A. WATER SAFETY AT THE BEACH OR POOL

One fallacy many people have is that all dogs are good swimmers. This is not the case. Although swimming is great exercise for your dog, a great way to spend some time with your pet, and a relaxing day of leisure, it also can be dangerous. Many breeds of dogs are built to swim and many are not. Often those that are not, are the dogs that have short pushed-in noses like Pugs, Bulldogs, and Shih-Tzus. Ones with short legs like Papillons, Basset Hounds, Chihuahuas, Dachshunds, and Pomeranians are not good in the water either. Dog breeds that love to swim include, Labrador Retrievers, Irish Water Spaniel, Spanish Water Dog, Irish Setter, Golden Retriever, Chesapeaske Bay Retriever and others. But do not assume that your dog is a good swimmer even he is one of these breeds. It may not come naturally to them.

Life jackets are available for dogs and are a very good way of assuring your pet to be safe.

B. TRAVELING IN A VEHICLE

There has been way too many times I have noticed a parent buckling their child into the proper car seat, yet the family pet jumps in and parks itself on the seat beside. I suppose the parent is assuming in an accident the child and she would be safe and that dogs are basically invincible. Not so.

JUST A COUPLE OF FICTITIOUS SITUATIONS TO CONSIDER:

a. Fender-bender in the city: The jar from the vehicle behind sends “Rover” flying into the seat ahead not only injuring (or worse) mom but as well as the dog.

b. Major Accident: Vehicle they are riding in is hit on the driver’s side. Mom belted in is jarred but will be fine, the crash has sent “Rover” flying into baby. Not fine!

c. Even Just Quick Maneuvering Around Something on the Road: Many unforeseen things occur putting everyone and your pet in danger. No one plans for this!

Be safe and remember not only to care for yourself and your children but the safety and comfort of your pet while traveling in a vehicle. Remember he is an integral part of your family too.

WHAT ARE SOME GOOD SAFETY OPTIONS?

a. Consider the possibility of using a restraint whether it be a pet seat belt, car harness, pet car seat or a wire cargo barrier for your SUV. This looks after “Rover’s” safety while in the vehicle with you.

b. Another very important safety precaution is to not let your dog ride in the box of your pick-up truck unless they are in a cage/kennel. This has been noted as the primary cause of animal deaths in accidents.

c. Please don’t let your pet stick his head out the window while traveling. Although I am sure it is a great way to cool off it is similar to riding a motorcycle without a helmet and face guard. Debris on the road can quickly be thrown up. I’m sure we all have had rock chips in our windshield or worse.