Water Safety Tips for Dogs

lab swimming

With the weather getting warmer, many of us will be trying to get up to the cottage for some relaxation by the water. Many dogs love the cottage life, jumping in the lake and going for a swim! Feeling that breeze through their fur when they’re next to you on the boat. This week we will be discussing how to keep your pooch happy and safe when playing in or near the water.

 

Not All Dogs Love to Swim          While there are many natural born swimmer breeds such as the Newfoundlander and Chesapeake Bay Retriever, there are also some breed who don’t often take to swimming very well. Breeds with short little legs and/ or short snouts can have trouble paddling strong enough to keep themselves up when in water. Some examples of these breeds are Pugs and Corgi’s. Due to their shorter legs, it can be somewhat rare to see these types of dogs enjoying deep water as they aren’t physical built for swimming. Of course, there’s always an exception to the rule and some shorter legged dogs are in fact great swimmers. It is always a smart idea to stay nearby if your little legged dog wants to try swimming, just in case you need to help him out.

 

Life Jackets and Vests                   There are many places online that make breed and size specific life jackets for any dog breed. If your dog isn’t a confident swimmer, it may be a good idea to put a life vest on if you know you will be near the water. If you plan on taking your dog on a boat ride, no matter what breed or swimming experience he has, he should be wearing a life vest. Just in case you happen to go over a big wave or if your dog unexpectedly reacts to something while on the boat, you always want to make sure he is wearing a life vest for any unexpected moments. These doggy life vest often come with durable handles on the top so you have a much easier time pulling him out of the water if needed.

 

Keep Your Dog Within Eyesight You never know what your dog can get into. He may be enjoying himself in the water so much, that he ends up going too far out. This prevents you from being able to reach him in time if there’s any sort of emergency. Be sure that your dog knows to stay close and within your eyesight. If you’re with others, have them help keep a look out, the more eyes the better when it comes to safety!

 

Check The Water First                  We all know that it can take some time for large bodies of water to warm up near the beginning of summer. If the water is too cold, it can put your dog at risk for hypothermia. Some dogs that were bred to swim and hunt in the water have a double coat, helping to protect their body from cold water. For dogs that don’t have this double coat, it doesn’t take long for hypothermia to set in. A good rule before your dog goes swimming, is to check the water yourself first! Take a quick dip to check the water first. Check around where you are to make sure there aren’t any warning signs posted for things like jellyfish to ensure your dog won’t have any unexpected encounters.

 

Some dogs can’t get enough of the water while others prefer to stay on land. Whatever your dog’s preference is, make sure he stays safe this summer by following our water safety tips!

Dog Safety Tips for Kids

kid walking great dane

Teaching young kids how to act around dogs is very important in today’s dog-filled society. Whether it’s your family pooch or an unfamiliar dog walking down the street, you want to be sure that your child knows how to properly behave around a dog and how to be respectful towards both the canine and the owner. We’ve complied some helpful tips for teaching your kids their doggy manners and staying safe!

 

Always Ask Before Approaching/ Petting a Dog

One of the most important safety tips is to always ask the owner before approaching or trying to pet the dog. Kids will often get so excited to see a new cute dog that they want to run up to it and start petting him! Unfortunately, this can often cause the dog to be surprised/overwhelmed and may react in a negative way such as biting. Try this exercise, take your child to a popular dog walking area, and show your child by example how to ask the owner first before petting and then calmly pet the dog. With enough practise, this will become the child’s natural response when they see a dog in the future. If you want to go a step further, you can teach your kids the colour codes that some dogs will wear to indicate various meanings (ex., red means ‘Caution! Do not touch’, green means ‘I am friendly!’)

 

Too Many Kisses!

Dogs and humans show affection in different ways. This is an important piece of information for kids to understand. At an early age, kids learn to show affection by hugging their friends and family; so it only makes sense that they would want to show the same affection to the new cute dog they just met! Unfortunately, dogs don’t typically show affection by hugs or kisses, and often times when a face or head is very close to their head, the dog becomes uncomfortable and will try to bite. It should be fully explained and emphasized to kids that the dog does not like hugs or kisses, but he really likes being gently pet!

 

Don’t Bother a Busy Dog!

 

Have you ever encountered a dog with a new toy that just wouldn’t let go of it no matter what? No problem for many adults, but that can seem really scary to a young kid, and if the dog really loves what he’s chewing on, he may become aggressive to protect it. For this reason, it is crucial that kids learn to not approach a dog who is eating, drinking or chewing on something. Especially with new dogs, you don’t know if that dog is familiar with kids, or if the dog has any possessive tendencies that could turn aggressive.

 

It is important to always monitor your kids interactions with dogs to ensure they are safe and being respectful to the animal. To ensure your child grows up to be confident and polite around dogs, it’s always a good idea to re-educate yourself by speaking with dog trainers, watching youtube videos of dog behaviour, or even speaking with a knowledgeable dog owner. By becoming more confident around dogs yourself, your kids will follow your lead to have a happy life with canines!

Winter Safety Tips for your Pup!

dog winter

Around this time of year we all get to enjoy some beautiful snowy scenery. When out and about with your pup in this chilly weather it is important to be prepared to make sure your pup doesn’t get too cold! We’ve assembled our winter safety tips list to help keep you and your pup having fun in the snow this winter!

 

Double Coat vs. Single Coat

First things first, figure out if your dog has a double coat or a single coat. Most spitz-type dogs or super fluffy looking dogs will have a double coat that better protects them from the cold and helps to insulate heat. Examples of some dog breeds with double coats are huskies, golden retrievers and bernese mountain dogs. If your dog has a single coat he can be more susceptible to frostbite in very cold temperatures. It would be a good idea to invest in a high quality winter coat for your dog if he has a single coat. If you are unsure what type of coat your dog has, you can look up his particular breed online, ask your groomer or ask your vet. Keep in mind, even some dogs with double coats may need a winter jacket before going outside in the cold. Use your best judgement when it comes to your dog. One example of a dog with a double coat that may still require a winter jacket is the Yorkshire terrier. Even though they have thick fur, their tiny bodies can’t withstand that cold wind for too long!

 

Paw Care

If you find your dog gets dry or cracked paws in the wintertime, it may be a good idea to invest in some dog booties for him! Dog booties (although may feel weird to your dog when first trying them) will help to protect your dogs paw pads from getting too cold as well as drying out too much. On the other side, if your dog has very furry feet, it would be wise to take a trip to the groomer to get them trimmed. Excessive hair on the feet and between the paw pads can get wet running in the snow all day and then quickly freeze, keeping that frosty ice on your dog’s feet. And when your dog comes in from the snowy backyard, be sure to wipe down his feet with a dry towel to help them warm up faster (and help prevent puddles in your house as any ice or snow melts!).

 

Walk in the Sunshine!

If you find your pooch is getting too chilly on your morning or evening walks, try adjusting your routine so that your walks are when the sun’s out! This will dramatically help keeping your pup warm. Like most of us, we have busy lives where we can’t adjust our schedules to walking the dog during daylight hours, so look around for some knowledgeable dog walkers who can take your dog out. This doesn’t mean you have to pay for a dog walker year round, most dog walkers are more than happy to accommodate seasonal clients. So when you get home from a long day at work, your dog has already been tired out (without getting too cold!) and will only need a quick bathroom break before bed.

 

It is so important to make sure you and your dog are prepped and ready before taking on this cold weather. With these helpful tips your dog is sure to stay snuggly warm!

Staying Cool in the Summer Heat

Lifestyle_Vacation_Dog_Beach_TS_518565039

Keeping your pups cool during the hot summer months can be critical to their health and happiness. We’ve put together some easy tips to make sure you and your furry friends can stay cool while still having summer fun!

 

#1: Bring water with you

It is so important for your dog to stay hydrated when you two are out enjoying the sun. Make sure you always have a bottle of water handy. There are also many portable water dishes you can buy at pet stores that will easily collapse so you can store it in your pocket or bag. Make sure to offer fresh water to your dog every 15-20 min or so (use your best judgement with the heat). You can also bring along frozen ‘pupsicles’ to keep your dog cool! Mix together some dog-friendly foods such as peanut butter, banana and yogurt. Freeze solid and bring along as a cool treat! But remember, even with delicious ‘pupsicles’ your dog will still require access to fresh water.

#2: Limit time outside if your dog is short-nosed (Brachycephalic)

If your dog has a short nose (ex., Pug, English bulldog, French bulldog, Mastiff, etc.), it is critical that they don’t spend too much time in the heat. These breeds overheat much faster compared to longer nosed breeds and they have a much higher risk of heat exhaustion and heat stroke. Make sure these dogs have access to water at all times, have access to plenty of shade that they can cool down in, and on days with heat warnings, it may be best to keep them inside for most of the day where it is air conditioned. For all dog breeds (not just short nosed) it is sometimes better to leave them at home instead of giving them a long walk or hike in the summer heat.

#3: Do not leave dogs in a hot car

Most people are aware of the dangers of leaving a dog in a hot car. The temperature inside the car will be even hotter than the outside heat. When the weather is 70???F outside, after just 30min in the car it can feel like 104???F. If you must bring your dog in the car and leave him while running errands, see if a friend is available to come along with you. That way someone can keep your dog company while you run into the store and back, as well as you can leave the car running for the air conditioning. Always try to plan ahead so that you will not be in a situation that your dog has to sit in a hot car.

#4: Learn to recognise the signs of an overheated dog

It is always a great idea to learn more about your dog’s health and well-being. Taking a pet first aid course and learning to recognise when your dog isn’t quite acting themselves is all part of being the most responsible pet owner you can be. Some of the signs to watch out for are; excessive panting, dry nose, lack of appetite, wobbly or shaky when walking around. If your dog is suddenly experiencing one or more of these symptoms, give them time to cool off immediately. If symptoms don’t improve, call your vet and they can advise you if your dog needs immediate attention.

 

Having fun with your pup is easy! Now staying safe and healthy in the heat will be too!