Ways to Protect Your Pet

May 30th, 2017

Summer is right around the corner, which means it’s a great time to make sure you are doing everything you can to ensure you pet stays safe and healthy. This ranges from evaluating the tag and collar your pet has to ensuring your pet is tick and flea-free.

Protect Your Pet from Being Stolen or Lost

Even the most loyal and well-disciplined cat or dog is at risk of running away or of being stolen. Sometimes, pets can escape while you are out of town, and if your pet does not have proper identification, then it is possible you will never see your pet again.

Though there is no way to guarantee a lost or stolen pet will be returned to you, having some form of ID on the pet helps increase the likelihood that pets and their owners will be reunited after a separation.

  • Collar and ID Tag: Your cat or dog should wear a properly fitted collar at all times. There are breakaway collars for cat owners who are concerned their outdoor kitties might get caught on something. In addition to the collar, your pet should have an ID tag that includes helpful information be it the pet’s name and your phone number, or the pet’s name and the name and number of your veterinary clinic.
  • Microchip: If you are opposed to collars and tags, microchips have been very successful in helping pet owners reunite with their pets. Your veterinarian installs your pet’s microchip. Should your pet ever be lost, a scan of the microchip will reveal your information, and you can immediately be reunited.

Note that there are occasions where a friendly neighbor isn’t the one who finds your lost pet. If your pet ends up at the city pound, then an ID tag or a microchip could save your pet’s life.

Protect Your Pet from Parasites 

As the weather gets warmer, the parasites become more problematic. Fleas and ticks love making nests in your cat or dog’s hair or fur. Even more annoying, fleas and ticks are everywhere. They are outside in the grass; they are in your home in the carpet or in the bedding. Neither indoor nor outdoor pets are immune from picking up a parasite.

Help prevent fleas and ticks by:

  • Combing your pet with a flea comb
  • Keep your pet’s bedding clean
  • Give your pet regular baths
  • Consider using a flea prevention product with your veterinarian’s guidance (note that elderly and pregnant animals can be harmed by certain flea and tick products)

Keeping your home clean and your grass routinely mowed will also help keep fleas and ticks at bay.

Protect Your Pet with Routine Checkups 

It is easy to forget to schedule regular wellness checks with your vet especially if your pet is healthy; however, an annual visit is important so that your pet can stay caught up with vaccinations. Additionally, your pet gets a professional evaluation on overall health including weight, skin condition, oral care, etc.

Any potential issues can be addressed. You can also use your annual visit to consult with your vet about any concerns you might have or about questions regarding parasite prevention, microchips versus tags and collars, spaying and neutering, staying safe in harsh weather, disaster preparedness, and more.

Be proactive about protecting your pet; with a proper ID, flea and tick prevention, and regular wellness checks, you can keep your pet safer, healthier, and happier.

Summer Fun Pet Friendly Activities

July 14th, 2016

How do you plan on spending your summer? Why not spend a little time with your pets? We’ve come up with a great list of summer activities to tackle with your favorite four-legged companion.

Blaze a New Trail

Dogs love adventure, so why not take your furry friend on a hike? Choose a path close to a lake so you can take a dip afterwards and end the day on a cool note. And always do your research when taking your dog for a hike. Here’s a great site with information for hiking with your dog.

Doggy Play Date

Meet up with other dog owners for a doggy play date. You can catch up with friends while the dogs run around and keep themselves entertained.

New Tricks

If you haven’t gotten around to teaching your dog how to fetch, summer weather makes for the perfect time. Teach your pet some new tricks and spend the summer perfecting each one. Looking for some great tricks? Try this list!

Summer Concerts

Nothing else to do on a Saturday night? How about an outdoor concert with your favorite pal? Outdoor concerts typically take place in a large space leaving your dog plenty of room to stretch out and relax, and it’s a fun outing for you both!

Jump through Hoops

Set up an obstacle course including Frisbees, hoops, and doggy treats. This is a great way for your pet to get some mental and physical exercise, both of which are extremely important to their health and happiness.

Baked Goods

If you love to bake, look up a pet friendly recipe and make your pet some new treats. You can even make it into a fun gathering by inviting your friends that have pets over to join in on the fun!

Post a Video

Post a video online of you and your dog doing tricks, singing together, or just hanging out. Social media has become a place where people crave adorable pet videos, so give the people what they want and have fun while you’re at it!

Roll through the Park

Have you ever tried roller skating with your pooch? It can be a great source of fun and exercise for you both. Grab a leash and let him lead the way!

Beach Bod

Running on the beach will keep you and your buddy fit and trim for the rest of the summer. Make sure you research your chosen beach so you know the rules provided for dog beach use, and keep a few baggies in your pocket for your buddy’s potty breaks.

Run through the Sprinklers

Turn on your outdoor sprinkler system or set up a slip and slide so you can both enjoy the water.

Roll the Windows Down

A quick road trip with all the windows down on a hot summer day could be all the fun that you and your four-legged friend need.

Enjoy your summer! Don’t forget to send us your favorite summer pictures on our Facebook page!

Salute to Military K9’s!

March 24th, 2016

Chances are, you haven’t thought much about dogs in the military but in fact, they’ve been used for active duty since Ancient Greece where they mostly served as guards and on patrol. Over the years, they’ve served as attackers and even as ambulance patrol.

The United States observed how the Europeans included dogs in their campaigns during WWI — mostly as messengers and guards, however it wasn’t until 1942 when an active training and development campaign was developed by dog breeder Mrs. Alene Erlanger and the AKC in the U.S. This initiative to train dogs for war time duties was known as “Dogs for Defense.”

Dogs for Defense partnered with the American Theatre Wing War Service and found eager breeders ready to donate dogs and trainers to donate their time. These original dogs were trained for war and first took on their military assignments in the deserts of North Africa where they could perform sentry, messenger and other duties.

Nowadays, “solider dogs” are assigned one of two responsibilities; bomb/weapon detection or tracking/protection. In both cases, they’re required to have highly selective olfactory (smell) senses. They also must be highly trainable and not prone to diseases such as hip dysplasia.

As you can imagine, highly effective military dogs require a special mix of aggressiveness, precision, loyalty and training. You might think of German Shepherds as the “poster dog” of K9 Veterans, and they are common, but many different breeds are used including Labrador Retrievers. In fact, the Navy SEALS use a Belgian breed known as a Belgian Malinois. These are dogs are smaller and faster than German Shepherds. They also have a highly perceptive olfactory sense with the ability to smell up to 40 times more than humans.

While other breeds have included Malamutes, Eskimo dogs and Huskies to pull sleds, these days the military primarily uses Shepherds, Labradors and the Belgian Malinois breeds. There are breeders who specialize in these dogs and identify potential solider dog candidates from their litters. Dogs that are particularly drawn to balls, Kong’s and other toys and have an extreme curiosity are possibilities.

Once identified as a potential candidate, they undergo a physical screening and are put through a few training exercises. If they pass these tests, they’ll go on to K9 School. K9 School is a rigorous training process held mostly at one of the specialized training sites in the U.S. There, they’re assigned a human handler who works with them on a daily basis to form a strong human/dog team and help the dog achieve his or her their best.

Generally soldiers who are assigned as handlers to dogs, train with them during K9 School however, these may not be the same dogs that go with them to war. In many cases, K9 School is training for both human and dog on how to be part of a team. Frequently, soldiers are assigned a different dog once they’re deployed but the basics on how to work together are there for both of them. It doesn’t take long for a soldier and dog to forge a bond during active duty.

Thank you to all of the K9’s for your duty!

National Pet Dental Month

February 17th, 2016

Your pet’s mouth offers a glimpse of his or her overall health. For example, red, swollen gums can indicate gingivitis or worse, gum disease. Gingivitis is a painful condition with those swollen gums. But when it progresses to gum disease it leads to lost teeth and even the spread of bacteria throughout the body.

It starts with a plaque buildup and can progress to gum disease if left unchecked. If your pet has gum disease, it means the teeth have started to pull away slightly from the gums leaving areas where bacteria can form. From there, it can spread throughout your pet’s body weakening the immune system and leaving your pet susceptible to other illnesses or health problems.

You Can Protect Your Pet’s Teeth

That’s why it’s so important to make sure your pet has regular (professional) teeth cleanings and between these in depth cleanings, you want to brush them at home. But it won’t work if you simply go out, call Lucy over, ask her to open wide and submit to your teeth brushing. If you’ve tried this tactic you know it doesn’t work.

Start small. Have patience and be prepared. You can start by gathering your supplies and keeping them nearby where you plan to make the brushing a regular habit.

Dog Tooth Brushing Supplies
Patience, Rome wasn’t built in a day and if you’ve never brushed your dog’s teeth before, he’s not likely to sit still for it now. You’ll work up to it.

  • Soft cloth – to get your pet used to having something in his mouth that you control.
  • Doggie toothpaste – Your dog WILL swallow it and the people kind can upset their tummies. Plus, beef flavored toothpaste may be an easier “sell” than your tube of minty fresh.
  • Doggie Toothbrush – After all, their mouths are shaped differently than ours.

The Process
Wait until your dog is nice and relaxed. Go for a long run or walk with your pet to tire them out.

Step 1: Your goal today is simply to let him put your finger on his teeth and move them back and forth. You can wrap your finger in the cloth and insert your finger along one side or the other. If your dog fights you, back up and put a little of the toothpaste on the cloth and try again. If that doesn’t work, you might try a little peanut butter. Your goal is to get your dog to let you run your finger over his or her teeth. Depending on your dog, this can take a couple of attempts or many attempts.

Step 2: Once you’ve worked up to “brushing” with your cloth wrapped finger and your dog is accepting of this, you can then introduce the brush. The process is the same for cats but you may need more patience.

If it’s been awhile since your pet’s teeth were professionally cleaned, you’ll want to make an appointment with your vet for a thorough cleaning. This is especially true if you see evidence of disease like those red, swollen gums we mentioned earlier or any of the teeth are black or seriously discolored. Your vet can often catch problems before they turn more serious.

Happy Holidays: What’s on Your Pet’s Wish List?

December 11th, 2015

It’s the most wonderful time of the year! Towns all around the country are lit up with festive lights, everyone is dressing in their holiday best and kids everywhere are diligently writing out their wish list for Santa. But what about our pets? This is a wonderful time of year for them as well, and who’s to say that they don’t have a wish list of their own? Sure, their handwriting skills may not be quite up to par, but I’m willing to bet that they would make out a list if they could. What would be on your pet’s wish list?

10 Things that Might be on Your Pet’s Wish List

  1. A New Bed – Have you crawled in and tested out your pet’s bed lately? Yeah, probably not. Chances are it may not be as soft and comfy as it once was and your pet deserves only the best, right?
  2. A Warm Sweater – Brrr, it’s getting cold outside and daily walks may not be as enjoyable for the short-haired dogs of the world. A new, warm sweater could easily do the trick to keep them warm on those chillier days. Some dogs aren’t too keen on wearing clothes, but it’s worth a try!
  3. New Treats – If your pet has been indulging in the same treats day in and day out, buying something new during the holiday season could be a real – well – treat!
  4. A Certificate Good for a ‘Doggie’s Day Out’– Your dog’s tail is already wagging over this one! Most dog’s love a chance to get out of the house and embark on an adventure – even if that just means to the grocery store and back. However, they would love even more a trip to the dog park or walking the trails at the local state park.
  5. A Shiny New Collar – Do you want to see your pet proudly prance around the house with their nose in the air and a smile on their face? A new collar is sure to do the trick! They will be prancing around like they just found a new pair of jeans that fit like a dream. Trust us!
  6. A Doggie (or Kitty) Door – Ok, so this one takes a little bit more effort, but it is completely worth it in the long run. Your dog or cat will love the freedom of being able to enjoy the fenced outdoors at their leisure, without having to ‘ask for permission’ every time they need to go outside.
  7. A Trip to the Hair Salon – Is your pet looking their holiday best? Even though your pet may be hesitant upon arrival, they will leave feeling their absolute best! You aren’t the only one who wants to look their best for this year’s holiday festivities!
  8. New Games to Play – What does your pet like to do for fun? Play fetch or chase a tiny red light all around the house? Those are fun games, but why not give them a gift that keeps on giving and come up with a new favorite game for you and your pet to enjoy together? That’s a sure way to get your dog’s tail wagging and your cat purring up a storm.
  9. Quality Time with YOU – This one is sure to be on your pet’s wish list every single year. Quality time with you will forever be one of your pet’s favorite things in the entire world, so be sure to give your pet some extra love and attention during the holiday season – and all year long!
  10. Homemade Holiday Treats – Have you ever considered making your pet some homemade treats? The holidays usually inspire a lot of us to do more baking than we would any other time of the year, so why not do some research and test out a recipe to try for your pet. And for that matter, maybe Santa has a dog that would appreciate a homemade cookie as well.

6 Things You Should Know Before Adopting a Pit Bull

October 28th, 2015

We love a good chance to talk about how much we love this breed. While pit bulls are no doubt the center of much controversy, they are also the center of hearts all around the country. There can never be enough positive awareness spread in regards to this breed, as there are far too many pit bulls left homeless and living in shelters, waiting for someone to give them a second chance at life. Here are some things that you should know before adopting a pit bull.

The Stereotype Is Just That – A Stereotype

Everyone in America knows the stereotype that surrounds the pit bull terrier. The problem is, not enough people know that, in the right hands, a pit bull can be the most loving pet you will ever own. The whole “viscous pit bull” stereotype is a shallow concept, just as most stereotypes are. We teach our kids to not give into stereotypes, so why do so many people conform to this particular stereotype regarding pit bulls? Every dog, regardless of breed, has its own story that shapes their temperament and mentality, so don’t give in to the stereotype.

Get Ready for Love and Affection Overload

Pit bulls are wiggly, cuddly, affectionate dogs. If you don’t like dog kisses then you might want to consider another breed. Pit bulls are not aloof – they like to remind you regularly of how they feel about you, so get ready for a lot of love and affection to come your way.

Cuddling is NOT optional

This is a public service announcement: If you do not like the warm and fuzzy feeling that accompanies cuddling with your dog, do not adopt a pit bull! Whether you are in bed or on the couch, you are never safe from escaping a spontaneous cuddle session. You have been warned. Seriously though, pit bulls are cuddling machines. I think that one of their main goals in life is actually to see how close they can snuggle into your body.

I Hope You Like Healthy, Easy-Going Dogs

Yes, pit bulls require a reasonable amount of attention. However, they do not need a whole lot of maintenance care. They have short coats and are moderate shedders. They don’t tend to have genetic disorders like some other breeds and as long as your exercise them regularly, they are generally happy living in any size home.

Contrary to Popular Belief – Pit Bulls Love People

Although this breed frequently gets a bad rap, if you have ever met a pit bull that was raised by a loving family then you have seen first-hand how much pit bulls like to be around people. It is always so gratifying to see people’s reaction to meeting such a loveable pit bull. You can always see the shock and surprise on their face when your pit bull behaves better than other breeds of dogs that they have encountered.

Your Pit Bull Will Thank You Every Day for the Rest of Their Life

Your life will be forever changed the day that you adopt your pit bull. Because of the stereotype that surrounds this breed, there are far too many pit bulls left homeless in shelters all across America. And it’s almost like these dogs know that they have less of a chance of being adopted, because from the moment that you rescue your pit bull the tables will start to turn. You may have been the one doing the rescuing on that particular day, but from that day on your pit bull will spend the rest of his life rescuing you in return.

Now is the perfect chance for you to give one of these dogs a second chance at life. But even if you aren’t in the position to adopt, take this opportunity to spread the pit bull love. Awareness and education is the key to saving the lives of these loving animals.

6 Fun Fall Activities to Enjoy with Your Pet

October 8th, 2015

September 23rd is officially the first day of fall! What’s not to love about this time of year? The weather is nice, the colorful leaves are falling and the holidays are right around the corner! You’re not the only one looking forward to this time of year – this can be a fun time of year for your pets as well. Let’s talk about some fun activities to enjoy with your pets during the fall months.

Take a Hike

The fall is the perfect time to explore some of your favorite hikes, trails, and national parks, so leash up your buddy and get ready for some fun! You and your dog are bound to enjoy the pretty fall foliage and all the great fall scents. Just make sure that your dog is properly treated for ticks and fleas before heading out, and you are on your way to a fun, safe hike!

Have a Doggy Play Date

Depending on where you live, fall can be a bit too chilly at times to enjoy the outdoors. Your dog still needs to get the proper amount of exercise and physical activity on those chilly days. Why not invite a friend to bring their dog over for a little play date action? This can be a lot of fun for both you and your dog and will provide them with a good amount of exercise!

Toss around the Football

We can’t speak for everyone, but for some people fall means FOOTBALL! So, get in the spirit and toss a football around with your dog in the park or the backyard. Sure, he can’t throw it back or score a touchdown, but he surely will love being on the receiving end. For smaller dogs you can even throw a small, plush football around instead.

Head to the Pumpkin Patch

Fall means pumpkin everything, right? Head to a pumpkin patch in your area and bring your dog along with you {as long as it is dog-friendly}. Let your dog help you pick out the perfect pumpkins to adorn your house with. This would also be a good time to snap some cute fall photos of your dog posing beside the prettiest pumpkin of the patch! Did you know that many dogs actually enjoy the taste of pumpkin? It’s even safe for them to eat! Give them a scoop with their next meal and see how they like it.

Camping Trip

A camping trip is like a dog’s dream come true, and fall is one of the best times of year to do it. Find a dog-friendly camping ground near you and plan a trip. Your dog will love spending quality time with you in the outdoors and you can enjoy unplugging and getting away for the weekend.

Halloween Fun

There are always plenty of pet-friendly community events happening around Halloween. These events are a great opportunity for your dog to get some social interaction and even for you to meet other dog lovers in your community. Start planning early and {if your dog doesn’t mind} find the perfect Halloween costume for both you and your dog to wear to join in on all of the fun!

Fall is such a great time of year to plan fun activities with your pet. We couldn’t possibly list all of the pet-friendly activities for you to enjoy. The important thing is to get out and spend some quality time with your pet and let them enjoy this time of year as much as the rest of us do. Happy Fall!

Decoding Dog’s Body Language

September 14th, 2015

Believe it or not, there is a science behind your dog’s body language and behavior. Body language is a form of communication for a dog, whether it be communicating with their owner or communicating with other dogs or animals. It is important for pet owners to be able to read their dog’s body language and understand their behavior and what they are trying to communicate. Your dog’s behavior is directly related to their emotional state. Let’s talk about some common dog behaviors and body languages and what they could mean.

Overly Excited or Hyperactive Behavior

How happy is your dog to see you when you get home? People often misinterpret their dog’s hyperactive behavior when they come home to simply meaning that they are happy to see them. Don’t worry, we aren’t saying that your dog isn’t happy to see you, but overly excited or hyperactive behavior is also a sign of a lack of exercise and pent up energy. So, what is your dog trying to tell you?

  • “I’m not getting enough exercise and it’s causing me to feel out of control!”
  • “Hey! I am way overdue on my daily exercise – let’s go for a long walk or jog!”

Destructive Behavior

If your normally house-trained and well-behaved dog starts to eliminate on the floor or chew on furniture, this could mean that your dog is not getting enough mental stimulation. In other words, they are bored. This may seem like a petty reason for a dog to behave this way, but think about it in these terms – it’s basically the same thing as a person with cabin fever. Dogs need interaction and mental stimulation just like we do. So, what is your dog trying to tell you?

  • “Hey – don’t you have a toy that I can play with or a bone that I can chew on?”
  • “Stop ignoring me! I could really use some quality time with you and I don’t know how else to get your attention.”
  • “I’m bored. Can we go for a quick trip to the dog park?”

Lethargy or Sudden Loss of Interest in Physical Activity

If your dog is normally very active and alert and then suddenly starts to display signs of lethargy or a loss of interest in normal daily activities, this is a sign that something is wrong. Sudden changes of behavior of any kind are a good sign that you need to take your dog to the vet. You know your dog better than anyone, so it’s important to pay close attention to normal behaviors and recognize when something isn’t right. So, what is your dog trying to tell you?

  • “I really want to go outside and play, but I just don’t feel very good. I don’t understand why I don’t have any energy.”
  • “Something isn’t right. I think I need to go see my veterinarian so that he can find out what’s wrong and get me back to my old self again.”

Body Language 101

Here are some common signs to look for in determining your dog’s mood. What is your dog trying to tell you? Let’s find out.

“I’m feeling happy and playful!”

  • Wiggly body
  • Relaxed wagging tail
  • Open, relaxed mouth
  • Bouncy, exaggerated gestures
  • Pawing at the air
  • Ears up and relaxed

“I’m feeling anxious or stressed out.”

  • Whining or whimpering
  • Hiding behind people or objects
  • Fast wagging, low tail
  • Ears may be pinned back

“I’m feeling scared.”

  • Tail tucked between legs
  • Head down, cowering
  • Tense and/or shivering
  • Ears pinned back tightly
  • May urinate submissively

“I’m feeling aggressive!”

  • Hair standing up on back
  • Lips curled back showing teeth
  • Snarling or growling
  • Intense eye contact on a particular subject
  • Leaning forward or ‘attack stance’

These are all behaviors and body language signals that dog owners should be aware of and pay close attention to. After all, this is the only way that your dog can communicate with you! Learning your dog’s normal behaviors and body language signals can help you keep them safe and healthy for many years to come.

Overly Excited or Hyperactive Behavior
How happy is your dog to see you when you get home? People often misinterpret their dog’s hyperactive behavior when they come home to simply meaning that they are happy to see them. Don’t worry, we aren’t saying that your dog isn’t happy to see you, but overly excited or hyperactive behavior is also a sign of a lack of exercise and pent up energy. So, what is your dog trying to tell you?
“I’m not getting enough exercise and it’s causing me to feel out of control!”
“Hey! I am way overdue on my daily exercise – let’s go for a long walk or jog!

Celebrate National Dog Day on August 26th!

August 6th, 2015
11 years ago, pet spokesperson Colleen Paige started National Dog Day to promote adoptable animals.
Every year, thousands of wonderful animals end up dropped off at pet shelters. In many cases, life circumstances change for their families who can no longer care for their pets. Sadly many of them never find their forever homes.
When you celebrate events like National Dog Day, it’s an opportunity to encourage adopting a pet. The more we talk about it and showcase some of these loveable pups, the sooner some of them will find a good home. From active puppies to laid back seniors, the shelters are full of great dogs looking for a family to love them.

11 years ago, pet spokesperson Colleen Paige started National Dog Day to promote adoptable animals. Every year, thousands of wonderful animals end up dropped off at pet shelters. In many cases, life circumstances change for their families who can no longer care for their pets.

When you celebrate events like National Dog Day, it’s an opportunity to encourage adopting a pet. The more we talk about it and showcase some of these loveable pups, the sooner some of them will find a good home. From active puppies to laid back seniors, the shelters are full of great dogs looking for a family to love them.

How to Encourage Adoption:

  • Social Media: If you know of a local pet adoption event, why not share it on Facebook? The more people who know about it – and see the adorable pictures of the pets– the more people will think about sharing their homes with one of them. Likewise, why not see if you can play matchmaker? Lots of shelters use social media to post adoptable pets of the week or month. If you share on occasion, you may help someone find the love of their life.
  • Clean: Clean out your closets and take old linens to the shelter. They can line the pet’s cages so the dogs have something soft to lie on.
  • Donate: Hold a “pawty” and get your friends and co-workers to donate food and pet toys to a local shelter.
  • Volunteer: Pet shelters always need volunteers to walk dogs, clean cages and do other tasks.
  • Gather:  Gather some friendly pooches and hold a dog party. You could collect donations there too.

Of course, you can also use National Dog Day as an excuse to lavish your own dog with attention or help out a neighbor. Such as spoiling your pet at a doggie spa day or taking your pooch to a pet resort for a fun day with other pets.

For those who say, “My favorite breed is rescue,” National Dog Day is a great opportunity to help your friends and family members rescue their next best friend.

Beat the Heat: Keeping Your Pet Comfortable and Safe in the Summer

July 22nd, 2015

Summer is upon us, fellow pet lovers, and with summer comes lots of outdoor fun with our pets. However, depending on where you live, the summer heat can present many dangers to your pet. Pet owners can sometimes be oblivious to these dangers, which can result in many health risks for our furry friends. Keep your pet comfortable and safe this summer with these tips on how to beat the heat.

What NOT to do

With temperatures rising to potentially dangerous levels in the summer months, you have to be conscious of your pet’s safety. In the hot summer months, these are some of the ‘DONTS’ to keep in mind when caring for your pet in the heat.

  • Never leave your pet unattended inside of the car. Honestly, it is never a good idea to leave your pet unattended in a vehicle for any length of time beyond a couple of minutes, but this is especially true in the event of extreme temperatures, whether hot or cold. The inside of a car on just a warm day can reach dangerous and fatal temperature levels, and it can happen within minutes! Print out this Humane Society flyer to disperse and help to educate your community.
  • Do not put a muzzle on a dog while they are out in the heat. There is a reason why dogs start panting when they get really hot – it is a natural way of controlling their body temperature. When you put a muzzle on a dog while they are out in the heat, you are preventing this natural process from occurring, which can lead to over-heating or heat stroke.
  • Do not leave your pet outside for extended periods of time during extreme heat. If it is too hot for you to be outside for an extended period of time, then you should consider it too hot for your pet as well.

Warning Signs of Heat Stroke

It is important to be aware of the signs that your pet may be in danger of a heat stroke. Some of these warning signs are:

  • Heavy panting
  • Difficulty breathing
  • Excessive thirst
  • Lethargy
  • Glazed eyes
  • Lack of coordination
  • Rapid heartbeat
  • Dizziness
  • Profuse salivation
  • Vomiting

Pets who are most susceptible to suffering from heat stroke are usually very old or very young, overweight, or pets not conditioned to prolonged exercise. Speaking of exercise, if you are out exercising with your pet and they suddenly insist on slowing down or laying down – this is a sign that your pet is over-heated or over-exerted. Listen to what your pet is trying to tell you. Here are some more helpful tips on recognizing the warning signs of a heat stroke.

If you suspect that your pet is suffering from a heat stroke, move them to the shade or an air-conditioned area immediately, place ice packs or cold towels to their head, neck and chest and take them to the veterinarian as soon as possible.

Tips to Consider

  • If your pet is going to be outside in the heat for any extended amount of time, be sure that they have access to plenty of water.
  • Do not assume that a dog house is a proper place for your pet to cool off in the heat. Dog houses are built to prevent air movement and can build up heat quickly.
  • When taking your pet out to exercise or walk/jog, be aware that the hot asphalt/concrete can be damaging to your pet’s paws. You’ve walked barefoot on hot asphalt before, right?
  • The best way to cool down your pet is by placing cool water or cloths on their neck, pads of feet, or belly.
  • If you have a longer haired dog, consider getting their hair cut shorter in the summer months.

Now that you know how to keep your pet comfortable and safe in the hot, summer months – get outside and have some fun with your pet on those beautiful, sunny days. Just don’t overdo it and stay cool!