Category Archives: summer safety

Tips to Help Your Dog Stay Cool in Hot Weather

keep cool OakleyBy Laurie Darroch

Dogs do not sweat the way humans do. They sweat through the pads of their feet and cool off by inhaling and exhaling air while panting to keep internal heat down.  Because their body cooling systems are less efficient, it is important to be aware of where your dog is on very hot days and to help your dog deal with the extreme temperatures.

Exercise Times

You may be able to handle a run in the middle of the day in the blazing sun with no problem, but your dog cannot cool off as easily as you can. With limited sweat glands, high energy exercise in the hottest part of the day can be stressful and dangerous for your dog, even if they seem eager to join in the activities. Walk or run in the morning or evening instead of during the highest temperatures of the day.

If you are away from home and out in the hottest weather with your dog, be sure to bring a container of water for your dog. Allow your dog a rest period and find shaded areas to help your dog cool down.

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Sun Safety Tips for Dogs

By Suzanne Alicie

The heat of summer is upon us! My doggie, Bear, may be getting old but she still loves to romp in the back yard or simply lie under a tree and nap. Fresh air is good for dogs, and you may think that heat is better for your dog than cold but there are several ways in which both heat and sun can harm your dog.

Rule number one is to always make sure your dog has plenty of fresh, cool water and a shady or covered area to lie down and relax. We’ve discussed other summer safety tips for dogs here on the Responsible Pet Ownership blog, but let’s focus this time on sun safety.

You might assume that because your dog is covered in fur he’s unlikely to suffer any problems from the sun, but let me surprise you! There’s more to me than a sappy doggie mommy who has been trained to dole out the CANIDAE TidNips. I know some stuff!

Use Sunscreen

Sunscreen can help prevent your dog’s nose and ears from getting sunburn. These are sensitive areas and are exposed even if there is hair on the dog’s ears. Keep in mind that light colored dogs are similar to folks with very fair skin — they will burn faster than dark dogs. Some dogs have thick coats while others have thinner coats. Poodles that have been freshly groomed have quite a bit of exposed skin for sunburn, so it is important to keep a close eye on them when they are playing in the sun.

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Good Dog Health Includes Healthy Feet

By Linda Cole

We don’t always realize how important our feet are until something causes them pain. A dog’s feet are equally important for them. Their paw pads and feet are pretty special and without healthy feet, a dog would have trouble getting from one place to another. It’s important to pay attention to a dog’s feet to make sure they stay sound. Healthy feet can make a big difference to a dog’s wellbeing.

Dogs don’t walk on the soles of their feet like we do. They walk on their toes, which is one reason why it’s important to keep their nails trimmed to maintain healthy feet. Their feet act like shock absorbers and give them the traction they need to do all kinds of things. The rough paw pads are extra shock absorbers that help dogs make quick turns, leap for Frisbees and run or sprint with enough endurance to finish their task. Each foot has four pads, and each pad makes contact with the ground.

Toenails that are left untrimmed can cause the dog to slide back on his paws more, putting more strain on his legs. When they don’t set their feet properly because of long toenails, it interferes with how they walk and their gait will be off. Toenail biting generally means the nails are too long and need to be trimmed (for detailed instructions, see How to Give Your Pooch a Pedicure. Nails should also be inspected to make sure there are no injuries to the toe that might have caused an infection. It’s possible for dogs to break a toe or a bone in their foot. We can accidentally break a dog’s toe if we step on their foot.

A dog’s healthy feet need attention from us to help keep them in good shape. Dogs that do a lot of hiking, running and activities where they make sharp turns or jumps can damage their paw pads. Cuts, sharp rocks, rough terrain, rock salt, cracked pads, slivers of glass, splinters, burrs, fleas, insect bites, bee stings, scrapes or tiny rocks that get caught between the pads or toes can all turn a dog’s healthy feet into painful ones. Even a slow walk around the neighborhood gives dogs a chance to step on something that can cut their paw pads. Regular inspection of their feet will catch most pesky injuries before they can become infected and cause problems.

Matted hair can bother dogs, especially ones who have long hair between their paw pads. Small rocks, frozen snow or ice, rock salt and other foreign objects can become caught in the hair. The long hair also makes it harder for the dog to get good traction. As a responsible pet owner, you can help by keeping the hair trimmed even with their paw pads.

Minor foot injuries are simple to take care of at home with over the counter medications made for dogs that can clear up minor cuts and infections. However, any time you find a wound on your dog that’s become infected and is warm to the touch, swollen or painful, it needs to be taken care of by a veterinarian. Prescription medication or ointments may be needed.

A dog’s paw pads are pretty tough, but even healthy feet are no match for asphalt or cement on a hot day. Since we usually have on shoes, it’s easy for us to not even notice how hot asphalt or cement is. A dog’s pads can be burned if they walk on these hot surfaces. Keep your dog in the grass on hot summer days to help protect their pads. Metal on a hot day can also be dangerous for a dog’s feet, and can burn their pads.

If your dog is limping, refusing to walk, licking at his feet or chewing, or if you see redness or blisters, part of a pad missing or the pads look darker than they should, these can be signs your dog has burned pads. It’s always a good idea to have a vet evaluate burned pads to make sure they don’t require antibiotics or other medications. If the burn is deep, infection can set in.

Winter snow and ice can cause injuries to a dog’s paw pads too. Read Winter Paw Care for Dogs for information on how to take care of your dog’s feet during the winter months.

Good dog health includes healthy feet. Limping, whining, chewing or signs of swelling indicate something is wrong with your dog’s foot. Careful inspection can usually tell you what’s bothering your dog. Quick and responsible action is needed to keep a simple cut or minor infection from becoming a problem. It’s important to pay attention to your dog’s feet to help keep them (and him!) in tip top shape.

Read more articles by Linda Cole

The personal opinions and/or use of trade, corporate or brand names, is for information and convenience only. Such use does not constitute an endorsement by CANIDAE® All Natural Pet Foods of any product or service. Opinions are those of the individual authors and not necessarily of CANIDAE® All Natural Pet Foods.

How to Keep Pets Cool Without Air Conditioning

By Linda Cole

Air conditioning is a blessing and a curse during the dog days of summer. It seems like they break down on the hottest days. And not every pet is lucky enough to live in an air conditioned home. As responsible pet owners, we need to be mindful of how higher temperatures affect our pets, and when the air goes silent or you don’t have air conditioning, we still need to provide relief for our pets. So how can we keep our pets cool without air conditioning? Read on.

Since we don’t wear fur coats like our pets do, it’s essential to pay close attention to them when hot weather rolls in. Make sure outside pets have access to adequate shade and fresh water. Shaded areas change as the sun makes its daily run across the sky. To help keep your pet cool, pay attention to areas in your yard that have the most shade for the entire day.

Make sure water containers are placed where your pet can’t tip them over. Spill proof bowls can help but aren’t always foolproof. The best solution is a specially designed water bowl that’s made to connect directly to a garden hose. A pressure valve controls the amount of water in the bowl. When it gets below a certain level, the valve opens allowing water to refill the bowl. This way, your dog has access to fresh water that’s cooler than water in a bowl heated by the sun.

Dogs have their own natural cooling system. Panting helps them cool down, but when the weather heats up, they need help to stay cool. Even cats will pant on an especially hot day. You know it’s hot if your cat is panting. Outside cats can usually find a cool spot out of the heat, but it’s important to know where your kitty is so you can keep an eye on them.

A child’s wading poolis a great way for an outside dog to find some cool relief from the heat. Make sure the pool is in the shade, and only put enough water in to wet the underside of the dog unless you’re able to supervise. And never allow your pet to swim in a swimming pool unsupervised.

Fresh water is essential. Keeping an inside pet cool without air conditioning isn’t that difficult. Make sure to keep water bowls filled with fresh, clean water. It’s important for pets to drink plenty of water to stay hydrated. Cats are more apt to drink fresh water over day old water that’s been sitting around. You can add ice cubes to the water as the temperature climbs. Ice cubes seem to be interesting to cats, and they’ll check out their water to investigate those strange things floating in it.

Use fans. I like using pedestal fans because they’re up away from the pets, and you can set them to oscillate which helps distribute air around an entire room. I also use two of the wind machine fans that sit on the floor. Both the dogs and cats camp out in front of them when it’s really hot. You can also put ice cubes or a block of ice in a big bowl in front of a fan. This helps cool the air as the fan melts the ice. Window fans set so they are blowing out can help circulate air throughout a house. Close all of the windows except for one or two. The window fan will pull air back into the house through the opened windows.

Spray them down. You can help keep pets cool by spraying their paws, legs and around their neck with water. You can also take an ice cube wrapped in a paper towel and rub it along their neck, down their back, legs and over their paws. Cats appreciate this as much as dogs.

Keep curtains and window shades closed during the hottest part of the day. One of the best ways to keep pets cool without air conditioning is by keeping the hot sun out of the house to begin with.

Reconsider the crate. It’s difficult to keep a pet cool without air conditioning when they’re enclosed in a crate. If you have to keep your dog confined, you’ll need to make sure the crate is large enough for him to comfortably move around in without spilling his water. He’ll need his own fan as well. A better solution is to find an area in the home where he doesn’t have to be confined. You could also check to see if there are doggie daycares in your area, or someone who could pet sit while you’re away.

Keeping your pet cool in the summer heat is an important part of responsible pet ownership. Know your pet and how well they deal with heat. Some pets do better than others. Heat stroke is a possibility if they get too hot. Most pets do just fine in hot weather as long as they have plenty of water, shade and air movement, especially inside pets. Just remember – if you’re hot, so are your pets.

Read more articles by Linda Cole

The personal opinions and/or use of trade, corporate or brand names, is for information and convenience only. Such use does not constitute an endorsement by CANIDAE® All Natural Pet Foods of any product or service. Opinions are those of the individual authors and not necessarily of CANIDAE® All Natural Pet Foods.

Keep Your Dog Safe In and Around Water

By Suzanne Alicie

When you think of water safety for a dog, more than likely the cute image of a doggie with a life jacket sitting on a boat pops into your head. While this is a safety measure for dogs when boating or swimming, it is only one of the things that a responsible pet owner must consider to keep their dog safe in and around water.

So, Fido is wearing his life jacket as he rides on the boat for your big fishing trip, but there are other dangers that lurk in that idyllic activity. Fish hooks, bait, and other fishing paraphernalia can be quite dangerous to your canine friend. Make sure to keep these harmful items away from your dog while he’s on the boat with you.

The life jacket is a smart decision whether boat riding or just hanging out around the pool, at the beach or the lake. No matter how well your dog swims, currents, tides, and even his energy level can lead to drowning. Any time your dog is going to be around a body of water, it is advised that you have a canine approved life jacket on them.

Swimming pools present other dangers besides drowning. There are chemicals in pool water to keep it clean and good for swimming, but if your dog drinks the chlorine and other chemicals he can become very sick and even die. The same can be said for the ocean, ponds and creeks; while not treated with chemicals, these bodies of water can be contaminated with parasites and bacteria. Always make sure your dog has fresh drinking water nearby. It is always smart to rinse your dog off and even douse him with vinegar after swimming to kill bacteria, and to remove harmful agents that he may ingest while grooming. Vinegar is also effective at removing that “wet dog” smell.

Frolicking on the beach and running through the surf may be your dog’s idea of a perfect day. He may love the warm sand, cool water and playtime, but there are dangers to be found here as well. Sea lice and jellyfish can ruin your dog’s day and cost you a pretty penny at the vet. If your dog drinks too much salt water while playing in the surf, he could become sick. Again, it is important that your dog wears a life jacket when dealing with waves and undertow at the beach. A strong wave or a quick undercurrent can sweep your dog away right before your eyes; a life jacket will help him keep his nose above water until he can find the shore and you again.

Most dogs can swim, or can be taught to swim. Do not, however, throw your dog into the water and assume that he will be able to swim. He may be surprised and swallow water, choke and drown before you can get to him. Lead your dog into the water in a safe area and let him swim on his own. Once he is used to the water and enjoys swimming he may jump in eagerly. Swimming is excellent exercise for dogs and also provides them with relief from the summer heat. However, just as with children pet owners should pay close attention to their dog when in and around water. Make sure that summer fun doesn’t lead to tragedy by following all safety precautions for your four legged friend.

Read more articles by Suzanne Alicie

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The personal opinions and/or use of trade, corporate or brand names, is for information and convenience only. Such use does not constitute an endorsement by CANIDAE® All Natural Pet Foods of any product or service. Opinions are those of the individual authors and not necessarily of CANIDAE® All Natural Pet Foods.

Summer Safety for Dogs

By Suzanne Alicie

Just like humans, dogs enjoy the summertime. Warm balmy days, playing outdoors, going on vacation – what’s not to love? However, there are certain summertime safety measures that responsible pet owners should take. There are several different aspects of the season that can cause problems for your dog. We all want our dogs to enjoy the great outdoors in the summertime, but it is always wise to take some precautions against these potential dangers.


If your dog is spending time outdoors, it is important that he has a cool shaded area with plenty of fresh water to drink. Even a few hours outside without any shelter or water can cause heat exhaustion, heat stroke and general overheating. While dogs love to be outside and enjoy the warm weather, as dog owners we have to remember to take care and not expose them to too much of the heat.

Fleas and Ticks

While these are year round problems in some areas, during the summer it is extremely dangerous for dogs to be unprotected. There are several ways to protect your dog from fleas and ticks in the summertime. Whether you use a topical treatment, pills, collars, powders, or natural methods, treat your dog and his bedding to help prevent flea and tick infestations. Also, check your dog regularly after he spends time outdoors, to remove pesky ticks before they get attached. As a dog moves around outside, even if he is treated, more than likely you will still find a tick or two occasionally. For more information on how to fight these nasty pests, read Natural Flea Control for Dogs and Cats, by Linda Cole.


Your dog may be more active outdoors in warm weather, which could lead to exploring new areas, and traveling with you. This can expose your dogs to the dangerous Parvovirus and other infectious diseases. Make sure your dog has had all of his inoculations, and try to keep a sharp eye on what he may eat, sniff or roll in as he checks out the summertime world around him.

Grooming Problems

As the weather heats up, many dogs will shed their winter coats. This means that you will have to spend a little extra time brushing and grooming your dog. Another cause of extra grooming is that dogs love to run and roll, which leaves them with grass, burrs and other hitchhikers attached to their coat. Dogs’ nails tend to get naturally worn when they spend time outdoors, but it is important to check your dogs’ paws for pad tears, broken nails and other problems that may cause them pain. It’s always a good idea to have a doggie first aid kit on hand to treat these little problems and keep your dog running smoothly on all four padded paws.

Getting outdoors in the summertime is a lot of fun for both you and your pet. Taking a few precautions and extra steps to prepare your dog for the season can help insure that summer remains a pleasure and not a cause of distress for you or your dog.

Photo courtesy of Tero Miettinen.

Read more articles by Suzanne Alicie

Find CANIDAE Retailers Near You!

The personal opinions and/or use of trade, corporate or brand names, is for information and convenience only. Such use does not constitute an endorsement by CANIDAE® All Natural Pet Foods of any product or service. Opinions are those of the individual authors and not necessarily of CANIDAE® All Natural Pet Foods.