Labor Day weekend always feels like the last summer hurrah. Many people choose to spend their weekend outdoors with picnics and backyard barbeques making sure they soak up the sun while they can before the colder weather arrives.
The long weekend is a time to celebrate with our friends and family, including our four-legged ones! To fully enjoy the weekend and closing summertime festivities with your furry friends, keep these important safety tips in mind.
1.) Keep your dog cool
Although Labor Day weekend falls in September, the weather can still be scorching hot. Dogs become dehydrated quickly so be sure your furry friend is getting plenty of water, especially if the weekend is filled with outdoor activities.
If your pooch is outside, give them some shade and watch for signs of overheating, like glassy eyes and rapid panting.
2.) Supervise swimming activities
There's a myth that all dogs are natural swimmers. However, dogs can drown in a pool, lake, or other bodies of water. While senior dogs and dogs with certain medical conditions are even more prone to drowning, younger and healthy dogs are still at risk. Unless you know your dog is a good swimmer, it's recommended they wear a life jacket. It's also best they're never left unsupervised near or in the water, even in a life jacket.
The water also brings other dangers that pose a risk to the wellbeing of your pooch besides drowning. Lakes, rivers, unmaintained pools, and other bodies of water can have harmful bacteria, such as parasites, salmonella, and blue-green algae. A deadly variety of algae has caused a number of dog deaths in the Southern and Eastern United States, causing concern among pet owners nationwide. To be safe, avoid areas of algae accumulation and do not let your pet eat dried algae or drink water from a lake, ocean, or river.
3.) Avoid giving your dog scraps from the grill
Avoid giving your dog too many scraps from the grill altogether. Any change in diet, even just for one meal, can give your fur friend diarrhea and indigestion. This especially rings true with older dogs who have more sensitive digestive systems.
Bones and corncobs can create a choking hazard that may cause harm to a dog's intestines. Also keep in mind that certain foods such as onions, avocados, grapes, chocolate, and raisins can be toxic to your furry friend.
4.) Make sure your dog's identification is updated
Before you head out on your Labor Day adventure with your furry pal, make sure you pack identification for your dog with your dog's name, your name, and your up-to-date phone number.
It would also be best that your pet is microchipped so that, in the case they are separated from you, they can be taken to a vet where they will check for their microchip and contact you.
5.) Beware of fireworks
Like the 4th of July, Labor Day festivities often involve fireworks. Unfortunately, fireworks and dogs often don't mix. Loud noises can be very scary for our furry friends. In fact, more pets go missing during the July 4th holiday than any other time of the year, because of fireworks. Many pets also go missing during Labor Day weekend when fireworks are involved. If your dog has any anxieties associated with the loud noise of fireworks, they should stay home in a safe place.
If you have enough time, you can try desensitizing your dog to loud noises by playing a recording of fireworks while doing something fun with them. Start off at a low volume and create positive associations by giving your furry friend attention or treats. Gradually increase the volume over several days. This way they’ll learn to associate the fireworks with good things and will become used to the noise over time.
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