Tuesday, May 31, 2011

I'm back!

I'm back to work this week folks and goodness do I have a lot to catch you up on.

First off, remember puppy Reese from previous posts? Well, she's available for adoption again (check out her adoption profile online by clicking here for Whiskers Cat Rescue and Canine). Unfortunately, it didn't work out between her and my friends. I started writing a blog post about this while at home, but I forgot to bring it to work with me. Look for that post to be coming soon — tomorrow, I hope!

Then, I'll backtrack a little bit to go over the good work we were able to do in terms of getting my dog to tolerate being around her.

I'm also hoping to get back into compiling and posting a weekly calendar of dog-friendly events going on in the area.

Meanwhile, here's some advice for handling your pets in today's extreme heat: 

1) It's too hot to exercise yourself outside, nonetheless your fur-wearing pet, regardless of how much those beggin' eyes egg you on. If you must exercise, make it a walk, make it very brief and make it on a non-asphalt surface. Remember that dogs heat and cool themselves through their paw pads, so if you're ever wondering if it's too hot for them, lay down the palm of your hand on the walking surface to test it out. Asphalt, being black, is obviously the most dangerous. Concrete takes a little while longer to warm up, but it too can get too hot for dog walking. Dirt trails are my favorite for summer walks — the cool earth beneath his feet really help him cope with the heat.

2) Don't leave your dog in a car, not even for a minute.

3) If you absolutely must leave your dog outside, make sure there's an overabundance of water at his or her disposal and a good shady spot to get out of the sun. If you find your dog has dug out a little hole for himself under a tree or something when you get home, don't yell at him. He dug that hole because he was too hot and was trying to unearth some cooler ground to lay on. If you don't like finding dog-cooling holes in your yard but refuse to let him stay inside your house while you're gone, at least buy him a cooling pad. Here's a link to Polar Products, which makes a variety of cooling products for both animals and humans. There's no electricity, refrigeration or freezing required — soak the product in water and it stays cools for a day.

4) I give Sensi an ice cube when it's this hot out and then put the rest of the tray of ice cubes in his water bowl. This will entertain him for a few minutes as he tries fishing a couple more ice cubes out of the bowl and it also helps to keep the water cooler over an extended period of time.

5) If your dog heats and cools itself through it paw pads, primarily, then that's exactly how you can help your dog cool down too. One time, when Sensi had spent too much time sunbathing and looked too hot for his own good, I had him lay down and pressed cold wash rags against his feet and draped them over his belly. It helped to cool him down really quickly.

Be safe out there!

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