Glenville

Animal Chronicles: Summer fun? Keep dogs safe, happy at outdoor events

Try to choose a spot in a low-stress location, and remember to keep your dog cool and hydrated. The Doberman Pinscher is Rosie, who is available for adoption at the Animal Protective Foundation in Glenville. (Courtesy APF)
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Try to choose a spot in a low-stress location, and remember to keep your dog cool and hydrated. The Doberman Pinscher is Rosie, who is available for adoption at the Animal Protective Foundation in Glenville. (Courtesy APF)

By Cassandra Metke

Now that warmer weather has finally returned to the Capital Region, it makes me want to take to the streets, parks and outdoor cafes to enjoy these longer, sunny days with my puppy, Luna, who I recently adopted from the Animal Protective Foundation (APF).

While having our furry companions with us on these adventures can be fun, it’s important to ask yourself a few questions before heading out so that an excursion with your dog doesn’t go from fun to frustrating — or worse. Here are a few questions I considered before taking Luna to her first event:

Does she enjoy meeting other dogs? Does she act respectfully toward them (moving away if the other dog isn’t interested, moderating her play style, etc.)? Is she a people dog (she will likely get lots of scratches on the head from strangers)? Is she unbothered by loud or sudden noises?

If, like me, you answered no to any of those questions, you’ll want to evaluate whether your dog will do well on an excursion, or whether he or she might be happier hanging out at home.

“It’s important that you understand your dog’s behavior and what their body language means,” says Kathy Snowden, Canine Academy instructor at the APF. “It’s a key aspect of responsible ownership.”

Enrolling your dog in any of the APF’s Canine Academy classes will help you understand what your dog is trying to communicate. Check out all of the available Canine Academy classes at www.animalprotective.org/dev/canine-academy/.

If you’ve determined that your dog is ready for a large outdoor gathering, always:

– Choose a spot in a low-stress location that has a comfortable place for your dog to lie down. Lower-traffic areas with an escape route are best. Dogs have sensitive ears, so choose a quieter spot.

– Keep an eye on your dog at all times so that you can scoop the poop and make sure all interactions are friendly. Avoid dogs that may cause trouble, or get help from their guardian to keep them at a safe distance.

– Walk your dog away from the area from time to time. Even dogs that are great with other dogs and people will need to take a break.

– Keep your dog cool and hydrated. This includes feeling the ground to make sure it’s not too hot.

– Keep your dog up to date on vaccinations and make sure they are treated with flea, tick and heartworm preventatives.

– Make sure he or she is micro-chipped and wears a collar with a current dog license and contact information attached. It is the most effective way to ensure they are returned to you if they become lost.

Are you both ready to head out? You might consider going to the APF’s Woofstock music festival on June 12 at Mohawk Harbor. This family- and dog-friendly event will feature music, food, beverages and fun for everyone. More information is available at www.animalprotective.org/woofstock. Enter the promotional code “GAZETTE50” and you can save 50% on admission tickets for humans and dogs (who will get a special Wag Bag).

Cassandra Metke is director of development at the Animal Protective Foundation, which contributes Animal Chronicles articles and welcomes animal-related questions and stories about the people and animals in our community. Visit animalprotective.org, follow us on social media @AnimalProtectiveFoundation or email [email protected]

Categories: Life and Arts, Scotia Glenville

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