It is that time of the year again; everyone is enjoying the outdoors, swimming, barbequing and having a relaxing time with their family, friends and of course their dogs. We have to keep in mind that dogs love all these outdoor activities too and want to be with us and crave the same closeness and fun that we do with their people.
With all the increased outdoor activities comes dangerous situations to dogs, we forget to close doors and gates and they can get out of the house or yard and go for a walk on their own and get hurt or a person may see your dog and call the police in hopes of helping, and I cannot stress enough that this is why it is “VERY” important to have a collar on your dog at all times, except for when the dog is in a crate as collars in cages pose a choking hazard and is not recommended.
As a “responsible” dog owner you should be keeping up with your dogs Rabies Shot and getting the town’s license and tags, please put this tag on your dogs collar so that the police can identify your dog, if you do not keep tags to identify your dog the police will have to call Animal Control where your dog will be placed in a cold cage in a pound somewhere, frightened and looking for you and if no one claims the dog he has a limited time before being killed, which is usually only 7 days! So if your dog goes missing always call your local police department and the surrounding town police departments as soon as you notice the dog missing as well as organizing your own search with family and friends.
People need to obey the local laws and walk their dogs on a leash, everyone should feel safe walking and not have to worry about another person’s loose dog approaching and possibly attacking their dog, which can be very frightening and poses a risk to both the dog and the owner being injured. Dogs can get hurt when they are loose, they risk getting hit by cars, getting into fights with other dogs, they can hurt their paws, get bitten by ticks and contract diseases, the list goes on!
Summer also has added cautions such as the higher temperatures, the heat is very dangerous, dogs can succumb to heat stress in minutes, never leave your dog in the car when the temperature is high and when your dog is outside they should be is the shade with plenty of fresh water.
There is also the excess garbage from barbeques outdoors and this increases the dogs sense of smell and unfortunately they want a snack too, they can find bones and spoiled foods that can make them sick or cause blockages in their stomach. They can also burn their paw pads on hot surfaces so be careful on pavement. Be aware of gum discarded on the ground, it can get stuck to your dogs paws and they can lick it and get very sick from the Xylitol in sugarless gum. Xylitol is a very dangerous ingredient to dogs; it can cause serious illness and even death. It is used as a sweetener in some mints, chewable vitamins, cookies and candy. A veterinarian should see a dog that has gotten into any product with this ingredient immediately.
Owning a dog is a privilege to me, but it is also a responsibility, dogs depend on us for their care so please make it your job to read more literature on responsible dog ownership and educate yourselves in the best way to care for your best friend to keep them happy, healthy and safe. And remember to always look for that “beautiful tail” to be wagging at all times there is not a better clue to the feelings of a dog than their tail J
This month’s dog is Kanella, he is an English Bulldog/Boxer mix, 3 years old, very friendly and loving. For more information contact BASS@bassshelterpets.org or call 973-838-2220
© Copyright 2012 Gina Mastrogiovanni