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Archive for the ‘This is Basically a Public Service Announcement’ Category

The photo below was found on Tumblr and also on Facebook.  It is a picture of a veteran dog who is at the grave of his owner who was killed in combat.

The love and loyalty that dogs feel towards their owners is something truly incredible, and while some may acknowledge its presence, this connection and bond is arguably best understood by anyone who has ever owned any kind of pet.  Just as dogs are lucky to have owners who love and care for them, owners are very lucky to have a best friend who will remain loyal and loving through anything.

For more information, click on the photo, or go to the Facebook page for the memory of Sgt. Adam Cann.

And thank you to all of our soldiers (both human and canine) for the sacrifices you have made and all that you continue to do for us.

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A couple of weeks ago, we told you about an adoption event that Adopt NY had planned for Sunday, July 1 in Tompkins Square Park in East Village.

It was a hot and sunny day, but a very successful one!  Many of the wonderful dogs and cats that were there were adopted, or got enough publicity that they found their forever homes within days of the event!  Two of our USDW’s own volunteered with Zani’s Furry Friends, a wonderful nonprofit based out of New York City.

Below are some of the photos we captured on this fun and successful day:

 

We hope that everyone who attended enjoyed themselves and maybe found a new friend.  We also hope that this event has inspired people to look into adopting a dog or cat from a New York animal shelter.  For more information about adoption events or about adopting a pet in general, check out the Mayor’s Alliance for NYC’s Animals.

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It’s another week, and thus it’s time for another post about keeping your dog safe in the summer.  Last week, we talked about sunburn and paw protection.  Prior to that, we told you about the dangers of heatstroke and heat exhaustion, as well as all the reasons you shouldn’t leave your dog in your car.

This week, since many of you will likely be hitting up the beach on the Fourth of July, we are going to tell you about water safety!  Water safety encompasses everything from drinking water to swimming.

First off, if you are bringing your dog to the beach, remember the following:

  • Do not allow your dog to drink the seawater!  The salt in the water could make your dog very sick.
  • Be aware that jellyfish and other sea life aren’t just threats to people, but can also hurt your dog.  Find out about the conditions before allowing your dog to go in the water.
  • The salt and minerals in the ocean aren’t necessarily the best for your dog’s fur, so give your dog a quick rinse with clean water before heading home.

Aside from the above, it may come as a surprise to you that a lot of dogs aren’t initially comfortable with swimming or going in water.  To make this experience enjoyable, you should ease your dog into the act of swimming.  Never throw your dog in the water, be encouraging, and avoid busy/crowded/noisy areas that may induce anxiety or stress in your dog.  Additionally, it is important that when they are first learning, you support your dog’s weight until it is comfortable paddling.  You should also invest in a dog life jacket for your four-legged friend, as this will help your dog stay afloat if he/she becomes too fatigued to do so.

Finally, if you forget everything else, remember this:

Keep an eye on your dog at all times.  Every year, dogs accidentally drown when left unattended.  Make sure that your dog knows how to get out of the pool, and more importantly, make sure that you always watch your dog.

We leave you with the below video on pet CPR, which might seem absurd but is definitely worth watching if you plan on taking your dog out to the pool, beach, or lake this summer.

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Previous topics include why it’s important to never leave your dog in the car and heatstroke and heat exhaustion signs and prevention.

Today’s topic involves something that most people generally forget about when they think of keeping their dogs safe in the heat.  As you might have already guessed from the title of today’s post, we are talking about sunburn and protecting your dog’s paws.

Most people choose to wear sunscreen to prevent getting sunburn, but what about your dog?  It may seem like a crazy idea, but it’s possible for dogs to get sunburn too, especially for breeds that have shorter or lighter fur, or for dogs that have recently had their coat trimmed.

(click image for source)

Though keeping your dog in the shade can help, we still recommend getting some doggy sunscreen to put onto your dog’s nose and ears, and anywhere else that you think might be exposed.  Just keep in mind that if you put it somewhere like on your dog’s stomach, it’s likely it will just be licked off.  If you click the link we provided (or we will link it again, here), you’ll see that there are plenty of options on Amazon.com.  We’re making it easy for you (because really, we just posted the link three times), so there’s no excuse on not making this very important purchase.

Additionally, please make sure to keep an eye on your dog’s paws.  A lot of dog owners invest in boots in the winter to protect their dog’s paws from the salt and sand, and protecting your dog’s paws in the summer is just as important.  While boots aren’t really an option in the summer, you should check the sidewalks (and sand, if you’re at the beach) before going out to see how hot they are.  If the surface is too hot to touch, then it is definitely too hot for your dog to walk on.  (If you don’t believe us, try walking barefoot on hot asphalt for 10-15 minutes, and then make note of the huge blisters that literally cover the entire bottom of your foot.  Yeah, it happens, and might’ve happened to one of us.)  We recommend taking your dog out early in the morning or in the evening if the asphalt is too hot.

Finally, please check out this article on WebMD about dogs getting skin cancer and what to look out for.  And once again, don’t forget to get your dog some sunscreen!

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So we’ve already covered why it’s important to never leave your dog in the car, but with temperatures rising, we also wanted to touch upon how to keep your dog safe in the heat.

As we pointed out in the aforementioned post, dogs are far less efficient at cooling their bodies than humans are.  They release heat from their body through panting and through their paws, while we tend to use our whole body to cool off.

Over the next few weeks, we are going to do a weekly post on one cause of concern in the summer for your dog.  Some of them are less obvious, while some of them you might already be aware of, like today’s topic.

Similar to people, dogs are at risk for heatstoke or heat exhaustion, which is a result from too much exertion in the heat or dehydration.

According to this article, signs of heatstroke in your dog include the following:

Increased heart rate
Excessive panting
Increased salivation
Bright red tongue
Red or pale gums
Thick, sticky saliva
Depression
Weakness
Dizziness
Vomiting (sometimes with blood)
Diarrhea

And as heatstroke becomes more severe, your dog can suffer from seizures, a coma, cardiac arrest, and even death.

If you notice your dog is developing any of these symptoms, make sure you give it small amounts of water, move it to a cool and comfortable place, and/or give it a cool bath.  Then take your dog to the vet as soon as you can.  Even if it seems like it may be too much, it’s better to be safe than sorry.

(click image for source, which also has some great information on water safety for your dog)

At this point, you’re probably asking yourself: “What can I do, as an owner, to prevent this problem?”

There are a few obvious answers to this question, such as making sure you don’t leave your dog in the car (or hot apartment without water or a cooling system in place), allowing your dog access to water at all times, and making sure your dog has adequate shade if you tend to leave it outside a lot.

Finally, even if your dog is incredibly fit and runs with you every single day, give your dog a break and limit exercise.  If you think your dog can handle it, trying going for a run in a fur coat over the next couple of days and let us know how that turns out for you.

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So, it’s 120 degrees outside.  Is it too hot to leave your dog in the car?  Yes.

It’s now 65 degrees outside.  Is it too hot to leave your dog in the car?  Yes.

Whether you think it’s too hot or it’s relatively cool outside isn’t important when it comes to leaving your four-legged best friend in the car.  The reality is that usually, if it’s above 60 degrees outside, your dog is suffering.

Here’s why:

  • Whereas the human body generally begins cooling itself off at 70 degrees Fahrenheit, for dogs, this cooling process begins around 60 degrees.  So once the thermostat hits 60, it’s likely that your dog’s body is doing its best to cool itself off.
  • Dogs cool themselves through their paws and through panting.  We pretty much all know this already.  But still, the logistics of this have probably escaped your mind.  In order for a dog to pant/breathe, it needs to have air to breathe in.  When the dog can’t take in cool or clean air in a car or kennel, it only takes a few minutes for a dog to overheat and suffer from brain damage.
  • The temperature outside the car is not necessarily consistent with the temperature inside the car.  If you’ve ever gotten into your car with the windows closed on a hot day, then certainly you’ve realized how unbelievably hot it is inside, even compared to the high temperatures outside.  Imagine sitting inside of a car at that temperature, with no windows or air conditioning on, if only for five minutes.  Sound pleasant?  Not so much.  Now imagine doing that with a fur coat on and no efficient body-cooling system.  It’s no wonder it’s so unsafe.

These are only a few of the reasons why not to leave your dog in the car on a hot summer day.  Now that it’s starting to warm up, it certainly is nice to take your dog for rides in the car, but leaving it in there is not smart, nor is it a very considerate thing to do.

Obviously in New York, this won’t always be an issue.  Dogs love riding the subway and meeting new people (just ask Amanda about her therapy dog Sally).  But still, it’s definitely worth thinking about, and is definitely worth passing on.

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For more on this, check out the site from which I obtained this information, by clicking here.  The author, Joan Brokaw, even conducted an experiment on temperatures inside and outside of the car.

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