Memorial Day Weekend is the unofficial start of summer and that means it’s time to start enjoying all the great outdoor activities that Central Oregon has to offer. No one wants to focus on or even think about something going wrong, but being prepared is the best way to avoid that situation going from bad to worse.

Here are some ways to help your pup live its best outdoor life. 

Flourishing during the summer months, the seeds from these grasses are designed to burrow into the ground. If they attach to your pet’s coat and burrow into the skin, this can lead to pain, infection, and sometimes more serious issues. Foxtails can also be inhaled, lodged in the ears, swallowed, and embedded in the paws.

Tips for avoiding issues with Foxtails include:
– Checking between toes and paws
– Get deep into the pockets between the toes
– Make sure to check ears and cheeks 

Is very similar to Foxtails. The seeds are designed to burrow and will treat your dog like they do the ground. Seeds can find their way into the same common locations as well as being swallowed causing extreme irritation to the throat and lungs.

Tips for avoiding issues with Cheatgrass include:
– Checking between toes and paws
– Get deep into the pockets between the toes
– Make sure to check ears and checks 
– Keeping your dog from running through unattended open fields
– Keep your yard clean of weeds

More immediate serious issues include making sure your dog is in a safe location and making sure they aren’t getting overheated. 

Keeping your dog safe:
The sun brings out countless people to enjoy the trails and open areas that are abundant in Central Oregon. This creates a different set of circumstances in which you need to know where your pet is located, at all times. Taking a picture, enjoying a view, or taking a call make sure your pup is close to you and not wandering away or possibly on the trail where they can be exposed to oncoming bikers, hikers, or runners. 

Tips for avoiding issues with other nature lovers include:
– Be aware of your surrounding
– Avoid costly injuries to all parties by keeping your dog near and avoiding other trail goers 

As the summer comes on the temps will climb higher and higher. Dogs cool themselves by panting, but they also need to move large quantities of air to do this. Taking breeds like pugs, French and American Bulldogs on long hikes can create issues because they struggle to maintain their body temperatures.
This can also be an issue for any dog who has Lar Par (Laryngeal Paralysis) which can come on without warning. If any dog on a walk starts breathing noisily, stop and go home.

Signs of heatstroke include:
 – Sudden collapse 
 – Bright red tongue
 – Rapid panting

If your dog is suffering from heatstroke:
 – Find shade
 – Get them to drink water
 – Put them in the water, if possible, or wet them down.
 – Go Home! The hike is over

If you fear your dog is suffering from these or any other issues from being outdoors contact your family vet or the nearest emergency center.