With sunny skies and warm weather still heating our days, many families are taking off for the cottage. It wouldn’t be a family get-away if the pets were left at home, so if you have plans to head to the cottage for the long weekend or the remainder of the summer be sure to think about your furry friends! Iams connected with the Ontario SPCA to provide you with some great summer getaway safety tips for your pets!
Arrive alive – It is best to confine your pet to the back seat, either in a carrier or a pet seatbelt (a special harness that attaches to the car’s seatbelt) while driving to your weekend destination. To ensure your pet has a comfortable ride there are a few things to consider:
- Feed them a light meal a few hours before the trip to avoid car sickness
- Keep the air conditioning at a comfortable level, if you are too warm, they will be too!
- Prevent your pet from sticking their head out the window, you never know if there will be debris that could cause injury
- Schedule pit stops along the way and take your pet out for a little stretch or bathroom break
- Keep the sound system volume down as pets have sensitive hearing
Pets on the loose – Many people think that just because you are up north and in the country you can let your pet run free. In reality, many pets become lost, attacked by other animals or stray on the country roads and this is never safe! Be sure to keep an eye on your pet and either add a tracker to their collar or buy an extra long leash to give them leeway.
Healthy pet, happy pet – When humans go on trips we often get shots or vaccinations to protect ourselves from diseases. Pets should do the same as they need protection against disease and parasites such as fleas and ticks (these little buggers are especially popular at the cottage).
Safety in the water – If you plan to take your dog out in a boat, be sure you bring a pet life jacket – even the best swimmers can tire easily in rough water. Pet life jackets are not only cute, they will keep your pet afloat if they “jump ship” or can help keep them warm in cold water. If you are planning to take your dog swimming, follow these safety tips:
- Watch the water before allowing your dog to swim, as rough water can be dangerous
- Remove chain or slip collar before they go for a swim, these collars can get stuck on underwater obstacles such as plants or branches
- Be cautious of the temperature, dogs will tire out more quickly in cool water and can lose energy, develop cramps and be at risk of hypothermia
- Watch your dog swimming at all times!
For more pet health information please visit www.iams.ca!