Atlantic Veterinary College offers advice for dog owners visiting Atlantic Canada this summer

| Atlantic Veterinary College
Dr Andrew Cohen
Dr. Andrew Cohen, urgent and emergency clinician at the Atlantic Veterinary College

Summer is officially here, and many dog owners will be visiting Prince Edward Island (PEI) and Atlantic Canada with their furry companions to take in the beaches and other tourist attractions. However, a visit to the many dog-friendly beaches can sometimes turn into a trip to the vet.

To ensure a safe and enjoyable vacation for both dogs and their owners, the Atlantic Veterinary College (AVC) at the University of Prince Edward Island (UPEI) offers some tips for pet safety during summer travels.

“Dogs are like us—they love the beach—but some precautions are necessary to keep our furry friends safe this summer,” says Dr. Andrew Cohen, urgent and emergency veterinarian at the AVC Veterinary Teaching Hospital. “Planning ahead and knowing the signs of danger could save your pet a trip to the hospital.”

When playing fetch or swimming in the ocean water, dogs can ingest large amounts of salt water. This can cause dehydration or even diarrhea. To prevent this, be sure to have lots of fresh water available for them to drink and ensure they take plenty of breaks.

Dr. Cohen encourages visitors to understand the water conditions before heading to a dog-friendly beach. High waves and rip currents can make swimming a dangerous activity for your dog, and he advises keeping them on a leash if the conditions are rough.

Sand is a big part of what makes spending time at the beach so much fun; however, it can be very dangerous for dogs if they ingest it.

“Dogs can suffer from sand impaction, which shows up as constipation,” Dr. Cohen says. “Sand sticks to everything, so make sure tennis balls and other toys are cleaned off before your dog puts them in their mouth.”

In hot weather, watch for signs of heatstroke such as excessive panting, drooling, lethargy, and difficulty breathing. If heatstroke is suspected, move the dog to a cooler area immediately and seek veterinary assistance.

Summer adventures with dogs can be wonderful experiences if precautions are taken to ensure their safety and well-being. By following these tips, pet owners can help their furry friends enjoy a safe and memorable visit to PEI and Atlantic Canada.

Media Contact

Apryl Munro
External Engagement Officer
Atlantic Veterinary College

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