4 Tips for the “Dog Days of Summer”
Guest Writer: Rachel Tohill
This summer seems hotter than any I can remember in the recent past. The heat index has been hitting the danger zone by 10:00 AM here in North Carolina, and we are not feeling much relief until the sun goes down. With that in mind, I wanted to give you some tips about keeping your dog healthy and happy in this heat.
Paw pads on pavement… ouch!
When the first dog I ever owned was a puppy, I made a horrible “mom mistake”! We went for a walk in our neighborhood one hot summer day, and when we got home she rushed to her water bowl and stepped right in to it to cool off her burning feet! Here’s what I learned after that searing lesson:
- Asphalt temperatures can be almost double the air temperature. So, if it is 80 degrees outside, it’s possible for the sidewalks to reach a sizzling 140 degrees. At 131 degrees, an egg can fry in 5 minutes.
- A dog’s paw pads are essentially as tough as the soles of our feet. Try walking barefoot on the sidewalk before taking your dog out. If it’s too hot for you, it’s too hot for your pup.
- If you can press your hand to the asphalt for 7 seconds or more without being uncomfortable, the sidewalk should be safe for your dog’s paws. However, it will get much hotter throughout the day so early morning or late evening walks are best.
- Try to walk in a location that has grass or dirt along the sidewalk so that your dog can step onto the cooler surfaces if necessary.
Puppy Pool and Popsicles
There is nothing more fun than a kiddy pool and a homemade freezer pop on a hot summer day! Most dogs love to splash in the pool and have a chance to cool off while enjoying the outdoors. You can find very affordable pools even at the pet supply store. Just fill the pool about half way and invite your dog in for a romp. After play time, make sure to drain the water.
My dogs love popsicles and ice cubes. In fact, a Frosty Paw (found in the popsicle section in the grocery store) is the one treat they get that calls for the “grab and go.” They grab it and skulk away to a private little corner of treat heaven. You can find lots of recipes online for homemade doggy freezer pops; just make sure not to include grapes, onions (including onion powder found in some baby food), chocolate, or other food ingredients that are toxic to dogs. One of our favorite recipes is listed below:
Peanut Butter Popsicles
1 cup peanut butter
1 banana, mashed
Water as needed
Mix ingredients together and spread into a Kong, cookie cutters or popsicle molds, or simply spoon “blobs” on to a cookie sheet. Put cookie sheet or toys/molds in to the freezer overnight. Serve the next day after your pool party!
The Dangers of Humidity
No one likes high temperatures coupled with high humidity. For our furry friends, humidity is even more dangerous than it is for us. Because dogs “sweat” through their paws and cool themselves by panting to release moisture from their lungs, high moisture levels in the air can prevent dogs from cooling down. If a dog can’t cool off in the “outdoor sauna” created by high humidity levels, his temperature can skyrocket and he can suffer from heatstroke. And, trying to “dry out” the air with a fan may work for humans but it not as effective for dogs because they expel most of their body heat through their paws.
If you think your dog is overheated and can’t cool down, get him to an air conditioned room, wrap him in a damp cool towel and make sure his body temperature stays below 104. Although heatstroke is fairly uncommon for dogs, some pooches with health conditions or limited air passageways can be more susceptible to heat stroke. If your dog appears lethargic, dizzy, or has a lack of appetite, contact your veterinarian.
Leave Your Dog at Home
If the outdoor temperature is above 65 degrees, it is too hot for your dog to be left in a car. Just don’t do it. Enough said.
Basically, be safe out there this summer. Manage the care of your dog as you would yourself or your kids: hydration, skin protection, and cool shelter are keys to your dog’s health and safety. Enjoy the dog days of summer and look forward to the crisp autumn September air!
At K9s unleashed, we believe in dreams coming true. Dedication and commitment, coupled with working with amazing families (furry members included), we have seen our own dreams come true. We would not be where we are without each and everyone one of you!
What we love the most are the wonderful relationships we form with our clients. We love hearing your stories, passions, talents, and dreams.
Today, we would like to spotlight the talents of one of our very own amazing clients that has been with us from the beginning.
Jen has an incredible passion for dogs, art, and human connection. You can see it through her beautiful smile and brilliant work. If you are looking for a personal, meaningful, and unique gift for yourself or a loved one, this is your gal.
“I am an artist and can sketch your animal’s portrait for every occasion, whether it be to memorialize a beloved pet who has crossed over the rainbow bridge, a birthday gift for your loved one, anniversary gift, the holidays or just to celebrate your pet.”
Contact: e-mail Jemm72@yahoo.com
Cell phone/text (516)-658-9454
Facebook “Jen Faulkner Reichel” – facebook messenger
Instagram as Jennifer Faulkner Reichel
A note from Jen….
“We met Amy many years ago when she was still teaching her classes at the hardware store down on Waxhaw Highway. At this time, she was starting her second year of her fabulous summer camps. My daughter loved the camp so much we signed up for another camp right away that same summer and have been to camp every year since then. When she aged out a few years ago, she couldn’t think of not going, so she jumped at the opportunity to become a counselor and has been volunteering for the past 3 years. Amy has been an important person in our lives for so long now, I consider her family. She is an amazing friend, an amazing person and her family are extraordinary as well. She is generous, fun, funny, ingenious, patient, caring, beautiful inside and out and has a way of making everyone feel special. She always comes up with creative and enthusiastic ways to keep the kids entertained at the camps and I know she takes special care of all of the beautiful dogs who stay with her.
I only met Abby twice but she has to be just as amazing as Amy to have been chosen by Amy to work side by side with her. We went to a quarry party together with a small group and normally I might feel intimidated by such a gorgeous lady but she treated me like I was a best friend that I’ve known forever and to be treated that way by someone I only conversed with once prior to this, well, as I have heard her say, “it makes my heart happy” ❤️
I’m very blessed to be a part of the K9’s Unleashed Family.”
I would like to welcome you to the big ‘ol rock. It may look like a misplaced chunk of stone, in our yard, to the bystander. What do you do with a massive rock…sit back and watch. What happens on the rock is a blissful tranformation of energy. If you want therapy, attention, love, affection, inner peace, joy, comfort, laughter, and more you will be drawn to the rock too.
This rock has provided me with great pleasure being able to see others enjoy the relationships they form on the ROCK. My dear friend, Meredith, would come over not to see me, but to spend time on the rock. She knew the benefits of the ROCK! I am pretty certain many children will remember the ROCK as a special place too. Here are some snapshots of my family on the ROCK. I am not a blogger, so I will let the photos tell the story.
When I began planning for my eldest daughter’s birthday I started the way I always have: by asking her what she would like to do for her special day. She’s not hard to figure out – she loves animals and she always has so it came as no surprise that she wanted to have a party that involved animals in some way. Here’s the thing though, I’m not an outsourced party kind of gal. I mean that in the least offensive/judgmental way possible. I think outsourced parties are grand and seem to be WAY less stressful than the elaborate in-home parties that some people throw. Our parties have always been at home and they’ve always been pretty simple but I had no idea how on earth I would be able to give her an animal (specifically dog and cat) birthday party. She mentioned the possibility of incorporating the animal shelter somehow but a few calls to the local shelters later confirmed that a shelter party was not a plausible option. It was at that point in the party brain-storming process that I remembered seeing a woman and her dog do an obedience demonstration at my daughters school. More specifically, I remember her mentioning that she did summer camps at which she would teach children how to approach dogs, behave around dogs and furthermore train dogs. One quick call to the awesome Union Academy receptionist later I had a name and number. That name was Amy and the business name was K9’s Unleashed. I called Amy to be sure we could work something out and then I pitched the idea to Kennedy and the rest is history!
Working with Amy to determine what types of things Kennedy and her party guests might enjoy was fun and she was very flexible in the planning which was nice because I, of course, wanted Kennedy to be thrilled with the end result. Luckily, each party guest had a dog of their own so they were all very excited about learning more about dogs and as an added bonus were all comfortable being around dogs. I loved that even though Amy new all these girls had dogs – she still went through the basics with each of them in a fun and interactive way. Questions like “how do you approach a dog for the first time?” and “how should you talk to a dog” were great openers to get acquainted with the girls and to determine if their inclinations were correct or not. Once everyone knew how to “meet and greet” new dogs, she let her dogs out and into the gated party area. Giggles and wagging tails abounded and we were off to a great start!
The girls were able to learn about canine agility drills and were even able to partake in running the dogs through some of the drills which they all LOVED. They learned how to appropriately use the leash to lead the dogs and were able to learn how to coax a dog through open tunnels and tunnels that appear to be closed at one end – emphasizing how important them communicating with the dog is and how important it is that the dog trust them as his leader.
The girls loved the agility part of the party but a close favorite was when Amy talked with them about enriching the lives of their dogs at home just as she does with her dogs there. She showed them several enrichment toys and how they work. She taught them a really neat trick with a muffin pan, tennis balls and treats (something each of them could go home and try with their own dog). Each girl got to take a turn picking the dog and toy they wanted to work with and they got to really see these dogs work while playing and it was really fun and interesting.
After the party we made homemade dog treats and everyone went home with the recipe and some dog treats for their beloved pooch. The recipe we used was compliments of Amy. She really will try to work in what seems best fitting for your child. I knew Kennedy would love the agility and she loves to cook so making dog treats was perfect for her. Maybe your child would prefer a craft and Amy can do that too – just ask and she will do her best to make your party a success!
If you’ve got a dog lover at home – K9’s Unleashed would be a pawsitively perfect place for a party!
The new K9s Unleashed site is up! We still have a few tweaks to work through but we’re getting there. Check back here shortly for updates!