A DogGeek.com exclusive by Teresa Barker
Now that the thermometer is regularly touching triple digits, it’s time to keep a close eye on our furry friends and add a few precautions to keep them from getting dehydrated. They don’t check the weather channel to be able to prepare for heat waves and get tips on hydrating up and chilling out, so it’s up to us to make sure we help them stay cool during hot spells.
1. Keep your dog in the coolest possible place.
For many people, this means inside the house with the air conditioning going. If you don’t have AC, keep all the shades drawn and fans blowing. Hardwood floors and tile floors are often much cooler than carpet for your dog to lay on.
2. Keep plenty of fresh, filtered drinking water available.
Make sure that your dog has access to water both inside and outside at all times. Keep the outdoor bowl fresh and clean by regularly washing it and adding fresh water. You can add ice cubes to the bowl, to keep it from heating up in temperature.
3. Don’t exercise during the daytime.
Walk during early morning hours or after dusk. The pavement on a hot day can burn the pads on your dog’s feet and cause them to overheat. You can verify this by taking your shoes off and walking barefoot on concrete for a few minutes midday. Ouch! Forget about frying an egg!
4. Look for signs of overheating.
Dogs don’t sweat, they pant. The only way for a dog to release heat is through panting, so watch for excessive panting, drooling, and lethargy. Lots of water, and even a cold bath, can help cool a hot dog down quickly.
5. Do more than just drink the water!
It’s a great time to use swimming as an alternative form of exercise, if your dog enjoys it. Or how about filling a wading pool with cold water and letting your dog soak it up? Keep the pool in the shade and freshen the water regularly. If your dog loves to play with the hose water, make a fun game out of it. If gently spraying your dog to cool him off, try using a squirt bottle with ice water or a wet washcloth applied to their belly.
Remember, they can’t pour themselves a nice cold glass of water, or take a cold shower on their own, so be sure to look for signs your dog is telling you he’s hot, and help your fur coat-wearing loved one stay cool during these dog days of summer!
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July 8, 2021 | DogGeek
Springtime is here and it’s time to get out in the yard. When planting, remember some plants are toxic to dogs and other pets. Here’s a list of items to stay away from:
- Oleander – It can cause serious issues including gastrointestinal tract irritation and abnormal heart function.
- Lilies – They are toxic to cats and can cause severe kidney damage.
- Tulips – The bulbs contain toxins that cause drooling, loss of appetite, depression of the central nervous system, convulsions and heart abnormalities.
- Cocoa mulch – Reacts like chocolate to dogs causing vomiting, diarrhea, muscle tremors, hyperactivity and seizures.
- Aloe – Can cause vomiting, depression, diarrhea, anorexia and tremors
- Azalea – May cause vomiting, diarrhea, weekness, and other issues.
Stay safe this spring and for more information about toxins in plants, visit the ASPCA.
March 18, 2021 | DogGeek
St. Patrick’s Day, the day when the whole world become’s Irish for one day. While drinking green beer is fun, please remember these tips to ensure that your best friend has a great day too!
- Green beer and green cocktails are great, until the next day, but they are never great for your dog. Dogs do not absorb alcohol the same way people do and it is very toxic to them so leave the libations to you and your people friends.
- Having friends over can be fun for your pets too, but sometimes it’s a littl overwhelming. Make sure your dog has a safe place to go if they want to get away.
- Keep all food on high ground. The temptation can get too much when snacks are in reach and they smell so good. Be sure to feed your pup before company comes also to ensure that they can eat.
- Ensure ID tags are on and readable.With people coming and going during parties your dog or other pets may get out. Make sure they get home safe with proper ID tags, microchips if you can.
- Everybody loves decorations and four leaf clvoers, but make sure they are not choking hazards for the dog or that they are also up on high ground with the food.
Have a safe and happy Saint Patrick’s Day from our family at DogGeek.com to yours.
March 15, 2021 | DogGeek
A DogGeek.com exclusive by Teresa Barker
With 78.2 million dogs in this country (according to the 2011-2012 National Pet Owners Survey), that’s a lot of dog poop (about 10 million tons!). Waste removal is a part of every dog owner’s life, both on the go and at home, and probably not a subject that is given much thought. As dog parents, we are always checking the quality and the frequency of our dog’s poop. Now that there are so many dogs living and pooping in this country, let’s not just look at it, let’s look at what we can do with it!
All of the options below are for those who are committed to being gentle on Mother Earth, making conscious choices in everyday life, and who don’t fling dog poop over the fence into the neighbor’s yard. If this describes you, read on!
Biodegradable Poop Bags
This is a cheap and easy solution for busy dog owners. Let’s assume that you already bring your reusable shopping bags to the supermarket and avoid the plastic bags at checkout. Biodegradable poop bags come neatly rolled up, taking up way less room than used shopping bags, and break down in both active and inactive environments (like landfills). They are affordable, come in fashionable colors, and some are even scented! Not scented like poop, but nice things like blueberry or vanilla. Hey, it’s the canine equivalent to bathroom spray.
These home tools are for use in your own yard. There is a great deal of variety in popper scoopers, all of which have long handles so you don’t have to bend down to the ground. There’s even a 1-handed model which uses spring action jaws that you open and close on the handle. They vary in price, starting at around $10 and can be found at your local hardware or garden supply store.
Flushable Poop Bags
Yes, it’s true! These bags are amazing! They are safe to use with a septic or sewage system and biodegrade in water. The benefit of using flushable bags is that you get the poop into the system that was designed to remove harmful toxins and bacteria from feces. These are a little more expensive than biodegradable bags, but so cutting edge Green, how can you resist!
Dog Poop Composter Bins
Whether you use a popper scooper or the designated “dog poop shovel” to get the stuff off of your yard, the next question is likely, “Now what do I do with it?” Unfortunately, it is harmful to add to your food compost bin due to its high levels of bacteria and parasites. So, some Earth-friendly geniuses came up with dog poop composters. They are for dog poop only (cat poop, too) and use an enzyme to break down the poop, making it into compost and ready to give back to the soil. They come in various designs and colors to look like yard art or hide quietly in the corner. For those who are DIY captains, there’s plenty of websites that give you step-by-step instructions on how to make your own!
The dirty truth about dog poop is that it’s considered a pollutant. It is not a fertilizer, and actually harbors toxic bacteria and parasites, making it a health hazard for all of us when left on the ground. Cities all over the country have made it illegal to leave your dog’s waste on the ground, due to the health risks, so cleaning up after your dog has become a part of everyday life. Thanks to innovative thinkers, we have plenty of earth-friendly options for that make the clean-up job a lot less crappy!
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March 2, 2021 | DogGeek
Valentine’s day is this week and with all the human festivities, there are hidden dangers for your pets. Below are toxic items that you may give or receive on Valentine’s day to hide from your best friend.
- Chocolate – Ingestions of more than 0.1 ounces per pound of body weight of dark or semi-sweet chocolate may cause poisoning.
- Roses – Although not really poisonous, the thorns can tear through a puppies throat and stomach.
- Lillies – Sometimes given instead of roses, lillies contain a toxin that is deadly to pets
- Macadamia nuts – Poisonous to dogs but no cats.
- Xylitol – The sugar substitute can cause drop in blood sugar as well as liver damage in dogs.
Stay safe this Valentine’s day!
February 10, 2021 | DogGeek
The Holidays bring excitement, parties, meals and decorations all of which can be a hazard to your pet. No need to cancel the festivities, just be prepared so that you and your best friend have a safe and merry Christmas! Here’s a top 5 list to of things to remember to make sure your holiday is safe for your pets:
1. Keep all holiday food on high ground out of your pet’s reach. Just like how people pack on the pounds during the holidays because of irresistible food, dogs want to eat too. Remember, chocolate, alcohol and other feeds can be toxic to your pet.
2. Secure and/or hide all lighting and other electric cords.Whether its the desire to see what the cord tastes like and having a shocking experience or the rough play running around the house and tripping making the tree fall down, cords can get in the way and wreak havoc if not properly secure. Make sure they are tucked up against the wall securely so they won’t be played with. If needed, spray down with Bitter Apple or another taste aversion spray.
3. Carefully choose holiday plants and where you put them. Many of them are dangerous to your pets. Mistletoe, holly, lilies and poinsettias call all be poisonous and affect them in different ways. Make sure they are out of reach as to not be eaten and secure so they won’t be tipped over.
4. Keep their safe spot safe. Many dogs have a safe spot. Whether it be in their crate in a certain spot or their bed in the living room, don’t make their safe spot the new place for the tree or other holiday items. Pets thrive on routine, let them know that even with all the fun, this is still their home too and they have a safe spot.
5. Ensure ID tags are on and readable.With people coming and going during all the parties your dog or other pets may get out. Make sure they get home safe with proper ID tags, microchips if you can.
Have a safe and Merry Christmas from our family at DogGeek.com to yours.
December 10, 2020 | DogGeek