If you've recently decided to share your home with a canine companion, you're probably looking forward to spending many happy years having adventures with your dog. If you enjoy spending time in the outdoors, you've probably chosen an active breed that's suitable for sharing outdoor adventures with. However, the outdoors have certain health and safety hazards for dogs that you should know about. Following are three things you should do to make sure your furry friend stays as safe and healthy as possible when spending time enjoying outdoor pursuits.
Get Your Dog a Couple of Pairs of Booties
If you plan on taking your pup to the beach, you should spring for a couple of pairs of protective booties for its feet before you go. Sand becomes extremely hot -- even when the air temperature is fairly mild because it absorbs the heat from the sun. Grains of sand also become stuck in the cracks and crevices of dogs' paws very easily. A good pair of protective booties prevents that run on the beach from becoming a painful experience.
Get Your Dog a Flotation Device
If you're planning on taking your dog with you on your boat, be sure to get it a personal flotation device in the event it ends up somehow going overboard. Even though swimming is an instinctual activity for most dogs, there's no guarantee that yours will have that particular gene -- and even if it does, strong currents, cold water, and other conditions make cause tough going for your pooch, so hedge your bets and equip your dog with its own flotation device if you're going to be spending any time on the water.
Get Your Dog a Lyme Vaccine
Lyme disease is transmitted by ticks that are commonly found in woodland areas -- so if you're planning on taking your dog hiking, camping, or otherwise spending time in the woods, be sure to talk with your veterinarian about a Lyme vaccine. Many pet owners opt for this vaccine even if they aren't going to be taking their dog on outdoor adventures.
However, even dogs that have been vaccinated against Lyme disease should be checked for ticks on a regular basis, particularly after spending time outdoors.
Your local veterinarian can provide you with more helpful tips and tricks on enjoying outdoor activities with your dog while making sure potential health and safety hazards are minimized.