Our dogs enjoy playing at our lake house as much as rest of our family. We have two British Black Labs who are difficult to keep out of the water. They are both strong swimmers but you can’t assume every dog is a water baby. There are a number of things to consider as you plan to have your dog join the family at the lake.
- If they have a special food, bring all they need for your stay as many Lake locations are more remote and don’t have retail establishments that carry specialty dog food brands.
- Be sure to treat your dog with anti-flea and tick medication. The wooded areas are loaded with ticks that are happy to hitch a ride on Rover. Tick bites can cause Lyme disease, tick bite fever and other serious illnesses that result in vomiting, weakness, paralysis and more.
- Heartworm is another concern for pets at the lake. The heartworm parasite is carried by mosquitoes which are usually abundant near lakes. Heartworm is a serious problem and can result in the death of your dog if not treated.
- Be sure you have a life vest for your dog is he is going to be riding in a boat. Dogs who are poor swimmers should wear their vests when they play on a dock as well as when they go on a boat ride. (See our blog about dog vests (need the approved title)
- Make sure your dog has a tag on her collar with good contact information that includes your name and a local phone number.
- Identify a veterinarian near you’re lake home. You should also try to find an afterhours Animal Clinic for a serious afterhour’s emergency. Be sure to carry information about your dog’s vaccinations, medications and health issues.
- Assemble a dog first aid kit if your location is remote. The American Veterinarian Medical Association has specific recommendations detailed at this link: https://www.avma.org/public/EmergencyCare/Pages/Supplies-Checklist.aspx
- Monitor the amount of time your dog is in direct or intense sunlight. Some dogs can be susceptible to sunburn especially those with light colored or thin fur/hair. All dogs can get a sunburn on their ears, noses and tummies. Dogs can also get heat stroke in intense heat.
- Be aware of local poisonous plants, herbs, insects and animals. Check the link to the pet poison helpline for more information. http://www.petpoisonhelpline.com/poisons/
- Dogs are also susceptible to cold weather issues including hypothermia and frost bite. Watch for extreme shivering and lack of mental alertness.
It is never pleasant to have a pet emergency at home and it is much more difficult when you are on vacation. These simple ideas can help keep your pet safe and healthy and make everyone’s time at the lake more stress free!