Things to Remember When Exploring the Outdoors with Your Dog this Summer
With summer months, come lots of fun outdoor adventures. Whether you’re hiking, camping, backpacking, or swimming there’s an endless number of activities to do with your pet while the weathers nice! With all the fun it’s easy to forget some of the dangers that come with the sunshine. We want to share some helpful reminders on what to be aware of when you’re outdoors with your Boxer this summer.
Something to keep in mind when out and about with your pet is that dogs get dehydrated much faster than humans (source). Remember this when planning an outdoor adventure and pack extra water for your pet. There are collapsible bowls on the market that make it easy to carry in your backpack, car, purse, etc. How do you know if your pet is dehydrated? Look for these symptoms, as told by Pet WebMD:
Loss of appetite
An article from The Happy Dog Spot addresses an at-home test to look at the elasticity of your dog’s skin. Pull on the skin at the back of your dog’s neck. If the skin doesn’t immediately spring back to its normal position (within 1 or 2 seconds), your dog is dehydrated and needs immediate attention. The longer it takes for the skin to return to its normal position, the more severe the dehydration. You can also check for dehydration by feeling your dogs’ gums to see if they are dry and sticky (source).
Dogs are prone to heatstroke due to their unproductive cooling system. Boxers are especially susceptible because of their snub-noses. They have more flesh in their mouth and throats which coincides with a compressed upper respiratory tract. Signs of overheating include: digging (to find an area with a cooler temperature), rapid panting, red gums or ears and even uncoordinated walking (source). Here are some tips from Pedigree on how to keep your Boxer cool and comfortable:
Make cool drinking water available inside and out.
Make sure your pet has a cool, shaded area to rest in.
Never leave your Boxer in a parked car unattended. Even on cloudy days with the windows down the heat and humidity can overwhelm your dog in minutes.
Go for walks in the early morning or evening on hot summer days.
Splash cool water on the bottom of your Boxer’s paws, belly, genitals and ears. Blood vessels are closest to the skin in these areas and the cooling effect is transported throughout the body more rapidly.
The truth is, when exposing your pet to the outdoors you’re exposing your dog to tick bites and tickborn diseases. That being said, there are plenty of preventative tick options to ensure your pet remains tick-free when running through the brush.
Arguably the most effective solution, is oral and topical tick medications. You apply these once a month to ensure your dog it covered for 30-days. The price of preventative medication may seem costly, but trust me when I say the cost of the medication is much less than what it costs to take your pet to the vet once he’s contracted an infection or disease. Get your pet covered before playing in the outdoors- you’ll thank yourself later.
According to an article in The Rainforest site.com blog, only about fifteen percent of snakes are venomous. Here are some tips from the same article on how to identify a venomous snake:
Note the shape of its head: Nearly all venomous snakes have a triangular or arrowhead-shaped cranium. With only a couple exceptions — the Eastern hognose (non-venomous) and the Eastern coral snake (venomous) — this may be the best way to identify whether a snake is dangerous or not.
Look at its eyes: Generally, venomous snakes have vertical, cat-like pupils, and a special heat-sensitive pit or hole between or around their eyes. Non-venomous snakes typically have round pupils centered on their round eyes.
Check out the tail: With the exception again of the Eastern coral, a venomous snake will have a single row of scales on its tail’s underside. Most non-venomous snakes, and the coral, have a double row. This feature may be difficult to distinguish from a safe distance, but is a good indicator if all you have is the snake’s discarded molt.
If you’re heading out on an outdoor adventure you can plan on running into some type of vegetation. Unfortunately, there are all sorts of plants that can be harmful or even deadly to your pet. The best thing to do is to look up poisonous plan information on your state. This way you’ll be able to identify what plants are harmful and how to avoid these plants. Contact your vet if you believe your dog may have ingested or has contact with a poisonous plant (source).