Your dog is a great companion when you’re out and about getting your daily exercise or even as a travelling companion in your car. Sometimes, you might find yourself wishing your dog could talk – but as expressive as they are, dogs can’t tell you about their needs. In fact, most dogs are so focused on what they see as your needs and wishes, that they can hurt themselves trying to please you. With your pet focusing on you rather than himself, you need to be mindful. These three important things will help caring pet owners to recognize and cater for their dogs’ needs when out and about.
1. Dogs Need to Drink Water
The need to drink water may seem too obvious to mention, but sadly, it’s something that many pet owners forget when out and about. While sensible runners may remember to take a water bottle for themselves, their doggy companions also need a chance to rehydrate. According to Paoli Vetcare, dehydration in dogs can cause kidney issues and even failure of other organs.
If you’re undertaking a road trip with your pet, remember to pack a water bottle and bowl for your dog. Distance runners can plan their route to allow for rests at water points, or else take extra water along for their dogs. There are even nifty water bottles with collapsible dog bowls fixed to the top!
In hot weather, access to water becomes even more important. If your dog has been panting and suddenly stops, it could mean that he is already dehydrated.
2. Puppies and Older Dogs Can be Over-exercisized
Puppies are still developing, and like small children, there are limits to how much exercise they should attempt – even though they seem willing to try. Yes, exercise is good for your dog, but it’s all about balance. For most breeds, you can plan puppy exercise at five minutes for every month he adds to his age. So, a three month old puppy should not have more than 15 minutes of strenuous exercise. And though a 6-month old may seem to have boundless energy, a half hour run is ample for his abilities.
Older dogs are starting to experience physical deterioration, and seniors shouldn’t be expected to keep up the hectic pace they could maintain when they were younger. Pay attention to how your dog runs or walks. If he or she is starting to limp or shows other signs of discomfort, it’s time for a break. As seniors, let older dogs set the pace and look out for any signs of pain or distress.
Even dogs in the prime of life can get too much exercise. If you know your dog is only used to a certain amount of exercise, don’t try pushing the limits too fast. Allow for physical fitness to build up over time.
3. Never Leave Your Dog Unattended in Your Car
Most of us know that dogs can die of heat in a car, even when the windows are slightly open. What most of us don’t know, is that this can happen in 15 minutes or less! What’s more, cool temperatures are no protection. It’s quite possible for a pet to die of hypothermia in a car during cold weather. And it’s not-unheard-of for dogs to suffocate in cars.
If you absolutely must leave your dog in the car, be sure that he is alone for no more than 5 minutes with windows cracked and access to water. Ideally, don’t do it at all. Let a family member walk him around the parking lot while you are busy, or simply leave him at home if you know you’ll have to stop to do business along the way.
With a little mindfulness, we can ensure that our love for our pets’ company doesn’t lead to physical harm or even tragedy. Dogs love people, but they aren’t people, so a little extra care and preparedness is needed when out and about with our canine companions.