Discussing dog breeds, dog-adoption, and the human-canine connection.

Sunday, June 24, 2012

Hot Weather, Water, and Dogs

Where I live the heat of summer is just setting in. A friend tells me that this past week she saw a dog left in a car with the windows just cracked open. Some people apparently still do not realize how quickly they can do permanent damage to their dog's health by leaving them in a vehicle during warm weather.

 One study I found showed that on average, even with car windows cracked open, the interior of a car is 20 degrees Fahrenheit warmer inside than the outside temperature. That means that by the time it is just 70F (21C) outside it will be 90F(32C) inside the vehicle.The only way a dog has to cool off is by panting - a dog cannot sweat like people do. Dogs also overheat faster than people do due to their inability to sweat.

As a dog overheats his rapid panting causes him to become dehydrated. As a dog becomes dehydrated his blood thickens and his organs -- hearts, lungs, even brain -- become damaged.

 Even if a dog survives this overheating and dehydration, his health can be negatively affected for the rest of his life. Organ damage is permanent.

 Which also points out the importance of keeping your dog hydrated -- providing enough clean water -- at all times in warm weather. It is also important to make sure that your dog is drinking. Dogs playing, working, or otherwise being active in warm weather are more prone to dehydration; it is important to make sure a dog takes regular breaks and drinks.

It is also possible to provide an on-demand water spout for your dog if your dog is a heavy drinker, if you have trouble remembering to fill the water bowl, or if your dog prefers fresh water.

Swimming or bathing in cool water can also help lower a dog's body temperature -- in order for this to work the water has to be cooler than the dog. Some people find that setting up a child's size pool and filling it with cool water is a good way to provide a wading pool for dogs. Others are able to take their dogs swimming in lakes, rivers, oceans, ponds, or creeks. Even setting up a sprinkler can provide a water source that helps cool your dog down.

Remember, dogs always need clean, fresh water. In heat water can that much more quickly make the difference between life and death.

And please, do not leave your dog in a car without the air conditioning running. Your friend may enjoy a car ride but they will not enjoy overheating in a parked car...in fact, they may never recover.

Monday, June 11, 2012

Sunshine award from Talking Dogs at For Love of Dogs

We are very honored to have been given a Sunshine Award this lovely day from our blogging friend Sue Kottwitz at Talking Dogs at For Love of Dogs: www.talking-dogs.com

Sue and I enjoy many of the same blogs and I hope that if you haven't already checked them out you'll take time to click through and say hello to these other Sunshine Award winners:

Thanks Sue!

Sunday, June 10, 2012

Dog Sitting for Sister

I love my sister.
Even after this weekend.

I got one of those emergency calls that family sometimes make. My sister's family suddenly needed to make a trip that would take them out of town for the weekend. They couldn't get space in the kennel at such late notice . Would I be willing to drive the 90 miles with my dogs and stay in her home with the whole dog crew?

 Being of only limited common sense I immediately agreed.

I neglected to bring my camera with so I will share some more generic pictures so you have an idea of the cast of characters involved in this merry ol' weekend.

Not-charlie but Charlie looking dog

There was the newest member of the group, my nephews adopted little mixed breed dog Charlie.

Rosie is a Black Lab, but this isn't her

Their middle dog is a year old Black Lab, Rosie.

This Chocolate Lab looks like Jadey

Their oldest is Chocolate Lab, Jadey.

The real Lil

There was my Yellow Lab, Lil.

THE Gracie

Of course, Gracie.


Bogart look-alike
Now Jenny has my parents wrapped around her paw and they decided she couldn't be subjected to so many younger dogs and so she must go across town and stay with them and their senior Boxer, Bogart.

 So after a brief couple of hours with six dogs, I was already down to five. Way to streamline!

Someone else who got six dogs together, but probably didn't try and house sit with them

Unfortunately, Charlie and Rosie have never really been separated from their family before and this meant they were a little out of sorts. Charlie decided to selectively mark a few things. Rosie decided to bark. A lot.
Recent study shows dogs often bark from separation anxiety

We were all in a middle class, standard ranch house with fenced yards in front and back. Rosie is not allowed in the front yard, because it has finally been rehabilitated after she transformed it from lush lawn to something that looked like a desert full of holes left by stray meteorites. Rosie is why there is now a special "dog yard" with lots of wood chips in it.

Rosie also had trouble sleeping. She was worried that every time I shifted during the night that this was a possible indicator that I was about to die, leaving her with no one to let her out in the wee hours of the morning. Every time I moved, Rosie jumped up, ran across the hardwood bedroom floor and nosed me to make sure I was till breathing.

Of course, this was monumentally helpful in my whole rest cycle.
Nothing assures sleep like having a Lab's wet nose stuck in your arm or face at regular intervals during the night.

Overall, things went fine. It might have been a little nicer if during one of the most hot, humid weekends we've had so far this summer they'd had time to stick an air conditioner in  window. But nothing brings a pack together like crowding around a fan for the feeling of moving air.

I did visit Jenny in the evening...she seemed blissfully happy to not be staying with the Labs and Charlie. She isn't a fan of too much roughhousing and I know how she would have responded. She would have barked.

Monday, June 4, 2012

Consider Adopting a Greyhound

Athletic. Handsome. Intelligent. Affectionate. Loyal.

Good qualities to have in a companion; yours to be adopted if you are the right kind of person to live with a Greyhound.

There are a number of organizations that work to re-home former racing Greyhounds, helping these very worthy dogs transition from a life on the track to a life in the home. One of the amazing things about Greyhounds is how quickly and well they usually make this transition.

If you are responsible enough to keep a dog on a leash, and/or you have a fenced in yard that can contain a dog, if you like to jog, hike, or throw balls or pull lures around a yard, or do other activities that a dog can participate in then a Greyhound would make an attractive companion.

 When you're done, then a Greyhound will cuddle up on the couch with you and relax. For a larger dog that needs regular exercise, Greyhounds might surprise you with what wonderful house dogs they make.

 They house train quickly and have an affinity for curling up and quietly napping in between bouts of exercise. They love people and most also enjoy the company of other dogs.

Many are also able to live with cats, although if you already live with cats I would suggest you make sure the dog you adopt has been cat tested; this is an aspect of temperament testing that rescue groups will assess a dog for.

Greyhounds also come in a range of colors, and slightly different builds. Some are slighter in size while others are well muscled and look very powerful. In general this is an athletically built dog that looks like it was bred to move.

 If you think you might be the right kind of person for a Greyhound, try checking the web for Greyhound rescue and adoption groups in your area. Greyhound rescue is also pretty great about helping dogs find ways to get to their new homes; transportation assistance is sometimes available.