Thursday, March 10, 2016
Standing water makes for sick dogs
With spring in Oregon comes rain. And that means almost every sinkhole, crevasse and crack is filled with water. And Liam sometimes thinks those puddles make for nice watering holes.
Pugs can be heat sensitive, and a springtime temp of 65 can make Liam really thirsty, especially if we've walked for quite some time. He starts to pant, and each little breath causes him to lose quite a bit of moisture from his mouth. It's reasonable for him to look for puddles to drink from.
But, those puddles could be filled with all sorts of nasty stuff. Standing water is often made up of runoff from yards and flowerbeds that have been treated with herbicides, pesticides, fertilizers or mulches. Any of these additives could be poisonous to a small dog.
Also, standing water could come with a sheen of oil or antifreeze. And some pools of water contain giardia or leptospirosis spores.
In theory, contaminated water would taste bad or smell bad, so dogs wouldn't want to take a sip. But Liam often looks at me with longing when we walk past a pool of the stuff. He's desperate to drink out of this puddle in my side yard, for example, even though that pool of water is crammed with leaves, dirt and other contaminants. He doesn't care. He wants to drink it.
Beefing up the "leave it" command is an excellent way to get past these fall dangers. I use that command when I see Liam thinking about dropping his head to drink from one of these pools. If he looks at me, he gets a cookie.
Bringing water along in a bottle or bowl can also be helpful. That way, when your dog sees something to drink, you can replace the nastiness with liquid you've brought from home. I routinely use water bowls while hiking with Liam, but in the spring, I might need to take along a bowl, too.
And finally, if you see your dog drinking from a puddle, don't panic. Lure the dog away with a treat, and then monitor for health. Any trembling, vomiting or other unusual symptoms should prompt a visit to the veterinarian.
I know we need the rain, so I am choosing not to complain. But I urge everybody to be careful with the puddle season. No sick pups on my watch!
I'm joining the Pet Parade by Rascal and Rocco this week!
Be sure to check out some of the other awesome blogs included. It's always a good time. And be sure to leave me a message, so I'll know you were here!