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Lightning safety for dogs

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Skip the lake on a stormy day

Hurricane season in Florida means big storms, prodigious amounts of rain, rolling thunder clouds and humbling cracks of lightning.

It's important to know basic lightning safety in Florida, which is the top state for lightning strikes, with over 2,000 lightning related deaths and injuries since 1959. 

Dogs need to be sheltered from the danger of lightning strikes as well.

Dog houses and outdoor kennels are not lightning safe. Pets that are chained outside or secured in a wire kennel can be the victim a lightning strike.  If lightning strikes in a yard where there is a dog chain laying on the lawn, it can tragically travel the length of the metal in either direction.  Metal clothesline and other conductors increase lightning danger.

If it is absolutely necessary to send a dog outside during a storm for a quick break, avoid collars with metal parts, including buckles and tags.  Opt for plastic clasps, web fabric and plastic identity disks during stormy weather.

Beaches, open bodies of water - like a dog lake - and the wide open grassy areas at many dogparks, are high danger zones for lightning strikes.  If there is a storm with thunder, dogs and humans should retreat to the safety of a car.  Stand under one tall tree, thinking that it is safe shelter is a terrible option.  As is huddling under a gazebo or park shelter.

Apply the same rules of lightning safety for dogs as for people, and storms will be weathered safely.

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