By Mary Kenkel
Summer is finally here, and with it all the fun that sunshine, water, sand and fresh outdoor weather can bring. But there are also some cautionary (tails) for pups to ensure their health and safety.
LOTS of folks bring their pups to the Shirlington dog park, or for a run along the trails of Cameron Run, or even Four Mile Run. While the notion of a splash in these streams is very enticing, stop and think before you allow your pup to dapple its paws in what may look like fresh water. These streams are often filled with giardia, and/or coccidia and other germs/parasites that get into your pup’s tummy and intestines and cause all sorts of yucky results – such as diarrhea, vomiting, etc. This can be very dangerous if not caught right away and treated. So as much as you want your pup to have a swim, save it for a trip to the beach or the bay – or even the Northern Neck where opportunities for intestinal mischief are kept to a minimum. Places such as First Landing State Park Beach located at 2500 Shore Drive, Virginia Beach (bring proof of rabies); and my favorites: Quiet Waters Park – 600 Quiet Waters Park Road, Annapolis , or Downs Park (Dog Beach) – 8311 John Downs Loop, Pasadena, Maryland are great spots for your dog to enjoy a swim.
If your pup gets a parasite, they are best treated with medicine from the vet. You can also put your pup on a regime to prevent the multiplier/reproduction impact of these vexing interloper’s such as No More Worms by Earth Animal. If your pup does get sick, there are some go to’s that are always stocked in our cabinets. Number 2 – by Primalix is a wonderful natural supplement to stop those middle of the night wake up calls. We also rely on several Honest Kitchen products, from Perfect Form to goat’s milk or Instant Golden Milk which is a mixture of goat’s milk, turmeric, spices and honey (it smells so good I want to drink it!). Adding some rice to the goats milk tinctures provides an additional remedy for loose stools. In addition, Immunity by Bixbi helps your pup with the immune boosting power of medicinal mushrooms allowing it to fight off nasty items that can lurk in the water. And finally, the Gatorade for dogs is made by Nupro, called Custom Electrolyte Formula – and helps dogs regain the lost fluids they so dearly need.
Finally, a word or two about fireworks. It’s no secret that many dogs are fearful of the sound of fireworks but there are many things you can do to lower their stress level – and yours. First, lower yours! Don’t anticipate the fear that your pup might feel around the 4th. Your fear translates to your dog! Second, there are many calming options for your pet – far more available this year than ever before. One is CBD in oil or treat form – see our past post about the benefits. The thundershirt has been revamped a bit and one company (makes a version that includes music and pheromones. There is also music that you can download and play that calms your pets – Through a Dog’s Ear is our favorite. Pet Acoustics makes a tiny music box, pre-loaded with calming music which can be played with you present or not – this is also a great option for dogs that are anxious without their owners any day of the week. Finally, turn on fans – bathroom fans, overhead fans – they all produce white noise that can drown out the bangs of fireworks.
And while you are enjoying a little ice cream, get your pup some frozen Nugget’s bone broth or yogurt! They will be happy you did!