Summer in our area means getting outdoors—hiking, biking, camping, paddling and climbing. If you’re taking your dog on any of those adventures, here are some must-read tips to make sure your pet stays safe:
- Heat kills! Never leave your pet in a car, even for a quick trip! On a sunny 70-degree day, your car can heat up to over 100 degrees in 20 minutes. Hot asphalt will scorch your pet’s paws—so if it’s too hot for your bare feet, it’s too hot for your pooch.
- Depending on where your pet will be riding in a vehicle, a travel crate or seatbelt harness is the best way to go. If you opt for a harness, make sure you choose one that will keep your pet secure in a crash, not just a snap-on device to prevent distraction. TheCenter for Pet Safety recommends that crates be attached to vehicle walls. Having your dog loose, or even tethered in the back of an open-bed pickup is never a good idea.
- Make sure your pet has ID inside and out. Your dog should not only have a collar and identification tags, but a microchip as well.
- Don’t let your dog drink seawater, lake water or river water. Water from the ocean can bring on vomiting and dehydration, while lake and river water are often full of bacteria that can cause illness. If there’s a bloom of blue-green algae, your pet could be at risk of liver failure and nervous system damage if they ingest it.
- Be aware of toxic plants. In the Pacific Northwest, they include English ivy, laurel and holly, rhododendron, tansy, and the appropriately named Death Camas.
- Keep flea and tick preventive current! Even if your pet is on a preventive, it’s a good idea to check your pet manually for ticks after being outdoors.
- Watch for wildlife. Coyote, hawks, bears, wolves, and others have been known to track and snatch pets. Raccoons and opossums could fight with them over food. Never leave your pet tied up at a campsite unsupervised.
We recommend getting your dog in for a check-up before heading out for summer fun just to ensure your pet is healthy enough for the activities you have planned and that he or she has all the needed vaccinations to be protected. Schedule an appointment online or call us at (503) 360-9695.