Summer is so short in Saskatchewan, so when the weather is beautiful there's often no better place to be than the lake enjoying the beach and boating...and who better to squeeze every drop out of summer with than your four-legged family members?! Fido will appreciate the chance to cool off with a swim or to cruise the waters with you as much as anyone! Here are a few pet-friendly tips from our team at Wascana Animal Hospital to remember when visiting the lake this season:
1. Pick up after your Pooch! Many parks and lakes have designated areas of beach that you can enjoy with your canine companions - this is a privilege that we don't want to lose! Staying within appropriate areas and picking up any feces promptly will allow us all to continue sharing the waves together!
2. Be Mindful of the Heat- hot weather affects our pups just as much as it does us! Laying on the beach or hanging out on the boat without breaks in the shade and proper hydration can result in heat stroke- make sure you allow some time for Fido to cool off and rehydrate throughout the day along with you. Offering a canopy, umbrella, or shade under a tree and a big bowl of water while enjoying the sun are important to prevent heat stroke.
3. Be Visible - just like we need to be mindful when swimming in the lake, our canine companions can also be at risk for injury while out swimming if boaters can't see them. A bright coloured collar and/or life jacket along with swimming in a safe area near shore can help your dog stay safe.
4. Swim Safely! While many of our canine family members are good swimmers, they too can be overcome with fatigue in rough choppy water, if prompted swim for long periods of time, or if the water is still very cold. A bright colored life vest is always a good idea to offer extra floatation support and visibility while enjoying the benefits of this wonderful exercise!
5. Be on the Alert for Algae! Summer heat in Saskatchewan can cause significant algae blooms in some lakes. Different types of algae can be very toxic to our pets causing a range of illness from mild GI upset and skin irritation to serious poisoning leading to death. Avoid letting your dog swim in areas where there is visible algae.
We hope these tips are helpful, as always if you have any additional questions one of our team members at Wascana Animal Hospital will be ready to help! Stay safe and enjoy the sunshine!