Now that the summer months are here, many of us are spending more time outdoors with our dog family members. This makes it a good time to revisit some key ways to keep your canine companion safe and to keep our neighborhood a dog-friendly place.
First and most important, when you’re outside your house or fenced yard, be sure your pooch is on a leash. It’s the law, but it’s also the best way to protect your beloved barker while you’re in the front yard or out for a walk. Your dog might be exceptionally mild-mannered, well-trained, and social, but if she’s off a leash, she’s in danger. A passing car, a sudden distraction, or other animals all can cause trouble–sometimes serious–for off-leash Fido. It’s worth remembering, too, that many people are afraid of dogs (no doubt because they haven’t gotten to know your Fluffy or Rex); even the friendliest unleashed dog can seem terrifying. So keep your furry friend safe and popular with a stylish leash–it’s both neighborly and the law.
Second, be sure to clean up after your dog. Sure, like the leash, it’s the law, but there is another reason to do this: nothing says “My dog is an excellent neighbor” like the gentle crinkling sound of a poop bag unfurling in the summer breeze. To make it easy to gather up your dog’s deposits, the Garden District Civic Association is setting up poop bag stations at several points around the district. Feel free to take one (or more!) to help keep Muffin feeling dignified on your walks. More info on these and other Animal Control Ordinances is available here: https://brgov.com/dept/animal/petowner.htm
Finally, look out for Snowball in the depth of Baton Rouge’s mind-blowingly hot summer. Never leave your fluffball in a parked car, even for just a couple minutes. Limit your dog’s activity outside, and be sure she gets plenty of water when you go for a walk; whenever possible, walk on the street-side grass, to avoid your munchkin burning his paws on the hot asphalt or sidewalk. You can cool your summer-loving canine down with make-at-home peanut butter popsicles, but always make sure there’s lots of shade and water for your companion, both inside and outside your house. In the event of loss of power, be sure you have an emergency plan for preventing heatstroke in your furred friends. For more tips on keeping your pooch cool when the power goes out, what to do when you see a dog in a parked car on a hot day, how to make dog-friendly pupsicles, and more, see the Humane Society’s suggestions here: http://www.humanesociety.org/animals/resources/tips/pets_safe_heat_wave.html