Safety tips for enjoyable outdoor activities for your dog
By Sherryn De Vos
Fri, May 14, 2021 at 11:10AM

Safety tips for enjoyable outdoor activities for your dog

Safety tips for enjoyable outdoor activities for your dog

Dogs love outdoor spaces and it’s all for a good reason. They represent their bathroom, playpen, and they even get to discover new things and meet new friends while playing outdoors. It’s the time they love the most, right after food and cuddles. But, do you know that there are potential dangers out there for your furry buddy, and do you even know what they are, and how to prevent them?

The first step in preventing bad things from happening is spending time together with your dog while outside and never leaving them alone. Learning more about the dangers of nature can help you protect them from harmful situations while being outside. Even if it’s just the backyard, remember that dangerous things could happen. It’s always good to keep the helpful information in mind, so you can enjoy your time with your buddy, as much as you want.

Photo by Artem Beliaikin from Pixels   

Opt for pet health insurance

Before starting to plan outdoor activities with your dog, make sure to visit the vet and get all the necessary check-ups and vaccines, and most importantly, don’t forget to get your pet insured. Basically, you will need pet insurance 6 months after adopting a dog at the latest, because if you decide to get the insurance afterward, the dog might develop some disease in the meantime or you might find that it had a pre-existing condition that you didn’t know about, and no pet insurance company would be willing to cover it. 

Be aware that 1 out of 3 dogs will need emergency medical treatment in their lifetime. In order to give your dog the best care it deserves, make sure you thoroughly research the different types of pet health insurance and choose the plan that is right for your furry friend as well as your own pocket.

Most pet insurance companies cover unexpected injuries or illnesses, surgery, medication, tests, or emergency exam fees. Of course, there can be other plans that cover more expenses, but it all depends on the different types of pet insurance coverage and the provider you choose. Take into account that accident-illness insurance plans provide coverage for both unexpected illnesses and accidents. This type is the most common because it represents 98% of insurance plans in the pet health insurance industry.    

Beware of outdoor risks

Toxic food  

Dogs love to roam around and sniff, ingesting spoiled trash or toxic food like raisins and grapes in the process. Keeping their heads off the ground is really difficult because you can easily find tempting bits of food or bones anywhere you go, whether it’s near a trash can or in the grass. They can also ingest toxins such as rat poison, or indigestible objects that can get stuck in the intestines or stomach. 

The most common symptoms that your pooch might experience are vomiting and/or diarrhea. Keeping your dog on a leash or with a basket muzzle at all times might help prevent this sort of situation.

We know that when dogs have an upset stomach they usually want to go outside and chew some grass because it helps them feel better. But, as much as the grass is healthy for them, there are plenty of poisonous plants for dogs that can be extremely dangerous. Learning more about this will help you prevent unwanted dangers in the future.

Photo by Sankhadeep Barman from Unsplash 

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Insect bites and parasites

Pet owners should be informed about pet care and how to train their dogs, in order to avoid dangerous situations, especially when going out for outdoor activities. One of those dangers are parasites. There are different kinds such as ticks, fleas, or gastrointestinal worms which can vary in the level of danger they pose, from causing skin infections to being extremely life-threatening and causing heartworm disease or Lyme disease. It is important to check your dog for ticks after spending more time outside and if you find one, try to remove it immediately by turning it counterclockwise.

Another danger are insect bites which can cause allergic reactions, spread life-threatening diseases or infections. A very important thing to know is that mosquito bites can spread heartworm disease which is very dangerous for your pet. Also, wasp and bee stings can cause allergic reactions in some dogs.

Unpleasant weather conditions

Weather changes can cause your dog to suffer because some dogs are sensitive to cold and others to heat. Always check the weather outside before letting your dog stay for a longer period. The cold weather, as well as warm weather, comes with potential risks to your pet. Make sure to spot the signs that your dog is cold before it alters their health, and learn how to prevent winter health risks. 

For example, if your dog is shivering that could be a sign that it is suffering from hypothermia. There is also the potential of frostbites which can be very painful if not treated on time. Some signs of frostbites are pale or grey skin, and the skin turning cold and hard. When frostbite areas warm up, it can be very painful. The worst-case scenario when dealing with severely frostbitten skin is that it will eventually turn black and fall off. You wouldn’t want your dog to suffer from this. 

Pet’s outdoor time should be limited during hot weather. Don’t forget to always put plenty of fresh water and check if there’s easy access to shelter or shade. Scorching hot asphalt can be dangerous for their paws, so limit your walks to early morning and dusk. Dogs can also suffer from sunburn and dehydration. You can apply sunscreen on your dog on places like the nose, around the lips, the tip of their ears, and their belly, before going out. In order to prevent dehydration in the summer period, make sure to always bring cool, clean, and fresh water. The most common signs of dehydration are vomiting and diarrhea. Another dangerous thing is heatstroke. In order to identify heat stroke symptoms, you need to monitor your pooch attentively.

Photo by Turgay Yildiz from Pixels

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In closing

There are several risks we encounter, but knowing more about them will help you prevent them. To provide your dog with safe outdoor activities, you must first consider the risks of the outdoors. Just like there are risks for humans, there are also risks for our lovely furry friends. They cannot speak when they are having trouble with something, so we need to pay close attention to them, especially if we spend more time outside.

Caring about a dog also means keeping it safe from dangers. Pet insurance is the first step of ensuring that your dog is protected if something dangerous happens. We must educate ourselves so we can prevent it and protect them. If you decide to take care of a pet, make sure you do it right. Those innocent creatures deserve nothing but lo


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