Doggie Blog

Nine Tips For Keeping Your Doggie Safe This Independence Day

Nine Tips For Keeping Your Doggie Safe This Independence Day 0

The sunshine and fresh air of summer make outdoor activities perfect for us and our dogs. With the fourth of July rapidly approaching, it’s a splendid time to take Independence Day safety into consideration for our four-legged family members. Keep your best friend in peak condition, mentally and physically, with these tips:

  1. Make sure the information on your dog’s tags is easily readable and has your current phone number and address. Or consider a GPS collar tracker, or better, a microchip. Just make sure all the information is up to date there, too.
  2. Keep your pups indoors during your celebrations. Find the quietest room in your house or apartment and turn up the TV or radio to help drown out the sounds of raucous revelling. Check out this playlist to relax Fido by the folks at Relax My Dog.
  3. Give your dog lots of TLC and something to take his mind off of the outside festivities. Try a big, meaty bone or KONG dog toy filled with kibble, his favorite snack, or doggie-approved peanut butter.
  4. Use natural calming aids. On its blog, Bring Fido suggests herbal treatments like lavender, valerian, and even hemp. You can apply them using essential oils, or buy them in chewable treats. With hemp, add a few drops to your dog’s food at dinnertime, or in a snack before the pyrotechnic fun begins.
  5. Consider a ThunderShirt or other comfort clothes for your pooch. Stories abound of their effectiveness, with ThunderShirt boasting a more than 80% proven success rate. 
  6. Put signs on doors to the outside, reminding guests not to let the dogs out. Woot! Woot! People who don’t own pets won’t have escape scenarios in mind when they visit.
  7. Be careful with chemicals! Like babies, dogs check things out with their mouths. The chemicals in fireworks (spent or not), lighter fluid, matches, and things like glow jewelry will all make him sick. The same applies to insect repellant and even Citronella. Use pet-friendly products on your pooch, and you, too, in case of licking.
  8. Watch for signs of heat-related illness and stay prepared to treat it. Check out The Drake Center’s list of heat-related signs to look for, and treatments should they occur. Never-ever-ever (times a million) leave your dog locked in a car. The inside of your vehicle can quickly reach 120 degrees, even in the shade with the windows cracked.
Be prepared. Have the telephone numbers and locations of the nearest emergency veterinary clinics handy just in case the worst happens. Have access to the ones closest to your home, the lake, or wherever you and your four-legged friend may visit.
  • Holly W
How to Keep Your Dog Cool in Hot Weather

How to Keep Your Dog Cool in Hot Weather 0

Dogs run into trouble in hot weather quicker than humans. They are more susceptible to heatstroke and are unable to sweat like humans so they are likely to overheat really quickly. This means that dog owners need to be alert to problems and prevent their pets from getting overheated, especially in summer. Here are some practical ways to keep your dog cool in hot weather.

Plan Ahead

If you know there's likely to be hot weather, start planning ahead with some simple things to keep your dog cool. Arrange some shade in the garden away from any direct sunlight or let the dog lie in a cooler part of the house. Damp towels for the dog to lie on helps keep it cool. Filling a hot water bottle with cold water for the dog to lie on also helps reduce any heat. If you have a paddling pool, encourage your dog to use it to cool off.

Time Your Walks

In hot weather, walk your dog during the cooler part of the day. Imagine stepping barefoot onto payment on a hot day. A dog's paw gets the same sensation if you take it for a walk in the hottest part of the day and this can actually lead to burned feet. The dog will also find it incredibly hot to walk as they have their coat to consider. Your dog will thank you for that walk when the temperature has lowered such as in the early morning or in the evening.

Never Keep a Dog in a Hot Car

One of the quickest places for a dog to overheat is in a car with the windows shut. Each year dogs die because the owner left them in a car on a hot day. Take your dog with you or leave it at home. Even if you parked the car in the shade and left a window open it is insufficient to keep the dog safe. On a hot day, dog owners need to plan ahead to avoid this problem.

Water is Vital

Dogs need to drink lots of water in hot weather. Make sure your dog has a full bowl of cold water at home. If you go out, take a supply with you so the dog can get a drink easily. This helps prevent heatstroke and dehydration.

Regular Grooming

Making sure your dog gets clipped regularly will ensure it has a healthy coat and that any excess hair from winter has been trimmed. Brushing will get rid of dirt and knots in their hair. Matted fur will trap heat so it is really important to free these from your dog's coat so it stays cool. Another hazard of matted dog hair is that it is attractive to flies where they lay eggs and this then becomes irritating and sore.

Adapt Your Games

Play is really important to dogs and keeps them alert. In hot weather, you should avoid too much running around as it leads to overheating. There are other fun activities to do with dogs such as sniffing out treats or sitting exercises. Using the garden sprinkler or getting them to play with a toy near a paddling pool will also keep them cool. Freezing some dog food will also help keep them cool as it acts as an ice popsicle. Ice cubes containing your dog's favorite treat are another great way of staying cool on a hot day. Some dogs like to swim but always be wary of tides and hidden hazards in rivers and oceans.

Know How to Recognize Heatstroke

Dog owners must be able to recognize the signs of heatstroke early so they can get help for their pets. Look out for glazed eyes, excess panting, vomiting or diarrhea, a rapid pulse, lack of coordination, and collapse. if you see these signs, get your dog to a shady area immediately. Cool them with cold wet towels and give them water or an ice cube to lick. Never place them directly into icy cold water as it will shock them. If the dog does not improve you need to get them to a veterinarian immediately.

  • Holly W
Common Causes & Risk Factors For Arthritis In Dogs

Common Causes & Risk Factors For Arthritis In Dogs 0

Common Signs and Symptoms of Arthritis in Dogs

  • Changes In Natural Gait, Limping Or Dragging Their Feet
  • Noticeable Decrease in Activity
  • Licking Their Joints
  • Low Mood or Depression
  • Difficulty Standing Up, Particularly After Sleeping or Resting
  • Significant Weight Loss or Gain
  • Yelping or Whimpering
  • Irritability; Acting Aggressive or Withdrawn


  • Raise Feeding Bowls To Make It Easier For Your Dog To Eat
  • A Proper Diet Is Crucial - Maintaining A Healthy Weight Can Help Relieve Pressure On Aging Joints
  • Exercise Is Important - Daily Walks At A Slower Pace Can Help Your Pup Stay Active
  • Buy An Orthopedic Bed
  • Get A Doggie Ramp Or Low Impact Doggie Stairs
  • Parasite Control, AVMA Recommended


  • Holly W
8 Great Doggie Military Heroes

8 Great Doggie Military Heroes 1

On Memorial Day, we have cookouts, gather with family and friends, and take time to honor those who gave their lives defending the United States of America. But how many of us remember our four-footed military heroes?

From the days of the Egyptians and the Greeks to recent actions in the Middle East, dogs have stood beside their human counterparts in service to mankind. 

History first records the use of a Canine Corp during the Seminole War of 1835. In 1842, the Army used Cuban-bred bloodhounds in Louisiana and Florida to track Native Americans and runaway slaves through the swamps. During the Civil War, dogs saw action as messengers, guards, and mascots.

Here are 8 great American K9 military heroes.



This brindle Stratford Terrier served during the Civil War with the 11th Pennsylvania Volunteer Infantry. Raised by the regiment and always with them, Sallie became separated from her comrades at Gettysburg. Three days later, troops found her guarding the bodies of wounded and dead soldiers. She died in combat at the Battle of Hatcher’s Run.

Sergeant Stubby


During WWI, America’s first war dog, Sergeant Stubby, served 18 months in the European theater. He first saw action at Chemin des Dames, France, where he proved himself as valuable as any soldier with a rifle. The thunder of artillery didn’t faze him, and he followed the example of his fellow soldiers, ducking when the shells drew close. Without any instruction! With his heightened hearing, Sgt. Stubby heard the whine of shells before the men, and they began taking their cues to hit the dirt from him.

One night, Stubby’s head snapped up. He sniffed the air, loosed a growl, and bounded into the trenches. Awakened by a sharp cry of pain and the sound of a fight, his handler grabbed his rifle and tore into the dark to find his partner. He arrived on the scene to find a German spy whirling madly in an attempt to shake Stubby from his backside.

Corporal Conroy captured and disarmed the spy quickly, but Stubby took his time detaching himself from the man!

By the end of the war, Sgt. Stubby had received a chest full of honors, including a wound stripe and several medals of valor. The US Marines even honored him with the honorary rank of sergeant.


Returning late from his R&R in Paris on July 14, 1918, Private James Donovan tripped over a pile rags that turned out to be his new shaggy friend. As he introduced himself, three military policemen arrived on the scene to take him into custody for being AWOL.

Donovan convinced the MPs that he was part of a search party to retrieve the little terrier, the missing mascot of the 1st Division. The MPs took his word and delivered both man and dog safely to headquarters.

Soon after, as a messenger between headquarters and the infantry and artillery units of the 1st Division, Donovan would try to leave Rags in the relative safety of the rear. But the dog would have none of it. Giving in to his fellow soldier, Donovan trained the dog to deliver messages through the barbed wire that slowed human couriers and caused high casualties.

Rags went on to serve as an early warning system and was gassed and wounded in action before he and Donovan evacuated and went home.



Chips served during WWII in North Africa, Sicily, Italy, France, and Germany. The Shepherd-Collie-Husky mix earned the distinction of most-decorated K9 in WWII. Pinned down with his handler during the invasion of Sicily, Chips broke free and attacked the enemy gunmen, leading to their surrender. He won the Silver Star and Purple Heart for his action. 



On December 3, 1966, Nemo and his handler, Airman Second Class Robert Thorneburg, came under enemy fire. Thorneburg took a bullet in the shoulder. Nemo was hit in the muzzle, under his right eye. The bullet exited his mouth. Nemo ignored his wound and charged four gunmen, giving his partner time to call for reinforcements. Man and dog received emergency medical treatment, and Nemo went home to live the rest of his life as a hero.



Valdo, a naval petty officer first class, served in Afghanistan with his handler, Petty Officer 2nd Class Ryan Lee. In 2011, the bomb-sniffing dog received severe wounds when he shielded four of his comrades from a rocket-propelled grenade. He took most of the shrapnel but went on to recover.



Lex came under fire while deployed in Fallujah with her handler, Cpl. Dustin Lee. Shrapnel from the mortar wounded the dog and resulted in the death of the corporal. Despite his wounds, Lex crawled over to Lee and lay atop him until medics could arrive.



This Shepherd-Belgian Malinois mix lost a leg in Afghanistan. She received her injury when she set off a roadside bomb while walking point for her team of Marines. Thanks to her dedication, no US troops were injured. Meet this true American hero in the three-and-a-half-minute video conversation with Lucca and her handlers.

To the dogs!

These shining examples of American war dogs underscore their title of Man’s Best Friend. Many more dogs accompanied their human counterparts into the rigors of war, some known, many not. Check out the resources below for more information and bios of our dog heroes.

  • Alex Brown