August 13, 2022

Keeping your pup safe from the vagaries of summer

Quiet Waters Park in Annapolis (just a 45 minute drive from Alexandria) has an excellent dog beach. Courtesy picture

By Mary Kenkel

Summer is finally here, and with it all the fun that sun, water, sand and cool outdoor weather can bring. But there are also cautions (tails) for puppies to ensure their health and safety.

MANY people bring their puppies to the Shirlington Dog Park, or for a run along the trails at Cameron Run, or even Four Mile Run. Although the notion of splashing in these streams is very appealing, stop and think before letting your pup soak their paws in what may look like fresh water. These feeds are often filled with giardia and/or coccidia and other germs/parasites that enter your pup’s belly and intestines and cause all sorts of disgusting results – such as diarrhea, vomiting, etc. It can be very dangerous if not taken away and treated properly. So even if you want your pup to bathe, save him for a trip to the beach or the bay – or even the Northern Neck where the chances of intestinal harm 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 places for your dog to take a dip.

If your puppy catches a parasite, it’s best to treat it with medication from the vet. You can also put your pup on a diet to avoid the multiplier/breeding impact of those pesky intruders such as No More Worms by Earth Animal. If your pup gets sick, there are things to do that are always stored in our cupboards. Number 2 – from Primalix is ​​a wonderful natural supplement to stop wake up calls in the middle of the night. We also rely on several Honest Kitchen products, from Perfect Form with goat’s milk or Instant Golden Milk which is a mixture of goat’s milk, turmeric, spices and honey (it smells so good that I want to to drink !). Adding rice to goat’s milk tinctures provides an additional remedy for loose stools. Plus, Immunity by Bixbi helps your pup with the immune-boosting power of medicinal mushrooms to fight off nasty objects that may be lurking in the water. And finally, Gatorade for Dogs is made by Nupro, called Custom Electrolyte Formula – and helps dogs regain much-needed lost fluids.

Finally, a word or two about fireworks. It’s no secret that many dogs are afraid of the sound of fireworks, but there are plenty of things you can do to reduce their stress levels — and yours. First, lower yours! Don’t anticipate the fear your puppy might feel around the 4th. Your fear translates into your dog! Second, there are plenty of soothing options for your pet – many more available this year than ever before. One is CBD in oil or candy form – see our previous article on the benefits. The Thundershirt has been revamped a bit and a company (makes a version that includes music and pheromones. There’s also music you can download and play that calms your pets – Through a Dog’s Ear is our favorite Pet Acoustics makes a small music box, preloaded with soothing music that can be played with you present or not – it’s also a great option for dogs who are anxious without their owners any day of the week. Finally, turn on the fans – bathroom fans, overhead fans – they all produce white noise that can drown out the detonation of fireworks.

Nugget’s bone broth and yogurt make great, safe treats for your dog on those hot days this summer. Courtesy picture.

And while you enjoy a little ice cream, offer your pup bone broth or frozen yogurt from Nugget! They’ll be glad you did!

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