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Labor Day - Make it Less Work and More Fun for your Pets

Labor Day is almost here and what better way to spend your last summer party than with your pooch? Good food, friends and fun are all essential for Labor Day celebrations, but is your dog prepared for the festivities? Here is a list of dangers for your dog to avoid this Labor Day to ensure he/she stays healthy and happy all weekend long.

Heat stroke

Hydration is crucial for dogs. Did you know a dog can overheat in just a matter of minutes? If your dog has a heavy coat they are more susceptible to heat stroke. Consistently monitor body temperature and be able to notice anything unordinary. Symptoms of heat stroke are panting heavily, a rapid pulse, glazed eyes, a deep red or purple tongue, vomiting, sticky, thick saliva, lethargy, or any unsteadiness or staggering. Heat exhaustion, stress, or stroke is extremely serious and can be fatal. Remember; NEVER leave your pet alone in the car even for a few minutes. This is the most common cause of heat stroke. 

Paw burns

Have you ever walked on a scorching patio or beach without sandals? Imagine how your pooch feels this Labor Day when your porch is so hot you could cook an egg on it. Make sure there is a shady place near the party
for your dog to hang out. Also, be careful while grilling. A hot grill plus a curious dog can lead to disaster. We recommend putting your pooch inside when the grill is on but if you insist, watch them closely. If you see him get burned or signs that he did (limping, licking his paws, cracked or blistering skin or pads), apply a cold, wet compress, and call your veterinarian. These injuries are painful and need immediate care. 

Dogs get sunburned too!

Contrary to popular belief, your dog can get sunburned and needs protection. Hairless, light skinned, light colored, shaved, or pink-nosed pups are especially in danger of being burned. We recommend doing one of two things for pet sun protection. Pick up a non-toxic, fragrance free doggie sunscreen that your vet recommends. A lotion works best with heavy coated dogs since you can rub it through the coat to the skin. Essential areas are the ears, bridge of the nose, nose, and the underside of his body. Ask your veterinarian for their recommendation.

Swimming time

If your dog loves to swim, this section is for you. Most of us love to enjoy the water during Labor Day weekend, and your pooch probably does too. If they aren’t a good swimmer, a doggie life preserver would be a good idea. Never leave a dog unattended when swimming. Also, don’t let them drink pool or ocean water. Pool water contains chlorine and the ocean contains salt, both of which can be harmful and dehydrate your pet. Make sure you have fresh water available at all times. 

Human foods are not for pets

Who doesn’t like barbequed food? But it’s not for dogs, and you must resist the urge to give them a treat from the grill. If you’re having a big Labor Day party, you might want to consider putting up a sign for your guests that says please do not feed the pets. Some foods are toxic to dogs like onions, grapes, mushrooms, avocados, lunch meat, and more. Plus, dogs have very sensitive tummies. Even the smallest amount of food can upset their stomach and cause diarrhea or vomiting. It is best to stay safe and only feed them their normal diet.

Traveling by car

Many of us travel to friends or family by car during Labor Day weekend. If you plan to bring your pooch or kitty in the car you might want to consider a few things. If your dog has never traveled by car before, get them accustomed prior to travel. Making them feel comfortable will significantly reduce car sickness. Also, a pet restraint is always recommended. This will help keep the pet from being a distraction to the driver as well as keep them safe. While some folks find it amusing to see a dog with its head out the window, ears flapping in the wind, an unrestrained dog can
cause major danger. According to AAA, in a car crash at 50 mph, an unrestrained 10-pound dog can exert almost 500 pounds of pressure; in a car crash at only 30 mph, an unrestrained 80-pound dog can exert more than 2,400 pounds of pressure. While keeping a kitty purring your lap may be fun, please don't let your cat roam free in the car. Cats can easily crawl under pedals and become a major distraction, jumping over seats as they dive for a front view seat on the dashboard. But if your pets cannot tolerate carriers, make sure they are leashed safely and securely. Wearing seat belts is now the law. While we are safely secured, it is also essential that pets in carriers are securely restrained, so buckle up any carrier containing a pet. AAA Traffic Safety Culture director, Michelle Harris said, "An unrestrained pet not only endangers itself, but everyone in the vehicle as well." 

The long Labor Day weekend is meant to be enjoyed by both humans and pets. Be prepared, keep your pet safe, and don’t let one of these dangers for your pet put a damper on your festivities.

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