Buffalo Companion Animal Clinic

1214 Hwy 25 N

Buffalo, MN 55313

Phone: (763) 682-2181

OFFICE HOURS

Mon, Tues, Thurs: 7 am - 8 pm

Wed & Friday: 7 am - 6 pm

Saturday: 8 am - 12 pm

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Carlos’ Corner

Water Safety Tips for a Safe Summer with Your Pet

 
It's officially summer and that means spending more time at the pool and beach. Most cats I know aren't keen on such an experience, but my dogs friends are definitely up for it. I may act cool, but I care about them and their safety. That's why I asked the staff to write some water safety tips for the dog people out there.
 
Take Care,
Carlos
 
It can be a dangerous assumption that your dog will instinctively know how to swim in all situations. While some breeds are natural swimmers, others must be taught how to swim. Other breeds, including those with a large ratio of chest to hindquarters or a short muzzle, don’t have the body type to survive in the water. It’s up to you to know your dog’s limits and to take precautions to keep her safe. If your dog has never gone swimming before, you may want to schedule a preventive care exam to ensure that she’s physically up to the challenge.

Introducing Your Dog to Water
We recommend starting small when it comes to teaching your dog water safety skills. The first time you go to the lake or pool together, go into the water with your dog and note if he seems comfortable with the situation or not. The water should not be more than a couple of feet deep. You can take it as a good sign if he starts paddling right away, but you should still position yourself no more than a few feet away. This allows you to grab your dog if he suddenly starts sinking. 

Increasing the distance from your dog and time spent in the water are simple ways to get her to feel comfortable with swimming. However, you still need to supervise your dog any time she is in or near water. Unpredictable situations, such as a bird flying nearby, could cause her to get overstimulated and chase after the bird. This could quickly land her in water over her head. It’s also important to teach your dog not to enter the water until you have given the command and to come at once when you call her to get out of the water.

Safety When Boating
Dogs often enjoy riding in the boat with their human families, just as they do in the car. If you choose to bring your dog out for a ride, make sure that you put a life jacket on him first. He will come to accept it as part of the routine if you consistently put the life jacket on before you even reach the boat. If he does go over the side of the boat, use a floatation device to pull him back in rather than risk your own safety by jumping in the water.

If you plan to hit the beach a lot this summer, make sure that you dog has a microchip in addition to a tag and collar. This improves your chances of reuniting if case she gets lost. If you think your dog might suffer from motion sickness on the boat, be sure to ask us for advice on preventing it before you set sail. Buffalo Companion Animal Hospital wishes you and your dog a safe and happy summer together. 
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Take a Hike! How to Enjoy Great Outdoors Month with Your Dog

 
Hiking isn't really my thing. I prefer a cushy indoor life at Buffalo Companion Animal Clinic, but I know many of my dog friends would jump at the chance to go hiking. If you and your dog are planning a hike, we have some tips for you below.
 
June is Great Outdoors Month, which is something we truly appreciate here in Minnesota. People and their pets wait months for the weather to turn nice enough that they can spend more time outside than inside. Hiking is just one of the activities that dogs and people enjoy doing together during the summer. Before you head out on your next adventure, we recommend scheduling a preventive care exam to ensure that your dog is healthy and up-do-date on vaccines. 

Planning a Hike with Your Dog
The first thing you need to do is locate the right trail and make sure you understand its rules and etiquette. If a park allows dogs on the hiking trail, you need to keep your dog under your control at all times. That means using a leash and harness, yielding the right-of-way to other hikers, and investing time in behavior training so he doesn’t go after other dogs or people.

As with walking in a local neighborhood, you’re responsible for cleaning up your pet’s waste. You then need to bury the bag at least six to eight inches deep in a hole that is a minimum of 200 feet from the trail, water sources, and camp sites. Additionally, be sure to monitor where your dog urinates so it’s not too close to a source of water.

You will want to start training at home by placing an empty pack on your dog and gradually increasing both the weight of the pack and the time you walk each day. The weight of a full pack shouldn’t exceed 25 percent of your dog’s body weight. Keep in mind that puppies under one year old generally don’t have the bone strength to carry their own pack on a hiking trail. 

Pet Supplies to Bring on Your Hike
A first-aid kit is essential when you’re in the woods and far away from immediate help. It should contain your dog’s regular medication, swabs, rubber gloves, saline, heavy-duty bandages, pliers, a whistle, and lights and bells for her collar. Other things to include in your pack or your dog’s pack include:
  • Her regular food
  • Food and water dishes
  • Dog coat for cooler weather
  • Booties to protect her paws pads and nails
  • Nail clippers and file
  • Cooling collar
  • Towel for baths and wiping off paws
Check for Fleas and Ticks
Being in a wooded environment increases the likelihood of your dog picking up fleas and ticks. Since an undetected tick can lead to Lyme disease, it’s important to check him from nose to tail at the end of every hiking session. Be sure to comb his fur daily and to remove ticks with a pair of tweezers immediately if you spot one. A flea and tick collar or preventive medication can help make your dog’s time on the hiking trail more enjoyable as well. 

Photo Credit: tntemerson Creative / Getty Images

 

 

 

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