Summer Safety Tips for Your Dog

Summer is an ideal time to get outdoors and participate in fun activities with the family pet. Before you head out, there are some important summertime precautions to keep in mind regarding their safety, as this season brings a number of unique risks. Despite the continuous warnings about never leaving an animal unattended in a vehicle, dozens die this way every year. Others drown in backyard pools, and still others become seriously ill due to dehydration.

Dehydration

Being in the heat for an extended amount of time without replenishing your pet’s fluids can quickly become dangerous. Pets can’t verbally communicate with us, so it’s important to pay close attention to their condition, particularly when temperatures skyrocket. If you notice symptoms such as sunken eyes, dry nose, lethargy, or diarrhea, call your veterinarian right away.

Be sure to have water readily available at all times for your four-legged friend, especially on road trips. Bringing a travel bowl while you’re out and about is the best way to ensure that your pet will have what they need during your trip, and be sure to stop regularly to give them a chance to hydrate. If you head out on a hike together for a small jaunt or a lengthy excursion in the Cascade Mountains, keep in mind that the high-desert climate makes it essential to bring plenty of water for both you and your pet. There are a variety of travel water containers available, like the Handi-Drink Instant Dog Drinker.

Heat Stroke

Heat stroke can be fatal, even if your pet is in perfect health. Many pet owners make the mistake of leaving their animal in the car, which can be harmful even if it’s just for a few minutes. Dogs have a higher body temperature than their two-legged companions, with a normal internal body temperature that ranges between 99.5-102.5 degrees Fahrenheit, compared to a human’s 98.6. On an 85-degree day, in just ten minutes your vehicle can reach temperatures of over 100 degrees. Your pet will have no way to help himself which could lead to seizures, brain swelling, and organ failure in a matter of minutes.

In order to prevent your pets from suffering heat stroke, NEVER leave them in a car alone for any amount of time. If you happen to travel with them in a vehicle, make sure that there is enough air flow so that they have a chance to cool off, or use the air-conditioning. Use the drive-up at banks, pharmacies and restaurants and shop at pet-friendly stores when running errands with your pet.

Pool Safety

Animals enjoy cooling off in the water, unfortunately, not all animals are natural swimmers, and many simply cannot swim. Your best bet to keep your pet safe is to have a fence installed around the pool perimeter to keep them from falling in. Installing a pool alarm is also a good idea, provided your pet or pets weighs over 16 pounds, as the alarm will sound loudly if any object of that size or larger enters the water. Other backyard pool accessories like dog life vests or Skamper ramps can be used to prevent water related accidents.

Summer Pet Safety

During the summer, there is an increase in pet accidents and injuries because more pets are outside

Do not leave your pet outside unsupervised unless he is in a safe enclosed fenced area.   Pets need time to get acclimated to the summer heat.  Be certain to have a shaded area that your pet can rest under without the hot sun beating down on him.   Remember that the sun moves so make sure he has shade all day. If the weather is over 80 degrees, let you pet come inside to cool off or even stay inside all day.

Never let you pet run loose. This is how pets get in fights with other dogs or animals, can bite people or get hit by a vehicle.  Always have your pet on a leash when you are walking him.

Most important is to make sure cool, clean, fresh water is available.  Many different outdoor dog waterers are available. The WaterDog Outdoor Pet Fountain operates automatically. The WaterDog actually will sense your dog’s approach to it for water.  It uses smart sonar sensing technology to trigger the WaterDog to turn on when you pet approaches within 3 feet.  It turns off automatically when your pet leaves.  The WaterDog connects easily and quickly to any outdoor faucet. It als includes a flow-through connector to accommodate a garden hose as well. The WaterDog operates on foud C-cell batteries and will last for up to one year.

A more basic outdoor waterer is the EverFull Bowl Auto Waterer This automatic dog watering system easily attaches to your garden hose. Simply attach the 3/4 foot hose to your garden hose, turn on the tapand the bowl automatically fills to the same level, no overflowing, every time your pet takes a drink. The extra large pan is constructed from galvanized steel with the dimesons of  17 L x 17 W x 3.75 H in inches.

NEVER LEAVE YOUR PET IN A CAR in warm weather. Even with the windows cracked open, your car can become a death trap for your pet.  Even in the shade, a car can be 10 to 20 degrees hotter than outdoors, and cracking the window has almost NO effect. At a pleasant 72 degrees, a car in direct sun can reach an internal temperature of 116 in a few minutes.   At 90 degrees outside, the interior of a vehicle can heat up to 160 degrees within several minutes. A dog’s normal temperature is around 101.  Once a dog’s body temperature gets over about 106 the result is  everything from nerve damage, heart problems, liver damage, systemic organ failure,  and death.  It happens within a matter of minutes.

Stop the Spills with Skid Stop Pet Bowls and Mats

Skid Stop Bowls are designed to stop your pet from scooting, sliding, and chasing his bowl across the floor – thereby limiting spills.
The base of each skid-stop bowl is usually manufactured with a thermoplastic rubber rim to help keep it in its place.
There are a number of No-skid bowls on the market.
JW Pet offers a number of skidless pet bowls, the most recent is the “Slow-Eat Skid Stop Bowl” which serves a dual purpose and helps eliminate the possibility that your dog (or cat) will scarf down his or her meal before you even stop pouring!  It’s pictured to the right and you can see that the design makes it a tad bit more difficult for a pet to get the food out, thereby limiting the speed of eating.
Van Ness plastic molding has a skid-stop pet bowl that is extra heavy weight for those real tough pets. It has a contempory design that comes in multiple sizes for all size pets.
Finally, we like JWPet’s standard Skid-Stop Pet Bowl the best. Heavyweight with traditional styling, it is super easy to clean and is stain resistant, as well as coming in four sizes.
As one of our customer’s so eloquently said it:  “once you purchase a skid-stop for your pet, you will never buy a normal bowl again”.

Outdoor Dog Waterers – Condone the Drinkfest!

As we talked about in our last post, making sure your dog (or other pet) gets enough water in the summer months is essential and could be the difference between life and death on a hot summer day.

There are two outdoor waterers that have impressed us and our customers.

The first one is WATERDOG.  Although its name says the Waterer is for dogs, it’s really a great invention for both dogs and cats!

Hook the Waterdog up to an outdoor faucet and it senses when your pet is coming around and will release fresh water from the faucet.  Even if it’s mounted too high for your cat or dog to reach the spigot, they can catch the water at a lower level. Works well and wastes very little water.

The second one takes a little training, but most dogs will get the knack of it in 2 or 3 tries.  The Patent pending Doggie Fountain Faucet requires your dog to step on the durable pedal pad to get the water out – which definitely qualifies as ‘on demand.’

You hook it up to a garden hose and you can regulate the pressure at the faucet.  Here’s the tip of the day from our valued customer:  “Make sure that your hose is in shady area on very hot days.  We made this mistake and our dog was very taken aback by the hot water!”

 

 

 

 

Pet Water Needs

Your pet needs constant access to water just we we humans do. With the hotter of summer months approaching their system will require more water to stay healthy. While this is not new news to pet owners there some issues that can get overlooked. The average  40 lb dog needs a liter of water a day.  A ten pound cat will require about one forth of that. The point is not to monitor your pets water intact as much as it is to provide the necessary amount of fresh drinkable water throughout the day that will allow them to get their proper fill.

Water health concerns:

1) The first issue that comes to mind is if there is not enough water. Water makes up 80% of our bodies (you and your pet). It plays into nearly every system your body needs to function properly.  From circulation, digestion to waste removal and temperature control (among others) water is essential.  Continued dehydration can cause a number of issues some as serious as heart and kidney damage.

2) Bacteria in your pets water source can be an issue.  Certain bacteria can cause water to taste funny (who wants to drink bad tasting water?) while other bacteria can cause your pet to get sick. Your pets water dish needs to be cleaned daily to prevent a problem.

3) Even if water is readily available your pet may use that ever full water source known to most of us as a toilet. Obviously bacteria in the toilet does not belong in your pets drinking water. Also, automatically dispensed toilet cleaners can be poisonous.

What ways can we easily address these concerns?

The third concern is relatively straight forward. Keep the toilet lid closed and stay away from using automated toilet bowl cleaners. The first and second require just a little thought. Use a water bowl that can be easily cleaned. A lot of nooks and crannies can make the job more difficult. Being able to toss it in a dishwasher with your other dishes is a nice feature. We need to provide sufficient fresh water in all areas that your pet will spend significant time. For example, if your pet sends time indoors and outside than water sources need to be in both areas. The water needs to be appealing so therefore it needs to be fresh. That means throwing out stale/dirty water and refilling with fresh on a regular basis.  There are products designed to make this more convenient such as the new Drinkwell Lotus Ceramic Fountain for Pets. This item has a pump that circulates the water through a foam filter to remove debris/hair to help keep the water fresh. With a water capacity of 50 fl oz (about 1.5 liters) this will satisfy the daily needs for a pet up to about 60 lbs.  It a can be put in your dishwasher for easy cleaning (outside of the pump)

Don’t forget to take a portable source of water with you if your going for a walk or to the outdoors for any length of time.  Just like we need more water when exercising or in heat so do our pets. The Hydro-go Pet Canteen – 36 oz is a product that is a canteen to carry water and a water bowl all in one. In addition, it is dishwasher safe for easy cleaning.

Our pets water needs are pretty simple but can be overlooked. A little forethought and following a few easy rules and this basic need is easily met.

Elevated Dog Feeders can be a Healthy Choice

Elevated Dog Feeders

Many people use elevated dog feeders and cat feeders for the physical benefits to their pet. They can also be
ornate and attractive in the design making the feeding area look more pleasing to us humans.

A number of physical benefits are associated with elevated feeders:

  • Comfort for dogs and cats with neck or back arthritic conditions. This is especially true with older pets. We do not our pets to associate eating and drinking with discomfort.
  • The elevated feeder keeps the head and neck in a more upright condition preventing the need for stooping thus keeping the proper posture.
  • There is also less stress through the front legs.
  • Easier swallowing due to the head being in a more upright position. This is advantage to all pets but can be more important with pets that have eating disorders such as megaesophagus. This is a condition of the weakening of the esophagus that causes food to collect in the esophagus (not making it to the stomach). This can cause vomiting. By keeping the head in a more upright position the elevated feeder uses gravity to help the food make it into the stomach more easily.

Another advantage is a cleaner feeding area.

Some pets (especially dogs) can be a bit messy when they eat or drink. By placing the bowls closer to their natural position of the mouth there is less head movement away from the bowls and therefore less food and water outside of the bowl. Most importantly, less clean-up for us pet owners!

How do I size an elevated feeder?

The feeder should be about four to six inches below a dogs mouth. Four inches is more appropriate for smaller dogs while six inches can be used for larger dogs. Cats would obviously use a four inch or smaller guideline.

If the above information applies to yourself or your pet consider using an elevated feeder. There are many styles available from basic to ornate.

Keep Your Dog Hydrated During the Hot Summer Months

Everyone loves being outside on warm summer days, and this includes your family pets!  However, warm weather poses dangers that do not occur when the weather is chilly (like dehydration, heatstroke, and sunburn).  Here are some ways to prevent your pet from overheating and becoming dehydrated during the summer months:

  • When your pet is outside, he or she always needs access to fresh drinking water.  Animals can dehydrate very quickly which can lead to heat stroke.  If you and your pet are hanging out in your yard, be sure to bring out your dog’s water bowl, and continually re-fill it to be sure your dog never gets dehydrated.  You can also add ice to make sure the water is nice and cold for your pup.
  • If you are going for a walk with your dog, bring the Porta Le Bistro Pet Waterer with your.  This is a great portable waterer that has a hook that can attach to your leash, belt loop, or backpack if you are hiking.  You can buy the Porta Le Bistro Pet Waterer in a small or medium size, depending on the length of your outdoor excursions.
  • Never, ever, EVER leave your dog in the car in the summer.  A car is like a furnace and can heat up incredibly fast.  Even leaving the windows open does not prevent the car from rapidly heating up.  Not only can leaving your dog in a car dehydrate him to the point of heatstroke, but it can lead to death.
  • If you are taking your dog with you on a car ride, be sure to take the Road Refresher Dog Bowl, pictured above.  The Road Refresher Dog Bowl can hold up to 54 ounces of water, but will only allow a small amount of water to be in the reservoir at once.  It is specifically designed to never spill, which will allow your dog to drink water while you are driving.  You won’t ever have to pull over to give your dog water!
  • Pay special attention to your dog when he is around pools.  Many dogs are not naturally good swimmers, and falling into a pool can pose problems for your dog.  Never let your dog drink from a pool, the chlorine and chemicals can cause terrible stomach problems for your dog.  Be sure you provide your dog with fresh water to prevent him from drinking from pools.

EverFull Bowl – Pet Auto Waterer / A fav. since 2002

There has been one product that has been a best-seller for 8 years in a row at GregRobert Pet Supplies. Picture to the right is the Little Giant Everfull Pet Waterer.

This is an automatic dog watering system that provides continuous flow of fresh water to your pet. Attach the 3/4″ hose to your garden hose or tap, turn on the tap and the bowl fills to the perfect level for drinking. The automatic float controls the water level. Galvanized.

Directions for Use:

Fasten hose to water supply and turn water on. Wait 15 minutes.
If you desire a different water level, remove the metal float cover(2 screws) and follow step #1 or step #2.
Step #1:  If your pet waterer has a low water level, bend brass rod with float slightly up. (See figure A.) When you find the desired level, replace the metal float cover and fasten.
Step #2:  If your pet waterer has a high water level, bend brass rod with float slightly down. (See figure B.) When you find the desired level, replace the metal float cover and fasten.

Note: Make sure that the water level in steps #1 and #2 are not too high as the float

Keep Your Dog or Cat Hydrated with an Automatic Pet Waterer

With the weather getting hotter, it is important to think about keeping your dog or cat hydrated indoors or outdoors.  It is a good idea to have a supply of fresh water available to your pet all day long.  Your pet should have easy access to the water to allow your pet the freedom to drink the water as he or she needs it throughout the day.  Whether your pet stays indoors or outdoors, using an automatic waterer is ideal because it conveniently supplies your pet with fresh water throughout the day and  only needs to be filled up once a day.  

One of my favorite automatic waterers is the Deluxe Fresh Flow Pet Watererby Petmate.  This automatic waterer is designed to give your pet a constant supply of fresh water, while adding oxygen to the water.  It also naturally cools the water and filters the water to take out pollutants.  The water reservoir holds up to 50 ounces and is translucent, so it is easy to see when it needs to be refilled.  There is an air flow control valve to monitor the amount of air that is in the water and an on/off switch to save on electricity when not being used by your pet. 

Another great automatic waterer for your pet is the Ultra Bubbler Pet Fountain, which is also made by Petmate.  This automatic waterer is made to supply your pet with a constant supply of fresh water without the use of a filter.  It also has an adjustable air valve to control the amount of air in the water and can hold up to 1.5 gallons of water.  The water reservoir is easy to fill up and the base is skid proof.  Just fill up the waterer and let your pet enjoy fresh water all day long.

Keep Your Dog Busy and Prevent Him from Destroying Your Home

The holidays can be a lonely time for your dog, especially if you plan on spending most of the time outside of your home visiting friends and family or running errands.  In order to help keep your dog active and happy without destroying your home, it is a good idea to make your home comfortable for your pet and as entertaining  as possible.  Here are some tips to try out when you are away from your home for long periods of time:

  • If you know that you will be gone for most of the day, it is a good idea to give your dog a big morning meal.  Not only will this help to keep your dog from feeling hunger pains and looking into the garbage can, but only help your dog feel like taking a nap.  Just like people, dogs get tired after eating a big meal and the more your dog sleeps, the less likely he will get bored and get into stuff around your home.  Ethical’s Stainless Steel Double Dog Diner is available in a variety of sizes and makes keeping your dog’s eating area neat easy.  It is slightly elevated and great for larger dogs.
  • Make sure your dog has a “dog friendly” place to rest.  A cozy, warm dog bed is great for any size or type of dog and helps to keep your dog warm if you turn down the heat while you are away from your home.  A great dog bed for your dog is the Ortho Thermo-Bed Heated/Orthopedic Dog Bed by K and H.  This comfortable, heated dog bed will keep your dog warm and offers lots of back support for hours of sleeping.  Your dog will love the soothing heat and feel rested after a nap on this dog bed.
  • Keep lots of chew toys and treats around for your dog to enjoy and entertain himself with.  Chew toys like the Fun Pack Dog Toys – Rough and Rugged has three tough chew toys for your dog to enjoy for hours.  If your dog likes to chew on bones, the Mammoth Bone Dog Treat is great for bigger dogs and the Stuffed Shin Bone Dog Treat is perfect for entertaining smaller dogs.

Keeping your dog happy and entertained is important when you are away from your home during the holidays.  For a great selection of products for your dog, check out GregRobert Pet Supplies.