The next time you are going to the lake for the day, consider taking your dog with you. Your family and your pet will enjoy having a day outside together. It is important that you make sure the area you are going to allows dogs, and that you bring a leash and some extra bags for picking up after your pet. To have an accident free day with your family pet, here are a few precautions to keep everyone safe.
Know Where the Nearest Animal Hospital Is
If you are going to a lake out of town, you should find out where the nearest animal hospital is located. A dog can get injured while swimming or wandering around looking for a place to go to the bathroom. Some lake visitors are not good about cleaning up after themselves and there may be glass the dog can get cut on, or garbage the dog should not eat just a short distance from where you have set up. You can't just dial 911 from your cell phone to have an ambulance come take you and your pet to the veterinarian.
Picking the Right Resting Spot
As the sun beams down on the ground, sand and stones become too hot for an animal to walk on. You may have a pair of shoes or flip-flops you wear in the water, but the dog doesn't. Find a grassy area to place your towels or blankets. Even if the dog will be on the blanket with you when resting, it will need to get up and walk around a bit too. This could burn the pads on its feet.
Picking the Right Swimming Spot
Find an area where the water is relatively calm and the ground is fairly weed free. Even a dog that is used to swimming can get scared when waves are crashing over its head. It will then swim to you, and try to climb onto your shoulders or head, for safety. Now the issue is whether you can keep your own head above the water. If the dog reaches one of the children first, things can get dangerous very quickly. A dog will also panic if its legs become wrapped up in weeds on the bottom of the lake when walking. When you approach the dog to free it, any legs not trapped will scratch and claw at you for help.
It is probably best if you do not go out into deep water with your dog. You can never be sure what might spook the animal and have it climbing up your body for protection. You and your family can stand in water up to your chest and throw toys out into the deeper water for the dog to fetch, but when swimming with the dog, stay where you know you can touch the ground. Older kids can go off on their own, but keep the dog with you in the shallower area. Keeping everyone, including the dog, safe requires your constant attention when at the lake. You don't want to end up at either the human or the animal hospital. For more information, contact your local animal hospital like University Pet Hospital.