SUN 'n' FUN WITH FIDO
School is out for summer and it's time for the family vacation just remember, any plans that include fido will need special attention in this very warm weather. A few preparatory steps can spell the difference between fun and fiasco.
Around the House:
You get hot in the sun, so does your dog, especially if he has a heavy coat. Provide shade throughout the day. Be sure your dog has plenty of fresh water available but avoid putting the water in a metal bowl in the hot sun! Also, a summer hair cut may be in order for some dogs-just be careful for a few days-they can sunburn a little, too. The pool may seem like a nice spot, but dogs need to be supervised in and around pools and the hot patio may be too much for tender feet. Barbecue is delicious but bones and corncobs are two items that dogs love to eat that can cause problems. Also, keep the poop scooped! Flies are biting nuisances that are difficult to chase away.
Around the Peninsula:
Walks and hikes with your dog are fun but beware of summer's hazards. The most prevalent are foxtails-grass or plant awns that have dried out and have an affinity for dog's noses, toes, ears, eyes and tonsils. They are prevalent in the hills and fields here until the rains come in the fall. Other hazards in the hills include rattlesnakes and skunks. A rattlesnake vaccine is available this year. It can help prevent serious reactions; however, avoidance of the trails where snakes are found is still advisable. Skunks are mainly a nuisance, but can certainly wreck an outing when encountered! Other critters to be avoided include bees, fleas, mosquitoes, ticks and flies. Your veterinarian can best advise you about the various products available to control these pests.
If you think the best place for your pet is the shore, just be careful of sharp rocks on tender pads. This also applies to longs walks or jogs on the hot streets. You wear shoes, but your dog's feet may get burned or abraded. And as for drinking the ocean water, would you? It can make your dog sick, too!
Around the Country and Around the World:
Long distance travel with your dog takes much more planning. Airlines are very particular about flying dogs in extreme temperatures. Certain destinations require traveling with a health certificate, proper vaccinations, and parasite control. Your veterinarian can help get the ball rolling for these long distance travel requirements. Make sure you plan your trip to include your dog in your hotel and campground reservations. Proper identification and a telephone number on your pet can avert a missing in action disaster in the middle of nowhere. Some dogs need motion sickness medications available from your veterinarian.
No matter how or where you travel, hot cars can kill a dog very quickly. Never leave them unattended in a car.