Important Things You Need to Know Before Leaving Your Dog in a Hot Car

It can be tempting for all of us to leave our dog in the car from time to time. You’re simply trying to make a couple quick errands and need to run into the grocery store to grab a few things. Ten minutes tops. Or maybe trying to mail a package. Perhaps you just finished up an epic game of catch at the dog park, and now your pooch is riding shotgun. With just a couple small errands to do on the way home, you hate the thought of having to drop your dog off at home before making them. And although it can feel like a hassle to do just that, a beautiful, warm day could easily turn deadly for a dog locked in a car.

Hundreds of dogs die each year from being left in a hot car. Unfortunately, some owners with very good intentions simply do not understand how dangerous it can be to leave your dog in a car. Our hope is that if more people spread the word about the dangers of leaving dogs in cars, it will help educate owners and save a dog’s life. Here are some important things you need to know before leaving your dog in a hot car.

Did you know that cracking the windows does not help keep your dog cool? According to a study by San Francisco University, cracking windows had very little effect on the rising temperature inside the car. On a 70 degree day, the temperature inside the car can rise to 99 degrees within 20 minutes. On a 90 degree day, that temperature can reach almost 120 degrees in that same time. Scary, huh?

Although all dog breeds are susceptible to heat stroke, or hyperthermia, it’s important to note that some breeds are even more sensitive due to the shape of their skull. Breeds like Pugs, Boston Terriers, and Bulldogs could suffer from heat stroke even faster than other breeds. When dogs are hot, they pant to help regulate their body temperature. But once panting becomes ineffective against the heat and their body temperature rises too drastically, heat stroke will occur. Once heat stroke has begun to set in, the dog’s health will quickly deteriorate and it can happen extremely fast. Unfortunately, if a dog’s body heat rises too much, permanent organ damage and death can happen. According to an article by Earnest Ward, DVM with the VCA Animal Hospital,The prognosis depends on how high the body temperature elevated, how long the hyperthermia persisted and what the physical condition of the pet was prior to the heat stroke.”

Some obvious signs of heat stroke include excessive drooling, feeling warm to the touch, and a dry nose. If your dog is showing signs of heat stroke, it’s important to get him moved to a cooler environment immediately. An air conditioned room is ideal. You can apply room temperature water to his body, but do not use ice as this will lower his body temperature too quickly. Finally, make sure to get him to a veterinarian as soon as possible. When it comes to hyperthermia, time is of the essence.

So, remember during these warm summer months, it may be convenient at times to let your pooch tag along on your errands, but don’t be tempted. It’s not worth risking your dog’s health to save a little time. Keep your dog happy and healthy by leaving him home when you have stops to make.

 

 

 

 

Water Safety Tips for Dogs

Summer is finally here and you and your pup are ready to hit the water together for some quality fun in the sun time! But before you and Fido dive in – there’s a few things you need to know to keep your pup safe this summer.

shutterstock_193662557Don’t forget the sunscreen!

This may surprise you, but dogs are vulnerable to getting sunburns, too! Especially those with lighter colored coats. There are even some amazing sunblock brands out there that are made specifically for dogs! So remember to throw a bottle in your bag before you head out the door.

Are you sure your dog can swim?

Before you even venture out into the water, it’s pretty important to know whether or not your dog can even swim. Some breeds flourish in the water. Other breeds not only don’t enjoy being in the water, but really struggle to swim well at all. So before you take your pooch for dip, let him explore some shallow areas first to see if it’s something he’ll enjoy or not.

Invest in a life vest

Whether your dog is a seasoned swimmer or a little nervous to even be near the water, a life vest is a smart item to purchase. No matter if you’re taking your dog out on a boat, or going to play fetch in the nearby river, a vest can be a valuable safety tool to keep your four legged swimmer safe no matter what happens. Just make sure that you measure him and pick out a vest that will fit him appropriately.

shutterstock_533592607Don’t forget that dog’s are not allowed everywhere

As much as we adore our little fur babys, they’re not always allowed everywhere we go. Some places are just not safe places for dogs to play. So be sure to check before you head out with your dog.

shutterstock_594205211Be on the lookout for blue-green algae

You may have heard about it on the news. There is a bacteria known as cyanobacteria that’s usually found in still waters like ponds and lakes. Although it’s not always easy to spot, you can often see it as a blue or green film sitting on the water. Sometimes it will look like brown or green flakes sitting on the shore. Unfortunately this bacteria is often fatal to dogs, so if you see anything unusual in the water, keep your dog away.

Bring fresh water for your pooch to drink

Although your pooch may be tempted to drink from the water he’s playing in, it’s not always a good idea. If it’s fresh water, it’s probably fine, but it wouldn’t be a bad idea to bring some bottles of water along for the trip just in case you encounter some water that looks a little less than safe. And if you’ll be hanging out around the ocean, you’ll most definitely want to bring water as drinking ocean water can make your dog very sick. Don’t forget the collapsable bowls!

Don’t forget to rinse!

After your dog is all finished playing in the water, don’t forget to give him a good rinse to get any bacteria, chlorine, or debris out of his coat. If he decides to groom himself, you don’t want him to ingest anything harmful off his skin and coat. Giving your dog a wash will also help keep his skin from feeling irritated from the water, sand, and debris he may have encountered. And don’t forget to clean his ears – especially those breeds with floppy ears!

Have fun this summer and be safe!

How to Keep Your Dog Cool in the Summer Heat

Summer is such a fun time of year. The weather is beautiful and we can finally get outside to play. But with the fun comes heat – and sometimes, that can mean danger for our four-legged family members. Dog’s can’t sweat or cool themselves like we can and the summer heat can spell trouble really quick for our pups. That’s why we’ve compiled a list with a few tips on how to keep your dog cool this summer.

Plan Your Outings:
Try to plan your walks and park time for the coolest parts of the day. Usually, mornings and evenings are some of the best times to go outside with your pooch. Being outside during the summer months in the heat of the day is often just too much for dogs to handle. Adjusting your schedule a little to accommodate for the weather will make all the difference in the world for your little guy.

Find Shade:
Sometimes going outside during the heat is unavoidable, so do what you can to make the best of it. Try to find shade wherever you are. If you’re on a walk or a hike, keep an eye out for good shade spots and take frequent breaks. If you’re going someplace where there isn’t going to be a lot of shade, consider bringing along a travel canopy. There are many available that are very compact and can fold down to a portable size.

Don’t Forget the Water:
Always bring plenty of water. One of the best ways to keep your dog safe and cool during the hot weather is to always carry water with you. Bring a collapsible bowl and a jug of water and it’ll make all the difference for your pup. Try adding some ice cubes for added coolness!

 

Watch Out for Hot Pavement
Since we are always wearing shoes, sometimes it’s easy for us to forget that the pavement gets very hot and that can really burn a dog’s feet. One of the easiest ways to avoid injuries is to invest in a set of booties for your doggy. It may take a little time for him to get the hang of wearing them, but he’ll get used to it in no time and they’ll really protect his footsies! If your dog is not wearing booties while you’re out and about, be sure to be continuously checking the pavement with your hand to make sure it’s not too hot. If it is, make sure you find some shade ASAP.

Make Some Cool Treats
There are tons of quick and easy recipes online for making easy and yummy cold treats for your doggy this summer. One example is to blend together water, peanut butter, and bananas and freeze in an ice cream tray. Your pup will go bonkers for these sweet and healthy snacks, not to mention they’ll help him cool down.

Get the Hose Out!
One of the easiest – and most fun – ways to keep your pooch cool is to break out of the garden hose and let your dog go to town. Not all dogs are into this activity, but if yours is a fan of playing in the water, set it up! Turn the hose on and let your pup run through the spray! He’ll have the time of his life while he’s getting cooled down. Set up a baby pool for even more fun!

 

Enjoy a Safe Summer with Your Pets

fireworks

Celebrating with fireworks can be stressful for our pets

The glorious warm weather is time to get outdoors and have fun with your pets. However, outdoor activities can be detrimental to your pets’ health and welfare if you’re not aware of these common summertime hazards.

Exercise in the Heat of the Day

While it’s fun to get out and walk, run or bike with your dog, be sure to do so when the temperatures are moderate. If your small dog has to run while you walk and it’s hot, your dog can overheat. Also, your dog is walking ‘barefoot’ and is closer to the pavement which can make it much hotter for your dog than for you.

Brachycephalic (flat faced) breeds can have a hard time getting air, and breathing can be harder in hot humid weather. If you have a pug or bulldog type dog, be sure to get out in the early morning or late evening to avoid heatstroke or breathing problems.

Dog parks can be fun for you and your dog, but be aware that with all the stimulation of canine friends, your pup may overdo the running and playing in the hot summer sun. Watch your dog carefully and bring her into the shade to drink and cool off before she gets too hot and risks heatstroke. Dogs who love to retrieve or play Frisbee will keep running – risking heatstroke – so be sure to moderate their activity.

You may be tempted to run errands on your way home with your pet, but don’t leave your dog in the car when it’s hot. The heat in a car – even with the windows cracked can reach lethal temperatures in a very short time. If your dog is already hot from playing, heatstroke can occur quickly. Take your best friend home to rest before stopping at the store.

Boating and Water Sports

Some dogs love the water and will gladly go boating with you. Sporting breeds can be strong swimmers, but just like with you, the water poses hazards. When you take your dog on your boat, be sure to provide a life jacket or PFD appropriate for your dog’s size.

Take time to train your dog to stay in the boat, so he doesn’t jump off after wildlife. Depending on your location, your dog may be tempted to chase poisonous snakes or predatory wildlife – which could be disastrous for your pet. Giving your dog a designated space will decrease the likelihood of your dog getting underfoot or tangled in fishing lines.

River and ocean currents can pose special dangers to your pet, so be ready to help him out when swimming in these waters. This is when the flotation device can be a lifesaver because there’s usually a handle on the back of the PFD to grab and haul your pet to safety.

Insects, Snakes and Wildlife

When you’re out hiking the wilderness or taking a walk in the woods, you should be aware of the dangers lurking there. Besides the obvious insects: mosquitoes, fleas, and ticks there can be venomous snakes that are potentially hazardous to your dog’s health.

Wildlife usually run away when humans and dogs approach. But they might stand their ground if defending young, and they can hurt your dog. Depending where you’re enjoying the great outdoors, you could have a run-in with coyotes, wolves, lion, deer, elk and moose. Because skunks and porcupines can’t move too fast, they have defense mechanisms to deter attack that can cause your dog pain. If you have a small dog, keep him close to you as eagles have been known to attack small dogs.

Fireworks

More dogs are lost during the Fourth of July celebrations than any other time of year. If your dog or cat is reactive to the noise and lights of this festive time, be sure to create a safe haven in your home where your pets will not be bothered. Because the sensitivity can come on suddenly, be aware if your pet is bothered by thunder and lightning before she runs away in panic.

When you do take them out, be sure to keep them on a leash if there’s any chance they might bolt in fear. When you have a Hale Pet Door, you can securely lock them in the house with the security cover, so there’s no chance of losing them while you’re out celebrating our nation’s birthday.

Dog Water Safety Tips for Home and Out & About

water pugYour pet’s safety is important both to avoid vet bills and unnecessary pain and suffering. Here are a few tips to keep your dog safe while enjoying summer fun.

Safety First when Boating with Your Dog

All dogs can swim, and some are quite expert. However if your dog is accidently thrown overboard, the impact with the water can momentarily stun him, and his swimming instinct may not kick in. The wake from a moving watercraft or the rapids of a fast moving river can roll your dog preventing from swimming.

There are several manufacturers of life jackets for dogs. This site outlines the pros and cons of some of them: http://www.boatus.com/foundation/findings/findingsdog.htm

Keep a close eye on your best friend the first few times in the boat or raft to make sure she doesn’t jump after flying birds or interesting things floating in the water. As with other new experiences, training is essential to a good time for both you and your pet.

Be Aware of Changes in Natural Waterways

That lazy river or small stream can become a hazardous torrent when weather quickly changes upstream. It may be bright and sunny where you are with no notice of rain, but if it’s raining miles upstream, your walk by the creek can change without warning.

If your favorite waterway begins in hilly country, a thunderstorm miles away can change that placid waterway into a danger to your best friend who could get washed away. Pay attention to the weather forecast at the source of the river or stream to avoid putting your dog’s life at risk.

Summer Thunderstorms Can Be Lethal

Get off the water as soon as thunderstorms threaten. Most lakes are flat and wide open, and water is an excellent conductor of electricity. Lightning can be harmful if not fatal to you and your pets, so get off the water and into a building or your vehicle as soon as possible.

Avoid the rivers or streams that feed the lake in case the storm creates a flash flood.

Floods Bring More than Water

When water rises, it can bring all sorts of dangers downstream to your dog who is happily splashing in the water on a hot summer day.

Branches and downed trees can break loose in high water creating a potential collision with your dog. In severe flash floods the water brings rocks and boulders tumbling down the stream or dry wash.

Another not so obvious danger is the pollution from storm water runoff. Pesticides and fertilizers from lawns or farm fields can be toxic for your dog to drink or through skin absorption.

If there’s a sewage plant or septic tanks upstream, the flood water can bring all sorts of nasty pollution into the creek that could potentially make your dog ill.

Safe Water in Your Backyard

If your dog likes water to cool off in, a small kiddie pool can bring relief from the dog days of summer.

Just make sure to change the water often to prevent mosquitoes from reproducing. Another reason to keep the water clean is that dogs usually drink from their pools, and you don’t want her to drink polluted water.

Get a Hale Pet Door So Your Dogs have Access to the Yard and the House

When your dog can ‘answer the call of nature’ then escape the summer heat, he’ll be less likely to develop urinary and elimination problems and be less frustrated. Keep your dog healthy and happy with a Hale Pet Door.