THE BLOG
08/30/2010 02:53 pm ET Updated Nov 17, 2011

7 Labor Day Dog Dangers to Avoid

Ready to end summer with a bang? Labor Day celebrations are so much fun but there are added dangers for your pooch. Follow our tips on what dangers to avoid so your dog stays healthy and happy all weekend long.

1. Stave Off Sunburn

You're not the only one that can get scorched in the sun. Your dogs need protection too ... especially hairless, light skinned, light colored, shaved, or pink-nosed pups. Pick up a doggie sunscreen that is the least toxic like Vet"s Best Sun Relief Spray. Look for natural UV blockers like Titanium Dioxide and Zinc Oxide and make sure it's paraben- and fragrance-free. Another option is to buy baby sunscreen. Get Lick'd: Eco-Friendly Dog recommends California Baby - it's a super gentle and natural brand and even has an SPF with citronella to keep bugs at bay. We recommend a lotion over a spray since you can really rub it down through the coat to the skin. Essential areas are the ears, bridge of the nose, nose, and the underside of his body. To avoid licking, try applying it and then distracting your dog with a toy or playtime while it dries. Reapply every few hours to be safe.

2. Prevent Paw Burns

Grills + yummy food = disaster for large dogs. Keep your dog inside while the grill is going or make sure to watch him every second. Scorching bonfires, coals, sand, and sidewalks can also burn your pup's toots. If you see him get burned or signs that he did (limping, licking his paws, cracked or blistering skin or pads), apply a cold, wet compress, clean the area with pet-safe ointment or aloe vera, and wrap with gauze.

3. Watch for Heat Stroke

Dogs can overheat in a matter of minutes. Even if it looks like your pup is having a blast, remember that they are running around with a heavy coat on. Heat exhaustion, stress, or stroke is super serious and can be fatal. If you notice that your dog is panting heavily, has a rapid pulse, glazed eyes, a deep red or purple tongue, vomiting, sticky, thick saliva, lethargy, or any unsteadiness or staggering gait, he probably is overheating. Get him inside ASAP to gradually lower his body temperature. Add cool water (not cold ... it'll shock his system) all over his body, apply cold towels or ice packs on his head, neck, and chest, offer him small amounts of water or ice cubes, and get him to the vet pronto. And never, ever leave your dog in the car even for a few minutes. That is one of the leading causes of heat stroke ... car's can heat to dangerous temps in a matter of minutes.

4. Block Mosquito Bites

Bugs aren't just annoying, they can be dangerous too. Mosquito bites can cause heartworm and also lay eggs in your dog's outdoor water bowl. To prevent any illnesses you should have your pup on a monthly heartworm medication and change your dog's water bowl every few hours. You can also prevent mosquitoes with a citronella spray or baby bug repellent like California Baby's Natural Bug Blend Bug Repellent Spray. Make sure to rub it in through his coat down to his skin.

5. Terminate Ticks

It only takes one tick to transfer Lyme disease. Before you head out into the woods, beach, or your backyard, be sure that your pup is up-to-date on his shots. The Lyme disease vaccine is an annual shot and often comes in two parts. You should also apply flea and tick medicine like Frontline, bathe your pup with tick shampoo, and check every day for those pesky bugs. There are two types of ticks that are known to carry the disease: A deer tick is brown and leathery but becomes glossy black when engorged and the western black-legged tick is found on the Pacific Coast. If you find one of these on your pooch, remove the tick using tweezers, place the tick in a sealed tight jar to show your vet, and take your pup for a checkup.

6. Water Rules

Does your pup love to swim? If so, you'll probably have a hard time getting him out of the ocean or pool. Never ever leave your pooch unsupervised in water. Get Lick'd: Eco-Friendly Dog also recommends that your dog wear a life jacket ... especially in boats and in the ocean where there are waves and strong undercurrents. Also, your dog's curiosity will most likely get the best of him and he'll want to drink the ocean or pool water. Don't let him! Pool water can contain chlorine or other chemicals and salt water can dehydrate him. Always make sure clean drinking water is available.

7. Diet Don'ts

Who doesn't love yummy grilled holiday food? Even if your dog begs, try to resist feeding him human food. Some foods are toxic to dogs like onions, grapes, mushrooms, avocados, lunch meat, and many more. If you are having a party, you can put a sign on your dog saying "Sorry, I'm not allowed to eat human food." Plus, dogs have very sensitive tummies. Even the smallest amount of food can upset his stomach and cause diarrhea or vomiting.

Get more eco-friendly tips and tricks from Get Lick'd: Eco-Friendly Dog!

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