Sunday, May 5, 2013

Pause 4 Paws - "Summer Fun with your four-legged friend" by Amy Hebert

Warm weather is upon us and we all have spring fever! We’ve waited all winter long to be able to get outside with our dogs and enjoy hiking, swimming, fetch and more. In our hurry to get outside we sometimes forget to think about being prepared for the unexpected. Hiking and camping with our dogs in the great Maine woods can be an amazing experience, but before you head out, pack some items to ensure your pup is safe. Put together a first aid kit for the dog that should include wet wipes, antibacterial ointment or iodine wound solution, vet wrap, gauze, thermometer  and Benadryl. While this isn’t everything you may need in an emergency, it is essentials that will allow you to patch up your furry friend and get him to a veterinarian. 

So now you have your first aid kit ready, but what about the dog overheating and drinking water? Heat stroke is serious and life threatening to your dog.  

Watch the forecast prior to venturing out with your dog especially if you have a short muzzled breed, as high humidity and extreme temperatures are dangerous for both you and your pet. Freeze bottles of water from home and bring them with you so that they stay cold longer as they thaw. Don’t forget a collapsible dog bowl! While hiking with your dog make sure to encourage him to go into streams, lakes and ponds to cool off each time you are near one. This helps to prevent him from overheating.

Even in your own backyard or neighborhood the dog can overheat during the hot summer months, so be aware and prepared. If your dog does get heat stroke make sure to bring his temperature down slowly to avoid shock and call your veterinarian immediately. 

Amy Herbert owns and runs Boulder Ridge Kennels. She is also an ABC certified trainer.

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