For a while now, we’ve been encouraging you to #GrabTheLeash and head outdoors with your dog. But there are some common injuries that you should be aware of, and we’ve included tips to prevent those injuries from spoiling your and your dog’s summer fun.
Being hit by a car
Believe it or not, some of the most common injuries dogs suffer result from being hit by a car. You can be the most responsible pet parent ever, but sometimes things just happen. Even if your dog gets up and runs back to you, take him to the vet right away – injuries can go unnoticed, or your dog may be concealing them. In either case, some injuries get worse in time, not better.
Probably the easiest thing you can do to prevent your dog being hit by a car is to keep him on a leash, and keep the leash a short enough length to prevent him from going into the street. Keeping the door to your house closed can help prevent your dog bolting out the door and into the street. Whether you plan to take your dog off-leash or in case of a front door escapee, you should have a very strong recall command, and your dog should be exceedingly obedient to it.
Sprains and tears
Everyone loves to watch their dog run and play. Unfortunately for some dogs, muscle and joint sprains and ligament tears can be the outcome of his aggressive frolicking. This is especially true in early spring, as warmer weather first starts to invite people outdoors with their dogs, and in older dogs who still tussle like they did when they were a puppy.
Just like the human body, dogs’ bodies need a warm up period before vigorous exercise to prevent injury. Start with a walk to limber up, gradually progressing into a lope or jog. You could even indulge your pup in a massage before leaving the house, to break up toxins and increase blood flow throughout his body. Do remember though, that older joints, muscles and ligaments in senior dogs are more susceptible to injury regardless of warm-up. If your dog is a senior, go easier with play time. If you notice your dog limping, refusing to walk, licking his foot, swelling or anything out of the ordinary, see your vet at once.
The dog days of summer bring with them a lot of heat and humidity. Just like for you, too much heat is a bad thing for your dog – especially dogs with dark and/or thick coats. Heat stroke is way too dangerous to take a “wait and see” approach. If you notice your dog excessively panting, frothing at the mouth or acting lethargic or disoriented during or after some time in the heat, it’s time to cool him off immediately.
Prevent heat stroke by avoiding walking your dog during the hottest parts of the day – which would be more comfortable for you both. Always bring water along for you and for your dog, and take a break in the shade along the way. You can also fill a kiddy pool up just for him, so he can take a nice cool soak and splash after his walk. And of course, NEVER leave your dog behind in the car during the hot summer!
By taking proactive steps, you and your dog can stay out of the vet’s office for unscheduled trips by preventing some of these most common injuries. Now, #GrabTheLeash and enjoy the rest of summer!