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Keeping your dog safe outdoors this spring

Keeping your dog safe outdoors this spring

The forecast is for warmer weather here next month and many of us and our dogs will be very ready to spend more time outdoors in our gardens or exploring the parks and trails this spring.

Being aware of – and avoiding – potential hazards to dogs ensures our outdoor activities are enjoyable.

At home, we may have spring bulbs planted but tulips, daffodils and other spring flowers that grow from bulbs can make dogs sick if consumed. Bulbs planted with fertilizers containing bone, blood or feather meal can be very attractive to dogs. If consumed in large amounts, ingesting bulbs can result in nausea, vomiting and diarrhea.

If you are using the parks and trails, keep your dog leashed or be sure he is trained to such a degree that he or she will always respond to your cues.

Be familiar with where you are walking. If walking on trails, know where you might come upon farmland, steep drop-offs or cliffs, fast-moving water, roadways that intersect trails, and what types of wild animals may be in the area.

Dogs and humans look forward to spring in the parks, but there are hazards to watch for. Here Jane Bowers’ dogs Tucker, on the left, and Amber enjoy getting their feet wet. Jane Bowers photo

Spring is when both wild animals and farm animals are reproducing and feeling protective of themselves and their young. Some may feel threatened by a dog and this could result in injury or death to the dog and or the human.

Carry water with you for both you and your dog. Diseases like leptospirosis are transferred through drinking from an infected water source like a puddle or pond. Prolonged exposure to water containing the virus increases the risk of transmission through swallowing, contact with mucous membranes or through an open sore.

Giardia is picked up when water is consumed from water sources inhabited by Giardia (for example, untreated or improperly treated water from lakes, streams, or wells) or by accidentally swallowing water while swimming or playing in water, especially in lakes, rivers, springs, ponds, and streams.

Check your dog for ticks after being in an area where there may be ticks and talk to your vet about tick and flea prevention. Lyme disease is spread through the bite of infected ticks especially in the spring and fall when ticks are seeking hosts.

Enjoy the outdoors but be safe out there, and respect wild and domestic animals.  Make sure that your dog is either leashed or trained to such a degree that he won’t create a risk to himself or others.

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