Published on July 29, 2020
Keeping Your Dog Safe
They don’t call it the dog days of summer for nothing! We know your dog is eager to soak in as much of the ‘paw’fect weather as you are, and there’s plenty of places to go, things to sniff, and squirrels to bark at. We want to make sure your dog is safe when roving around the city with you, so, we’ve highlighted some pet safety topics below.
Blue Green Algae
There’s Blue Green Algae present in the flood plain of the Sturgeon River near Riel Recreation Park. It’s very toxic, so please keep children, dogs and other pets away. The City is monitoring the situation but unfortunately it can’t be removed; trail users are advised to use alternate routes.
Dogs in hot vehicles
Even on cloudy/cooler days and with the windows cracked, temperatures inside a vehicle increase quickly. Pets left in a vehicle are at risk for brain damage, suffocation and even death. Did you know that after 10 minutes outside in 21 degrees Celsius the temperature in your vehicle rises to 32 degrees Celsius? After 30 minutes, it gets to 40 degrees Celsius.
Every year, the City’s Municipal Enforcement Service responds to complaints of pets left in vehicles. If you have errands to run, leave your dog at home as even a quick run into a store could lead to serious injury or death for your pet.
Signs of heatstroke
August is one of our hottest months and you should constantly monitor your dog for signs of heatstroke:
- Excessive panting
- Appearing distressed
If your pet experiences the above in hot weather, consider walking them later in the evening when temperatures have cooled or wait to walk them on a cooler day.
Ingestion of foreign objects
With their noses always to the ground sniffing, it’s not uncommon for dogs to find something to snack on during their walks. Here are some tips if your dog finds something toxic:
- If it’s safe to do so, immediately remove the object from their mouth.
- Keep your eye out for any objects they could get into and keep your dog away from the area.
- If they swallowed something unknown, immediately call your vet for advice.
Wheeling with your dog
We see lots of trail users biking, skateboarding, rollerblading, etc. with their dogs, and it’s a great way to burn off their extra rambunctious energy. When exercising with them, keep the following in mind:
- Follow all trail etiquette guidelines like keeping to the right (except when passing or turning left), and notifying others when you’re approaching/passing with a bell or your voice.
- Use a shorter or bungee type leash that won’t get caught or tangled in a bike tire or wheel.
- Frequently check your pet to make sure they’re keeping up and following beside you to avoid any accidents or injury.
- Bring water and a dish to keep your dog hydrated.
- Bring along a pet first aid kit to treat your dog should an accident happen.
City parks and trails are shared with many dog owners and it’s everyone’s responsibility to follow theses guidelines:
- Dogs must wear a current dog license tag.
- Owners must pick up pet waste immediately and always carry a means of picking up after their pet.
- The City of St. Albert is on-leash unless otherwise posted. Dog-walkers must carry a leash at all times.
- Leashes must be used on or within one metre of trails in all areas, including off-leash.
- Dogs aren’t allowed in playground areas.
Wildlife and dogs
It’s our responsibility to share our environment with our wildlife neighbours, and dogs can seem like a threat to many wildlife species in the city. Make sure to keep your dog on-leash when out and about (with the exception of dog parks and off-leash areas). This will help prevent problem wildlife encounters with Mr. Moose or Mr. Coyote!
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Last edited: July 28, 2020