by SPCA Staff and Volunteers
We're sure you've been enjoying the summer, but has your pet had time to revel in the season too? Here are some fun ideas and resources that will ensure you and your pet enjoy the long days and sunny weather. They are all kid friendly too!
If you’re lucky enough to be traveling to the coastline this summer consider bringing your dog to the beach. Most dogs, particularly outgoing breeds like retrievers and spaniels love to swim in the ocean! If you’re nervous about letting Fido loose in the vast aquatic beyond that surrounds our country, start off with a short leash and let him wade in the baby waves and move slowly on to greater depths. It is easy to find great dog life jackets and other dog-related water sports accessories at local stores. If you can’t get to the surf, a small plastic kiddie pool can be just as refreshing without the tumult of waves or the mess of sandy fur! Remember though, just because a dog is wet doesn’t mean he still won’t be thirsty. This much activity combined with the heat from the beach will necessitate for him larger amounts of drinking water.
Websites which chronicle lists of many dog-friendly beaches in the US, with two specific links for California and the East Coast.
General US: http://www.petfriendlytravel.com/dog_beaches
East Coast: http://www.tidalflats.com/Dog_Beaches.html
Life Jackets, etc. for your dog: https://www.wag.com/html/sg/small-dog-life-jackets.html#seemoreinfo
Dog parks are so much fun for everyone! The mere chance to socialize under the sun with doggies from all over can be hugely exciting for your canine and fun for hoomans too! Many parks haves separate play pens for large and small dogs, although don’t assume a little guy won’t be able to hold his own with the mastiffs and the greyhounds. They work great for dogs who have a lot of excess energy you’d like to see burned off- you’ll find that the ride home and the hours to follow are remarkably quiet…. On the other end- the socialization dog parks offer for skittish dogs will help with shyness, anxiety and self-esteem. A lot of owners worry about the dangers- I spoke to the assistant director at an animal rescue organization who was also a nurse at an animal hospital and she said that in her entire career she only saw one scuffle that she had a hard time breaking up.
Everything you’ll need to know: www.dogpark.com
FOR THE BIRDS
The summer is the perfect time to give caged birds an opportunity to flex their wings. Even something as simple as setting their cage out on the patio for a few hours can be incredibly invigorating for your feathered pets. You’ll hear them begin to chirp to the sounds of local wild birds- the “interaction” is very stimulating for them. Try to do it closer to the afternoon and evening hours when the sun isn’t so hot. If your bird is well behaved outside of its cage, a small indoor fountain can be its best friend. Just perching him on top of the fountain will engage him to play and splash around. Also- try putting your bird on a leash- yes, you read correctly, it’s a great way for him to do what he does naturally- fly! Bird harnesses complete with diapers can be fitted for even the smallest parakeets and can be tethered a leash that you hold. Take him outside and “fly” him! Birds are created to fly, and it's great for their well-being as long as you take all the proper safety precautions.
Indoor fountains: www.target.com search “indoor fountains,” a wide range of inexpensive and decorative table fountains
Bird harnesses, diapers and leashes: http://www.birdsupplies.com/Bird-Harness-Bird-Leashes-Bird-Diaper-s/1.htm
A WORD ABOUT SMALL MAMMALS, CATS AND REPTILES
As a general rule of thumb, don’t bring your guinea pig to the beach and don’t submerge your cat in the kiddie pool. Don’t “fly” your ferret and resist putting your newt in any type of harness. Tarantulas and hamsters don’t care that it's summer, so for them, neither should you.
This SPCA International article is intended to help further your understanding of your animal's needs. We understand yourunique bond with your pet and it is our pleasure to help you look after its welfare. Thanks to your continued support, SPCA International is able to provide you and countless others with important news regarding the safety of your pets. Thank you again for your donations – every little bit helps!