With summer in full swing and temperatures at record-setting levels in many areas, cooling off with a dip in the pool or an outing to a lake or an ocean can be what many people, and their dogs, want to do. In addition to boating, fishing, and surfing, there are many water activities a person can enjoy with their dog. Below are five ideas:
There are many other water-related activities you and your dog can enjoy together, such as fishing, boating, surfing, and strolling along the beach or riverbank. No matter what you and your pup do to cool off around water this summer, one thing to keep in mind is the harmful, potentially fatal, blue green
algae. Hot weather produces toxins in the algae and causes major “blooms;"
skin irritation occurs on both people and pets, and dogs that lick the algae can get the toxins into their bodies and cause major illness, even death. Therefore, BEWARE!
Mosquitoes, ticks, and sunburn are also things for which to watch when spending time on the water.
Even with such hazards, you and your pup can enjoy water activities together. Be safe, be cautious, and have fun on the water during these last weeks of the summer season!
Summer often means travel. Earlier this summer I took a trip to my home state of Iowa, with treks through other states in the Midwest as well; my Shih Tzu, Jeremiah, made the road trip with me. He's an exceptional little traveler. However, not all pets are. I'm pleased to host Sarah Archer this week with thoughts on helping your pet feel comfortable in the car, and a link to a guidebook for more ideas.
Guest Post by Sarah Archer
Ah, the open road with just you and your dog. Seems like a dream. But if you are a pet owner with a dog that doesn’t much like the car, it can be a difficult ride. While some dogs love to stick their heads out of car windows, others can get skittish, whine incessantly or be violently ill.
If your dog has trouble getting used to the car there are a few things you can do to try to make it easier for them.
Keeping your dog comfortable in your car makes pet ownership so much easier. So does helping your pet feel more comfortable at home. There are simple things you can do to make sure that your life with a dog is blissful and everything you ever dreamed. See the guide to helping your new dog feel comfortable at home from Your Best Digs and find more ideas on how to keep you and your dog comfortable together both at home and in the car.
About Sarah Archer:
Sarah is a Content and PR manager at Your Best Digs. She’s passionate about evaluating everyday home products to help customers save time and money. When she’s not putting a product’s promise to the test, you’ll find her hiking a local trail or collecting stamps in her passport.
With summer fully underway and hot temperatures throughout the United States, one thing many people like to do is cool off in the water. That may mean a swimming pool, or it may mean a lake, pond, or river. If you want to spend time in the natural setting, beware of harmful blue-green algae – this slimy material can make both people and pets very ill, and can even kill our beloved animals.
According to the Minnesota Pollution Control Agency (MPCA), “Blue-green algae blooms can occur anytime during the summer, though they are normally associated with warm weather and low rainfall.” Although algae are naturally part of an ecosystem, “under certain conditions, algae populations can ‘bloom’ with dramatic growth.” And though most are not toxic, “there is no way to visually identify whether a particular bloom contains toxins that are harmful to people or animals.”
Such blooms occur when waterways have excessive nutrient levels, such as phosphorus. When going to a lake, reservoir, or other waterway and you notice high levels of algae, avoid going into the water and keep you pet away as well. According to the MPCA, “If your dog does go into water with heavy algae growth, hose it off right away, before it has a chance to lick itself clean. Animals become ill when they ingest the toxins, so preventing them from drinking affected water or licking toxins from their coat is key to preventing illness.”
The most common signs of poisoning from blue-green algae include:
Without treatment, your dog could go into shock and a coma – and can die. If you believe your dog has ingested toxic algae, take your furry friend to the veterinarian immediately.
Enjoy the water and the outdoors this summer with your furry companion but beware of this potentially lethal aspect of nature. Find an informational guide here:
Learn more about blue-green algae and its affects on humans and animals here:
Earlier this summer I traveled more than 3,300 miles in the car with my shih tzu, Jeremiah. We packed a lot of activity into a 10-day excursion, including visiting people I’d not seen in four decades. Despite his start at a puppy mill, Jeremiah is an exceptional traveler! We’ve never put on as many miles on a companion vacation like this, so I wasn’t sure how he would handle the trip. Some dogs don’t do long-distance very well; others love the discovery and newness of such adventures – Jeremiah falls into that category, and I’m grateful.
During our vacation, we visited gravesites of ancestors I never knew as well as those of friends departed much too soon. We met with people I’d not seen since I left my home state of Iowa 41 years ago and those I’ve visited within the past decade. We drove past old homesites, visited camping and picnicking areas I experienced as a child, and met up with people I worked with more than 20 years ago. We spent time at national wildlife refuges and state parks, encountering various wildlife species, and visited historical sites that I’ve wanted to see for years but never had opportunity. All the while, my little four-footed companion either slept soundly in the back seat of the car or spent some time near me in the passenger seat. We stopped for lunches, potty breaks, and walks. Jeremiah was a hit with people wherever he went, helping us to socialize with other travelers as well as with the friends from my past. Even one motel manager struck up several conversations as Jeremiah and I walked in and out of the building.
Pets Help Us Meet New People
Pets bring out the best in many people. They help us connect with one another. Who can resist the cute faces, the sloppy smiles, and the wagging tails or soft purring of such creatures? Whether you travel with a dog or a cat (I encountered one couple doing just that!), animals draw humans to one another – it’s one of their special gifts.
This summer, whether you do a long vacation or a short staycation, consider taking your dog or cat with you. Our animals miss us when we leave them and many, as related above, enjoy the adventure of travel. If your pet is one of those, highly consider taking him/her along. Yes, it’s a bit of work, but you might just make new human connections. And certainly, your adoring pet will enjoy spending that adventurous time with you!
Plan Your Pet-Friendly Vacation
Here are a few things to plan regarding pet travel in the car:
Jeremiah and I had a great time on our summer vacation, and I look forward to many more travels with my buddy!
Read another traveler’s thoughts on vacationing with her pet here:
For more travel tips for vacationing with your pet, visit these websites:
Guest Post by Brittany Wolf
I am pleased to welcome a guest blogger this week! With the hotter weather, dirt, bugs, and such that summer brings, bathing our pets (especially dogs) may be of greater necessity. Brittany Wolf gives us advice regarding this activity, an adventure some dogs just don’t like. I hope you enjoy her post this week!
If your four-legged kid hates to take a bath, it’s likely you don’t enjoy bathing him or her either. We understand how hard it is to convince your dog to take a bath, but it is possible! Yes, you read right. There are several ways which will make dog bathing time wonderful and enticing for both of you.
The irony is, your dog will love playing in the water while splashing all around the home, but when it comes to scrubbing and adding soap, he will find every nook and cranny in which to hide. Here are some tips that will help your dog enjoy his bathing time with little fear or discomfort.
It is important for your dog to enjoy the bathing process. The ideas given can be effective to let your dog get comfortable with the sound of running water. Plus, when you take him to the bathtub, start with small steps. First, get just his feet wet, and then his legs. This will help alleviate any sudden panic attack. It is really okay if you aren’t completely successful the first time because the goal is to make your pooch comfortable with bathing and continue building upon success each time.
Brittany Wolf is a content writer & blogger at Red Dash Media. Apart from blogging frequently at work, she enjoys reading and writing poems in the comfortable space of her home. She also likes trekking with friends when in the mood to explore nature and then post pictures from her adventures on Instagram.
For additional help regarding dogs and bathing, check out these helpful sites:
Veterinarian and pet writer Dr. Marty Becker provides additional hints to successful bath time here:
Find a YouTube video from PetCo about bathing a dog here:
America’s Independence Day is a few days away. Celebrations across the country include fireworks, food, and other fun. This is the time of year when animal shelters receive one the greatest number of stray pets due to the noise, unsecured gates, and doors left open – pets escape from the frenzy and commotion. Some are even stolen from yards or when they are picked up along streets and highways, never to return to their beloved people. Make sure your animals are safe this holiday!
The American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals (ASPCA) provides a list of potential hazards as well as ideas on how to keep your furry friends safe this July 4th. Some of their thoughts include:
Read the ASPCA’s advice on pet safety during this time of year here:
The American Kennel Club also provides some 4th of July safety tips visit their website here
Additionally, the American Veterinary Medical Association has compiled a list of pet safety tips for this time of year; visit their website here:
May you and your furry friends enjoy a safe and wonderful Fourth of July!
I will soon be embarking upon a summer vacation – how about you?
Summer officially arrived in the Northern Hemisphere last Friday (June 21). Along with the longest day of the year comes warmer temperatures, sunshine mixed with rain, and travel, near and far. My dog Jeremiah often goes with me on extended weekends and longer vacations. Whenever he sees suitcases being packed, he knows something is up (so do the cats, but they are homebodies, so even though they like exploring the luggage, they never worry they will be going along for the ride!)
Jeremiah doesn’t worry either – he LOVES car rides! I’m blessed to have a dog who curls up in the back seat and sleeps during road trips. Jeremiah doesn’t mind travel, including long distance trips. Last year it was Oregon, to visit the Pacific Coast and to meet up with family for a reunion. This year it’s Iowa, meeting up with former classmates for a mini high school reunion (not everyone can be there at the same time, but the ones I will share time with, I’ll be grateful to see!)
Many of us plan summer trips, whether those are outdoor outings like camping or visiting large cities and staying in specialty hotels. Some of us want our pets to accompany us on those trips. There are several helpful websites for those traveling with pets, whether that travel takes you by car or in an RV. There are also websites for locating pet-friendly accommodations, restaurants, and activities.
Below you will find a few helpful sites if you’re traveling this summer with your pet:
A Resource Guide for Pet Safety While Riding in a Car:
A Guide to RV’ing With Your Pet:
A Resource Guide to Traveling by Air with Your Pet:
A Website About Chain Restaurants That Allow Dogs:
A Website That Lists Pet-Friendly Accommodations, Restaurants, and Activities:
A Blog/Guide to Road-Tripping with Your Pet:
Check out these resource guides and websites before you embark on your next excursion with your beloved furry companion. And remember to NOT leave your pet in the car during these hotter days!
The third week of June is known at Take Your Pet to Work Week, developed by Pet Sitters International, the creators of Take Your Dog to Work Day. Researchers have proven the companionship and comfort derived from pets benefit people physically and emotionally. Therefore, many companies now allow workers to bring furry friends to the office, even if only one day a year.
A list of the top 10 businesses that are pet-friendly comes out each year; here is a link to this year’s companies that allow pets at the office: https://www.wellnesspetfood.com/our-community/wellness-blog/americas-10-most-pet-friendly-companies-2019. Another list, created by Rover.com, can be found here: https://www.rover.com/blog/best-dog-friendly-companies/.
Two companies found on both lists are Amazon and Trupanion, both based in Seattle. That city was voted the most dog-friendly city in America earlier this year.
Whether you live in Seattle or not, take advantage of this special week. This Friday, June 21, is Take Your Dog to Work Day, and there’s still time to ask the boss if your Fido or Fluffy can accompany you to the office. My pets Bailey, Murphy, and Jeremiah and I will be thinking of you on Friday as we spend time together in my home office while I polish up some articles and continue editing my novel!
No matter where you are, honor the faithfulness of your furry friend by being faithful to spend time with him or her, not just this week but always!
We humans take pride in our residences. We clean, we mow, we paint, we cook, we garden, we tinker. Some find these endeavors painful, others challenging, and still others enjoyable. Whatever your thoughts are about cleaning house, planting and maintaining gardens, tidying up the garage, or trimming the yard, keep in mind some of the items we use for those jobs can help our dogs and cats.
Throughout our homes, garages, and yards there are hazards. Below are six toxins found around our homes that are harmful to dogs and cats:
Securing these items, whether on shelf, behind a locked door, or fenced off, will help prevent dire illness, even death, of your furry friends.
The American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals (ASPCA) maintains an extensive list of pet toxins. They also service a pet poison hotline; that number is (888) 426-4435. And, they provide a mobile app.
As summer arrives and we spend more time sprucing up our homes, yards, garages, and outbuildings, may we keep in mind the safety of our beloved animals.
Schools are dismissing, temperatures are rising, and the sun is shining, combining to chorus that summer is here! If you’re looking for a companion to share the longer days, warm nights, and great adventures that come with this season, look no further than your local animal shelter or rescue.
Adopting a four-legged friend can add fun to your summer! Hiking, camping, basking in the warm of your patio or deck, relaxing with an engaging book, beach combing, traveling to a state or national park or seashore, visiting family and friends – all of these adventures can be even more enjoyable with a dog or cat at your side (or on your lap!). The soft purrings from a feline friend; the excited woofs from a new canine companion, the joys of running, playing fetch, wading in water, or simply relishing the quiet of your own back yard, all with a new-found buddy, adds flavor of contentment and joy to summer season.
June is National Adopt-a-Shelter-Cat Month. Cat or dog, rabbit, hamster, horse, whatever animal delights you and adds joy, love, and friendship to your life, take to the internet and find that perfect companion for yourself and/or your family. Millions of dogs and cats are housed in animal shelters every year in America, and thousands more are cared for by volunteer foster families helping animal rescue groups. Horses, birds, rabbits, and other creatures also go into rescue; therefore, a person has a plethora of animals from which to choose.
Before adopting any animal, however, keep these tips in mind:
For resources and further information about adopting a pet, visit these websites:
Even if adoption of a pet is not an option for you at this time, there are many ways you can help homeless animals – find a valuable resource with a list of ideas here:
Enjoy your summer with your furry friend or by helping animals in need at your local rescue or shelter!