More and more you see recreational opportunities that allow for pets as well. We love our pets, and often see them as family members, so it’s natural we want them to be involved in many of the activities we enjoy outside our homes. At the Moab BARKery we often hear about grand adventures, but sometimes we also hear of difficulty and even tragedy. This month we want to share with you some excellent ways you can plan ahead for your pets to ensure their safety.
We enjoy the amazing outdoors here around Moab, but we are cautious about where we take our dogs to hike. There are trails that are better than others for hiking with dogs, but there are also some risks not worth taking. For instance, our dogs (mini doxies) are very prey driven and will chase just about anything that moves; they live for hunting lizards, but are almost always outsmarted by these little runners. We have had a few customers talk about rattle snakes, and the bites their dogs survived. Often there is a lifetime of complications after a bite so avoiding it is best.
Many dogs don’t know the danger behind rattlers, and when your dog is off leash even if you try and call them back, a rattler is something new and a must to be sniffed, which means most dogs get bit on the face. There is a canine vaccine for rattlesnakes, but most vets don’t carry it and it is only effective if given within a certain amount of time. The solution can be rattle snake aversion training, but even better is keeping your dog on leash if you are in rattler territory. There are a few different methods for aversion training and we suggest talking to your trainer about what is best for your dog. What you can do today is avoid these coiled dangers, rattlers are more commonly found on or near trails first thing in the morning (to warm up for the day), or late in the afternoon (to get warm before nightfall) so consider leashing your dog at those times of the day.
Another thing many owners don’t consider is the risk of dehydration and how to avoid it. Many dogs are so excited to be out and hiking that they refuse to drink and often will push their bodies to the extreme. Make sure you have something familiar for your dog to drink out of like a bowl; dogs will often shy away from a hand full of water or a pouring stream. If you use a collapsible bowl, make sure to try it out at home first and make sure your dog is familiar with it. If your dog gets overheated get them to shade, DO NOT pour water over their body if they refuse to drink. Instead wet the pads of their feet and chest with water. Dogs exchange 80% of their body heat in their feet and chest. If you have alcohol pads (and you should for cuts and scrapes) you can swab their feet to help cool them down quickly. Remember too, that if the sand or ground your walking on is extremely hot, your dog is perspiring about twice as much as you are, so take breaks often and always seek out cooler ground to walk on whenever possible.
Another factor when enjoying a hike with your dog is UV exposure. Most dogs that have any color to their coat have much less risk of sunburn, but those who have a combination thin/short coat and those who have large area’s of white in their fur or pink noses/eyes have a great risk for skin cancer. Most commercially available sunscreens are inappropriate for facial use on dogs. If your dog is white everywhere, a vet may even recommend tattooing color onto their nose and around their eyes to avoid constant sunburns.
A wet, light colored shirt is great sunscreen and can double as heat protection if you keep it wet. Sunscreen can be used away from the dogs face; just remember to wash it off. If left on their skin after multiple applications there is significant residue and that’s itchy. But remember zinc oxide and other strong UV protection is pretty toxic if ingested. You can also consider a cooling vest for heat and sun protection. Make sure to carry some extra water so you can rewet the vest. Most commercially available cooling vests need to be re-wet as often as every 45 minutes if it’s over 90 degrees outside. Covering yourself and your dog with lightweight fabric is great sun protection, and can prevent skin problems later in life.
Remember that enjoying outdoor activities with your dog can be an awesome adventure if you take a little time and plan properly before you head out. Be aware of your surroundings, don’t let your dogs wander in unfamiliar places and come prepared with double the amount of water you think you need.
Disaster planning for your Animals
Utah is one of the most prepared states in the nation for emergency. There are more families in Utah with 72 hour emergency kits than anywhere else. One aspect of a disaster plan that is often overlooked is our pets. So here is a checklist of things to consider for disasters and what to do with your pets. Considering and preparing what you would do in an emergency can mean the difference between being able to take your animals with you and being forced to abandon them when you leave. First thing, have a plan for evacuation as well as stay-at-home disaster plan.
• Carriers/Airline approved kennel (One per animal)
• Collar with tags, leashes, harnesses and muzzles
• Registration papers, vaccination records and vet
contact info (many shelters that allow you to have
animals won’t allow them without vaccine records).
• Bowls for food and water
• Blankets or bedding
• Paper towels, trash bags for clean up (everyone forgets this one)
• Litter box for cats
• Medications and first aid kits
• Water for three days
• Food for three days
• Treats and Toys
Stay-at-Home Emergency Checklist:
• If you have an aquarium – battery operated air pump
with extra batteries
• Flashlight with extra batteries
• Medications for 1 month
• Cold weather gear for snow
• Pet food for two weeks (a good reminder not to wait
to get dog food till the bag is empty)
• Water for two weeks (in addition to your water)
Being evacuated or living through a disaster is hard enough but preparing for your animals can help you stay calmer and give you a better sense of security if you can plan for them to go with you. Make it easy for emergency aid and workers to say yes to your animals by having everything you need to care for them and yourself. Stay safe out there!
|HUMAN SOCIETY OF MOAB VALLEY
|Humane Society of Moab Valley
Annual Dawg Days of Summer
BBQ and Silent Auction
Join us at Old City Park July 28 from 4-8 for our biggest fundraiser of the year, The Annual Dawg Days of Summer BBQ and Silent Auction Benefit. Sit back and enjoy the musical talents of Eric Jones and classic rock, country and blues music from Lost Buffalo performing with Rockin’ Rod while treating your taste buds to fablously prepared BBQ catered by the Moab Brewery. This year’s silent auction is better than ever with romantic dinner packages, spa dates, beautiful art work, massage and fitness certificates. Tickets are available at the HSMV, Moab City Shelter,
Sgt. Peppers Music, Moab Barkery and
For more information call: 435-259-4862.
To see past articles about animals, pets and their care check our archives.