Sat May 26, 2012
Memorial Day Pets
There are lots of great things for pet owners to do this weekend, including the Dog Bowl in Frankenmuth, Michigan, but even in the midst of all the fun and games remember to keep your animal's safety in mind.
By Mindy Norton
On Memorial Day weekend, dog lovers are flocking to the little town of Frankenmuth, Michigan, for the annual Dog Bowl.
It's an Olympic-style series of events in which dogs compete - some with others of their breed (such as the wiener dog races) and some that are mixed-breed events (like the Doggie Dash De Lure Fun Run in which Sheepdogs along with poodles, terriers and Beagles, chase a fake squirrel).
In addition to the Dog Bowl competition, there's a Hot Air Balloon event, and fireworks on Sunday night.
Whether you're going to the spectacular Dog Bowl in Frankenmuth or just plan to enjoy a back yard barbecue, most pet owners will want to include their furry friends in the festivities.
If you're going to be out in the sunshine, you'll want to protect your pet from sunburn on its nose and ears. Just make sure you use a product specifically formulated for the type of pet you have; don't use products that are intended for humans on an animal, whether it's sunscreen, or insect repellent or anything else. It could make your pet sick if ingested.
Take plenty of fresh water along for both you and your pet. When you get thirsty, give your pet a drink, too. Remember that alcohol can be poisonous for your furry buddy, so stick to water for your pet.
If you're indulging in rich or spicy foods, don't share too much with your four-footed friend, especially anything that contains onions, grapes, raisins, avocado or chocolate.
Most importantly: if you take your pet along on this holiday weekend, or any warm day - DO NOT leave your alone pet in the car. On an 85-degree day, in the shade, with the windows cracked, temperatures inside the car can reach an uncomfortable 90 degrees in just minutes; in the sun, temperatures can rise to over 150 degrees.
Lastly, if your pet is with you, skip the fireworks. The loud explosions can be painful for animals' sensitive ears.
Not all of us can make it to Frankenmuth, Michigan this weekend, but wherever you are, remember these few precautions that can help make this Memorial Day a memorable one for all members of the family, including the furry ones, when you're speaking of pets.
Speaking of Pets with host Mindy Norton (firstname.lastname@example.org) is for people who care about pets and about humane treatment for animals in general, and who want to celebrate that special relationship between us and our animal companions. Find out more about Speaking of Pets at Alabama Public Radio.