Lotsa Dogs Lotsa Fun

Lotsa Dogs Lotsa Fun
The Big Dogs Wait at The Door

Saturday, July 23, 2005

The Dog Days of Summer

The days are longer, the nights are warmer, and opportunities for dogs to play outside abound. Like us, our pets feel the changes of season and rush to meet them. But they don't always know how to tell us when they're uncomfortable, overheated, ill or injured; they rely on us to protect them from summer hazards.

Dogs have a harder time cooling themselves than we do. They release heat by panting, and by sweating through their paws; they don't have sweat glands anywhere else. On hot days, exercise your dog in the early morning or in the evening, and always carry water so she can drink frequently. In extreme heat, you can spray down her coat with cool (not cold) water before and after exercise. NEVER leave her in a parked car, even with the windows open. Every summer, we hear about dogs who die when exposed to the heat trapped in a car.

Keep your dog out of direct sunlight, and steer clear of asphalt, which heats quickly and burns paws. Don't shave your pet to the skin, as dogs sunburn easily and are as vulnerable to skin cancer as we are. Keep at least an inch of hair on longer coated pups. Fur actually keeps some dogs coooler, and always acts as a natural sunscreen. Before going outside, put sun block on his ear tips, his nose, and any other exposed areas.

And, oh by the way, please don't allow your dog to hang out of a moving car, especially the back of a pick up truck!!!

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Signs of Heat Stroke

In hot weather, watch out for these signs:

  • Heavy panting
  • Glazed eyes
  • Rapid pulse
  • Unsteadiness or staggering
  • Vomiting
  • A deep red or purple tongue

If you see these signs, take your dog to a veterinarian immediately!

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The Doggie Den Homepage

Wednesday, July 13, 2005

The Pleasures and Perils of Pools

Backyard pools are one of the joys of summer. However, we need to remember that they represent a drowning hazard to pets and wildlife alike; safety should be a priority for animals as well as people.

Not all dogs can handle water. Breeders and rescue groups will often refuse to place their dogs with families who have unfenced pools. Some breeds have a front heavy design (bulldogs, boxers, pugs) which makes swimming difficult, if not impossible. They can tire quickly and risk drowning. Even dogs who love to swim need to be supervised, and it's a good idea to teach them to go to the pool steps. It's safer for them and will save your pool liner! One person should be in the water with the dog, helping him toward the steps. Another person should be on the steps encouraging him in the right direction and offering a treat as a reward for using the steps.

Even the best intentions don't always keep gates closed to unsupervised animals, so the best solution is an exit ramp, such as the Skamper-Ramp. These ramps anchor to the side of the pool and are designed to attract animals. Once your pet steps onto the submerged end of the ramp, the ramp surface helps him crawl to safety. The Skamper-Ramp is available in pool supply outlets and online: www.skamper-ramp.com.

If your dog enjoys the pool regularly, remember to hose her off with fresh waterwhen she's done. Chlorine and other pool chemicals leave the coat sticky, and damage it over time. Dry, lifeless fur, dry skin, and rashes can be the result.

The Doggie Den Homepage