Memorial Day Dog Safety

Memorial Day

Memorial Day Dog Safety

Memorial Day Dog Safety

Memorial Day is almost here! While we use this three day weekend to reflect and honor those who have served, along with it comes fireworks, picnics, and (finally!) the official start of summer. Unfortunately, a really fun event for you can be a really scary experience for your pooch. Here are just a few tips to make the weekend fun and safe for your pet:

1. Picnics. Your pooch may or may not love the people and excitement involved in a picnic as much as you do. If your pet would rather not be there, then leave them at home. Don’t force your dog to “socialize” if they are not comfortable or controllable. If your dog does love the picnic or barbecue experience, be sure to bring pet-safe snacks and tell family and friends not to feed your pooch scraps of human food. When you give your dog a piece of hamburger, you can control the quantity, but multiple people feeding your dog, even tiny bites of food, can lead to a not-so-fun case of pancreatitis or worse. If you and your friends plan to enjoy adult beverages, make sure they are kept out of reach of your four-legged company, as well.

2. Beaches. If you’re lucky enough to be venturing near a dog-safe beach, you should pack a ton of water and pet-safe sunscreen or a cooling coat. Life vests for less savvy swimmers are also a good idea. Remember that you might think you know your dog’s limits, but they may not and drinking sea or lake water can be detrimental to their health. Fresh or bottled water is a far safer idea.

3. Nighttime festivities. Whether you plan on attending a firework display or having a bonfire, keep your pooch inside and well contained. Fireworks and fire pit smells can be scary and irritating to dogs and may cause your dog to run off or try to escape. Many evening events also include glow sticks or lighter fluid that your dog may try to chew or ingest. Both items are toxic so keep your pet clear of any novelties. If you have a basement or well insulated bathroom, you can try leaving your well exercised pet with a long-lasting, tasty treat so that they can chew till they fall asleep.

4. Identification. Any time something exciting happens, the rate of runaway pets increases (see: http://perfect-pooch.com/runaway-poochs/). If you have not had your pooch long or if you are new to your area, your pet is at a higher risk of running away when frightened. Be sure that your pet is adequately enclosed or leashed and that they have correct identifying tags on their collar. Your pet’s collar is their first line of defense in getting back to you so be sure it is properly fitted and won’t slip over their head if they try to bolt.

By keeping a few simple tips in mind, you can ensure that your pet has an amazing Memorial Day holiday with you. This is the official start of summer, which means the height of flea and tick season. Use a monthly topical and be sure you don’t wash your dog two days before or after application to help protect them from any insidious invaders.

While we are all celebrating, remember that this holiday is in honor of our troops, many of which are canines or work with canines, so please take a moment to thank all of our service men and women standing on two or four legs. (check out this article if you want to learn more about the dogs serving in our military: http://ngm.nationalgeographic.com/2014/06/war-dogs/paterniti-text).

Happy Training!

Tamar Paltin
Head Trainer- Perfect Pooch
BA, CPDT-KA, AKC CGC Evaluator