Tag Archives: summer

Taking your dog to the beach

By Deb Young
 
Taking your dog to a pet friendly beach can be a highlight of the summer for both of you.
Spending some time in the water and on the sand can be a much different experience than what he is used to.
 
 Some beaches allow dogs to roam around without being on a leash while others require it. Knowing the laws beforehand can prevent you from getting any fines. In addition, for beaches where dogs don’t have to be leashed, you can determine if you are comfortable with your dog being around other dogs running free.
Keeping some tips in mind can make sure he enjoys the outing as much as you do.

1)  Bring plenty of water for both you and your dog , Your dog may still try too chomp on surf but ensure they don’t take in too much salt water, which can cause vomiting and diarrhea.

2) Bring a blanket to sit on that is big enough for both you. The sand can get very hot on the paws.

3) Expect to get visited by other peoples dogs – sometimes dogs come up and mark their territory on your property. So don’t take anything down to the beach that you really care about.

4) Bring pick up bags – to clean up after your dog. Not only is it the law, its also a health hazard to fellow canine visitors/people and the environment.

5) Have fido wear a nylon leash and lead. The water will ruin your good leather gear. If the nylon lead and collar get wet in the ocean be sure to rinse it out with tap water when you get home – and let it air dry in case your dogs skin is sensitive to the salt water. 

6) Rinse your dog down when you get home – again if your dog’s skin is sensitive to the salt water a quick rinse will help prevent skin irritation. You should than dry your dog off with a towel, or let him dry in the sun if its a warm day or use a hairdryer set on warm, not hot to dry them off thoroughly.

7) Bring toys- Your dog may be inclined to chew on pieces of drift wood. The sharp pieces can hurt his gums and the inside of his mouth; he can also ingest them. Instead, bring some toys that he can use only when he goes to the beach, such as solid rubber toys that no sand can get into.

8) Consider Sunscreen- For pets who are shaved, that shaved area is at risk of being burned,  The little nose tip, especially if you’re a pale-nosed dog or white-nosed cat or dog, those areas are prone to sun-induced tumors.

Pet owners, particularly dog owners, need to be careful with sunscreens, because some ingredients can be toxic if they are licked off. Zinc oxide should never be used because dogs can become dangerously anemic if it is ingested.

Make sure to keep an eye on your dog for when he starts to get too tired or warm so you can take him home. A day at the beach can be a fun day out for both of you. He can scamper about, make some new friends, get some exercise and enjoy some time in the sun. The only thing better is that when he gets home, he will get tons of sleep.

Vacationing with Fido!

By Deb Young

For some of us, taking a vacation just wouldn’t be nearly as much fun if we couldn’t share it with our dogs. Camping and other outdoor adventures are natural vacation options with our four-legged friends, although dog-friendly vacations can be as plush as a four-star hotel stay!

While taking your dog on vacation can be great fun, it can also pose some challenges. Not every dog (or person, for that matter) will enjoy a visit to a crowded tourist destination. Not every relative will appreciate having us show up on their doorstep with our dog in tow. And some dogs just aren’t cut out for rugged camping adventures. Plus, some dogs become over-excited or anxious when traveling, which can lead to things like marking, barking, or destructive behavior. These won’t make for the most relaxing vacation experience!

Consider some of these dog-related questions when thinking about your vacation:

-Does your dog like adventure and excitement? Or would she be happier with a calm, quiet experience?

-Is your dog a seasoned traveler? Or will this experience be all new?

-Does your dog enjoy people? Other dogs?

-Does your dog have any special needs or physical limitations that might affect her enjoyment of a trip?

How will thinking about these questions help?

If your dog is a social butterfly, and you both love the bustle of people and activity, for example, you might choose a dog-friendly resort area or city.

Or, if your dog is shy of people or likes to run and swim, you might choose a quiet week in a lake-front cabin instead.

Keeping your dog’s personality and experience in mind will help you plan a fun vacation for you both.

The most important thing to consider about traveling with your dog is how accustomed he or she is to the type of travel you will be doing. Is your dog comfortable in the car or camper? Can you take steps ahead of time to help him become more comfortable?

If traveling by car or recreational vehicle, make sure your dog is relaxed on longer rides, doesn’t get car sick, and knows how to settle down. To make it even more pleasant for your dog, plan to make frequent stops to stretch, play, and potty.

Don’t leave your dog alone in the car while you play tourist. Some tourist destinations also have day kennels where you may be able to leave your dog while you visit the sights, but check out any kennel carefully to make sure it is a safe and appropriate place for your dog.

If your vacation involves walking, hiking, or backpacking, make sure your dog is in good enough shape to handle your walking expectations.

What if you can’t take your dog on vacation with you, what do you do?

Selecting the best possible care for your dog while you go on vacation can be a challenge so daunting as to make you seriously consider staying home. Making sure your dog will be safe and in good hands is vital both for her well-being and for the peace of mind you need in order to enjoy your vacation. Selection of the best care environment and the best person to entrust with your dog, you must take into account your dog’s specific needs and comfort level and the options available.

Here are a few helpful things you can do.

– Have someone already well-known and liked by your dog care for him while you are away. Many dog owners prefer this option, because they trust their friends and relatives.

– Hire a qualified in-home pet sitter. This is a good option if your dog will do best in the familiar surroundings of the home and you do not have a neighbor, friend or relative able.

– Board your dog in a traditional boarding kennel. This is a good option if your dog has anxiety or the tendency to be destructive when left alone. Choose a modern boarding facility to provide personalized care for your dog.

Today, many boarding facilities are more like dog resorts, and they are set up to allow friendly dogs to roam freely. Or they have individual rooms instead of kennel runs for their canine clients.

Leave your dog with the familiar items necessary to maintain her comfort level while you are away. Having a favorite food / treats will be comforting. Also having a favorite blanket or toy will be a comfort whether pet stays with a friend, a sitter or in a kennel.

Provide emergency contact information to your dog’s caretaker. It is important that the person or facility responsible for your dog’s care is able to reach you / veterinarian in case of an emergency. Put these important numbers in a location in your home that is easily accessible, or give them to the kennel staff when you drop your dog off to be boarded.

Having a safe and happy summer for you and your dog takes a little planning , but is very important.

Plan well in advance to allow time to research your options. We all want what is best for “Woman’s/Man’s Best Friend”

Dogs and summer

By Deb Young

Hot weather spells trouble for dogs.

Because they can’t release heat by sweating the way humans do, heat and humidity can raise body temp to dangerous levels.

Here are some strategies for helping hot dogs chill out….

To reduce heat stress , let your dog become accustomed to climate changes naturally and gradually. Summer daytime temperatures are coolest at dawn and dusk. Theses are the best times to take your dog for a run or a long walk.

Whenever temperatures climb, provide extra drinking water. Your dog’s panting cools him by releasing body heat, but this process also can dehydrate his body.

To encourage a hot dog to drink on hot days, resupply his cold water. Adding ice cubes provides a steady supply of refreshing, cold water (check to make sure it melts quickly enough to provide as much water as he might wish to drink).

For summer comfort, nothing beats the shade of trees, so as you plan the day’s activities, look for parks, play areas, picnic tables, and hiking trails that are sheltered from direct sunlight.

As many know, it’s never safe to leave a dog in a parked vehicle. The inside of a car parked in the sun, even with its windows down, can increase by several degrees per minute, quickly reaching 125oF or even 150oF.

Even when parked in the shade on a warm day, animals (or kids or the elderly) can succumb to heatstroke or death if left in the car unattended.

If you know who the owner is, a friendly “hey, your pet is hot” or some other means of striking up conversation will alert the owner to the dangers of leaving their pet in the car.
Usually though, the car is in a parking lot and the dog is alone. In this case, speak with a store manager. I have found store managers to be very helpful in locating the owner or calling animal control. They do not want a tragedy happening in their parking lot.

Keeping your dog well groomed, with frequent brushing to remove dead hair, especially the undercoat. Some long-haired or heavy-coated dogs feel much more comfortable with short summer cuts, keeping in mind that dogs whose coats are shaved or cut very short are at risk for sunburn.

Any dog can suffer from heat related issues, but dogs who are most susceptible include the very young and old ,breeds with flat faces or short noses; dogs who are overweight, physically inactive, have cardiovascular disease, or respiratory problems.

The symptoms of heat stress include profuse panting, salivation, an anxious expression, staring without seeing, failing to respond to commands, skin that is warm and dry, fever, rapid pulse, fatigue or exhaustion, muscular weakness, and physical collapse.

The symptoms of heat stroke include a warm nose and foot pads, glazed eyes, heavy panting, rapid pulse, a dark red tongue, fever, dizziness, vomiting or diarrhea, immobility, and unconsciousness. Brain damage occurs when the body’s temperature reaches 106o to 107oF. A dog’s normal temperature is 100.5o to 101.5oF

Heat stroke kills, and heat stress (a less severe condition) can take a serious toll on a dog’s health. Unfortunately, heat-related problems are among the most common summer canine ailments. Plan ahead to keep your best friend happy and healthy!

Dogs and hot cars: a deadly combination

By Lindsay Pollard-Post

No one in their right mind would ever put a beloved animal companion in a hot oven, but every summer, people literally bake their dogs to death by leaving them in parked cars. Already this season, at least six dogs have suffered agonizing, panic-filled deaths inside hot vehicles. Many others have been rescued in the nick of time because a passerby cared enough to intervene.

In Ontario, Calif., a 19-year-old woman is facing cruelty charges for allegedly leaving her 1-year-old golden retriever in a hot car while she shopped at a mall. The dog was euthanized after veterinarians determined that she had sustained brain damage and heart and lung injuries. A Parma, Ohio, woman was recently sentenced to jail time after her dog was found suffering from heatstroke in a car in a bar parking lot. The temperature inside the car had reached 129 degrees. And in London, a police officer reportedly tried to commit suicide after two dogs whom he had left in the back of his patrol car died from the heat.

Each of these tragedies could have been avoided if the people responsible had simply left their dogs indoors with air conditioning or fans running. But every year, countless dogs pay the ultimate price because their guardians underestimate the danger of leaving a living being in a parked car. It doesn’t matter if it’s only slightly warm outside, if the windows are partially rolled down or if the vehicle is sitting in the shade: Parked cars are death traps for dogs.

A parked car can reach deadly temperature extremes faster than the time it takes to pick up a loaf of bread or dash into the bank to cash a check. On a 78-degree day, the temperature inside a shaded car is 90 degrees, and the inside of a car parked in the sun can reach 160 degrees in a matter of minutes.

Hot cars are especially dangerous for dogs because they cannot regulate their body temperature as efficiently as humans can. We can roll down the windows, blast the air conditioning, shed layers of clothing and sweat, but dogs can only cool themselves by panting and perspiring tiny amounts through their footpads.

With only hot air to breathe, panting doesn’t work, so panic sets in for many dogs. Their desperate attempts to escape the roasting-hot vehicle by clawing at the windows or digging at the floor or seats only makes the animals hotter. Collapse, vomiting, diarrhea and loss of consciousness soon occur as the dog’s organs begin to die. Some dogs have heart attacks. According to Plano, Texas, veterinarian Shawn Messonnier, “When you do an autopsy on a dog [who] died this way, the organs are soupy.”

Even if they survive close calls in hot cars, dogs may sustain severe organ damage, which requires extensive and costly veterinary treatment. And as shown by the three cases mentioned above, people who bake their dogs also have a price to pay—in criminal charges, jail time, fines and extreme guilt.

Please, when you’re out and about this summer, be on the lookout for dogs who are trapped in hot cars. If you see one, have the owner paged inside the store or call local animal control authorities or police immediately. Every second counts, and you are that dog’s only hope.

If a dog is showing signs of heatstroke—restlessness, excessive thirst, heavy panting, lethargy, dark tongue, vomiting or lack of appetite and coordination—get him or her into the shade immediately and call 911. Lower the animal’s body temperature gradually by providing water to drink; applying a cold towel or ice pack to the head, neck and chest; or immersing the dog in lukewarm (not ice-cold) water. Rush the dog to a veterinarian.

And whatever you do, don’t put your best friend through suffering that most people wouldn’t wish on their worst enemy. Leave animals at home, where they will be cool, safe and happy—and where they’ll be waiting for you when you return.

Lindsay Pollard-Post is a staff writer for The PETA Foundation.

Jellyfish — swimmers’ new BFFs?

By Becky Fenson

Swimming is my passion. I learned to swim when I was 7 years old and have been drawn to the water ever since. I love it all—sprinting, long-distance swimming and everything in between. I once swam the English Channel, and I’ve swum around Manhattan Island numerous times.

But if there’s one thing that will get me out of the water, it’s jellyfish. While most swimmers shun jellies in order to avoid their painful stings—1,800 people were stung by mauve stingers off the coast of Florida over Memorial Day weekend—I’m more concerned about harming the jellyfish. I know that a misplaced stroke can easily damage a jelly’s delicate body. And now there’s another reason to give jellies their space: New research shows that these animals are far more complex than we ever imagined.

As a recent article in the New York Times reported, we now know that box jellyfish possess a complex visual system that allows them to navigate the murky swamps in which they live. Some of box jellies’ 24 eyes—yes, 24 eyes per jelly—are relatively simple and respond to light and shadow. But box jellies also have eyes that are surprisingly similar to our own—with lenses, retinas and corneas—that unerringly point skyward. Continue reading Jellyfish — swimmers’ new BFFs?

Hot cars can be death traps for dogs

By Lindsay Pollard-Post

The dog days of summer are here, and many people are traveling with their canine companions or driving them to fun places like the beach or the dog park. But unfortunately for dogs, a joyride can quickly turn into a death sentence if their guardians leave them in a parked car, even for a minute or two. It doesn’t take much time for disaster to strike, and it does not help if the windows are cracked or there is water in the car. It’s simply too hot for Spot.

Every year, PETA hears about gruesome cases involving dogs who have literally been cooked to death inside parked vehicles. In a recent USA Today column by Sharon Peters, Plano, Texas, veterinarian Shawn Messonnier described what happens to animals who are left in hot cars. As the car heats up, dogs try to cool themselves the only way they can—by panting. But with only hot air to breathe, panting doesn’t work, and many dogs panic and try to escape the stiflingly hot vehicle by clawing at the windows or digging at the floor or seats.

Their desperation only increases their body temperature, and some dogs have heart attacks as a result. Without intervention, trapped dogs collapse, vomit and have diarrhea and soon lose consciousness as their organs begin to die. Death quickly follows. According to Dr. Messonnier, “When you do an autopsy on a dog [who] died this way, the organs are soupy.” Continue reading Hot cars can be death traps for dogs