Is it safe for my dog to drink from lakes and streams?

Outdoor walks and hikes are a welcomed activity after a long winter. And dogs enjoy this activity as much if not more than their owners.  It is natural for dogs to lap water from outdoor sources after vigorous exercise but is it safe?  Not always.

One disease that may commonly confront your dog is leptospirosis. This illness is caused by a class of  bacteria which can be found in outdoor soil and waterways.  It is spread by infected wildlife and can infect not only our canine friends but humans as well.  Symptoms range from mild illness to sometimes severe responses including kidney and liver failure.

Fortunately, an annual leptospirosis vaccination will offer the most effective protection against this nasty bug. Prevention is the best course.  Bring clean fresh water for your dog to drink while hiking and avoid your pet ingesting water from any outdoor water sources.  It is very important to keep all vaccinations up to date.

Dr. Bob