Dogs are like toddlers that never grow up. They depend on us to act on their behalf and to do what’s best for him. Many outdoor dangers can be prevented with a little knowledge and planning.
1. Heat and Warm Weather
Heat-related illness, especially heatstroke, is your dog’s biggest enemy during the summer months. Thankfully these conditions can be avoided with a little planning. Keep your dog indoors when the heat is really oppressive, and when you do take him out stay in the shade and make sure he has fresh cool water. Snub-nosed dogs (Frenchies, Pugs, Bulldogs) do worse in the heat and humidity, so keep it cool indoors. Whether indoors or out if your dog shows signs of heatstroke, get him to a vet immediately.
Here are signs of heatstroke:
- Rapid panting
- Bright red tongue
- Red or pale gums
- Thick, sticky saliva
- Vomiting with or without blood
The following food can be toxic to dogs:
- Chocolate, coffee and caffeine
- Coconut and coconut oil
- Grapes and raisins
- Macadamia nuts
- Milk and dairy
- Onions, garlic, chives
- Raw/under cooked meat, eggs and bones
- Salt and salty snack foods
- Yeast Dough
Poison comes in many forms. Food, plants, flowers, drugs and chemicals can all be toxic to dogs and lead to illness and even death. Keep all medication tightly capped and out of sight. Never share medication with your dog. Here are some things to look out for:
- Chemicals in hot tubs and swimming pools
- Compost bins
- Algae in ponds
- Venomous animals (snakes, scorpions, toads)
- Antifreeze (just a little bit can cause death)
- Various plants and flowers can cause illness and death
4. Dog Parks
Dog parks are generally a great place to hang out with friends, but be aware of the temperaments of your dog’s playmates and keep a watchful eye for changes in behavior. Study the park’s layout to make sure you know all potential escape routes. Be prepared for the worst and hope for the best. Carry a can of correction spray just in case things go wrong.
5. Heartworm Disease
Heartworm Disease is a worm transmitted by mosquitoes that lives in your dog’s heart. This disease can lead to death if it’s not treated promptly. Heartworm Disease can usually be prevented with a yearly program of Heartworm prevention.
When you’re out camping in the cold you and your pup might want to snuggle up to a roaring fire. But unlike you, your dog doesn’t recognize how dangerous that warm, comforting fire can be. A wayward spark can ignite your dog’s leash or harness in a split second. Smoke inhalation can cause respiratory irritation and even lung damage. So always keep an eye on your dog when you’re near a fire and remember to always extinguish open flames.
A bored dog can be a destructive dog, and a destructive dog can get into all kinds of trouble. Keep your dog happily engaged in fun, active activities. It will benefit you both in the long run.
Many dogs are afraid of thunderstorms. Do you blame them? That loud, booming, threatening sound coming from everywhere. Try to keep your dog indoors in a storm. Music, TV, treats or toys can be a good distraction, but some dogs require medication to keep them calm during storms. It’s a good idea to put an ID collar (with current information) on your dog during a thunderstorm in case your dog bolts and runs.
Because dogs can’t sweat they dissipate heat by panting, and if they’re locked in a hot car the panting just generates more heat. Cars can go from comfortable to ovens in minutes, and in a very short time your dog can have a medical emergency. If this occurs, cool your dog down immediately and get him to the vet.