Summertime is great for enjoying life with your dog. But fun in the sun also holds hidden doggie dangers. Avoid having your outing end with a trip to the emergency vet with these safety tips.
In the Wilderness
For a dog who loves adventure, nothing beats a chance to explore the great outdoors with his favorite person.
- Protect Against Pests Wooded areas are notorious for ticks and mosquitoes, which can carry dangers such as Lyme disease and heartworm. Pet-safe insect repellent will help deter these pests, but your pup should also be current on heartworm medication before heading into the wilderness.
- Bring Water Along Avoid letting your dog drink from streams, ponds or lakes, which might carry parasites such as giardia. Bring plenty of fresh, clean water for your dog to drink on the trip.
- Outfit Pup in Great Gear A safety harness with a handle will make it easier to help him out of any tight spots, and dog booties will protect tender paws from getting cut up on thorns or rocky ground. Also, because your dog might get excited and take off after a smaller critter, it's best to keep him tethered to you at all times, even when trails or camping areas allow going off-leash.
Photo Credit:"Viszla at the beach" by Roman Boed via Flickr.
At the Beach
Dogs love the beach. With all that room to run and water to splash in, who can blame them?
- Survey the Sand Before letting your best friend loose, be sure to search the beach for potentially harmful litter, such as broken bottles, shells or pieces of metal. While you're at it, if you're at the ocean, keep an eye out for jellyfish, sea urchins, crabs or other wildlife that could potentially injure your pup.
- Keep Fido Afloat Even experienced swimmers should wear a doggie life vest for swimming.
- Guard Against the Sun Don't forget sun protection. Your dog's nose, ears and other exposed areas will thank you for bringing along a tube of dog-friendly sunscreen. And be sure to provide plenty of shaded rest areas to keep her from overheating.
On the Road
Road trips are a blast, especially when your four-legged bestie is along for the ride.
- Sit Safely For a safe trip, don't let your pup wander around inside the vehicle. He's safest either wearing a safety harness that buckles into the seat or, better yet, in a secured crate that offers plenty of room to move and stretch.
- Keep Heads In No matter how much he loves the breeze, never let your dog hang his head out the window of a moving vehicle.
- Make Dog-Friendly Stops Dogs are never safe in a parked car in the summer. Even with the windows open, a car can reach dangerous temperatures within minutes. If you must stop somewhere your pup isn't allowed, either book a room at a pet-friendly motel nearby or find a doggie daycare.
Now that you know how to keep your best friend safe during your summer travels, it's time to decide where to go! Check out the top eight dog-friendly destinations in the U.S. to help you choose.
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