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Above all else, Memorial Day is a day to recognize our fallen soldiers. But for many Americans, Memorial Day also means spending time with family and friends under the hot, nearly-summer sun. Because the long weekend is typically spent outside and dogs are often invited to join in the fun, it’s important to keep dog safety in mind. Follow these tips to keep Fido safe during the busy holiday festivities.
1. Beware at the BBQ.
The food at a barbeque or picnic can be awfully tempting to your curious pooch, who doesn’t know the difference between food he can and cannot eat. It’s your job to keep your pup away from foods that can be toxic to him, such as onions, avocados and grapes. Bring your dog his own food and keep him away from people food and drink, including alcohol, which can be extremely dangerous to your dog even in small amounts.
2. Choose your bug spray wisely.
Bug repellent keeps away pesky insects that can harm both you and your dog, but certain sprays might have an unintended effect on your pup. Human insecticides can cause neurological and respiratory issues in dogs, so make sure to choose a spray that’s Fido-friendly, especially if he’s not up-to-date on his flea and tick medication.
3. Don’t keep his identity a secret.
During this crowded and noisy holiday, it’s easy for your pup to get startled and run off. If at home, make sure the yard is fully gated or closed off so your pup doesn’t escape from your sight. If he’s in a place where he can run far and wide, the worst thing that could happen is that your dog gets lost without any identification to help him get back home. Make sure your dog has an ID tag with updated name, address and telephone number, or better yet, is microchipped to help locate him easily.
4. Keep him cool and comfortable.
Dogs can get dehydrated pretty quickly, and flat-faced dogs like Pugs and Bulldogs are especially prone to breathing problems in hot weather, so it’s important to keep an eye on a panting pooch. Make sure he has access to plenty of clean water, and keep him in the shade or indoors as much as possible to avoid overheating.
5. Watch out around the water.
While some dogs love to swim, others are not so fond of the water, and might not even know how to swim. Like you would with a young child, you should supervise your pup around the pool and not leave him unattended around a pool or lake. Similar precautions should be taken at the beach so as not to let your pup get washed away by strong ocean currents. Let him get wet if he wants, but just monitor the activity.
6. When in doubt, keep him indoors.
The best way to keep your pup safe during the holiday is to leave him at home, but if he must come with you, then at least opt to keep him indoors as much as possible. Memorial Day weekend is often filled with sights and sounds that can overwhelm your sensitive pup, so avoiding the things that can upset your dog is sometimes the best option for everyone to have an enjoyable time.