5 Tips For Keeping Your Dog Safe This Summer!
By Kathy Santo | Updated:Mar 7 2019
When gearing up for a summer adventure, party, or hang out, make sure you know how to keep your dog safe in these situations:
Dogs are attracted to grills because they smell like (all together now…) MEAT! Vegetarians are not exempt from this issue – your grilled zucchini and pineapple smell pretty great to dogs, too!
Every summer, a large number of dogs have been seriously burned by jumping up and touching the hot cooking surface with their face and their paws.
To prevent this, you either have to tell your dog do a “sit and stay” or “place” while you’re flipping burgers, or keep him confined to a place (inside or out) where he can’t get to the grill at all.
Even after the food is gone and the party’s over, dogs are still attracted to the drippings that may be around the still hot grill, so be sure your cleanup is impeccable!
Some dogs love to swim in the pool, others are afraid of it. In either case, you have to teach your dog how to exit the pool in case they fall in. I know, I know, you have a fenced in enclosure so your dog will never be able to access the pool, but the
definition of an accident is something you don’t expect to have happen! Therefore, a little training now can prevent a tragedy from occurring later.
The basics are that your dog just needs to learn how to get from the pool to the ladder or the stairs no matter what! Either by coaxing him in the pool using food or toys as a lure, or by having him follow another, experienced dog out of the water, being able to get to the ladder or stairs of your pool is a skill that may one day save your dog’s life.
Those of you who do allow your dogs access to the pool need to keep an eye on them, just as you would your children. You should also know that while they’re in the pool, dogs will ingest some of the water they swim in, and although they normally won’t pee in your pool (yay!), they sometimes have accidents in your house (sorry!). Giving them extra opportunities to use the “facilities” will prevent housebreaking accidents from happening.
A simple “down and stay” or “place” command insures that the food your family and guests put on their plate won’t be stolen by your dog!
It also prevents the ever-popular ‘sharking’ around under the table, looking adorable, and drooling on people’s bare feet.
Don’t forget to give your dog a really great (new!) toy to occupy him while you eat, and be sure he’s in a cool, shaded area if you’re outside.
On The Road Again!
Or not. If you plan on taking your dog on a road trip this summer, please be sure that he or she has been on a few mini trips before you start your vacation.
Many people make the mistake of bringing their dogs – who have only been to the vet’s office and maybe the groomer! – on a trip and expect them to behave as if they’re travel veterans.
Whether you’re going away for a week to your neighbor’s house on the lake, or staying at a hotel for the weekend, bringing your dog to new places before you leave (even just to a friend’s house a few times a week, or a local hotel lobby that allows dogs) will help give your dog a taste of the world beyond his dog bed.
What's In Your Wallet?
If you’re traveling with your dog, it should include a recent photo and a copy of his health certificate, listing all of his recent vaccinations.
In the unlikely event that you become separated from your dog, you have all the information you need to have him returned home. Hopefully, it goes without saying that your dog should be wearing a collar embroidered with “REWARD” and your cell number on it.
In addition, his ID tags should be attached. If you’re planning on being away for more than a few days, consider purchasing an inexpensive 2nd pet ID tag with the location and phone number of your vacation spot.
Those of you who have your dogs microchipped still need to get your collar and tag game on, because without a scanner, the person who finds your dog has no way to immediately contact you until they go to a vet or animal shelter!
Kathy Santo has spent her entire career as a dog trainer and handler, training dogs and winning over 500 obedience, agility and Canine Good Citizenship titles. Working with her own dogs, she has achieved every competitive obedience title the American Kennel Club (AKC) has offered and earned the prestigious AKC “Obedience Trial Champion” title (OTCh) multiple times.
In Ramsey, Kathy teaches classes, private lessons, and oversees the training of her student’s dogs using her extensive knowledge, experience and intuition to handle problems from the benign to the serious. Her engaging personality has won her the respect and friendship of her many students, who now consider themselves part of her extended family.