Just because Labor Day is right around the corner, don’t stop being vigilant when it comes to keeping your dogs safe in the summer months. Here’s how to recognize and neutralize two potential dangers that your pet could face in summer:
Prevent Deadly Heat Stroke
Summer sun and temps won’t go away just because the calendar says September, especially in California and parts of the South and Southwest. With the glow of the sun comes high temperatures, and that intense heat can pose a danger to your pets, who can easily become overheated. Overheating could lead to heat stroke, which could be deadly to your pet. Here are some tips from the Central Oregon Veterinary Group on how to prevent heat stroke in dogs:
- Your dog can’t fill his own water bowl. Make sure he or she has an adequate supply.
- Never chain your pet in a spot where shade is not (or will not be) available.
- Never leave your pet inside the car while you leave for “just a minute.”
- Take your pet for walks during the cooler parts of the day.
- Head for the river! A dip in the stream will feel good for both of you.
Signs of heatstroke include excessive panting, pale gums, thick drool, and vomiting. Heat stroke is a serious condition and needs immediate attention, so if your dog is showing signs of any of these symptoms, call your veterinarian right away. In the meantime, provide your dog with cool (not cold!) drinking water and use a cool damp towel over his or her fur and belly to help draw out some of the body heat.
Prevent Swimming Pool Drownings
Among Americans’ favorite summertime activities is floating down a local river on inner tubes and rafts. Swimming, of course, is popular too. Many locals also retreat to their own backyard swimming pools, which is a convenience and a great source of entertainment, but also poses a potential hazard for dogs. If your dog jumps or falls into a pool of water, it may be difficult for him or her to get back out. Most dogs can tread water for a few hours, but once exhaustion sets in, they could drown. Dogs can be trained to get out of a pool on their own, but don’t count on yours knowing how to instinctively.
Ask your pool installer or vet about safety measures to prevent pet drownings. Visit PoolProducts.com and review the variety of safety products available. There are “skamper ramps” and dog safety life jackets available for purchase. Make your pool pet-friendly and rest with the peace of mind that your backyard is safe for your family and pets.
Be Wise, Have Fun and Keep Your Pet Safe
Don’t let concerns about heat stroke and drowning prevent you from having fun in the sun with your pets and loved ones. By taking simple preventative measures and keeping a close watch on the health and location of your pet, there are only good times ahead.
July 8, 2021 | DogGeek
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!
Find a Dog Sitter near you >>
July 8, 2021 | DogGeek
Fireworks have long been the nemesis of our best friends along with thunder. The loud booms can be frightening and cause even the most mellowest of dogs to freak out and run out the door aimlessly trying to find shelter. Our friends at K9 of Mine have put together the below infographic to help with safety.
From our friends at K9 of Mine.
June 30, 2021 | DogGeek
A DogGeek.com exclusive by Teresa Barker
Hopefully, you’ve already pre-planned your mid-week holiday this year. You’ve got burgers for the grill, cold drinks, a summer playlist, and maybe even guests coming over. If you’re a dog owner, add to the list one-on-one time with your pooch, plenty of exercise during the day, and potty time before dark. All of the loud noises (bangs, pops, sizzles) can wreak havoc on a dog’s nerves, so it’s important to plan for your dog’s comfort during this potentially stressful time. If you’ve already brought your dog inside, drawn the curtains, turned on the lights, started the music, and lit the calming aromatherapy candles, you should be in good shape. If, however, your dog still shows signs of fear and stress at the sound of each firework going off, here’s a few tips to help soothe him.
1. Stay calm and gentle. Don’t mirror your dog’s anxiety.
This is your time to shine as the alpha leader of your family. Be empathetic but confident, so your dog knows that he is protected and doesn’t have to play that role for you.
2. Don’t punish your dog or command that they “relax.”
Your dog’s surprise by all the noises would be the same if your house came under air raid. Imagine how you would feel with someone sternly telling you to lay down and relax.
3. Try distracting your dog.
This is a great time to bring out special toys (like the ones that squeak in ways that might drive you to drink). Or, special occasion treats. If you have a combination, even better! There are many toys that feature areas to stuff them with a treat where the treat removal becomes a puzzle for your dog. But, if your dog doesn’t want to play or eat treats, don’t force the issue.
4. Let your dog be in the place that he feels safest.
This might mean your lap, which could be comfortable if your dog is a pug, not so comfortable if it’s a German Shepherd. If your dog wants to be on the floor at your feet, let him. Don’t command that he be on the couch with you, where it’s more comfortable for you to pet and soothe him. Try getting on the floor with him to see if that helps.
5. Stay in an enclosed room with your dog.
Basements and man caves are typically already designed to drown out the noises of everyday life. These are great places to retreat with your dog and put on some music or a movie to help cover the erratic sounds of fireworks.
If your dog is scared by fireworks noises, be sensitive. July 4th isn’t a good time to try to desensitize your dog to loud noises or ignore them. If, in fact, you get through the holiday with loving comfort but find that your dog does get fearful and stressed by the ruckus, consider working with a certified trainer to help ease their stress in future situations.
Find a Dog Boarding facility near you >>
June 30, 2021 | DogGeek
As everyone knows, fireworks scare most dogs. But as we celebrate our independence, keep in mind these other safety tips to ensure you best friend has a great 4th too!
- It’s hot out and you may have friends over. Make sure that fresh water and access to shade/indoors is always available so that Fido can escape the crowd and cool off.
- Keep those cold cocktails and beer on high ground. When a crowd is around drinks often end up in low places that the pups can reach.
- Watch the food and deserts. That card table may not be tall enough or sturdy enough to keep the hot dogs away from the dogs. Cakes and chocolate are dangerous so keep everything on high ground.
- Keep a lid on it. Ensure all of your trashcans have lids so that no one goes dumpster diving and bringing out embarrassing gifts.
- Remember these summer foods that are poisonous to dogs:
Have a safe 4th from everyone at DogGeek.com!
June 30, 2021 | DogGeek
The trees and flowers are blooming and your allergies are taking over. This could mean only one thing, it’s spring! While spring is a great time to get out in the yard and celebrate with your family, there are some potential hazards for your dog. Easter brings celebration but it also brings a lot of toxic dangers around for your dogs. Here’s a list to watch out for:
- Easter Grass – That colorful fake grass used to make your Easter basket so vibrant. Ingesting this “grass” can be lethal to your dogs and other pets because they can not digest it. The threads get stuck in their intestines causing damage.
- Plastic Eggs – Those shiny plastic eggs that contain goodies and sometimes, if you’re a really lucky kid, money. If chewed and swallowed the plastic can cause intestinal problems that may require surgery. Make sure you keep track of how many you put out and that they are all found by who should find them, not Fido days later.
- Chocolate – We all know that chocolate is dangerous to pets, but make sure your children know. Besides, puppies love bunnies, they just shouldn’t have chocolate ones.
- Easter Lillies – They are a sign that spring is a coming, brining new life out of winter. But, did you know that they are one of the most poisinous plants for pets? Especially cats. They can cause kidney failure in less than two days if untreated.
- Toys – Don’t forget those small and fun toy bunnies, chicks and others Easter basket stuffers that post a potential choking hazard for Fido.
Find more information about pet toxins and poisonous items for dogs and cats at the Pet Poison Helpline at www.petpoisonhelponline.com. The helpline is also open 24/7 at (800) 213-6680.
Have a happy and great Easter with your family!
March 29, 2021 | DogGeek