Colorado is a gorgeous state. At this time of year, many people are making the most of the summer weather, and enjoy hiking, swimming, and camping. Your canine pal will be more than happy to accompany you on these adventures! However, you’ll need to be aware of the potential hazards Fido may encounter in the wild. A local Fort Collins, CO vet lists some of them below.
Fido absolutely loves sniffing at—and sometimes eating—plants and brush. Quite a bit of our native flora is toxic to Man’s Best Friend. Death Camas, which is found in sunny fields and rocky hillsides, is extremely toxic to dogs. Other poisonous plants include Lupines, Western Water Hemlock, which is found in marshy areas, Larkspur, and Locoweed. Foxtail grasses are another concern, not because of toxicity, but because of their sharp seed barbs.
We share Colorado’s beautiful scenery with quite a lot of animals. Mountain lions, bears, and wild dogs can all pose serious threats to both you and your canine pal. Colorado is also home to a few types of rattlesnakes: the Prairie Rattlesnake, Midget faded rattlesnake, and Western Massasauga rattlesnake. Don’t let your pet run around off leash in wild or wooded areas, and keep him from nosing around in spots that could be occupied. It’s also important to make sure Fido is up-to-date with his vaccines.
Dogs often try to drink ‘wild’ water when hiking or camping. Bring fresh water along instead. If you’re camping, boil or treat Fido’s water to make sure it’s safe. Otherwise, Fido could ingest dangerous germs or parasites. Warm, shallow lakes can also be contaminated with cyanobacteria, which can be deadly to dogs.
Speaking of parasites, make sure Fido is current on his parasite control. Fleas, ticks, mosquitoes, and other parasites are out in droves at this time of year!
Lepto is a disease that is transmitted through the urine of contaminated wild animals, and is most often a risk in wet, muddy areas. Spring and fall are peak times. However, any wet or soggy ground can be infected, as can wild areas. If you live in a high-risk area and/or spend a lot of time in the Great Outdoors, ask your vet about getting Fido vaccinated.
Do you have questions about your dog’s health or care? Contact us, your Fort Collins, CO animal clinic, today!