They don't call them "dog days" for nothing: Summer is a great time to enjoy your pet, whether it means more outdoor time, travel, or just keeping cool at home. Here are a few tips to make sure your pet enjoys the season as much as you do.
Dogs have few sweat glands and use the panting mechanism to get rid of excess heat. But even if a dog is panting, it doesn't mean he is uncomfortable -- it just means his internal mechanism has kicked in to keep him cool. The faster and more shallow the panting, the more heat the dog is trying to release from its body.
Summer is for running free -- all the more reason your dog should obey your commands. One type of training you might want to investigate is an "attention" class. Even if your dog focuses on you indoors, outside he may think it's a free-for-all with so much distraction. In attention class, you spend eight weeks doing nothing but getting your dog's attention focused on you with a single word command. It works wonders for people in competitive obedience. Look to a local dog club for a trainer for such a class.
Use a dryer sheet to help with thunderstorm phobias. Anxiety in a pet during a thunderstorm isn't the flashes of light or the sound, but a buildup of static electricity in their coat. Rub a dryer sheet on the coat to remove the static electricity. It will reduce or eliminate the pet's extreme anxiety and discomfort. (This method works about 50% of the time.)
While some dogs never get over car sickness, your best opportunity to desensitize them to motion is when they're young. One reason for motion sickness in young pups is the lack of early handling by humans. Try cuddling her upside down in your lap, pick her up in the air or roll her around on the ground like a log. These small motions a few times a day will mimic what she is exposed to in the car.
A dog's eyes, nose and ears may be more sensitive than a human's and as such may be a tad more susceptible to the effects of chlorine, but that shouldn't keep Rover from a refreshing dip in the pool. Just take care to keep him from ingesting too much chlorinated water. As for the ears, most infections in dogs with floppy ears are caused by water and dampness, not the chlorine in the water.
Never leave a dog unattended in a car in warm weather. A Stanford University test found that when it is 72 degrees outside, a car's internal temperature can rocket to 116 degrees within an hour, even with windows cracked. When it is 85 degrees outside, the temperature inside a car can soar to 102 degrees in 10 minutes and 120 degrees in 30 minutes. A dog can withstand a high body temperature for only a short time before suffering nerve damage, heart problems, liver damage, brain damage, or even death. For more information and educational materials, visit MyDogIsCool.com.
Until they build up their immunity, puppies are susceptible to diseases carried by wildlife. Canine Distemper Virus (CDV) is carried by a number of wildlife carnivorous species such as raccoons, skunks, foxes, otters, weasels, coyotes, wolves, and even mink. It is spread through the secretions and excretions of infected animals usually in airborne particles that other animals, including dogs, can breathe in. Rabies is similarly passed through secretions but usually as the result of a bite from a rabid host. Click on the link below for ways to keep your puppy safe.
If you're planning to fly a young puppy home from her breeder, make sure you work with the breeder to ensure that she meets the requirements for air travel as checked baggage (traveling alone in the cargo area) versus in-cabin travel (with a passenger) since the requirements differ. This might include needing a health certificate from a veterinarian -- no more than 10 days prior to travel -- listing vaccinations and stating that the puppy is at least eight weeks old.
If you take your pet on vacation this summer, add a tag like this one to her collar. That way, if she strays, people will be able to reach you.
Print your contact information on card stock. Using a 2-inch circular craft punch or scissors, cut out card stock and 2 pieces of clear self-adhesive shelf liner. Sandwich paper between pieces of liner. Punch a hole for a key ring to attach to a collar.
Even with the best protection, your might find the occasional tick on your dog. To remove, simply grab the tick body as close to the dog's skin as possible and gently pull straight out. Using Vaseline or alcohol, or burning the tick, is pointless. If you should leave the tick head in the skin along with those nasty barbed teeth, fear not: The dog's immune system will fight back and form a small bump of granulation tissue around the tick mouth parts to protect it from infecting the rest of the dog.
Heavy-coated breeds may appear to suffer more in hot weather because of the massive amounts of coat. However, this is not the case, says AKC expert Lisa Peterson. The coat on a dog acts as insulation from both hot and cold air temperatures. The coat traps the air close to the body which is the same temperature as their body. Most people think that by shaving off the coat they are doing the dog a favor, but shaving a dog down to the skin you not only increase the risk of heatstroke but sunburn.