Keep young puppies and older, elderly dogs away from the pool. They are at particular risk of drowning since they may not be able to pull themselves out of the water if they fall in. Dogs should be trained to know where the steps are to get out of the pool. As with children, they never should be left unattended around swimming pools.
Dogs, like cats, love to chase, chew and eat any number of things, which may potentially cause illness, injury or even death. Keep all toys that can be swallowed out of a dog's reach. They may cause stomach or intestinal obstructions. Select a ball that is large, relative to the size of the dog's mouth, or use other non-destructible toys recommended for dog's. Keep dogs out of the kitchen while you're cooking. You don't want a dog underfoot when you're carrying a pot of boiling water or a hot dish. Chocolate is poisonous to dogs so keep all chocolates away from them.
In older homes, do not allow dogs to chew on wood molding as this may cause lead poisoning. House plants such as oleanders, diffenbachias, azaleas, mistletoe and pyrachanthia berries are poisonous to dogs. These plants should be placed out of the animal's reach. Keep the dog away from freshly fertilized areas. They may become ill if they lick their paws after contacting chemicals and insecticides.
Summertime heat poses a significant threat to the family dog. An animal who spends most of its time indoors may not develop thick pads on its feet. When walking or playing on hot asphalt during summer months, the dog's feet may become burned. Be careful not to let the dog run around a swimming pool too much. Cool-deck concrete can quickly wear their pads down. Heat exhaustion and heat stroke are common occurrences when dogs are left outdoors and exposed to the heat. The dog may die as a result. Keep them indoors or otherwise protected from the heat.
Provide plenty of water. If a dog is kept outside, provide a well shaded, ventilated area. A covered dog house in the sun becomes too hot and lacks adequate ventilation. An alternate shelter must be furnished. Be sure there is plenty of fresh drinking water at all times in the shade. It may be wise to provide two sources of drinking water in case one is spilled over. Use a weighted watering dish or dig a hole in the ground so the pan cannot be tipped over. A water device that attaches to a water spigot is available at the pet store.
Avoid taking the animal in an automobile when running errands around town. Even on an 80 degree day, the temperature can reach 105 degrees in 10 minutes inside a car. The temperature has even been recorded at over 215 degrees inside a car on a hot summer day. (Water boils at 220 degrees.) If the dog is overcome by heat, cool immediately with cold water and ice and seek medical attention from a veterinarian as soon as possible.
When traveling with a dog inside a vehicle, it should not be allowed to stick its head out the window. Foreign objects can damage its eyes, and it can develop swelling to its ear flap from the ear flapping in the wind. While traveling, it is best to keep the pet in a dog crate or restrained in a commercially manufactured seat belt.
The back of a pickup truck is no place for man's best friend. More than 100,000 dogs are killed each year from falls out of vehicles and numerous vehicle crashes are caused as drivers try to avoid hitting these animals. Commercially-made harnesses and tethers are available to restrain a dog in the back of a truck. Even so, the metal bed of a truck can be very hot during the summer and can burn the dog's pads or expose it to high temperatures.
Family dogs, especially rambunctious pups between six and 18 months old, frequently escape from their pens or fenced areas. Place a collar, complete with name tag and dog license, around its neck. Keep pictures of your pet for easy identification and proof of ownership.
The Fourth of July, Halloween and New Year's Eve can be the most frightening time of the year for pets. Keep them indoors during these holidays.
Young children like to put rubber bands on pets. This should be discouraged. A rubber band left on a pet's leg can cause swelling and potential gangrene. A rubber band around a dog's neck will rarely choke it, but can cause friction and cut the skin. On a long-haired animal, a rubber band will not be visible until the damage is already done.
When disposing of garbage, be sure the lid on the can is tightly sealed. Dogs can eat spoiled food and become ill. They also can be injured by glass, pins and other sharp objects in the trash.
Children should be aware to never approach a strange animal. If a dog is in a yard, they should not enter unless the owner is present. They should pet a dog only if they've received the owner's permission. When petting a dog, extend one arm, make a fist with the wrist down, and let the dog sniff the back of the hand before petting. Remember, a dog's canine instincts surface when eating, so don't approach them while they eat.
People should take their dog to obedience training. This is where they can learn to communicate with their animal. An obedient, well-behaved and affectionate companion will result with practice.
Do not leave a choke chain, slip collar or choke collar on the dog. They should be used during obedience only. Otherwise, the animal may catch it on something and panic, choking itself to death. Choke chains are not dog collars and should not be used as one. An appropriate collar is a loosely-placed nylon collar, or leather-rolled collar that should be left on the dog at all times with current rabies tags and owner identification.
EstEstablish a relationship with a veterinarian so that time is not wasted in an emergency frantically looking through the telephone book for a veterinarian.
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