Ways to Keep Your Dog Cool This Summer

When the temperature rises and the first signs of summer appear, make sure you’re prepared to keep your four-legged friend cool. Spending summer days outdoors is a great way to hang with man’s best friend, just keep him safe from heat stroke so you can keep the good times rolling all year long.

Provide Water, Water, Water

Good ol’ H2O is the No. 1 way to keep your dog cool. Provide plenty of fresh, cool water during the summer with a Doggie Fountain, a device that simulates a water fountain when your pup presses down on a lever. Dogster suggests providing at least 1 ounce of water per pound of body weight daily. You can also keep your pet hydrated and entertained by filling up a rubber Kong toy and freezing it, or by making your own frozen dog “pupsicles” like the Dog-safe Peanut Butter Popsicles featured on the Humane Society website.

Go For a Dip in the Pool

Going for a swim is a great way to keep humans and canines cool. ASPCA cautions that, much like a child, dogs should never be left unsupervised around a pool. If your dog isn’t too thrilled about large bodies of water, gradually introduce him to the wonderful world of swimming by practicing in a shallow kiddie pool, using treats as a reward and supporting your dog’s underside the first time he or she takes the plunge.

In addition to preparing your dog for his very first pool party, make your pool puppy ready. Make sure the pool chemicals are balanced and the pool is in working order. If you need to purchase a pool pump or other pool parts, you can find them online from retailers like In The Swim. Purchase some fun floating dog toys at your local pet shop and a fence or pool cover to keep Spot away from the pool when you’re not around.

Take Advantage of Doggy Gadgets

Invest in items that will keep your best friend cool. Doggy boots can keep furry paws from burning on hot sidewalks, doggles (dog goggles) will keep peepers safe from the harsh sun and cooling vests help lower a dog’s core body temperature. If you have an outside dog on your hands, a cooling dog bed can keep him comfortable during the hottest part of the day. You can also consider installing a doghouse air conditioning unit. One of these bad boys will cost you approximately $500 though.

Change Your Dog Caring Habits

During the summertime you’ll want to change the way you take care of your pup. Cesar’s Way advises going out for walks early in the morning or at night. You should also never—not even with the AC on full blast—leave your dog inside a car. In the summer a car’s interior can rise up to 120 degrees. Dr. Louise Murray, Vice President of the ASPCA Animal Hospital, states, “On a hot day, a parked car can become a furnace in no time-even with the windows open-which could lead to fatal heat stroke.” Be a responsible pet parent and leave your dog at home instead.

Signs of Heat Stroke in Dogs

If you’re a dog parent make sure you know the following signs of heat stroke:

  • Bright red tongue and gums
  • Excessive panting
  • Vomiting (sometimes blood)
  • Diarrhea
  • Thick, sticky saliva
  • Dehydration
  • Seizures
  • Staggering walk or collapsing

Anxious Doggies No More: What You Need To Do

By Kate Voss

A New Treatment for Separation Anxiety in Dogs?

For us dog owners who are required to spend the majority of the day away from home, one constant worry is the effect of leaving our beloved pooch alone and potentially bored for hours at a time. Boredom rarely has positive outcomes when it comes to dogs, especially those with separation anxiety.

Separation anxiety is a psychological term to describe the stress and anxiety a dog experiences when owners are absent. According to the American Animal Hospital Association (AAHA), it is estimated that 10 to 15 percent of all canines suffer from separation anxiety. When animals feel neglected, they may resort to destructive behaviors, including barking, urination, defecation, and the dreaded chewing.

Home Remedies for Stay-at-Home Dogs?

Daily exercises, attention to your pet while you are home, and creating a routine when leaving and returning may help lessen the effects of separation anxiety in your dog. However, many pet owners still have to spend a large part of the day away from their dog. Working dog owners need solutions that can ease their pet’s anxiety and prevent destructive behaviors while they are gone.

For working dog owners, there is a new way to help distract and entertain a dog that suffers from separation anxiety — DOGTV. The TV channel created specifically for dogs claims to have found a way to “provide all important mental stimulation for dogs and help prevent boredom behavior”. The programs feature relaxing sounds and entertaining visuals, including dogs riding in cars, frolicking in fields and playing with colorful bouncing balls.

Benefits of DOGTV on Separation Anxiety

There has already been research done on auditory stimulation as a way to calm an anxious pup, but DOGTV is supposedly scientifically developed to cater to dog’s specific sense of vision and hearing, including altered frame rates and audio frequencies. This allows more dogs to become intrigued by and pay attention to the TV screen, and hopefully focus to reduce stress levels. Distraction and relaxation are effective ways to lessen your dog’s anxiety, and therefore reduce behavioral problems associated with their stress.

As with any treatment, however, all dogs will not respond the same way to DOGTV. Before you invest in this channel, you should make sure DOGTV is a possible solution for your pup by checking their response to samples of the program, and to television in general – some dogs have little to no interest in television, and some older TVs may not even offer a picture that your dog will recognize as a moving image.

Alternative Treatments:

Other ways to calm separation anxiety in dogs, include auditory treatments like Through a Dog’s Ear (a music therapy system for dogs); the use of a “Thundershirt,” a garment that wraps tightly around your dog’s body to make them feel secure; or even calming scents and aromatherapy. Also, simply creating some “jobs” for your dog to accomplish while you are away, such as a treat maze or a Kong filled with treats, will help keep them entertained and distracted from their anxiety by activating their foraging instincts.

Whether it’s DOGTV, or other auditory/visual alternatives, make sure you spend some time tailoring your approach to your dog’s preferences and you’ll be able to keep your home in order, stay guilt-free, and most importantly, keep your dog calm and happy!

Protecting the Food Our Pets Eat

Recent recalls in various pet products have pet owners everywhere concerned for their animals.

The Food and Drug Administration is now extending its preventative measures to protect our furry friends! This ranges all the way from the food we feed our dogs to the food that farmers feed their cattle. Not only will our pets be healthier but the meat we consume will be healthier up until the point of processing.

With foodborne illnesses causing pet illness and death, these preventative measures are long overdue. There were previously no preventative measures put in place for animals. While there have always been strict guidelines for the food humans consume, we’ve left animal food up to chance. This new plan will address the issues at every step of processing, from the packaging to the personnel making the food. These rules will also be tailored to specific animal needs and allergens that are not faced by humans.

These recent amendments serve to address the issues related to imported foods with unknown ingredients. The FDA is finally responding to the nearly 18,000 calls they received from concerned pet owners in 2007 related to a dangerous chemical used in pet food. With higher standards placed on food for animals, we can rest assured that our pets are receiving the safest and most nutritious products possible.