With summer in full swing and temperatures at record-setting levels in many areas, cooling off with a dip in the pool or an outing to a lake or an ocean can be what many people, and their dogs, want to do. In addition to boating, fishing, and surfing, there are many water activities a person can enjoy with their dog. Below are five ideas:
There are many other water-related activities you and your dog can enjoy together, such as fishing, boating, surfing, and strolling along the beach or riverbank. No matter what you and your pup do to cool off around water this summer, one thing to keep in mind is the harmful, potentially fatal, blue green
algae. Hot weather produces toxins in the algae and causes major “blooms;"
skin irritation occurs on both people and pets, and dogs that lick the algae can get the toxins into their bodies and cause major illness, even death. Therefore, BEWARE!
Mosquitoes, ticks, and sunburn are also things for which to watch when spending time on the water.
Even with such hazards, you and your pup can enjoy water activities together. Be safe, be cautious, and have fun on the water during these last weeks of the summer season!
With summer fully underway and hot temperatures throughout the United States, one thing many people like to do is cool off in the water. That may mean a swimming pool, or it may mean a lake, pond, or river. If you want to spend time in the natural setting, beware of harmful blue-green algae – this slimy material can make both people and pets very ill, and can even kill our beloved animals.
According to the Minnesota Pollution Control Agency (MPCA), “Blue-green algae blooms can occur anytime during the summer, though they are normally associated with warm weather and low rainfall.” Although algae are naturally part of an ecosystem, “under certain conditions, algae populations can ‘bloom’ with dramatic growth.” And though most are not toxic, “there is no way to visually identify whether a particular bloom contains toxins that are harmful to people or animals.”
Such blooms occur when waterways have excessive nutrient levels, such as phosphorus. When going to a lake, reservoir, or other waterway and you notice high levels of algae, avoid going into the water and keep you pet away as well. According to the MPCA, “If your dog does go into water with heavy algae growth, hose it off right away, before it has a chance to lick itself clean. Animals become ill when they ingest the toxins, so preventing them from drinking affected water or licking toxins from their coat is key to preventing illness.”
The most common signs of poisoning from blue-green algae include:
Without treatment, your dog could go into shock and a coma – and can die. If you believe your dog has ingested toxic algae, take your furry friend to the veterinarian immediately.
Enjoy the water and the outdoors this summer with your furry companion but beware of this potentially lethal aspect of nature. Find an informational guide here:
Learn more about blue-green algae and its affects on humans and animals here:
Summer’s heat can make a running river appear refreshing for people and pets, however, racing waters pose dangers for both. Therefore, pet owners, BEWARE!
Contrary to what many people think, not all dogs swim or swim well. Dogs can and do drown. Even the best of swimmers, like Labrador retrievers, can lose their life in the water, especially a swollen, fast-moving river or stream.
Like many people, most dogs enjoy a great swim – it’s good exercise and helps alleviate some of the summer heat. However, swimming is also dangerous, especially when the water is high. So, when you’re camping, hiking or fishing this summer, keep your dog close at hand and restrained so that you control how close s/he gets to that fast-moving water.
Lakes and ponds have their own dangers, including blue-green algae, chemicals and motor oil. Take special note if you see blue-green algae or chemical pollutants in the body of water and hose off your dog or bathe it when you get home. Boating with your dog can also cause concern. Just as people should have personal floatation devices (PFDs) [and remember, children are required to wear them while in the boat!] PFDs for dogs are also available.
According to outdoor gear specialists REI, the U.S. Coast Guard does not certify canine PFDs, however, these doggie life jackets can be life savers. The device should fit snugly so your dog cannot twist, step or swim out of it, and it should have easy-release buckles and a handle so you can lift your four-legged friend out of the water if necessary.
Pools are another area of concern. If you have a pool and own a pet, again, be cautious. Make sure your dog doesn’t swallow chlorine and make sure your dog knows how to get out of the pool – be sure there are steps into and out of the pool and that your dog knows where those steps are located. Cover your pool when no one is around to keep your dog (and your children) safe.
For more information and tips on dogs and water safety, visit
http://www.everydayhealth.com/pet-health/dog-and-water-safety.aspx or talk with your veterinarian.
Be safe this summer in and out of the water!