TIPS FOR DOG (and cat) OWNERS WHO RESIDE ON OR NEAR THE WATER EDGE

On a visit to my veterinarian, I asked for some advice regarding allowing my dog near and into the water.  In the nutshell he advised strongly to NOT TO LET YOUR DOG DRINK FROM THE GREAT OUTDOORS,  like puddles, streams or ponds and lakes, rule of thumb, if it's water you would drink, then let your pet drink it, otherwise water outdoors is off limits.  This means monitoring your dog closely outdoors.. Train the pet to use the water dish and look to you for a drink. Don't allow the dog to  walk to the waters edge and drink. 

Remember to provide a fresh dish of water inside as well as outside.  Wash out the water dish several times a week.  (a scum will build up on the dish if you don't)  If you are taking the pet for a long walk, carry water for them too.

If you are applying tick protective, (highly recomended) as we live tick country.  This is a topical application of oil on the animals skin near the back of the neck..  Be aware, if  you let your dog swim in the water,  It will wash off sooner or later. . When the dog  becomes saturated with water , it loses its effectivness.  (The oil application is waterproof to a certain degree,  like a walk in the rain or a splash in a puddle, a run on wet grass,  but  not several full fledge submersions in water).

So up front you need to make a decision.  Let the dog swim in the water or not. If the dog swims often in the water, it loses its tick and flea protection. Ticks should be looked upon as a potentially deadly threat to human as well as pets. Its nothiing you want to ignore..

I know, I know, this takes all the fun out of it for you and the dog, it even sounds a bit extreme and a lot of extra work. Ask yourself which is more important, the health of your pet or serious problems.  Vet bills are costly.  So once again, remember, be aware that animals that drink water are suseptible to some of the same problems such as intestional parisites, just as people are, like giarida, or also called Beaver Fever.

I do have some suggestions. Alway check with your vet before taking matters into your own hands. I speak of this only from life experiences of raising dogs.  I am not a vet. But I do communicate well and often with my vet.

My pup loves the water.  I will allow him to swim if the thermometer rises to the point that both of us are uncomfortable.   Life is too short, especially for dogs to not have a little fun right ?
So lets take a swim, toss a few balls,  have a good time and cool down. After being completly submersed in the water several times, the dog will eventually lose its tick and flea protection.
This is NOT GOOD. So what do I do?   First the dog should get a nice shampoo, be rinsed off and  dried.  Then  I will apply the tick prevention oil once again .BUT NEVER APPLY ANY SOONER THAN THREE WEEKS, between applications.  Once again, please check with your vet.

With this new  application, this means keeping the dog out of the water till the end of the next 30 days  If you want the protection.  .
It goes without saying keep your pet out of high weeds and bushes while unprotected. Walk him on a lease instead of letting him run freely. High grass is a favorite spot for ticks to hang out.. Short grass, like mowed lawns are great area's for pets to play on and a bit safer.

After every outing, give the dog a good going over, from head to toe, checking for ticks.  Sometimes they arn't visible until they fill up with blood.  So check once again a few hours after again.

My vet tells me that if dogs are swimmers and in the water on a regular basis, ticks and fleas  have less of a chance of living on the dog, as the submersion in the water on a regular basis would be effective in keeping fleas and ticks at bay, but caution should be used if you are not using a preventative.  You have to be on top of your game if you are going to do this...and its not recommended...

Another concern is black flies and mosquito bites.There are plently of mosquitoes on dry land and more near area's where there is water.  Don't tie your dog out and expose him to the danger of being bitten. Same with black flies in the spring.  Dog/cats can be bitten badly by black flies, keep the outings short and try to take your pet out during times when the flies are not out.  You may use people spray or lotions for biting insects in areas the dog,  can not get to by licking and do not use it around their eyes.  put some on your hands and rub into his ears where there is no hair, and into spots that are not covered by hair, like the stomach and his underside and behind.. (Then wash your hands Please! )
 Before you bring your pet in to the house, after a walk when the flies are out,  Give him a good brushing to comb out the flies climbing through his coat of hair....I sometimes just use my hands to comb through his hair, just before I step into the house, so I don't bring the flies in with us.

Talk to your vet about a prescription for pills for heart worm prevention  Some tick oils provide some protection against biting mosquitoes ,  but it is not 100 percent protection . Heartworm is a major concern. There is also a shot for lyme disease that will increase the protection but not always effective.  Once again, ask your vet about this.  He or she can explain how this works. Your pet should be tested every year for heartworm.

When boating,  don't expose your dog to a long boat ride in the blazing sun.  Bad idea, provide plenty of shade or be prepared for a seisure or worse..

Take along some water if he has to be in the boat with you , or leave him home in the shade,  but kindly do not leave him unattended if you think he will bark and annoy the neighbors.  (This is another consideration)  I don't know how many times I have been at camp and had the day spoiled by someones barking dog, that a camp owner left tied up outside or even inside,  while they left for the day....Geez...come on folks !
 .
Don't exhaust your dog by throwing "the ball" repeatedly in the water.  Give him breaks between throws to catch his breath by removing him from the water and putting the dog in the shade till he cools down.. I  saw a lab almost drowned one time.  The kids kept throwing the ball in the water for the dog to swim and retrive it.  The dog had heart, he was becoming exhausted.  The last trip around he went under. but was pulled to safety. I think it was a scary lesson for the owners.

 It goes without saying, pick up feces and dispose of properly.  Walk the dog well away from waters when taking them out for relief breaks  This will help prevent ecoli run off into the pond, which is our swiming waters, and play areas. 

Provide your cat with a litter box.  Cats love sand and will migrate to the beach at any given opportunity to do their business.  When the waves wash the beach guess where the kitty doo goes.... Geez ?   I know of a few incidences , where this is exactly what happens, the owners don't seem to give a hoot...I wish folks would think about things like this, it's important. How would you feel if you spead your blanket out on a sandy white beach and ended up laying in kitty poo, or smelling it...Yuck ! Now thats a way to ruin a sunny day.

Be kind to your neighbors, keep your pets under your control and at home, and keep them quiet.  No one likes a loose or barking dog.   (nothing worse than finding dog doo on your lawn or  being awakened from a lovely afternnoon nap by a barking dog).   
.
If you should lose your dog, this could become your worst nightmare. Always make sure you run pets with collars and id tags on,  or a id implant.....The State forest has swallowed many a lost pet....never to be found or seen again, and broken many owner's hearts.   Keep an eye on them.  There are coyotes running around in these woods.  Good luck.  And check with the town to see if there is a lease law.  Most towns have them now.

Some folks may scoff at these recomendations, but its not like the old days anymore.  Modern science has advanced for animals, just like it has for people. And now there are laws.................

Its ridiculous to take your animal to the vet for check ups and shots, then take him home and turn him loose.  Remember this is why you spend all that time, effort, money and energy protecting your pet, so then why would anyone do such a thing ? This breaks all the common sense rules, throws caution to the wind, and puts your pet in harms way..  
.
It is work to be responsible and care for any pet.  In the long run remember if you have bonded with your dog, nobody loves you like your dog, nobody !

My pup would follow me over the edge of a cliff or anywhere else for that matter..  For that kind of devotion I owe it to him to show my appreciation by caring for him to the max.  The rewards are greater than you can imagine. .

Darlene Sprague
TIPS ABOUT DOGS AND CATS
 who live and vacation around the pond.
Meet my new sidekick and junior Loon Volunteer.....cute isn't he ?
CAT FISHING ON THE WEST SHORE
REMEMBER, NO BODY LOVES YOU,  LIKE YOUR DOG !
NOTE OF INTEREST......most recently I read an article in a magazine.  It was about beavers and their interactions with dogs.  There have been recent reports of dogs swiming in beaver inhabited waters, and being attacked by beavers.  The beaver silently  swim up underneath the dog,  goes for the bellies and legs and bites them.  These bites are severe, requiring veterinarian care.  One dog ended up having one of its arteries severed.  Another died after surgery..   In 2011 beavers have injured several dogs. It seems that there is no warning, not the usual slapping the tail reaction.   I was surprised to read this, but in reading more of the article, it mentioned that even way back in the early 1800's there was written information that a beavers had attacked a Newfoundland dog and seriously injured him. So with this in mind take heed.
MAN'S BEST FRIEND
If your dog is too fat, you are not getting enough exercise....Author unknown
****2016....tick protection update....There is now a 8-MONTH tick protection for dogs,  Its a protector band, worn as a collar...  It is water resistant, completely odorless and gives complete coverage for your dog for up to 8 months...Check with your veterinarin. Certainly worth looking into.