Is your garden pet ready for summer

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Guest Blogger: Aedan Kiernan
Reflect Digital

Most dogs adore summer and see it is a fantastic opportunity to explore and run around in new places. There are several steps you can take to ensure your dog has a glorious healthy summer without becoming ill or having an accident. Some of the most important tips include keeping your dog hydrated at all times and preventing them becoming sunburnt. You may also wish to keep them away from toxic plants, lungworm and artificial grass. Let’s explore some of the best ways to get your pet ready for summer.

Thwarting sunburn

dog-summerSunburn can be just as harmful to pets as it is to humans. Too much sun can lead to skin cancer, and certain dogs are at significant risk of sunburn. These include white-furred, hairless, light-coloured and short-haired dogs. If your dog does become sunburn, you can apply natural treatments like aloe vera to the red or raw area. Make sure your dog has breaks from the hot sun and benefits from an adequate amount of shade. It’s essential that you don’t leave your dog out in the hot sun for too long.

Investing in artificial grass

Soil and natural grass tend to play host to a number of hazards including snails and slugs. Your dog can become affected by lungworm if he or she swallows a slug or snail so it’s a good idea to remove them from your garden as soon as you spot them. Some dog owners are now investing in installing artificial grass in order to avoid the lungworm problem. By using fake grass you can massively reduce the number of slugs and snails in the your garden in the first place. There are plenty of synthetic grass companies like Forever Green Lawns who supply and install artificial grass which is pet friendly.

Learn about toxic plants

It’s wise to know which plants do and don’t pose a threat to your dog. Obtaining a list of toxic plants will help you work out which plants you shouldn’t be keeping in your garden if you have a dog. If you don’t want to get rid of your plants you could consider making the area in question inaccessible to your dog. Some plants can be more hazardous than you might expect – apple seeds pose a significant risk.

Give them the water they need

Hydration is just as important for dogs as it is for humans. Dogs can become dehydrated frighteningly quickly, so always ensure there’s a good supply of water at home and when you’re out and about. Grooming is also important. Long hair can cause accidents and make your dog uncomfortable, so it’s wise to give them a trim as the temperatures rise. Claws can also become snagged and cause accidents. Regular brushing should help your dog remain comfortable. A dog tag with your contact details on will help if you become separated from your dog.

Do you need a dog kit?

It’s a good idea to invest in a pet kit for when you and your dog are on your travels. Kits tend to include everything you might need to keep your dog happy when you’re away from home, including food, bowls, treats and toys. Chilled gel packs placed under the collar will also keep your dog comfortable whether they’re playing in your garden or out walking. You can even invest in special jackets to keep dogs cool. Some dog owners have even purchased special boots for protection from hot sand, glass and many other hazards.

Planning exercise

Sudden bursts of activity can lead to pain, so if you do like to take your dog out for a long runabout at the weekend, make sure they also get ample exercise during the week. By taking note of a few simple instructions, you can give your dog the summer he or she deserves, prevent them from getting ill, becoming lost or being hurt in an accident.

Photo:  Copyright Julie Walton

Keep Dogs Healthy and Happy This Summer

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Maggie at Red Fish Lake, Stanley Idaho (the dog wallk section).(ARA) – When the warm summer months roll around, our dogs are just as eager as we are to get outside and enjoy the season. Whether he tells you by nudging his leash or staring at the door knob, one way or another, your pup knows it’s time for some fun in the sun.

Before you head out, keep in mind that warm weather and sunny days are fun, but they can also mean you might need to take some extra precautions with your pet. The whole family can rest assured knowing their four-legged best friend is healthy, hydrated and happy by keeping the following tips in mind:

1. Schedule a checkup.    Before you go anywhere that requires your dog to interact with other dogs, be sure to schedule a visit with your veterinarian. Get updates on shots for dangerous communicable diseases like bordetella.

While you’re there, ask your veterinarian to evaluate your pet’s overall health. Your veterinarian’s office is also a great place to pick up two essential medications for the season – heartworm preventers and flea and tick control.

2. Run free.    It’s easy for humans and canines alike to slide out of shape during the winter months, and now is the perfect time to work off what you’ve packed on. Taking your dog on regular walks will help, but even more fun for him is a trip to the dog park. Off-leash areas are a treasure for pets and their owners because dogs can run free and play to their heart’s content. They also get natural lessons in socialization. In fact, 44 percent of dog owners who take their dog to the dog park say their dog is more social with other people and dogs. Plus, it’s fun for you, too!

Because pet owners value off-leash areas so much, dog parks across the country are expanding and improving now more than ever.

Here in Boise we are hoping to have more access to off leash dog parks. Boise City encourages volunteers, as well as funding. Find Dog Off Leash Areas on the City of Boise Website.

3. Be prepared.    Dogs aren’t much for strolling around the mall. They love to be out running around and often don’t want to stop no matter how warm it is or tired they feel. Brush up on the signs and symptoms of health problems like dehydration and heat stroke, as well as basic first aid techniques.

Keep a canine first aid kit in your car. At a minimum, it should include antiseptic spray, water-based antibiotic ointment, bandaging (including sterile gauze and a binder like Vetrap or other elastic bandages), a thermometer, tweezers and single-use cold packs. You should also keep the number and address to your veterinarian and an emergency vet stored in your phone or on a slip of paper in your wallet.

4. Good on the inside.    To keep your pet’s energy and health at optimal levels for increased summer activity, be sure you feed a high-quality dog food. It’s easier than ever to make sure your dog is getting complete, healthy nutrition without fillers. High quality foods can be found at your pet store and come in a variety of options that cater to your pet’s size or life stage.

Whether you’re going on a weekend camping trip with your four-legged friend or just heading out for a romp at the dog park, a safe summer is the happiest kind of summer there is.

Majority of content courtesy of ARAcontent
Photo: Julie K. Walton, Internet Success