Guest Article by Paige Johnson
If your dogs are like mine, they’re enjoying every second they get to spend outdoors this summer. And it really is a great time for dogs. There are so many fun outdoor adventures for them to experience this time of year. But for pet owners, many of those adventures require a bit of extra caution.
As you cram in as much summertime fun as possible with your pet before Labor Day rolls around, keep these key safety tips in mind:
Watch for signs of chlorine over-exposure. There’s no better time of year to take your dog for a swim. But all that time in the pool can have a downside. Unfortunately, necessary pool chemicals, such as chlorine, can actually be harmful to your pet’s skin. So, be sure to rinse them thoroughly with fresh water after they take a dive.
Know that lakes and ponds aren’t necessarily chemical free. If you head to a local lake or pond to avoid chemicals, know that your dog may encounter chemicals there, too. EverydayHealth.com notes that natural bodies of water found near neighborhoods and golf courses may have been treated with “chemicals to prevent algae.” In other areas, the article warns your pet may be subject to fertilizers, pesticides, or motor oil in the water. If you can, find out from your local authorities or the owner of the lake or pond if the water is safe for swimming and never let your pet drink from these bodies of water.
Protect those paws. Your dog’s paws are very sensitive. So, take measures to protect them from brutally hot pavement and rough terrain. Stick to shaded areas when walking your dog, and if you go for an end-of-summer hike, be on the lookout for sharp rocks or tree roots that could injure your pup’s feet.
Use sunscreen. Yes, you read that correctly! A dog’s skin is just as sensitive to the sun as our own. In its tips on summer safety, PetMD.com notes that dogs with “light skin and short or thin hair coat are particularly prone to sunburn or skin cancer.” It advises that you check with your vet to find out what kind of sunscreen would be safest for you to use on your pet.
Summer is a time for splashing, playing, and having fun—for pets and humans! Don’t let any mishaps spoil you and your dog’s fun in the sun. Follow these tips so that you can both end the season on a high note.
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Paige Johnson is a self-described fitness “nerd.” She possesses a love for strength training. In addition to weight-lifting, she is a yoga enthusiast, avid cyclist, and loves exploring hiking trails with her dogs. She enjoys writing about health and fitness for LearnFit.org.