We aren’t the only ones enjoying time outdoors this holiday weekend. Our four-legged friends can celebrate freedom this weekend too. From what to eat to where to run free, here are 4 tips to keep your dog happy this 4th of July weekend.
1 . Stay Cool. Dogs can overheat easily when it’s hot and humid. Be sure to provide plenty of cool water and shade throughout the day. Here are early signs that your dog is overheating:
- Excessive panting.
- Red-colored gums.
- Thick ropey saliva in the mouth.
- Warm to the touch.
- Red “flushed” skin near the ears, muzzle, underbelly.
2. Think Before you Share. Whether you are manning the grill or enjoying a picnic at the park, it’s common to share leftovers with our pets. While we may think it’s a special holiday treat, there are many foods that are hazardous to dogs’ heath. Avoid:
- Milk and dairy products.
- Salty foods.
- Raw fish.
- Sugary foods and chewing gum.
- Cooked bones.
- Coffee and chocolate.
- Bread products.
3. Avoid Mosquitoes. The bite of just one mosquito infected with the heartworm larvae will give your dog heartworm disease. In addition to putting your dog on a heartworm prevention program with help from your vet, do these steps to reduce the risk of mosquito bites:
- Keep your dog indoors in the early morning and early evening when mosquitoes are most active.
- Change water bowls frequently and reduce standing water on the property where mosquitoes can breed.
- When you go on a walk, avoid marshy areas that often have high mosquito populations.
- Some mosquito repellents are not safe to be applied on or near animals. Research ingredients or ask for a MSDS of any product you are using.
4. Check for Ticks. At this point in the summer, nymph-stage deer ticks are active and can transmit tick-borne illnesses such as Lyme disease and Anaplasmosis. Nymphal ticks are about the size of poppy seeds and are are active from mid-May to mid-August. Here are tips to doing a thorough tick check on your dog:
- Before coming indoors, brush your fingers through your dogs fur applying enough pressure to feel any small bumps.
- Pay special attention to the areas between your dog’s toes, behind ears, under armpits and around the tail and head.
- When checking your dogs’ legs, keep in mind this is the area where you will likely find ticks on the fur that have not yet attached. They are making their way up to a better spot.
- When a tick attaches to your dog, you often have 24 hours to remove it before your dog becomes infected with any tick-borne illness. That’s why it’s important to check for ticks daily! Try a tick key for a safe and effective way to remove the whole tick, including the head.
We hope you have a safe and happy holiday. Happy Outdooring!