Summer Safety Information & Tips
The Dog Days of Summer are here and while summer is most pets’ favorite season there are a couple of heat related issues to be aware of when out adventuring with your four legged family member. Take a quick read through our summer safety tips to keep your pet happy and healthy through their most coveted season:
Hot Dogs and Hot Cars Don’t Mix
Every year, dogs die in hot cars here in Jackson Hole. While outside temps may feel cool and dry to you, inside your car the temperatures rises fast! On a 78 degree day the inside temperature of a car can reach 90 degrees in the shade and 160 degrees in the sun! Dog’s pant in order to cool themselves down naturally. When the only air a dog can breath in is hot air, their cooling process drastically slows down. When temps are high it is best to leave your pet at home. If you must bring them to drive around with you, access to fresh cold water is essential! Signs of an animal in distress is panting, excessive drooling, cloudy eyes, and wobbly movements. Time is of the essence in this situation, so don’t hesitate to call the sheriff’s office if you see a dog locked in a car in distress. The Teton County Sheriff office’s number is 307-733-4052.
Don’t let your dog drag
Just like human visitors, dogs may experience overexertion and altitude sickness. The causes and warning signs are similar to those of humans. Affected dogs will start showing signs of difficulty breathing and loss of breath even at a resting state. Your dog also may require more frequent rests, may refuse to continue, and may refuse to sit or lie down as those postures make it more difficult for them to breath. Other signs include a worried expression, distressed eyes, and constant panting. Aging dogs are more susceptible to altitude sickness and over exertion, so keep an eye on them even if they’ve done the same climb in previous years with no problems. Make sure to keep your dog cool and hydrated if you’re planning on tackling our beautiful back country hiking trails and mountain peaks. Scheduling a physical before your trip is wise.
Protect their paws
Hot pavement can wreak havoc on a pup’s paws in the summer. A quick test to see if the pavement is too hot for walking is lay the back of your hand down on the pavement, if you can’t keep it there comfortably for 5-7 seconds then it is too hot for your dog to walk on. Avoid pavement walks in the heat of the day and always pick shaded pavement to walk on. They can’t verbalize to you that they their paws are uncomfortable or burning, be sure to pay attention to their gait and if they’re picking their paws up while standing still.
Swimming is a great way for your dog to exercise and cool off. Here in Jackson, we have many lakes, rivers, and creeks for them to advance their doggy paddling skills in. Know your pet’s boundaries, not all dogs are great swimmers or enjoy going deep. Have them don a life jacket (with a top hoisting handle) when doing long distances in lakes or on any stretch of the river. Our currents are strong and constantly changing so avoid fast moving water.
Yielding to Wildlife
Jackson is known for wildlife, and they are top dog around these parts! Many dogs cannot resist the urge to chaise, therefore, keep your dog on leash while in areas that wildlife is spotted. Avoid areas with moose as they are very protective of their kin and will charge a dog if they feel in danger. Be aware of birds of prey, especially with smaller dogs; don’t leave small dogs unattended even in fenced in areas.
Harmonious Trails & Pathways
Many trails and pathways are multi-user friendly. Leash your dog while using these trails to accommodate all users. Have your dog heel closely while bikers pass. Ensure your dog has proper social skills before taking them on highly trafficked trails and pathways. Scoop the poop and dispose of properly.