Be­ware of Dog Days for Your Best Friend

Keep ca­nines hy­drated and out of sun if boat­ing, at beaches or parks

Gulf & Main - - Contents - Ann Marie O’Phe­lan is a South­west Flor­ida res­i­dent and a reg­u­lar con­trib­u­tor to TOTI Me­dia.

Many dogs love noth­ing more than a boat ride— how­ever, it’s im­por­tant to keep them safe, out of the sun, and hy­drated when they are on the wa­ter. When boat­ing, take along a dog life jacket that has a han­dle. That en­ables you to pull your ca­nine friend out of the wa­ter but not by the col­lar. “Even if they are strong swim­mers, dogs can face prob­lems, de­pend­ing on the weather con­di­tions,” ex­plains Karen For­diani, pub­lic in­for­ma­tion spe­cial­ist with Lee County Do­mes­tic An­i­mal Ser­vices.

Dogs can get too much sun, and their noses are es­pe­cially prone to burn­ing. “SPF 15 spray is rec­om­mended,” For­diani says. There are sun­screens specif­i­cally made for ca­nines. Also, boat sur­faces can be­come very hot so al­ways pro­tect your dog’s feet and pro­vide plenty of shaded ar­eas.

Lastly, re­mem­ber to keep your dog hy­drated so it does not be­come over­heated. “Bring plenty of fresh wa­ter and a dish for them,” adds For­diani.

SunCoast Dock­Dogs of­fers classes for dogs that are new to swim­ming and to the sport of Dock­Dogs, or dock jump­ing. The class, “Your Dog Can Do This,” is held on the first Sat­ur­day of the month at 11 a.m., and the c ost is $10 cash. It takes place at the Shell Fac­tory Dog Park, 2787 N. Tami­ami Trail in North Fort My­ers. Ad­di­tional dog classes, train­ing and leagues are avail­able.

For fur­ther in­for­ma­tion, visit face­book.com/sun­coast­dock­dogs or call 239-464-1859.

The sport known as Duel­ing Dogs (top) is gain­ing in pop­u­lar­ity around the na­tion. Many dogs (left) can learn to love the wa­ter if they are prop­erly trained. At right, dogs of­ten en­joy a boat ride— even more so when there's shade to tuck un­der, and...

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