WOOF! I spy grass, sand and new friends! This place SMELLS like…seaweed, birds, people, hot dogs, other dogs, other people, gasoline, salt, beer, fish…So EXCITING! LEAP out of the truck, I can feel the hot sand and aim for that delicious, stinky smell. FISH! STEAL a bite, swallow it down and RUN for the water. COOL, splashing waves that play with me and cool my feet. SNIFF. What’s that smell…HAM! Grab the old sandwich off the log and RUN. Hide behind a bush, dodge the bees, and EAT!
Although this sounds like a glorious, exhilarating day for your pup, beware, there are a lot of hidden hazards at the lake. Recently, I have been seeing a lot of emergencies related to lake visits (with various outcomes).
- Running loose unsupervised! Every dog loves to explore, but leaving your dog to his or her own devices in a strange place and around strange people can lead to disaster. Getting lost, being injured, or a victim of another dog are just a few things that can result from unsupervised adventures.
- Hot sand, hot pavement and your pet’s activity on even mildly hot days can lead to pad burns or heat stroke. Make sure your pup has clean water and a safe, cool place to rest.
- Lake or pond water, especially this time of year, can have Blue Green Algae. Even in small doses, ingesting these algae can lead to severe vomiting, tremoring etc. and usually death. Monitor for warning signs (list a few) and areas of algae bloom.
- Bait and Hooks. Dogs tend not to discriminate what they put in their mouths and a treble hook with stinky smells and a little bait looks like a delicious treat! Dogs can have that hook down in a split second and emergency medical care becomes the afternoon event.
- Rotten or decayed food or carcasses. Besides being gross, moldy or rotting items carry a lot of bacteria and some even carry molds that lead to neurologic issues and illness.