Dogs are made for the outdoors. Going for a long walk, playing with the kids in the yard, visiting the dog park–all these activities are tailor-made for them. While dogs love to have fun outside, though, their owners should always be mindful of their safety. Here are a few things to watch out for while your furry friends are romping around outside.
Heartworms, which can cause serious damage to your dog’s heart and lungs, can be transmitted to your dog through mosquito bites. While you obviously can’t avoid every single mosquito, make an effort to keep your dog away from areas where mosquitoes gather, such as bodies of stagnant water. Also, be aware of the diseases that fleas and ticks can carry, and check your dog for ticks after being outside for an extended period.
Dogs can react to heat just like humans, so if it is hot outside, make sure your dog doesn’t get overheated. Give them plenty to drink if you’re going to be outside for any length of time. Signs of heatstroke in dogs include heavy panting and increased drooling. If you notice these warning signs, head to a shady area or head inside to enjoy air conditioning. Dogs with short muzzles and dogs that are obese or older tend to get heatstroke more quickly. One more note about hot summer days: dogs can get sunburned on areas without fur, or if their coats are very short.
While the outdoors provides lots of fun opportunities, many dangers exist as well. Keep an eye out for various poisons that can harm your dog. Pesticides can be good for your lawn, but harmful to your dog, so choose products that are safe for pets. Store any chemicals at your home safely out of reach as well. Certain creatures can cause danger to your dog too. Some kinds of frogs, toads, snakes, and spiders can be poisonous to dogs, so have a good idea of what to watch out for in your area. Other insects like bees or wasps are not poisonous but can give painful stings, so stay clear if you hear them. Some plants can be toxic to dogs as well. Watch for azaleas, lilies, daffodils, tulips, and hydrangea, and keep your dog away from them.
Other harmful things to watch out for include compost bins — the compost can include harmful molds and bacteria — and cocoa mulch, which can be harmful to dogs if they ingest it (just like chocolate can be harmful to your pooch).
Dog Walking Safety
It is also important to take safety precautions when you’re walking your dog. You should have a reliable leash and dog collar that work well for the size dog you have. You don’t want the collar or leash to break so your dog can run across a busy street or go after another dog or a person. Inspect the collar and leash regularly for any signs of wear. You also want to be visible in the dark or in stormy weather. You can accomplish this with reflective clothing for you and your dog or an LED collar for your dog. You should also let people know when and where you’re going for a walk so they can check on you if you don’t come back when you’re expected.
Following the tips above will give you many happy hours outside with your dog. Take good care of your pet, and they will love you in return. The great outdoors can be fantastic fun–just take these precautions to ensure safety for you and your pet.
About the Author
Jessica Brody is a dog lover and creator of OurBestFriends.pet. She created the site to offer a place for animal lovers to share their favorite pet photos and stories about their furry pals. Jessica believes dogs are the best creatures on earth. She enjoys writing about and sharing photos of dogs (and other pets!) on her website.