with others, arrange a meetup with a friend’s dog before going to the dog park. You can also try taking your dog to introduce themselves to other dogs through the fence before heading in. Some dogs are easily startled or irritated by noises like construction and buses so leave your furry friend at home while you search for a quiet park. 

Stay safe and healthy

Dog parks are a lot of fun, but they can also be dirty. Making sure your pup is vaccinated before interacting with other dogs can help prevent potential illnesses. You also want to keep an eye out for feces, garbage or other potential risks.Having printed copies of things like your dog license, your dog’s vaccine card, any medical information and the vet’s phone number will help in an emergency. Keep your documents, along with a pet first aid kit with bandages, scissors and other supplies, in your car or on your person at all times. If you purchase one, check to make sure nothing important is missing;Some kits don’t have items like wound cleaners, antibiotic creams and pet wipes. Make sure treats, toys, blankets and anything else are on hand to help keep dogs stay comfortable if an emergency happens. You can also read a pet first aid book to know what to do in emergencies.

Playing gets rough

Before you take your dog to a dog park for the first time, train your dog to follow commands to stop what they are doing and run to you. Dog parks are fun places for dogs to play with other dogs, but they are also places for dog fights and bad behaviour. It’s best to keep an eye out for all the dogs and make sure your dog stays with dogs their size to try and prevent bullying. Be careful about collars or harnesses–they can cut off a dog’s airway in a fight. If you see another dog become aggressive, head home. Dogs can pick up behaviours like fear, aggression and rough play.

Fun in the sun

Like us humans, dogs also need protection when they are outside enjoying the sunshine. If you place your hand on the sidewalk and you find it’s too hot, then your dog will find it hot too. Booties with rubber soles will help protect your dogs feet in the heat. Dogs can also get sunburned and develop skin cancers. There are special sunscreens made for dogs. Sunscreens made for people contain zinc oxide and many chemicals that are poisonous to dogs. There are different sunscreens for dogs so the one you choose depends on your dog’s breed and needs. Dogs need sunscreen on areas with no fur or some fur like their bellies, around their noses and the tips of their ears. Breeds like hairless dogs can wear clothing to protect themselves from UV rays. Some brands call them a dog suit or sun shield dog shirts, but they cover dogs like a little jacket. There are also cooling vests, a few onesies, bandanas, sun visors and caps that help dogs stay cool.

Know your dog’s limits

Too much exercise leads to overexertion in dogs. You will know your dog may have overexertion if your dog has stiffness and sore muscles, gets tired and becomes uncomfortable moving around. Surprisingly, you might not notice anything until after you get home. You can tell dogs are overheating if they are panting, their tongue is red or they’re drooling excessively. Your dog might also have glassy eyes so their eyes look shiny. If you think your dog is overheating, then take your dog into the shade and give them some cool water.

Beware of heat stroke

Another danger for dogs is heat stroke. The symptoms are similar to overheating, but heat stroke can happen in extremely hot temperatures. Difficulty breathing, dizziness, vomiting, loss of consciousness and lack of coordination are few of the symptoms in dogs who have heat stroke. To prevent heat stroke, walk your dog in the early morning or wait until later in the evening when it isn’t as hot outside. The best thing to do if you think your dog needs help from heat stroke or any other danger to your dog’s health is to go to the vet.

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