The hottest months of the year are almost here. Humans have plenty of ways to beat the Summer heat but what about our fur-babies? Dogs cannot cool themselves by sweating like humans and mainly cool off by panting. So how do prevent overheating? Here are 6 ways to keep your dog cool and comfortable.
PROVIDE COOL WATER
Keep fresh, cool water available to your dog at all times. Make sure you keep the water dish in a shady location and change the water frequently. If you go out for walks or to the park, take enough water for both yourself and your dog to stay hydrated.
GIVE YOUR DOG A FROZEN TREAT
Frozen dog treats are a dog’s best friend in the heat of Summer. Choose safe ingredients your dog will like then freeze and feed on hot days. Some ideas include chicken or beef broth, frozen fruits, yoghurt etc. Limit how much you feed depending on the ingredients you use.
SHELTER FROM THE SUN
Dogs can get sunburn just the same as humans! While sunscreen for dogs is available it is not ideal. Staying indoors in an air conditioned home or store (lots of stores allow pets in Summer) is the best idea in hot weather. The next best thing to offer is shelter in the form of a structure such as an insulated, spacious and well ventilated dog house or a tent. Add a fan and if possible put the shelter in a shady area to keep it extra cool.
TRY A KIDDIE POOL
If your dog loves water try a large kiddie pool (go for plastic and not inflatable as nails will pop it). Supervise your dog at all times and keep the pool in a shady area with a cover when not in use. Alternatively a sprinkler may be fun for your dog.
COOL DOWN THE DOG BED
A soft bed feels good for your dog but may be too warm in the Summer. A cooling dog bed offers comfort and softness but keeps the temperature nice and cool and is a nice alternative to hard floors.
TRY A COOLING VEST OR COOLING BANDANA
Cooling vests are lightweight, breathable and soft. Some have reflectors for added safety when walking at night, and use evaporation and reflection to keep dogs cool. Other vests can be dipped in cool water, wrung out and placed on your dog. Wet bandanas, freeze them, rinse under water and then use when ready. Both are excellent alternatives when outside or on the road.
Heat can be very dangerous for your dog, especially in a hot car or outside in the elements. Heat strokes, exhaustion and dehydration can become serious health problems and are common issues seen by veterinarians. It’s also one of the most easily preventable problems for pet owners. Follow our handy tips and keep your dog safe this Summer!
Spring is a time to air out the house, sort through closets and start tackling the garden. It is also the time of year when your dog begins to shed and get rid of his winter coat. So why not spring clean your dog along with the house! Here are some useful tips to help your dog get ready for the outdoors as warm weather sets in.
BUY A GOOD BRUSH THAT COMPLEMENTS YOUR DOG’S COAT
Even if you take your dog to a groomer for haircuts you still need to take care of his coat in between visits. Make sure you invest in a good brush to help get rid of all that loose dead hair and matted clumps. Research the correct brush for your dog’s breed as the wrong type of brush can irritate their skin. Never use a metal comb on your dog’s delicate skin! Grooming gloves are another great option and while these work best on short coats, the sensation of being petted makes it a favourite of all dogs, especially puppies!
BRUSH WITH GOOD TECHNIQUE
Use firm but gentle strokes, do not brush the skin itself as it can get irritated. Use long strokes for long-haired dogs and short strokes for dogs with short or wiry hair. On thick coats, brush against the grain and brushing outward. Then start over, brushing in the same direction as hair growth. For all other coats, brush in the same direction the hair grows.
REMOVE MATS AND KNOTS GENTLY
Use a generous amount of conditioner and massage it into the affected area. If a small mat isn’t treated immediately, it can turn into a serious and painful problem. You can also use coconut or olive oil as a natural detangler. Add a few drops to your hands and massage it through your dog’s fur, then let it sit a few minutes before brushing Try to untangle the mat slowly and manually with your fingers before using a comb. Remember to give your dog breaks during this process.
DEVELOP A REGULAR ROUTINE WITH BRUSHING
Brush short and medium haired pets about once a week and long haired dogs daily. Begin at your dog’s head and work toward his tail. For nervous dogs start with the tail and work forwards. If you plan to wash your dog, brush him first. Tangles are harder to remove when wet. When you wash your dog yourself using the K9000 dog wash make use of the conditioner option to help keep your dog’s fur shiny and mat free.
CHECK FOR ABNORMALITIES
Regular brushing gives you an opportunity to check your dog for anything out of the ordinary and take care of it, like removing ticks and fleas or tending to minor cuts. Parasites like ticks and fleas also like to hide in mats, so you should always take care of them as soon as possible.
REWARD YOUR DOG
When you have finished brushing your dog, be sure to reward him with a nice treat to thank him for being patient! This will encourage him to look forward to the next brushing session.
Regular brushing is an essential part of a good grooming routine and will help keep your dog’s coat healthy and looking good. It’s easy to do yourself, a wonderful bonding process with your dog and a low maintenance, cost effective option for keeping shedding down if you keep it up!
Did you know that unlike humans who have one hair for each hair follicle, dogs have three hairs? That equals to around 15,000 hairs on every square inch of your furry friend’s skin! Not only does a dog’s hair grow in bundles, the hair also cycles. This means that the hair reaches a certain length, stops growing and then dies. Say hello to shedding.
All dog owners know that eventually a bath is necessary. Bathing plays an important role in the health of your dog’s coat and skin, helping to keep your dog clean and free of dirt and parasites. And of course, there’s the added benefit of making your pooch more pleasant to be around.
While bathing is the first step in cleaning your dog, drying is equally as important. It is a good time to check your dog for any abnormalities of the skin, teeth, ears or nails while running your hands through your dog’s hair. If you have a short-haired or thinner coated dog, drying can seem like an easy step, however, if your dog’s coat is thicker, longer or a combination of both, the drying process can seem very challenging.
Here are some handy tips and tricks to help you handle the toughest coat:
Human hair dryers may seem like a good idea, but can actually harm your pet. Dogs have thinner skin than humans and run the risk of being burned if the temperature is set too high. When blow drying your pet’s coat, it is important to use a dryer specifically designed for dogs with lower heat. Your dog cannot tell you that you are hurting him until he is in pain.
Towel dry your dog first. Place the towel on your pet and squeeze a section of the coat one at a time the same way you would use a sponge. The goal is not to dry the hair completely but rather prepare it for more effective blow drying. Rubbing your dog’s coat vigorously will not speed up the process! You run the risk of creating tangles and blow drying can take longer.
Start with the lowest dryer setting and hold it away from your dog’s coat first so he gets used to the sound. Then very slowly begin to dry the coat. If the dryer does not have temperature control aim slightly off the coat to avoid injury to your dog. Keep the air flow in constant motion the same way you would blow dry your own hair. Avoid concentrating the dryer in one spot as the heat could bother your dog. Dry against the grain of the hair to speed up the drying process.
Run your fingers through your dog’s hair and continue to blow dry until you feel slight dampness. It is important not to over dry as this can cause your pet’s hair to become brittle and damaged. Allow for natural air to complete the drying process.
Give your dog lots of love and positive reinforcement in the form of words or a favorite doggie treats to make the experience one that he will want to come back to again and again!
Until now cleaning your dog meant bathing it at home or taking it to the groomer.
That was all fine until the age of self serve, do-it-yourself dog washing arrived in Canada via Saanich entrepreneur Evelyn Rutherford.
It started four years ago when the Gordon Head resident adopted Odin, her Bernese Mountain Dog.
“I hadn’t had a dog for years and I started to realize how difficult it was to keep him clean,” she said.
Rutherford was sifting through social media online with an eye for both business opportunities, and dog cleaning suggestions, when she found the answer to both, the K9000. The Australian invention (from 2005) is the equivalent to a doggy wash vending machine. No appointments necessary, you just walk right up, tap your credit card, choose your soap settings (regular shampoo or flea shampoo), open the door and place your dog in the bathing area.
“Once I saw the video of the K9000 on social media I thought, ‘that’s it, that’s what I need,’” Rutherford said. “It’s messy washing the dog at home, this avoids that, and it’s more affordable than a dog groomer.”
So, after 25 years as a management consultant, Rutherford is now in business for herself, as she owns the exclusive rights to distribute the machines in Canada. So far she’s sold 15 with more on the way. There are more than 1,700 installed worldwide.
Two K9000 machines operate in Victoria, one at Rutherford’s Esquimalt shop, the Furever Clean Dog Wash (602b Esquimalt Rd.), and one at the Mr. Pet’s store in Tillicum shopping centre. Mr. Pet’s actually has six of them at stores in B.C. and one in Alberta while Woofy’s pet store has one in Comox with another on the way in Courtenay.
The machines are built to last at least 20 years with high quality parts. It has it’s own “on-board hot water unit” so it only needs access to a 240-volt outlet, cold water and a drain.
“A short haired dog takes about 10 minutes, maybe 12 or up to 14 for dogs with longer hair,” Rutherford said.
She’s found regulars tend to use them on a three week cycle. There’s also no appointments necessary. Her own store is open from 6 a.m. until 11 p.m.
Using the K9000 is akin to using a do-it-yourself car wash, with a knob that selects each stage of the wash. In fact, there are K9000s at car washes.
The wash cycle finishes with a blow dry and also – free of charge in the newest machines – a short cleaning stage to ready it for the next customer.
The last stage is key, as many of the machines are in unmanned storefronts, such as Rutherford’s Furever Clean storefront in Esquimalt.
“The doors automatically unlock at 6 a.m. and lock at 11 p.m.,” she said. “I can watch the store through video feed on my phone and monitor the sales at anytime.”
The machine gains increased interest at each pet industry trade show Rutherford attends. Trends from Australia, home state of the K9000, show it is becoming popular to install in pet-friendly condos.
You would be shocked that many still cling to the old wives’ tale of not bathing dogs more than a few times a year. Well, things are not the same since the findings that dogs enjoy shampoos and bath time as much as humans. As long as the shampoos don’t have harsh chemicals which would affect the dog’s skin adversely, regular bathing is recommended, even as frequent as twice a month.
WASHING PREVENTS INFECTIONS – Dogs are naturally rough animals and keeping their skin free of dirt helps keeps germs and diseases away. A little cut on the surface of the skin can be a point of infection for your dog especially when his skin hygiene has not been top notch. Just like we recognize that health starts from the outside, the same deference apply for your dogs.
YOU ENJOY THE COMPANY OF YOUR DOG MORE – Nothing spoils fun time like a smelly dog. Keeping your dog clean and fresh ensures he always smells nice, fresh and free of infection. Also, it’s difficult to enjoy your dog’s company when he’s scratching an itch regularly.
IT’S BENEFICIAL TO YOU – Giving your dog a regular bath is of benefit to your health. Clean dogs are less likely to cause people to come down with allergies and other problems. Think of this; your dog is like a rug, it traps allergens, bacteria, fungi and dirt. Allergens are foreign proteins which your dog gets from about anywhere and the longer these allergens stay on your dog, the more likely they would cause your dog discomfort. Bathing your dog regularly is a great recommendation for you or any family members if they are sensitive to allergens.
IT’S AN ENJOYABLE BONDING OPPORTUNITY WITH YOUR DOG – Just like family rituals promote bonding between family members; a routine like bathing can help promote bonding between a dog and its owner. If for instance you have a dog coming from a new family or pen. And you are wondering how to create a bond between you and the dog, try a bath session.
IT IMPROVES YOUR DOGS MOOD – Remember how excited your dog becomes after a bath session? Yes, regular bathing enhances the mood of your dog, and dogs just like humans suffer from mood swings and at such times, it is a good idea to get your dog bathed.
Bathing helps keep your dog’s coat clean, healthy and free of parasites. Depending on the type of dog, some need a bath more frequently than others. So do some research on your particular breed to understand how often you should bathe it. For example, dogs with harsh-textured coats repel dirt pretty well. They don’t get as dirty as dogs with soft coats.