How to have the most peaceful 4th of July for you AND your dog
Fireworks displays are always fun to watch, but it is important to keep fireworks a safe distance from your dog. As you might guess, lit fireworks can cause severe burns, and unlit fireworks pose a threat if accidentally ingested. If you plan to attend a firework show somewhere you may want to consider keeping your pets at home during the show. Fireworks are loud and shows tend to be crowded, neither of which are very fun for even the most socialized of dogs! Some dogs may even become panicked by the loud sound fireworks make, which might cause them to try and escape to find safety.
Instead, try to keep your dog in a quiet area of your home that is comfortable for them. It may help to leave some music or the TV on to help cover up some noise made by any nearby fireworks displays, and make your dog feel more at ease. Perhaps while you enjoy your 4th of July popsicle, your pup can enjoy a 4th of July pupsicle during the fireworks. A frozen kong stuffed with water soaked kibble, kibble mixed with yogurt, wet dog food, or any other yummy snack is a delicacy and will be sure to keep your dog busy during the loud booms!
Thoughts on Health and Wellness
Summertime Heat Safety Tips
During the summer months, we tend to get more active and take advantage of the nice weather. Naturally, we want to take our canine friends along with us to share in the enjoyment and fun. However, because dogs can’t tell us in our language when they are hot or their paws hurt, we’ve provided some pointers below to help you and your furry friend navigate the warm weather:
- Don’t leave your dog or puppy unattended in a car on a warm day. Although it might seem like a mild day, cars can heat up to unsafe temperatures very quickly. For example:
- 70 degrees outside can heat your car up to 89 degrees in 10 minutes, and up to 104 degrees in a half hour.
- 80 degrees outside can heat your car up to 99 degrees in 10 minutes, and up to 114 degrees in half hour.
Some alternatives to leaving your dog behind in the car are
- Go through the drive-thru (make sure to request something special for your furry buddy!)
- Have a friend of family member accompany and stay with your dog to keep him in an air-conditioned car, or to take out to get fresh air as needed.
- Shop at pet friendly stores and visit pet friendly outdoor patios
- Leave your pup at home while you run errands
- We mentioned above that it is important to protect
your dog’s paws from burning on hot pavement. If you can hold the back of your
hand to asphalt for 5 seconds, it’s safe for your dog to walk on comfortably
without higher risk of damage. If you can’t, here are some things you can do to
help keep your dog’s paw pads safe:
- Walk in areas where your dog can be on grass
- Walk during times where the temperature is cooler (early morning or later evening)
- Use protective booties (make sure your dog is properly conditioned to them before going out for a long jaunt, but please make sure to record the “boot walk” and share with us!)
- Use protective paw wax (Musher’s Secret is a great option)
- Look for signs of heat stroke. Unlike us, our
furry pals don’t have all sorts of sweat glands to help regulate our body heat
very easily. Because of this, dogs can be very sensitive to heat. Some things
to watch for are excessive panting, excessive drooling, lethargy, staggering or
stumbling, vomiting or diarrhea, dry or pale gums, deep and rapid breathing. If
you are noticing these signs or have any thoughts that your dog may have heat
exhaustion or heat stroke, seek emergency medical attention immediately. Some
things you can do to help prevent heat stroke are:
- Give plenty of access to fresh, clean drinking water
- You can help keep them cooler by using cooling vests or beds, or simply soaking a cloth in cool water and press to their armpits, paws, head and neck.
- Adjust their routine to allow for play during times where the temperatures are cooler
The Good, The Bad, and The Yucky
Summertime Sickness–the yucky!
Today we want to give you some pointers about Giardia—the yucky. As we spend more time outside during the nice-weather months, we tend to provide more opportunity for our dogs to investigate (and potentially get into) more things than they would in the winter months. Did you know giardia in dogs could cause diarrhea, vomiting, weight loss, poor condition, or death? Interestingly, many dogs infected with giardia show no symptoms at all. People can ALSO get giardia causing diarrhea or other problems (but thankfully rarely from dogs). Dogs can get giardia from water that has been soiled with feces (think wild animals that don’t have a loving human to pick up after them). Here are some tips to make sure your pup stays healthy and giardia free this summer:
- Give your dog safe, clean water to drink.
- Prevent your pup from eating feces from any animal – rabbit, goose, dog, etc.
- Pick up your dog’s feces immediately, avoiding contact with your skin (remember what we said about humans being able to get it?).
- Puppies are frequently infected with intestinal parasites due to
them working REALLY hard on building up a strong immune system. This makes them
susceptible to re-infection. Therefore, multiple fecal flotations are
recommended for young animals.
- Pet owners should bring a fresh stool sample to each appointment for the initial series of veterinary visits. If a pet is found to have parasites, follow-up fecal flotations may be recommended to monitor the response to treatment.
- To ensure your pup is healthy, fecal floatations are recommended for all dogs yearly.
No Love for Bugs – the Bad!
Help to repel the pesky flea, ticks and summer bugs with an organic, all-natural option. Also, this is an excellent add-on to your existing preventatives!
- Bug, Flea & Tick Spray – dogs
- Bug Off Extreme – dogs (only available at The Dog Den)
- Human Bug Spray – We have a water-based version for the Fur-Baby parents too!
All are in an aloe vera base to help soothe the skin and repel dirt. The essential blend, “Bug Off,” with Geranium and Lavender is safe for dogs 1 plus years of age. While the “Bug Off Extreme” has catnip for the extra repelling for those buggy situations and safe for dogs above 2 plus years of age.
*Please never use aromatherapy on any puppies younger than one year of age.*
To keep, store in the refrigerator, shake well and apply a small amount to human hands and rub through the dog’s coat, remembering to get their belly and armpits. Use for a few days on and a few days off.
Ingredients: Gel Spray: Organic aloe vera gel, Witch Hazel and organic essential oils: Lavender and Geranium; Catnip.
The Dog Den Price: 4 oz bottle $18—ask about our bug spray the next time you are in!
The Good- Have Fun Blog Post
Outdoor activities and fun in the sun are great ways to bond and make memories with your dog! What better way than to go for…SWIMMIES! While going for a swim is lots of fun, it is best to be prepared for any situations that might arise so you and your dog can stay safe while having fun. Here are some tips for “fun at the lake”:
- Make sure to wash your dog off once you are done playing in the water. The minerals, salt, and algae can potentially irritate their skin.
- Thoroughly dry your dogs ears after swimming. Warm, dark and wet areas, (such as their ears) are a perfect place for bacteria, yeast and fungi to multiply.
- Blue-green algae is fatal to animals that consume it, potentially leading to kidney failure and death. You can avoid this by trying your best to stay away from stagnant bodies of water around mid summer (when the water temperature is hotter). This is the ultimate breeding grounds for blue-green algae (as well as other illness causing bacteria or parasites). A body of water contaminated with blue green-algae has a “pea soup” color to it.
- We recommend purchasing a life jacket for your dog if they are going to go boating or onto a dock with you, just like you might for yourself or your child (especially if they aren’t a strong swimmer). There are plenty of amazing options out there (and they look pretty darn cute in them)
- Keep in mind what you are looking for when purchasing a life jacket for your dog. Look for a handle—this can make it easier to grab a hold of your dog, but also allows you to help hold him up as he/she gets comfortable swimming. Does it have somewhere on the life jacket for a leash? Think about the color of the vest/jacket as well, brighter colors with reflective strips allow your dog to be more visible when they are swimming.
- Consider what your dogs breed is when picking out a life jacket for them too. Some breeds are naturally strong swimmers (we’re looking at you Labradors) vs. dogs who might not be the best at swimming or staying afloat (i.e. Frenchies and Bulldogs).
- If your dog doesn’t like water, don’t force them! It’s okay to not love water (heck—some of us at The Dog Den and The Puppy Den don’t!) and we don’t want to scare them, because ultimately that can make trying to learn how to swim harder.
- If going to any beaches, make sure to look for glass, metal, and anything sharp! You may even want to consider purchasing water shoes for your dog. (Did we mention how cute your little life-jacket-wearing bootie-protected dog will be?)
- Make sure to bring fresh water along when you go swimming with your pup. Sometimes drinking the water from the ponds/rivers/pools isn’t the best for them and can actually make them sick with things like giardia and bad bacteria which may cause upset stomachs.
- Last but not least, always make sure to check your dog over during nightly snuggle time, no matter the outdoor activity. Ticks, cuts, scrapes and any other potential problems may be visible after your bit adventure and we want to stay on top of that.
We hope you have a wonderful warm and safe summer and look forward to seeing you in daycare and classes. As always, we are honored to be your resource for everything canine so if you have any questions, please doesn’t hesitate to reach out to email@example.com.