Safety Tips for Taking Your Dog To The Beach
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|Sun, 05-12-2013 - 9:57pm|
Sorry for the late post - major problems logging in which I'm sure you are all experiencing!
I don't live anywhere where there is a beach except maybe lakeside but I don't go to the lakes. Anyway, I thought I would post this article on beach safety for those of you who are lucky enough to have beaches to take your dogs to or are visiting someplace that has a beach!
Those hot and sunny summer days are right on the horizon. In just a few weeks many of us will be heading out to the seashore to soak up rays and take refreshingly cool dips. But humans are not the only ones longing to escape the “dog days” of summer.
A growing number of beaches now allow well-behaved canines. Since dogs have a blast rolling in the sand and playing in the waves, consider taking your best fur-friend with you on your outing.
So you and your dog can spend a safe and enjoyable day at the shore, here are some great tips for canine guardians from veterinarian Dr. Liz Hanson, a small animal practioner at Corona Del Mar Animal Hospital in Orange County, California.
· Most importantly, keep your dog hydrated. The rule of thumb is about one ounce of water per day for each pound of body weight; so a 15 pound dog would require 15 ounces of water per day. But when your dog is especially active, or if the weather is exceedingly hot, this number increases. Since dogs often have so much fun at the beach they forget to take a break and can become overly hot, tired and thirsty. So it is important to carry a water bottle and portable water bowl to frequently offer your pet a drink.
· Be conscious of signs of heat stroke: In dogs, the first signs of heat stroke frequently include heavy panting and difficulty breathing (especially in short-nosed breeds such as pugs and bulldogs). After that, symptoms can include vomiting, thick saliva, mucous membranes and a bright red tongue. More serious symptoms are collapse and disorientation. If you notice these signs, immediately take measures to cool down your dog. Move your dog into an air-conditioned building. Since heat stroke can lead to serious issues such as seizures and kidney failure, take your dog to a vet as quickly as possible.
· Protect your dog from harmful sun exposure: Dogs with short and predominantly white fur are at greater risk for sunburn. Since without sun protection, skin cancer and solar dermatitis can result, prevent sunburn by applying a sunscreen (that doesn’t contain PABA), with a rating of SPF 15 or higher to the tips of the ears, bridge of the nose, groin area, underbelly and other areas in which the thinner skin is exposed to the sun. If your dog gets sunburned, wipe off the burned areas with witch hazel, and give a cool water bath with baking soda. Then apply 100 percent aloe vera gel to the burn.
· Prevent fleas and ticks: At the beach, it’s especially important to protect your dog from fleas and ticks. Dog fleas can lay eggs and multiply in these sandy and warm environments. Prior to your outing, be sure to treat your dog with a vet-grade flea treatment that kills adult fleas, larvae and eggs. Affordable and effective brands such as VetGuard by VetIQ and can conveniently be found at local retailers such as Wal-Mart and Costco.