Taking your dog to the park is a great way for both of you to get some fresh air and exercise. But summertime brings with it potential hazards that you may not experience during other times of the year. Heat, humidity, vegetation and even bugs can be just as hazardous to our dogs as they are for us. Always be mindful of possible summertime concerns and be prepared to keep your dog safe. Here are just a few of summer's potential dangers to watch out for.
Dehydration - Dogs love to run and play, and taking them to the park allows them more room and freedom to do just that. All of this exertion during hot and humid weather can quickly dehydrate them, however. Be sure to take a water dish and plenty of fresh water with you to the park. Offer your dog a drink often, and take care that he does not become overheated.
Hot Pavement - Even parks have their share of concrete and asphalt. Paved walkways, basketball courts, or other solid surfaces can become dangerously hot in the midday sun. Keep your dog on grassy areas and off the pavement whenever possible to avoid injury to his paws.
Vegetation - Just like us, dogs can fall victim to hazardous vegetation like poison ivy and poison oak. There are also many ornamental and landscaping plants that can be poisonous to your dog. Know how to identify these potential dangers so you can be sure to keep your dog out of harm's way.
Direct Sunlight - Believe it or not, dogs can get sunburned, especially if they have light skin or white fur. Too much exposure to direct sunlight can also increase the risk of heat stroke or other heat-related illnesses in dogs. Be smart when taking your dog to the park and stop to take frequent breaks in a shaded area.
Fleas, Ticks and Other Biting and Stinging Insects - Warm weather brings with it the dangers associated with parasitic and other harmful insects. Dog owners are generally familiar with the effects of fleas and ticks, but chiggers, bees and biting ants can be dangerous to a curious dog as well. Be sure your dog is protected from fleas and ticks, and watch him closely to be sure he does not nose around in potentially dangerous foliage.
Taking our dogs to the park can be a fun and rewarding experience. But taking the necessary precautions to protect them against potential summertime dangers is a must. Be prepared, be attentive, and be safe.
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