How to Help Your Dog Beat Summer Heat

The heat is on! It’s on the street! The heat is on! Summer can be a dangerous season for your pet! Some of the most common health dangers include dehydration, heat exhaustion, and burnt paw pads. Here are some ways to keep your dog safe and healthy.

It’s best to exercise your dog earlier in the morning or later at night. If your dog is like mine, he needs a few additional potty breaks! As the temperature & humidity rise, so does the asphalt your dog walks on. Interesting fact, when it is 77F outside, asphalt can be 125F.

It’s not just sidewalks that are dangerous. Surfaces that get hot are boat docks, decks, bike paths, sand on beaches, the floor of a boat, or the back of a truck. Keep this in mind; skin destruction occurs in a fast 60 seconds!

So how do you know if the sidewalk or road is too hot for your dog’s paw pads? Take the 7-second test. I’ll place my hand on the sidewalk for 7 seconds. If it is too hot for me, it is too hot for Gibbs!

Your dog will let you know if their paw pads give them discomfort after a walk or exercise. Look for limping, excessive licking, or blisters following a walk on the pavement.

The first and most important type of gear you will need for your dog is a water bottle. Hydration, hydration, hydration! As NCIS special agent Gibbs says, “Grab your gear!”, you are going to do the very same thing to keep your dog safe during the summer heat. Your dog requires an ounce of water per lb of body weight. When out in the heat, be sure to provide a water stop at least once every 15-20 minutes. Gibbs uses Highwave Auto Dog Mug Leak-Tight Mini. We do have a partnership with them. Make sure to use promo code GIBBS 15. This water bottle won’t waste water like collapsable water trays, it fits easily into our auto cup holder, it won’t leak in my backpack or on me after using it, and it can double for a makeshift food tray when we are not home for dinner time. You know how our dogs can be around dinner time!

The second type of gear to check out for your dog is a cooling vest. Cool technology. Rinse the vest in cool water. If you can, place it in the freezer for about 2-3 minutes. Take it out and put it on your dog. As the water evaporates, it takes the body heat your dog is generating with it. It boosts the cooling by offering the maximum amount of shade and thermal protection. The material has a rating of 50+ UPF protection, which blocks 98% of the sun’s UV rays. Gibbs has the RuffWear cooling vest. I get almost 90 minutes outside for a walk with him wearing this gear. If you are hiking or somewhere that you will be out longer, saturate the vest in water to reactivate the technology.

If walking your dog on grass or surfaces is not possible, the last type of gear to consider is dog booties. Keep in mind that your dog has sweat glands in its paw pads, so don’t keep the booties on for longer than necessary when it’s hot out. You don’t want them to get overheated. Fitting is important. Measure the width of the paw pad accordingly before ordering. I bought Gibbs’ booties at Woof Gang St. Pete.

Finally, it’s crucial to be proactive and recognize if or when your dog is experiencing heat exhaustion. Heat exhaustion happens when your pet’s body temperature rises above a healthy range, and the pet is unable to regulate its body heat.

Signs of heat exhaustion are:
Excessive panting
Confusion or disorientation
Vomiting or diarrhea
Discoloration of tongue and gums

Gibbs goes with us just about everywhere. In the summer, though, that is not always the case. Although I love taking him to restaurants or walking him on the pier in St. Pete, the concrete may be too hot for him. I love how he enjoys walking or playing on sandy beaches or with other dogs at dog bars or events, yet event with the summer gear, mentioned, it could lead to heat exhaustion. I have to know when to say NO for his health and safety. After all, I’m not the one wearing a fur coat in the heat and humidity that always sizzles in the summer.

Dog Mom Day Gift Ideas

“Everyone thinks they have the best dog, and none of them are wrong.”
~ Unknown~

Celebrate Dog Mom Day! Being a dog mom is an unconditional loving commitment for many years of your life. So what gifts may a dog mom LOVE that will fit EVERY budget?

Here are five ideas that are great to support our local and independent pet businesses!

1) Dog Grooming Certificate.

Dog grooming can be expensive. Our husky, Gibbs, may not need to go as often as his other fur friends. This time of year is a great time to go as many are shedding their winter coats! Gibbs loves his groomer, Britney, at Woof Gang Bakery & Grooming

2) Doggie Day Care Certificate.

Your hu-mom will love the options of either a half or full-day, a waterpark experience, or a package that combines them all!

In the video above, you will see me playing with my friends in a waterpark at Love My Dog Resort.
The great thing about doggie daycare is it is also a mommy daycare! Our hu-moms get to enjoy a full day to do whatever they want without rushing back home to take us out to potty or wonder if we are getting into “things” from being alone for hours. Playing with friends is healthy for us, and it sure does tire us out. From what I hear, this is considered a bonus.

3) Membership Options.

In my special appearance on Bloom TV, you will see me enjoying the off-leash area at The Dog Bar. Here you can enjoy a yearly membership or a day pass! Bring your laptop or iPad and get some work done while dogs socialize and play in the off-leash area. It’s an awesome place to meet dog lovers! Evenings hold events and fundraisers that always give back to the community.

4) Dog Photographer or Artist.

Who doesn’t love a picture of their bestie? Schedule a session with a photographer specializing in working with pets or seeking out an artist who will create a paw-fect portrait that you will cherish for years!

5) Personalized Candles To Help With Pet Smells.

Yes, I said it. Sometimes, we can be stinky!
Before purchasing any candle, let’s discuss scents, wicks, and wax.
Both cats and dogs are not fond of citrus scents.
Make sure the wick is lead-free too. Did you know that wick’s that contain lead, when burned, could damage your pet’s central nervous system? Yikes! To be safe, always look for cotton wicks.
Get a soy wax or beeswax candle. Parrafin wax is derived from petroleum and has the potential to emit carcinogens when burning.
The picture below is my personalized soy wax candle, complete with a cotton wick. You can find this at Bold Coast Candle Co.

Bonus Idea!

Because dogs require daily exercising, a dog water bottle may be yet another perfect gift!
Walking is one of the most common ways we get our exercise. With summer approaching, it is so vital to keep dogs hydrated! I have been using the AutoDogMug Leak Tight Mini for a few years. It is easy to carry on walks, travel-friendly, BPA free and doesn’t waste water as travel bowls do. I will use it to place my food in it when we are out at a restaurant and give me a drink! After a few years, I’m happy to share that Gibbs has partnered with them! Enjoy the promo code GIBBS15.

Let me know which idea you liked best!

Kids, Dogs, and Danger in Hot Cars

Every summer, heatstroke claims the lives of children and pets who are left in hot cars.

What can you do if you have your kids or pets with you in the car running errands?

Here are the facts; heatstroke is the number 1 cause of death in an automobile for kids under age 14! Isn’t that crazy?

Newer cars will have technology placed to help prevent this tragedy yet what if you don’t have a new car? I’d suggest leaving your purse, computer or anything you will need to take with you once you get to your destination in the back seat with your infant or young child.

What about your pets? Did you know your pet can die in your hot car in as little as 6 minutes? I’ll give you 5 tips to follow when you are running errands in the summer heat!

  1. Drive Up Services. Go online and order via stores like Walmart or Target. Utilize their drive up services! This is SO convenient! Your pet will thank you too!
  2. Cooling Pet Products.Even though you are in your car, air conditioning will not be the “fix” to keep your pet cool. Check out the various cooling pet products like a vest, bandanna, or collar. It will help to keep them at a healthy core temperature.
  3. Water. Always take water for yourself & kids, yet your pets will benefit from it also.
  4. Doggy Daycare. Even a 1/2 day gives you the freedom to get your errands accomplished without sacrificing the health of your pet.
  5. Dogwalker. If you don’t have a neighbor to ask to check in on your pet, you can look into options like Rover, or Wag.

Be the person your dog thinks you are; DON’T leave them in your hot car!