Category Archives: summer safety

7 Tips for Exercising Your Dog in Hot Weather

dog exercise majaBy Laurie Darroch

Dogs need exercise even in the hot weather, but there are ways to do it that keep their comfort and safety in mind. Like us, dogs are affected by the extremes of weather. To prevent heat exhaustion and burned feet, follow these 7 tips for giving your dog exercise in hot weather.

Time of Day

Extreme heat is draining and physically stressful for most humans, and for our dogs too. Even if the heat is not bothersome to you, keep in mind that to cool off naturally, your dog does not sweat over their whole body the way you do.  Extreme temperatures are harder for them to deal with. Minimize exercise and activity in the hottest parts of the day. Walks and outside play are better in the early morning, late afternoon or evening, not in the middle of the hot day. Even if that midday lunch break is a great time and perfectly tolerable for you to go for a jog, it may not be for your dog. Do something different and go for a nighttime walk after dark on occasion, if you live in a safe area. You both might enjoy the change.

Cool Exercise Alternatives

Play in the water to give both you and your dog exercise and keep them cooler at the same time. Go for a swim, run through the sprinkler or go to the beach to keep active and cool at the same time. If you have the space, buy a small kiddie pool just for your dog to cool off. Put it somewhere in the yard where your dog can have access to it. Keep a big beach towel nearby to prevent your dog from running into the house soaking wet after playtime.

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7 Tips for Taking Your Dog to a Public Gathering

dog event evaBy Laurie Darroch

Even if your dog is very well trained, an outing to a crowded public gathering such as a flea market, outdoor concert or art festival can be a challenge with so many distractions and temptations. You can help make the event more fun and less stressful if you go prepared. First, you’ll need to make sure dogs are allowed where you are going, because you can’t leave your dog in the car if they aren’t permitted to join you at the event. Here are some tips for a successful outing with your four legged friend.

Food and Treats

Feed your dog before the outing, particularly if there will be food served there. Your dog will be less likely to beg for food or bother people who have it if they are already full. Even a very well trained dog gets tempted sometimes when there are so many intriguing smells and so many people with food milling around.

Bring along some CANIDAE dog biscuits in case you need to encourage good behavior while you are out and about.  If you keep some handy, you can reinforce any social training you may be doing with your dog as well.

Leash Up!

Many public places or gatherings require that all dogs be on a leash. It is too easy for your dog to dart off to an interesting distraction if they are off leash. Chances are there will be plenty of other dogs present as well, and not all dogs get along.

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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.