Best Practices for Outdoor Dog Safety

The great outdoors is a beautiful place to be, extra wonderful for your furry companion thanks to enhanced sensory organs. 

Activities like a walk in the park or rolling around in the garden is super fun. Your pet gets his exercising in and you get to spend some quality time together. 

However, the great outdoors isn't all rosy. There are elements that can constitute a danger to your pet, and this article is all about helping you avoid them:

  1. Avoid Parasite-Infested Areas

An area with mosquitoes singing their melodies is a no-no. Avoid areas that generally look unkempt or harbor a body of stagnant water. 

Mosquitoes can transmit heartworms which can result in some lung and heart damage to dogs via a single bite. Hence, avoiding unhygienic locations is essential. 

Finally, a good idea would be to check out these areas on your own before taking your pet there. This way, you can avoid unpleasant surprises. 

  1. Keep an Eye On the Weather

Extreme temperatures can cause problems for your pup, however, you can still brave these conditions. What you would need to do is take some extra precautions. 

On hot days, ensure that your pet doesn't get overheated. Spend less time outdoors and provide lots of cold water for drinking. If you notice excessive panting, move your pet to a shaded area. 

Going out in the cold depends on your pet's breed. Larger dogs with thick coats like German Shepherds would tolerate the cold longer than a chihuahua would. However, ensure that they are dressed for the occasion, a jacket would do. 

  1. Minimize Contact With Other Animals

You can only trust the grooming and health status of your pup. Other dogs that you come in contact with may carry parasites, therefore, avoid or limit contact. 

If you're at a local dog park, keep an eye out so that you can stop skirmishes before they get out of hand. Also, bite wounds are absolutely one of the more common injuries that you should protect your pet from. 

Similarly, wildlife like rabbits and squirrels may carry parasites or contagious diseases. Limit the amount of chasing after these animals that your dog does to reduce chances of infection. 

  1. Prepare Supplies

When you're headed to the great outdoors with your pooch, ensure that you have the necessary supplies including lots of water, a sturdy leash, and an ID tagged-collar. 

If you're going in your car or with a backpack, you could keep a mini first aid kit handy as well. This would come in handy in the face of medical emergencies. 

Treats for good behavior is a great call too. 

  1. Ensure Vaccinations are Up to Date

If you intend to spend a lot of time outdoors with your pet, vaccination is a no-brainer. 

A good number of infections can be avoided with a simple vaccine shot. So, ensure that your pup's vaccination is complete and still effective. 

An essential vaccine is one against rabies. For other beneficial vaccines, have a talk with your veterinarian. 

Basic Pet Parenting Skills

Puppies, while adorable to a fault, can be quite a handful too. And believe it or not, you do need some parenting skills when it comes to raising your pet. 

There's always the option of learning on the job, a good choice. Another option is learning ahead about the essential skills that would improve your cohabitation. 

That's exactly what we're setting out to detail in this piece. Here are 5 essential pet parenting skills you need to inculcate: 

  1. Handling and Training Skills

Building the right foundation for your relationship with your pet is an essential item on this checklist. For starters, you have to be at ease with working in a hands-on capacity. Physical contact is one of the major building blocks for a loving relationship with your pup. 

To build lasting handling and training skills, you should be familiar with fundamentals like basic obedience techniques, using positive reinforcement, and creating reward systems amongst others. 

You need to be familiar with handling stressful situations too, as pups tend to go rogue sometimes. 

  1. Communication Skills

Effective communication is the holy grail of any relationship, particularly with your pup. You need to ensure that you're not sending confusing signals, particularly in the early training stages. 

Confusing communication can send your pup into a spiral since he doesn't know which command to follow. Clear communication begins from using clear verbal communication and extends to even non-verbal communication. 

Using the right tone, watching your pet carefully so that you understand their reactions to your commands, reinforcing the right responses, are proper strategies for great communication. 

  1. Observation Skills

Pets try to communicate with us in various ways, however, there's a tendency to overlook some of the signs that they give. You always have to keep an eye out for behavioral changes or altered feeding habits --- these might imply a developing health problem. 

This would also warrant that you're privy to basic canine health issues, especially those that are prevalent with your pup breed. Close observation can help to nip potentially major problems in the bud. 

  1. Grooming Skills

Outside of the regularly scheduled visits to the vet that would probably consist of a comprehensive checkup and grooming, you should possess some grooming skills yourself. 

As a dog parent, you should be familiar with basics such as trimming nails, removing mats, cleaning ears, and brushing out hair. 

Your pup's grooming is vital to guarantee that he remains in prime health for a long time. Also, regular grooming can help you detect potential health problems early and deal with them. 

  1. Patience

Less of a skill and more of an attribute, all the same, you would need to hone it as a skill. Pups can be a handful sometimes and these times call for patience and restraint. 

This is an essential quality if you're going to have an incredible relationship with your pet. 

When your pup disobeys commands or does his business inside the house or chews a hole in one of your favorite socks, remember patience.