Outdoor Safety for Pets

      Summer is in full swing and while you may think it's a perfect time for your dog to enjoy the great outdoors, Pet Expert Cheryl Hansen shared a few simple precautions you can take to ensure that your pup's adventures are safe, healthy and secure.

      1. Update ID, collar, leash, as well as chip information if necessary. Dogs are excited by the increased activity outside, more people, more pets taking advantage of the nice days and more likely to break out or break free.
      2. Sun. Yes, dogs get a sunburn. Particularly those with short coats or light coats. Prevent sun exposure with a 15-30 spf PABA free sunscreen applied to exposed areas like nose, ear tips and use an old tee shirt as a cover up.
      3. Heat/hydration. Dogs need water and lots of it, especially in the heat. Be prepared with plenty of bowls outside in their play areas. Carry a portable bowl for outings or the dog park along with a jug of water.
      4. Yard hazards. Check your fence line for any needed repairs. Be aware that bird feeders attract vermin you don't want your dog to meet. Plants may be poisonous to your dog, check out a poisonous plant list by clicking here. Be sure all fertilizers, insecticides, weed killers and other toxic materials are well out of reach of dogs.
      5. Predators. Cougars and coyotes and raccoons. Oh my! To say nothing of birds of prey. Dogs, both big and small, and cats can fall prey to any one of these predators. Protect them from harm by keeping them inside at night and keeping an eye on them during the day. If problems are reported in your area, put your pet on a leash to ensure its safety.
      6. Fleas and ticks. Because our winters are generally too mild to kill these little critters, we fight a losing battle each spring and summer with pesky fleas and ticks. You can use natural remedies like bathing with the original blue Dawn (fleas HATE that stuff) or sprinkling diatomaceous earth around the house/yard.or you can use a vet recommended product to combat an infestation. Remember fleas live in the environment and jump on your pets for dinner. Oftentimes it's not enough to treat the pet, you must also treat the entire environment to rid yourselves of these pests.