How to Keep Your Dog Safe at Summer Gatherings
I just love summer, don’t you? There’s swimming and running around, playing ball and of course, lots of cookouts and people to play with. Yep, it’s a dog’s life that’s for sure! Today I’m taking a break from the social whirl to talk to everyone about some safety rules to keep us doggies healthy and happy through the summer. Summer get-togethers can be dangerous for dogs, so we count on our people to keep us safe.
I’m a good dog; I love the kids at our house and I like to play with them because they don’t get too rough and don’t treat me like I’m a pony. I may be a little on the heavy side but I’m definitely not a horse! My mommy knows that I don’t have a lot of patience and may get snappy if a little kid pulls my hair or climbs on me, so she makes sure to let everyone who has small children know that I’m off limits. If there are going to be a lot of little kids around, my mom will put me on a run in my own area or keep me in the house so I can get a little peace! My mom definitely doesn’t want me to bite someone’s child, so she makes sure that I’m kept at a safe distance from small children who probably don’t want to hurt me, but might by accident. You might also want to read our article “Teaching Kids How to Approach an Unfamiliar Dog.”
I see myself as a guard dog – protecting my family and our home is my job. When someone steps on the porch or knocks on the door, I don’t let anyone come in until my Mommy says it’s okay. If she tells me they are allowed and she lets me get a good whiff of them, I’ll usually go back to whatever I was doing. When we’re out in the yard and there are all kinds of people I don’t know coming and going, I get a little nervous. Mommy makes sure to bring everyone near me so I can check them out and get accustomed to their scent. She also warns them that I’m nervous around strangers and not to reach toward me quickly. She lets them know that once I get used to them they will be able to pet me, but not until I’m ready. Some of mommy’s friends are doggie parents too so they understand, but some aren’t and they are leery of getting too close to me. That’s fine with me. I’m a friendly dog, but I don’t like surprises and too many people crowding me.
Oh the smells of a family cookout! I love the smell of the grill and the food being cooked on it, but mommy makes sure I don’t get too close because I may burn my nose or my tongue. When food is served mommy takes me indoors or to my area because she knows I will beg and someone may feed me something that’s on the list of human food that’s deadly for pets. I know she does it because she loves me, and she always gives me a few CANIDAE Tidnips™ treats for being a good girl, but sometimes the smell of steak or burgers is just too irresistible! I wish I had a human belly just for one day, so I could eat everything I wanted! Yep, my mommy knows I’m an eatin’ machine, so she takes me away from the temptation while the guests are eating. She also makes sure that all the remains of the meal get put in the trash can with the lid on it to keep me from eating something like a piece of plastic or paper plates.
Mom knows that I love the water, but I’m not a great swimmer. That’s why when we go swimming I have to wear a doggie life jacket. She also carries water and a bowl for me so that I don’t drink any yucky water. When we are at home and people come over for a cookout, I have a shady place where my run is so I can stay cool and drink from a big bucket of fresh water that my mom keeps full. I’ve got a lot of fur and in the middle of summer our temperatures are right around 100 degrees. That’s pretty darn hot to be wearing a fur coat! So on the hottest days, mom will just keep me inside with doggie gates up so that if someone comes in and leaves the door open I won’t escape.
There are a lot of things that responsible pet owners (like my mom!) have to do to keep us doggies safe and healthy. Be sure to teach your humans all the things they need to know too, so you can enjoy the summertime get-togethers with your family.
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