I try to include my dog in as many outdoor summer activities as possible. Even though my pup may not be working on her tan or trying to keep in shape for summer the way I am, I know she gets a kick out of all of our outdoor adventures!
The problem is, there are a lot of summertime obstacles trying to get in the way of our dogs’ health. This shouldn’t deter you from bringing your four-legged companion on your next hike or picnic – I know it doesn’t stop me! – but it should encourage you to be aware of some of the risks the warm weather brings. Here are a few to keep in mind:
There are many poisonous plants you may encounter in the great outdoors. It’s important to be aware of what these look like and some symptoms your dog may have if she has ingested them. Additionally, you should never plant these at home, especially if your dog ever plays in the yard unsupervised. This list from the ASPCA includes many of the plants to look out for, as well as, how they may impact your dog’s health.
Summer often includes some serious pool time, both for your human and canine family members. Although many dogs enjoy being in or near the water, some of the chemicals we use to keep our pools clean and beautiful pose serious health risks for critters. It’s important to keep these substances locked up or on a high shelf and to keep dogs out of the water following a treatment.
More time outside means more exposure to fleas, ticks and other pests. Although it’s important to make sure your dog is treated for parasites, some of the chemicals used to keep your dog safe from creepy-crawlies could also potentially lead to other health issues if used incorrectly. That’s why it’s crucial to speak with your vet about the best solution for your individual dog.
It’s not just bugs we need to look out for in warm weather. There are many other creatures that could cause harm to dogs. This helpful article discusses many of the snakes, spiders and other animals that could cause illness or injury to your dog. It also offers information on what to do should they prey on your four-legged friend.
Summer is one of my favorite seasons for spending time with my dog, and it can be yours, too. By knowing some of your pooch’s outdoor risk factors and taking the proper precautions to ensure her wellbeing, you, too, can make the most of this sunny season!
Vee Cecil keeps busy by being a wellness coach, personal trainer and bootcamp instructor in Kentucky. She also recently launched a blog where she shares her passion for health by writing about her favorite tips, activities and recipes.