Be­ware of Dog Days for Your Best Friend

Times of the Islands - - Contents - BY ANN MARIE O’PHEL AN 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.

If you aren’t head­ing out on the boat, you can still en­joy the great out­doors with dogs. Try the off-leash Dog Beach in Es­tero, or one of the Lee County Parks and Recrea­tion ar­eas that have on-leash and of­fleash dog parks. Find out more in­for­ma­tion by vis­it­ing lee­

There are sun­screens specif­i­cally made for ca­nines.

Many dogs love a boat ride—even more so when there's shade to tuck un­der, and fresh water.

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