Summer Dangers for Dogs

Summer is a time for cookouts, pool parties, and fun vacations, but it is also a time when dangers to pets increase, so pet caregivers need to take special precautions.

Unlike humans, dogs cannot regulate their body temperature by sweating, so they are more prone to heat exhaustion and heatstroke. Signs of heatstroke include weakness, rapid panting, and thick sticky saliva. It is important to check on your pet often on hot days and keep him cool, as heatstroke doesn’t take long to develop, and quick response is necessary. Get him into a cool place immediately, and, if available, provide a fan to provide a breeze. Apply a cold towel or an ice pack to the head, neck and chest, or immerse him in tepid (not ice cold) water. Don’t discourage your dog from panting…It’s the canine air-conditioning system, and no matter how labored it is, it means that your dog is working to expel heat from his body.

YouTube videos may show us dogs having great fun in the water, and many dogs love water, and water play is a great way for dogs to stay cool in summer and wear themselves out at the same time, but bodies of water often hold hazards that are not immediately visible. One water-borne risk is from giardia, a microscopic protozoal parasite that infects the intestines, often through drinking contaminated water. Giardia is one of the most common intestinal infections that attack dogs, and the best way to help prevent this problem is to ensure that your dog doesn’t drink potentially contaminated water. If you are camping or hiking, carry fresh water, or filter, or boil it before giving it to your dog. Blue-green algae is a toxic bacterial mix that can cause respiratory problems, affect the liver and neurological system, or cause death if he drinks it. Dogs can ingest the bacteria when they drink lake water or lick themselves after swimming in contaminated water. Keep your dog out of any water that you suspect has a harmful algae bloom, and if he hops in, rinse him thoroughly with fresh water as soon as possible.

Ear infections are especially common during summertime, especially among dogs that swim frequently. These infections are often caused by water entering dogs’ ears while swimming. Help prevent this by using a vet-prescribed ear leaner to clean and dry their ears after swimming.

The buzzing of bees and wasps seem to motivate your dog to investigate, and while curiosity may not kill him, it can result in a painful sting. Watch how your dog responds to the sting. If there is a lot of swelling, and she becomes irritated and scratches at the stung area, you should call your vet.

Everyone loves barbecues and cookouts, especially your dog who will usually get a little of this and a taste of that, but many barbeque favorites can pose problems for your dog. Many meats are seasoned with garlic and onions, both of which are toxic to dogs. Food with bones can be very dangerous, as they may splinter and injure their GI system, sometimes even piercing their bowels. Corn on the cob is a grilling staple, but digesting corn cobs is difficult and may be a choking hazard. An overlooked toothpick or skewer can pierce or make a hole in the intestines.

As a pet caregiver, you can reduce the risks of summer dangers by monitoring your dog closely, and being aware of the dangers that may be present. Take the right precautions, and you and your companion can relax and enjoy the summer in comfort and safety.

Summer Fun & Safety

This really hot, humid weather can make anyone feel uncomfortable, including our four-footed friends. Responsible pet caregivers understand basic safety rules:

  •  Do NOT leave your dog in a car….even a few moments in the heat can turn your car into an oven.
  • Do NOT shave your dog down to the skin because shaving him down inhibits his ability to deal with temperature changes. Leave the hair length at least an inch long to protect his skin .
  • Ticks are thriving right now……Check regularly for ticks, especially under the tail, on the stomach, in the ears, and between the toes.
  • Always make sure to have cool, clean available water available at all times.
  • Keep your exercise routines in early mornings or evenings when it is cooler.
  • We disapprove of tying a dog outside in any weather, but it can be fatal in this kind of weather. Find a place where he can be comfortable and out of the sun.
  • When walking your dog, steer clear of all areas that may have been sprayed with insecticides or other chemicals. Be alert for coolant or other automotive fluid leaks which can be fatal if ingested.
  • Stay alert for signs of overheating, which include excessive panting, drooling and mild weakness.
  • It it’s too hot for you outside, it’s too hot for your dog!!!

Everyone enjoys a summer treat, and your dog is no exception. If you want to make summertime frozen dog treats, just remember these basic steps:

  1. Start with a liquid base
  2. Mix in a favorite ingredient (blueberries, apples, bananas, peas….the options are endless)
  3. Freeze and serve.

Here are a few recipes for quick and easy treats for your favorite canine:

FROZEN YOGURT-PEANUT BUTTER BITS

An easy two ingredient dog treat can be quickly made with just two ingredients:

  • Combine 1 cup creamy peanut butter (softened)
  • 32 ounces of plain yogurt until combined and smooth
  • Drop 2 tablespoon mounds of the mixture onto a greased baking sheet,
  • Place in the freezer until completely frozen.
  • Transfer the treats to a freezer-safe container or zip top bag and store in the freezer for up to 2 months.

 FROZEN PUMPKIN TREATS

  • 1 cup plain Greek yogurt
  • 1/2 cup creamy peanut butter
  • 1 ¼ cup pumpkin puree (NOT pumpkin pie mix)

Place all ingredients into a food processor and process until smooth. Pour mixture into mini molds or ice cube trays and freeze.

Celebrate the season and keep your dog happy and healthy by taking just a few precautions, and offering a few cooling treats!

 

Summer Hazards

Because hot humid summer weather brings potential problems to our four-footed friends, we have been limiting our walks to leisurely strolls in the shade. Under the hot summer sun, asphalt on sidewalks and streets can heat to a temperature that can burn a dog’s paws. Always put your hand down on the asphalt for about thirty seconds—if you need to pull your hand away after about 30 seconds because it is so hot, it is too hot for your dog to walk on without hurting his paws. Walk your dog early in the morning or in the late evening when the streets have cooled off.

Because a dog perspires very little, hot weather creates many problems, and it is the responsibility of the humans to keep her safe by providing lots of cool, clean, fresh water. Consider preparing low sodium chicken broth or yogurt ice cubes to increase the moisture content of your dog’s diet. Doggie Fro-Yo is a quick and easy summer-time treat: Just blend 2 cups of low fat yogurt, 1 banana, 1/3 cup peanut butter and 1 tablespoon honey. Mix until smooth, poor into an oiled mini-muffin tin, place in the freezer and freeze for at least an hour.

Summer is the season for fleas, ticks, and mosquitoes…pests that present discomfort to your dog, and may be life-threatening or cause self-mutilating behaviors There are many preventatives on the market, but we recommend that you do NOT by over the counter products. Check with your vet and see what he recommends for your dog….and don’t wait until you see a flea; prevention is much easier than treatment! Heartworm infection is a serious problem, and it takes only one infected mosquito to infect a dog, so it is extremely important to be consistent with preventive treatment for these dangers.

Heat prostration is a common cause of illness that kills many beloved pets each year. Some of the worst summer tragedies involve pets that are left in vehicles. NEVER leave your animal in a car—temperatures inside can rapidly climb to more than l00 degrees and can cause death in as little as ten minutes. (If it is 95 degrees and you leave your windows cracked, the temperature may rise as high as 113 degrees. This is a recipe for disaster for your dog.

Your dog may be allergic to seasonal items such as grass, various plants, and mold. If you suspect your dog may have seasonal allergies, is scratching and perhaps losing fur, a visit to your vet is recommended.

Many of our lawn care products and pesticides are potentially toxic to pets. After treating lawns, be sure to restrict pets from those areas until the product has TOTALLY dried. Remember too, that many types of summer foliage such as hydrangea, wisteria, foxglove, privet hedge, and delphiniums, can be toxic to pets.

Freshwater ponds, lakes and streams can be deadly to your dog if they contain toxins borne by blue-green algae. If the water looks cloudy, with a green or blue-green case, it is very possible that there is a dangerous overgrowth of blue-green algae, and it is important to prevent your dog from ingesting this contaminated water. Although some of the algae blooms are not toxic, it is difficult to determine which ones are poisonous, so it is wise to keep children or pets out of any water that appears to have the blue-green algae.

Another warning is regarding cocoa bean shell mulch, which is a by-product of chocolate production and is becoming a popular mulch for landscaping. However many dogs find the mulch attractive and will eat it, which will result in gastrointestinal upset, muscle tremors, vomiting, and diarrhea. If large amounts are ingested, life threatening problems may develop. The ASPCA Poison Control Center recommends that cocoa bean shell mulch never be used in landscaping around unsupervised dogs.

By following common sense rules, you will be able to help your dogs beat the heat and stay safe and comfortable in hot weather.

 

 

Dog Days of Summer

The dog days of summer bring sweltering waves of heat, so we languish, and so do our dogs, longing for cooling, refreshing relief from these hot, muggy days. Many believe that the phrase “dog days of summer” stems from the fact that dogs tend to be a bit on the lazy side during the hottest days of the year, and who can blame them.? Covered with fur, dogs can overheat easily, but the phrase doesn’t refer to lethargic dogs lying around on hot humid days. It actually refers to the summer sky, and a time when Romans called the hottest, most humid days of summer to “Dog Days” because they associated the hottest days with the brightest star in the constellation which was known as the “dog star.” The fact is that although the dog days of summer are usually the hottest, they don’t have anything to do with either dogs, or the star Sirius. Instead, the tilt of the earth explains why these days tend to be the summer’s hottest.

Dogs find summer’s high temperatures challenging….they have sweat glands only in their paws, so they don’t sweat…a dog’s primary means of cooling himself is through panting, and as the temperature and humidity rise, the inefficiency of this system becomes apparent. A dog in warm weather need your special attention, and you need to enforce limits during hot weather. Some of the common causes of heat stress include:

  • leaving the dog in a car…even in the shade or with the windows open…or leaving her in a hot room or garage with insufficient air flow.
  • excessive exercise, or exercise when it is extremely hot outside. Paws can get burned on hot asphalt. When the air temperature is 77 degrees, asphalt temp will be 125 degrees; when air temperature is 86 degrees, asphalt temp will be 135 degrees, and when air temperature is 87 degrees, asphalt temp will be 143 degrees. At 125 degrees skin destruction can occur in just sixty seconds, and paws will get burned. It it’s too hot for your bare feet it is too hot for your dog’s paws.
  • lack of fresh water. Make sure your dog ALWAYS has fresh, cool water. On really hot days, toss a few ice cubes into the water. If you go for a walk, always carry along water and a bowl for your dog.
  • lack of shade….if you are going to be outside very long, he will need shade. If you can’t find a natural shady area, a pop-up tent or umbrella can provide temporary help.
  • sunburn. Despite their furry coats, dogs can still be exposed and damaged by UV rays. Coating their fur and skin with DOGGY UV protectant sunblock will help prevent burns.

A cool pool is always appreciated. Aside from panting, dogs cool down through the sweat glands in their paws. Most dogs love standing, sitting (or rolling around) in a pool of cool water.

Beating the heat is especially tough for backyard dogs ….baking in the summer sun in a barren yard, day after day, week after week, takes its toll and kills many of these poor animals. Sometimes, the owner is not aware of the dangers, and a tactful visit will improve the situation. If this approach does not work, you need to call animal control before it is too late.

A dog’s main weapons against the heat are water…..lots of cold, clean water, and lots of shade.

Summer pet safely isn’t difficult, but it requires some attention. Watch over your dog the way you would a small child…protect him from too much heat, too much sun, and other summer dangers, and both you and your four-footed friend will enjoy the dog days of summer.

 

The Dog Days Will be Over!

Most of us associate the phrase, “Dog days” to our summer days so devastatingly hot that even dogs just lie around, panting, but originally the phrase had nothing to do with dogs, or even with the lazy days of summer. Instead, “Dog days” refer to the dog star, Sirius, and its position in the heavens. Ancient Greeks thought of the constellation Canis Major as a dog chasing Lepus, the hare. The star Sirius is the dog’s nose, and the Greeks called it the “dog star.” Both the Romans and Greeks referred to the day when Sirius appeared to rise just before the sun, in late July, believing that this began a period that could bring fever, or some catastrophe. The phrase was translated from Latin to English about 500 years ago, and since then has taken on various new meanings. Actually the dog days don’t always correspond with the heat, and depending on a person’s latitude, the astronomical dog days can come at different days, and it’s original meaning has been lost, but the phrase has lived on.

According to The Old Farmer’s Almanac , ancient Egyptians used the star as a “watchdog” announcing the season of the Nile’s flooding, and the connection with hot, sultry weather was made for all time: “Dog Days bright and clear indicate a happy year. But when accompanied by rain, we hope for better times in vain.” was recorded in 1883 by Henry Dunwoody. The expression has made its way through the years, even popping up in Charles Dickens’ A Christmas Carol: “The cold within him froze his old features…. He carried his own low temperature always about him; he iced his office in the dog days, and didn’t thaw it one degree at Christmas.”

“The Bar Sinister” by Richard Harding Davis, is a wonderful story of a plucky bull terrier told by himself. A street dog, he explains, “but when the hot days come, I think they might remember that those are the dog days, and leave a little water outside in a trough, like they do for the horses.” This is a good read which you can find in its entirety on the web. The l955 movie, It’s a Dog’s Life, was based on “The Bar Sinister.”

Tuck Everlasting is an American children’s novel by Natalie Babbitt, and is often listed as a classic of modern children’s literature. The Prologue is the author’s opportunity to introduce her readers to her main theme—the circle of life. She begins the story in the dog days of summer, and likens the time to the top of a Ferris wheel, if the wheel were the year, and at this time of year, people, according to Babbitt, are often led to do things they are sure to be sorry for later. Tuck Everlasting has twice been adapted to film and a musical. The first was released in 1981, and the second by Disney in 2002. It was also adapted into a musical and began previews on Broadway in March, 2016, at the Broadhurst Theater, but the production closed in May of 2016.

Surveys often indicate that the phrase refers to a conspicuous laziness of domesticated dogs, which is a myth…dogs lie around on hot “dog days’ because they are in danger of overheating.

In recent years, the term has also been used in reference to the American Stock Markets. Typically summer is slow on the stock market, and poorly performing stocks are often known as “dogs.”

These are days soaked in humidity and the nights are stifled by the heat, making us wish for the crisp, refreshing days of autumn, but rather than focus on the negative aspects of “dog days, why not take some actions to make them happy days for the dogs? Your dog, your neighborhood dogs, the lonely dog down the street, and frightened shelter dogs would all enjoy a little extra attention. Become a socializer for a neglected dog…just half an hour interaction can make life better for an animal.

Dog days offer great opportunities to kick back with a glass of iced tea, (and your favorite pooch) , and watch a movie….or two…or three about dogs. Several classic dog movies include Lassie, one of the most popular dogs in film and TV history, Turner and Hooch in which a slobbery dog helps a fastidious cop solve a crime, and The Wizard of Oz, where Toto was Dorothy’s faithful companion as she faced numerous perils. On Google, you can find a list of the top 25 dog movies that feature spectacular canines you will love.. The dog days will soon be over; the dog days will soon be done, so ENJOY!

Fleas Deserve Destruction Not Songs

“A king there was once reigning, who had a goodly flea…he loved him without feigning as his own son were he; hIs tailor then he summoned…the tailor to him goes. Now measure me the youngster for jerkin and for hose. In satin and in velvet behold this young one dressed…bedizen’d o’er with ribbons, a cross upon his breast. Prime minister they made him; he wore a star of state and all his poor relations were courtiers, rich and great. The gentlemen and ladies at court were sore distressed; the queen and all her maidens were bitten by the pest, and yet they dared not scratch them, or chase the fleas away.”

The Flea Song is part of the scene in Faust 1, first published around 1790. The song is about a king who loved a flea on which he lavished many riches. He is fitted with fine clothing and made Head of State, and his family members were awarded high positions in the government. Members of the King’s court dared not speak up and complain; instead they had to cope with the biting and itching.

We may consider the description of a King being fond of a flea quite strange, but it is important to keep in mind that in late l8th Century, society viewed parasites such as fleas, lice, ticks, and bedbugs more favorably, merely as nuisances, and this view did not really change until the mid 19th Century. In other words, a poem or song about a highly regarded flea was not as strange in 1760 as it may seem now. Around the time that Goethe wrote the Flea Song, watchmakers tried to harness fleas, with tiny gold wires, to demonstrate their skills in fine manipulation. In other parts of the world people also dressed up fleas, not acknowledging that fleas deserve destruction, not songs!

The late l8th Century was the start of the flea circus mania in Europe. Fleas would be caught and rigged up in harnesses made of thin gold wires. The fascination with these blood-suckers dwindled quickly when it was discovered that fleas vectored the bacterium that caused the plague. In the Flea Song, Goethe mentions that the people at the King’s court are getting bit and that the bites start to itch. This is a very good description. They puncture the skin, opening up blood vessels, and then suck up the blood by creating a tube with their mouth-parts. These days fleas are unpopular for good reason.

Fleas are certainly not appreciated either by today’s humans or today’s canines, and the disgusting statistic is that one female flea can lay 50 eggs a day, or a couple thousand during her lifetime, and for every single flea actually found on your dog, there are many, many more lurking on your pet, in your yard, and even in your house.

Flea bites equal misery for your dog, and they can also cause a variety of other problems, including flea allergy dermatitis, anemia in severe cases, and they can carry tapeworms. Fleas and itching go together, and if your dog is itching, you need to check immediately. One of the best tools to confirm whether or not there are fleas is a flea comb. Start at the head and move toward the tail. The most common areas where fleas are found are the neck and the rear end, so check those areas carefully. A flea comb’s main purpose is to confirm whether or not there are fleas, and if you find even one flea, it is time to talk to your vet about a preventative to make those fleas flee. Do not wait until the dog has a major flea infestation.

There are many preventative products available to combat fleas, and some of them are good, some of them are not- so- good, and some of them may be downright toxic. Please DO NOT buy over the counter products. Consult with your veterinarian who is qualified to explain your options, and work with your own dog’s health history.

Itch….itch….scratch….scratch….must be a flea……or two….or three….probably more. Those nasty critters multiply, multiply, multiply….and they latch on tight….Soon gross little bugs will run all over him….it will seem like millions, and zillions….Be prepared.

 

Don’t Let Your Dog Cook!

Temperatures have soared the past few weeks, with sweltering heat that can be dangerous for pets, and leaving your pet in a vehicle can quickly have hazardous consequences. Children and pets should never be left alone in parked cars because sunlight can spike car interiors to lethal temperatures in just a few minutes, even if the weather is relatively mild. Catherine McLaren, at Stanford University, conducted research on car heating, and concluded that regardless of outside air temps, the car heated up at a similar rate—gaining 80% of its final temperature within 30 minutes, and cars that started out at comfortable 71 degrees spiked to over 115 degrees …and cracking the windows open made very little difference. In one study begun at 7:45 a.m., a car was left on the shaded side of a building with two windows open. The outside temperature was 75 degrees, and at 9;30 the temp inside the car was 130 degrees while the outside temperature was not yet 90 degrees. Other studies have shown that the temperature inside a car can reach 200 degrees if parked in direct sunlight.

A dog left in a hot car will struggle to get out, and the more he struggles, the faster his temperature will rise, and it doesn’t take long for him to begin suffering irreparable brain damage or death. Every year many dogs die agonizing deaths in parked cars… Don’t let this happen to your dog. Be kind, and leave him home!

If you see a dog that needs immediate help, remember it is illegal to break the window; it is property damage and anyone can be held liable for damages, but it is important to act quickly. Write down the car’s make, model, and license-plate number, and if there are businesses nearby, notify the manager or security guard, asking them to make an announcement to find the car’s owner. If you feel the dog is in immediate danger, or no owner responds within a few minutes, call the local police or animal control, and wait for them to arrive.

I have already seen several dogs at risk this summer, and I would guess you have too, so it is important to be prepared to call for help: have the phone numbers of both your animal control agency and the police department, and keep these numbers in your purse or programmed into your phone. Every minute counts!

Get involved by asking local store managers, restaurants, and other businesses to post signs asking customers to not leave their pets in their cars while shopping or dining , and if your town doesn’t have a law prohibiting leaving pets in parked cars, contact your local council or area representatives. It is never cool to cook your dog!

 

Recognize the Danger Signs of Heat Exhaustion

It is hot. Really hot and humid, and as the temperatures soar, so does the danger of your dog suffering from heatstroke. We already know that dogs have more difficulty controlling their body temperature in warm weather than humans do. In fact, when we are mildly uncomfortable in the heat, our dogs are likely very uncomfortable simply because they are not equipped with many sweat glands as people have.

On hot days, a dog gradually escalates his cooling mechanisms. First he begins to pant, exposing his tongue and mouth to air. Then he lets his tongue hang out to further increase surface area. The blood vessels under the mucous membranes dilate in an attempt to improve heat exchange across the moist surfaces. Finally, the shape of the tongue changes… it gets wider at the tip, often turning upward and flaring the outside edges. When exercising your dog in warm weather, always watch his tongue. If you hear him panting loudly or see the end of his tongue widening, your dog has just used his last cooling mechanism, and may be moving into heat exhaustion, which can result in heatstroke. It’s time to take a rest and get him to a cool location immediately.

Hot, humid weather is not the only cause of heatstroke. Extreme activity alone can cause heatstroke, and when added to warm weather, it can quickly become deadly. This can be a real problem for the canine athlete. The muscles provide a portion of a sleeping dog’s body heat, and when the dog uses his muscles to exercise the amount of heat produced by the muscles can increase greatly over that of a dog at rest. A working dog’s body temp may rise from normal to 105 degrees or even higher in just minutes, which explains why long – distance sled dogs can become overheated at low temperatures.

First signs of heat exhaustion are heavy, rapid breathing, a widened tongue, and drooling. If not immediately moved to a cool area, the dog will begin to show signs of heatstroke, including rapid pulse, glazed eyes, elevated body temperature, failure to respond to commands, warm, dry skin, excessive whining or agitation, staggering, vomiting, and eventual collapse. It is important to note that only one of these symptoms has to be present to indicate the dog may be in trouble.

Be proactive and address environmental causes of heatstroke ahead of time. Provide shade and plenty of water if your dog is to be outdoors for any length of time. Take walks during cooler morning or evening hours and, although it seems obvious, NEVER leave your dog in a car, or tied outside in the sun.

If you see signs of heatstroke, immediate action is needed. Start soaking him with cool water. Do NOT use ice-cold water because that can constrict blood vessels and worsen the condition. Once the dog is wet, if available, a fan or air conditioner pointed in her direction is helpful. As soon as possible, get the dog to your vet, who will continue treatment as well as administer intravenous fluids or an enema to cool her from the inside.

Be alert to the possibility of canine heatstroke, and curb your dog’s enthusiasm when necessary on these hot humid days, so both humans and canines can enjoy the long, wonderful dog days of summer.

Keep your dog safe & cool all summer

Dogs love to be outside even in the warmest months of the year, but it is important to understand how your dog handles the heat. There is a big difference between the way a human’s body processes hot temps and the way a dog’s body handles it. Humans cool down by sweating with the approximately two million sweat glands found throughout the entire human body. Dogs don’t sweat. The only sweat glands they have are on the nose and the pads of the feet. The primary way they bring their temp down is through panting and breathing. The lining of their lungs, which are moist, serve as the evaporative surface. There is a common notion that a dog’s tongue contains sweat glands, but this in a fallacy. Some minimal cooling occurs as your dog pants and draws air over moist surfaces in his mouth, but there are no sweat glands in the oral cavity. Dogs can overheat quickly, so it is important to stay alert for signs of overheating, which include excessive panting and drooling, accompanied by an elevated body temperature. They love to play right through the summer heat, so it is up to the caregiver to limit exercise and activity in the extreme heat.

Dogs love frozen treats, but they are a bit messy. Best if served on an easy-to-clean surface, a giant dog popsicle will not only help them keep cool in hot weather, but it will help keep them from becoming bored during the long hot days. Fill a large ice cream tub or any plastic container with water and freeze (to make it even more special, mix in a few treats). Recipes for dog popsicles can be varied so there are different tastes. Please remember that popsicles don’t substitute for a separate source of fresh water. A dog popsicle is great, but won’t be adequate to meet your dog’s hydration needs.

Some creative additions for your dog popsicle:

  • Cut up apples
  • Baby carrots
  • Meat broth (chicken, turkey or beef) for flavor
  • Peanut butter
  • Mashed up bananas
  • Yogurt
  • Chucks of cheese
  • Be creative, but Do NOT add raisins or grapes …they are toxic to dogs!

You can also make up small frozen goodies in ice cube trays or plastic cups or any “mold” that you can remove once your popsicle is frozen.

Yummy Ice Cube Tray Treats

A great recipe for a yummy treat made in ice cube trays can be made by combining:

  • a ripe banana,
  • a cup of meat broth
  • ½ cup yogurt.
  1. Mix well & pour into empty ice cube trays and freeze
  2. When frozen solid, pop out and place in plastic bags.

Another favorite with almost all dogs is Cheesy-Burger Pops made with just 3 ingredients: crumbled up cooked ground beef , grated cheese, and low fat, low sodium chicken (or beef) broth.

Cheesy-Burger Pops

  • Scoop ½ tsp of ground beef into each section of an ice cube tray.
  • Crumble a little grated cheese on top
  • Pour chicken stock over ingredients.
  • Freeze until solid

A little extra effort will assure that your dog will stay cool and comfortable in spite of summer’s heat!

Rising Temps – A Risk to Your Dog

Sometimes what seems like fun for you and your dog can be hazardous to his health, and hot weather and outdoor activities can pose situational and environmental risks for him, ranging from poisoning and heatstroke.

  • Failure to provide adequate water is one of the most common mistakes that caregivers make. It is essential that your pets have fresh drinking water at ALL times throughout the day. Dehydration can lead to organ failure and even death.
  • Every summer, hundreds of reports document situations where an animal is at risk in a parked car. On a mild 73 degree day, the temperature inside a car can reach 120 degrees in minutes, and on a 90 degree day, the interior of a vehicle can reach 160 degrees. The majority of the cases reported involve a person who was “just running into the store for a minute,” and the dog is quickly in a life-threatening situation. If you have errands to run, LEAVE THE DOG AT HOME. If you see a dog in distress in a car, take down the car’s color, make, model, and license-plate number, have the owner paged inside the nearby stores, and call the authorities. If necessary, call again, and wait until the police arrive.
  • Don’t transport your dog in the bed of a pickup. This is always dangerous, but the heat brings added danger of burning the dog’s feet on the hot metal. (Hot pavement can also burn dogs’ paws, so be sure to walk your dog in the cooler time of day. Rest often, take plenty of water, and choose shady routes.)
  • Trim your dog’s fur, but leave an inch for protection against sunburn and insects. Dog friendly sunscreen should be used in areas where the hair is thin.
  • Be sensitive to older and overweight animals in hot weather. Snub-nosed dogs and those with heart or lung diseases should be kept in air-conditioned rooms as much as possible in hot weather.
  • Don’t allow your dogs in areas that have been recently sprayed with insecticides, pesticides or other chemicals. They can poison your pet.
  • If your dog swims, rinse her off with fresh water to get rid of sand and salt that can dry her skin or irritate her eyes. Don’t allow her to drink water from pools and ponds.
  • Insect sting and bites can spell trouble for pets. A sting around the mouth or throat can cause swelling enough to restrict the animal’s breathing, and some animals have allergic reactions to stings which can require immediate vet care.

Be a watchdog for chained animals. If they do not have food, water, and shelter, try to talk to the animal’s caregivers. Without being judgmental, explain the dangers involved. If an animal is suffering, contact authorities immediately. You may be the dog’s only chance for survival. Get involved….it’s the right thing to do.

By following basic precautions, both you and your furbaby will enjoy the long, wonderful days of summer.