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Summer Fun with Your Fur Friends!

Summer is a wonderful time, and we long for the beautiful warm weather and longer days so that we can get outside and enjoy!

Here in Newfoundland, our summers are amazing. However, they are short, and we like to pack a lot of summertime fun into a short season! If you are an animal lover, chances are your canine friend wants to tag along with you and your family on summertime adventures fun as well.

Before you head out into the great outdoors, there are some things to keep in mind for the health of you and your pets.

Parasites
Parasites can be a concern. Fleas, heartworm and ticks can be a real issue for your furry friends during the summertime. You want to keep them and your family protected. I like to use a preventative all year long. To decide what products are right for your pets and your lifestyle be sure to consult with your veterinarian.

Backyard Fun
Maybe you like to relax and play in the comfort of your backyard with your pets tossing a ball or throwing a frisbee. Be sure to have a nice big bowl of freshwater available for your dogs. If it is an exceptionally hot day, you can have a small round pool available or a sprinkler going for your dog to romp around to cool off in. Have a shaded area available for your dog to rest or give them access to go inside when necessary to cool down.

Be sure that backyard gates are closed and latched so that your dog does not accidentally roam free. When gates are accidentally left open pets can sometimes escape and wander into the road. Hit by car accidents increase and are a real danger during summer months.

Swimming
If you like to go to your local pond/lake to let your dogs go for a swim, be sure to inspect the area for hidden dangers such as sharp rocks or broken glass in the grass, bushes or water. Lacerations and cuts to your dog’s legs and feet are a concern. It is always a good idea to keep a fully stocked first aid kit in your car. If your dog receives a cut, this will help until you can get to the nearest veterinary hospital for assessment.

Car Safety
If your dogs are like mine, they want to go with you every time you leave the house. I have two sets of puppy dog eyes just waiting for my approval to race into the car and go for a ride. What dog doesn’t like to stick his head out the window of a moving car to feel the wind in their furry faces? Remember, car safety is very important. They may see something that excites them outside the car and makes a leap for it. Always use pet-friendly seat belts to secure your dogs when driving. While you may realize that jumping from a moving vehicle is a big no-no, your pet sometimes will not.

However, when running errands, I always opt to leave my two little dogs at home. Inside a parked car can get hot in a matter of minutes. It is never safe to leave animals in a parked car even for a moment or two! Some signs of heatstroke include heavy breathing, weakness, vomiting, and diarrhea. Heatstroke can be fatal and requires immediate medical attention.

Dog Park Safety
Dog parks are now available in every city. They are a great way to socialize your dogs and, at the same time, release some of their energy. Always be sure that your dog is up to date on all his/her vaccines, including the bordetella (kennel cough). Have a little controlled meet and greet before letting your dog run off to play. Don’t assume that all dogs will get along with each other when letting loose in the dog park.

Summertime is a fun time! With just a little preventive thinking, it will be a safe and happy time for you and your fur family.

If you have any questions, please give us a call at 709.368.7981.

Written by: Wendy Carew

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