Safety Tips for Spending Time Outside with Your Dog

When going outside with your dog there are a few things to consider to keep your furry friend safe! Not doing so can send you and your dog to the vet potentially with a hefty price tag.

You should be aware of where your dog is at all times.

If you are in a location where you do not need your dog on a leash, make sure they stay close where you can see them. There is potential that your dog could eat a plant, mushroom or something left behind for someone else that is toxic to them. They can have symptoms ranging from vomiting or diarrhea to neurologic issues, none of which are fun for you or them!

black lab with brown nose

If your dog will be near water investigate the water quality.

Some algae can be dangerous for dogs to drink or play in. If the water looks like pea soup (blue green algae) your dog should not go in or drink the water. If there is animal or livestock feces in and around the water it is also important to not let your dog drink the water, it puts them at risk for giardiasis and other bacterial and parasitic infections.

gross green algae water

Check you dog’s ears.

If your dog is swimming in the water it is also good to clean their ears out once you are home to prevent bacterial or fungal ear infections. Dogs with ears that flop over are more likely for infection to happen because their ears don’t dry as quickly as a dog that has ears that stand up. 

Trigger diving into water

Keep your dog’s nails trimmed.

Keeping your dog’s nails trimmed can help prevent pain in their joints as well as injury to the muscles and ligaments in their legs. If their nails are to long it causes the dog to place their foot in an unnatural position that can cause strain on the muscles and ligaments. If your dog has furry paws it is also recommended to keep the hair on the bottom of their paws and in-between their toes trimmed. This will make it harder for things to get stuck around their pads and between their toes. When coming in from areas where the dogs was around sticks on the ground or plants with thorns it is also a good idea to check their paws for anything that might be stuck in there that could cause pain, irritation, or infection.

Keep your dog off pavement that is too hot.

If you and your dog are going for a walk on pavement check to make sure it is safe for your dog to walk on. You should put the back of your hand on the pavement for seven seconds. If it is to warm for your hand it is too warm for your dog to walk on. As tough and durable as your dog’s pads of his paws are, hot pavement can cause painful burns. If it is to hot for them to walk on, opt for a grassy area or go early or late in the day when the sun is not beating on the pavement. 

German Sheppard on hot pavement or not

Enjoy the summer safely outside with your furry friend! Read more pet safety tips: Summer Safety – Five Pet Safety Tips or Summer Safety – Pets and Fireworks.

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