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Summertime Guide to Walking the Dog

How to Exercise Pet Safety While Walking the Dog in the Heat of Summer

Walking the dog is one of the best ways for our four-legged companions to get exercise and explore the world. Dogs both love and need to be walked. Walking provides great exercise and allows dogs to partake in their favorite ancestral habit—peeing on everything. With the heat indexes rising, it’s important to know when it’s too hot to walk your dog. Also important is knowing the best ways to keep them from experiencing heat stroke (hyperthermia).

According to a British Veterinary Association study, 48% of vet clinics had to treat dogs for heat stroke during the summer months. The two prevailing reasons heat stroke occurs is because owners neglectfully leave their dogs in cars and dogs overheat due to vigorous exercise while on a walk. Many pet parents aren’t even aware that their dog is severely overheating. Even when the air temperature is only 86-degrees F, the asphalt temperature can swelter to 135-degrees F—hot enough to fry an egg in five minutes. Imagine this on your dog’s paw pads!

Dogs also have a different way of cooling down than humans. Humans regulate heat by sweating. The primary cooling method for a dog is, of course, panting. The way it works is a dog’s tongue swells up—fills with warm blood—while air is forced rapidly over the tongue. As a dog pants, their breathing matches the natural resonant frequency of the airways. This allows warm moisture to evaporate from the tongue which is exhaled while cooled blood returns from the tongue into the body. Dogs have small sweat glands on their feet but these sweat glands are not enough to be a thorough heat losing mechanism.

Heat Strokes (Hyperthermia) in Dogs

The veterinary definition of hyperthermia is when a dog’s body temperature is elevated beyond an accepted normal range. The temperature typically associated with hyperthermia is 106-degrees F. At this temperature, inflammation of the body occurs with a possibility of brain damage and even fatality. This makes it very important to be observant while walking the dog in hot temperatures.

Symptoms of Hyperthermia:

  • Red Gums
  • Non-Production of Urine
  • Sudden Kidney Failure
  • Shock
  • Heart & Lung Failure
  • Vomiting Blood
  • Blood in Stool
  • Seizures
  • Lethargy
  • Muscle Tremors
  • Uncoordinated Movement
  • Unconsciousness

The two most common factors behind dogs overheating are easily preventable. Being aware of the environmental temperature and your dog’s body language can help prevent them from getting hypothermia. When walking the dog in the heat, the increased muscle activity generates an exorbitant amount of body heat. The rise in environmental heat puts dogs at risk during long walks, without shade or access to water. As you walk the dog, continually monitor their behavior and make sure you take breaks if they are excessively panting. Providing water for them to drink at these breaks is also important.

Leaving a dog in the cark is another easily prevented situation that leads to dogs overheating. Even on a fair day, it only takes minutes for a parked car to turn a car into a brick oven. Even with the windows cracked it is not safe. On a 78-degree day, the inside of a parked car will swelter to 100 degrees in a few minutes. If you need to run errands and cannot bring your dog, please leave them at home in the air conditioning, instead of in a parked car.

Dogs that are Susceptible to Overheating:

  • Young puppies & senior dogs have a harder time regulating their internal body temperature
  • Obese dogs have extra layers of insulation in the form of fat which prevents them from cooling
  • Brachycephalic dogs (squishy faced breeds) have a more restricted breathing pathway which hinders them from cooling down
  • Dogs diagnosed with laryngeal paralysis (narrow breathing passage) also have a more difficult time breathing and consequently harder time dissipating heat
  • Dogs with dark coats who absorb more solar radiation instead of reflecting it

How to Avoid Heat Stroke While Walking the Dog

Timing of the Walk

A little bit of common sense goes a long way for your dog’s safety. The middle of the day, when the sun is highest in the sky, is, of course, going to be the hottest time of day. Try and take your dog for a walk either early in the morning, or late at night, when the temperature isn’t quite as scorching. If you have a dog-walker take your dog out while you are at work, ensure they are walking your dog at an appropriate time.

Route of the Walk

Try and pick a route that avoids asphalt and concrete. Find a route that is shady. This will avoid any unnecessary heat that your dog experiences. Also, make sure they have access to plenty of water. Bring a collapsible water bowl and water bottle for frequent breaks where your dog can re-hydrate.

Dog Boots & Socks

A pair of dog shoes can help protect a dog’s paw pads from the heat radiating from the ground. They also protect a dog’s paws during any season from elements like rocks, broken glass, burrs, snow salt, and other debris which can be dangerous.

Go for a Swim

Dogs need plenty of exercise, even in the summer, but hot temperatures make pet owners consider other ways for dogs to get some exercise. Instead of walking, or going to the dog park, why not visit the dog beach? Swimming is a great form of exercise and helps cool a dog off.

Moisturized Dog Paw Pads

A dog’s paw pads are naturally tough but were never meant to walk over the hot asphalt and concrete. Paw pads can become cracked, irritated, and collect debris from the ground that can damage the paw pad. If your dog is vulnerable to damaged paw pads you can apply coconut oil to their paws to help alleviate any irritation. Splash and Dash Groomerie & Boutique also offers a ‘pawdicure’ service that moisturizes your pup’s paw pads—preventing cracking, peeling, and cleansing away bacteria with an effervescent scrub.

Trimming the Nails and Hair Between the Toes

Having your veterinarian or groomer trim the hair between a dog’s toes helps them gain traction. It also prevents dirt, twigs, and other debris on the ground from getting lodged into their paws. Maintaining a dog’s paw-fur also helps with a dog’s natural temperature regulation.

Trimming a dog’s nails might not help with keeping them cool but it is equally important for their health.

 

Splash and Dash Groomerie & Boutique wish you luck while walking the dog this summer. Please be safe and make sure your dog has plenty of water and shade. In the worst case scenario, if your dog does experience heat stroke, know how to cool your dog down.

For tips on bringing your dog’s body temperature down, click here.

 

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How Hot is Too Hot for a Dog to be Left in the Car?

The summer 0f 2017 is shaping up to be the second-hottest summer on record, according to Scientific American. Each of the last three years has broken global high-temperature records. This is pushing heat indexes well over 100 degrees in some states. States like Texas, Mississippi, Kentucky, and Illinois are experiencing scorching heat waves that are leaving many wondering how hot is too hot for a dog to be in a parked car?

You should never, under any circumstances leave a dog in a parked car—even with the windows open. Cars can become furnaces in the summer heat. At 78-degrees, the inside of a parked car can climb to 100 degrees in minutes. It only takes 10 minutes for the interior temperature of a car to reach a potentially fatal 109 degrees on 90-degree day. Since dogs can only regulate heat through panting and minor sweat glands on their footpads, temperatures above 104-degrees put them at high risk of overheating (hyperthermia).

It is simply way too hot for them.

Dogs with wrinkly faces (brachycephalic) are even more susceptible to overheating like Bulldogs and Pugs. Obese dogs, puppies, or senior dogs also have a higher chance of suffering from heatstroke. Medical conditions like respiratory disease, heart disease, lung disease, or central nervous system disease put dogs at higher risks too. Knowing how hot, is too hot, for a dog is important when the temperature swelters to dangerous notches in a mercury thermometer.

A responsible guardian should look for other ways around leaving a dog in a hot parked car!

How Hot is Too Hot for a Dog?

When the outside temperature reaches 90-degrees, heat must dissipate through evaporation. For humans, this means sweating, and of course, for dogs, this means panting. If a puppy or dog’s body temperature exceeds 103-degrees, veterinarians consider this abnormal or hyperthermic. At this point, dogs will begin exhibiting symptoms of hyperthermia. Symptoms include excessive drooling, bloodshot eyes, and muscle tremors.

A body temperature of 106-degrees—not caused by a previously diagnosed illness is most likely from external or environmental heat. At 107-degrees—the critical point—multiple organ failures, and even death can become imminent. For this reason, it’s important to know how to reverse internal body temperatures.

How to Reverse Overheating

An overheating dog is an immediate medical emergency. Dog owners need to take urgent steps to lower their dog’s body temperature or risk brain damage, organ failure, or death.

Your dog should always have access to water and shady areas. If a dog is showing signs of overheating make sure they still have something to drink. Add a pinch of salt to replace any minerals a dog has lost during panting.

Take cool (not cold) water and pour it over a dog’s head, stomach, armpits, and feet. If there is a bathtub nearby you can also submerge your dog in cool water—holding their head up to prevent aspiration pneumonia. You should also massage your dog’s limbs vigorously to restore blood circulation. Placing a cold packet on your dog’s head will also bring their body temperature down.

Always call emergency veterinary service so they can properly assess your dog’s condition.

What to do if You Come Across a Dog in a Hot Car?

Time is imperative when it comes to preventing a dog from getting brain damage. At a sustained 107-degree body temperature, it can take only 15 minutes for brain damage to occur.

If you see a dog in a parked car, take down the car’s color, model, make, and license plate number. Try and have the owner paged in the nearest building over an intercom system or through a businesses registry.

If needed, call the humane authorities or police.

Alternative to Leaving a dog in Parked Car

Even when the weather is fair it’s a good practice never to leave your dog in the car. There are plenty of alternatives that don’t put your dog in any danger and still allow you take a cruise with them.

Drive Through/Curbside Service

When you go out to eat, drive around a drive-through or order curbside service. Most restaurants have mobile apps that make this super convenient and easy. This way you get the food you want and your pup has companionship through the whole process.

The Buddy System

If you want to bring your dog for a ride, bring a friend or family member to watch over them while you run inside for errands. This way you can leave the car on with the air conditioning running, without worrying.

Pet-Friendly Places

With over 68% of the U.S. population owning a pet, dog-friendly establishments are becoming more popular. Restaurants with outdoor dining are usually fine with you bringing your dog in. Some shopping malls have even opened their doors to our canine companions too!

Splash and Dash Groomerie & Boutique wishes the best for dogs of all sizes and shapes! We adore animals and hate to see when animals suffer from negligence. Please be responsible this summer and know when it is too hot your dog to be in a parked car.

 

Play Dirty. Live Clean.

 

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How to Prevent Injuries to Your Dog’s Paw Pads

When is the Heat Dangerous for Dog Paw Pads?

On scorching summer days, humans have the privilege of wearing flip-flops and shoes to protect their feet from the asphalt or concrete ground. Asphalt absorbs the sun’s rays, making a perfect surface area to fry an egg, or cause injury to a dog paw pad. Air temperature can be misleading. At only 77 degrees Fahrenheit, asphalt temperature can reach 125 degrees—hot enough for skin destruction to occur after 60 seconds of contact. At this temperature, asphalt is only six degrees short of being able to fry an egg in five minutes. Since air temperature is not always an accurate reflection of ground temperature, it’s important to be aware of the heat index to protect your dog’s paw pads!

Dogs are what’s known as a digitigrade species. This means that they walk on their toes, unlike plantigrade species, who use the entire sole of their feet to move. The part of a dog’s paw that makes the most contact with the ground is the pads.The metacarpal,  metatarsal, and digital pads function as the load-bearing, shock-absorbing pads. Although these dog paw pads are tough, they can only take so much heat before injury can occur. The carpal pad makes less contact with the ground and is used for skid and traction when a dog is on an incline or stopping.  

A dog’s paw has five basic parts:

  • Claw
  • Digital Pads
  • Metacarpal Pad (front paws)
  • Metatarsal Pad (rear paws)
  • Dew Claw
  • Carpal Pad

The Five Second Rule

If you live in a hot climate, with temperatures that reach into the 90’s then you need to know the ten-second rule. Veterinarians agree, this is one of the simplest and best gauges to discern if the ground is too hot for a dog paw pad.

To assess the heat level, place the back of your hand against the pavement. If you cannot hold it for five seconds, it’s too hot to walk your dog. If the back of your hand is uncomfortable, it can be painful for your dog to walk on this surface. When the pavement reaches this temperature, many dogs will whimper or begin ‘high-stepping’ on the pavement.

If this is the case, stop the walk. Try and find shady areas or routes that are not in direct contact with the sun. Grass and dirt paths won’t absorb as much heat, so you can try sticking to these walkways.

Dog Boots Or Shoes

Some awesome pet supplies you can get for your dog are dog shoes. A dog paw can only withstand so many of the elements and dog shoes come in handy for more than one season. Dog boots, or shoes, can protect dog paws from rain, snow, salt, and heat. Also, any sharp debris, burrs, or salts that can injure a dog’s paw pads cannot pierce through the material.

High-quality dog shoes made with durable moisture-resistant materials, keeping sharp objects and water out. They also are equipped with reflective straps for extra visibility and protection during night walks.

If you live in a hot climate or a major city with tons of concrete, consider getting your dog some extra protection.

Let Your Dog Dig

Yes, dogs do tear up our backyards as a form of entertainment but many are also doing this to keep cool. Soil further from the ground surface-level is less hot and your dog’s digging efforts may be an effort to reach this cooler soil. If it’s possible, locate a shady area where you allow your dog to dig.

If you want to keep your backyard pristine, it’s better to just keep your dog inside with the A/C cranked. Remember if your dog gets dirty you can take them by your local Splash and Dash for unlimited bathing, brushing, and loving!

Summer Swimming

We at Splash and Dash Groomerie & Boutique believe that exercise for dogs is very important! When the heat is unbearable, your dog still needs to get all their energy out. Instead of a walk, why not head down to your local dog beach or lake for a swim?

If neither of these is an option for your doggo, you can think of buying a paddling pool for your dog to splash around in. A paddling pool helps them cool down without presenting the danger to their dog paw pads.

Keep Dog Paw Pads Moisturized

A dog’s paw pad is naturally tough but dogs aren’t meant to walk over the hard, hot surfaces like concrete and asphalt. Combined with frequent walks overtime, it may be necessary to moisturize your dog’s paw pads. Moisturizing their paw pads can help prevent cracking, peeling, and minor injuries. Even more helpful, Splash and Dash Groomerie & Boutique offers a pawdicure treatment that not only moisturizes a dog’s paws but removes bacteria through a cleansing effervescent scrub.

More Tips to be Safe in the Heat

Not only should dog owners be cognizant of their dog’s paw pads but be aware of heatstroke in general. Nordic dogs with double coats have a natural insulation process but have a higher chance of overheating when the heat index is over 100 degrees. When you are not home, the best practice is to leave your dog inside with the air conditioner running. Never leave your dog in a parked car! Temperatures can reach fatal levels in minutes.

Start a walking schedule that is either early in the morning, or late at night, when the pavements had time to cool off. When walking, stick to pathways that are not asphalt or concrete and remember the five-second rule. Bring a water bottle and collapsible bowl for your dog to drink from. If your dog starts exhibiting any signs of heatstroke, stop walking immediately and help cool him down.

Dog Heat Stroke Signs Include:

  • Red Gums
  • Non-Production of Urine
  • Sudden Kidney Failure
  • Shock
  • Heart & Lung Failure
  • Vomiting Blood
  • Blood in Stool
  • Seizures
  • Lethargy
  • Muscle Tremors
  • Uncoordinated Movement
  • Unconsciousness

If your dog begins symptoms of heatstroke, contact emergency veterinary services. In the meantime, there are some things you can do at home to help them reach a healthy temperature.

Steps to Cooling Your Dog Down:

  1. Place them in a bathtub or a cool (not cold) body of water. If this is not an option run cool hose water over their coat.
  2. Allow water to fill up the tub, keeping their head elevated to prevent aspiration pneumonia.
  3. Apply a cold pack to your dog’s head to lower body temperature.
  4. Massage their limbs. This helps circulate their bloodstream and reduces the risks of shock.
  5. Let him drink as much water as he wants and add a pinch of salt to replace minerals lost from panting.

For more information of dog heatstroke, click here!

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Using Cooling Pads for Your Dog Will Help Him Get Through the Summer

The heat of the summer can be tough on your doggo. As the mercury rises and the sun’s rays belt down, some dogs have a harder time keeping themselves cool. New technology found in a dog cooling pad can make it easier for all our four-legged friends. Instead of your dog plopping down on your floor, they can have their own cooling pad to keep the sweltering temperatures at bay.

Keeping your dog cool during the summer is a simple process that is also very important. We at Splash and Dash Groomerie & Boutique recommend keeping your dog inside when you’re not home. This keeps them out of the hot temperatures in the comfort of air conditioning. If this is not an option, make sure your dog has access to shade and plenty of water while outside. Providing a cooling pad can also help your dog from overheating, which can lead to heat-related illnesses.

Nordic dogs with thick double coats are especially vulnerable to maladies caused from overheating (hyperthermia). Huskies, Australian Shepherds, and Pomeranian are just a few of the breeds of dogs that will benefit from a cooling pad. Many cooling pads significantly lessen the chance of heat stroke and hypertension. Also, dogs who have cushing’s disease, arthritis, and skin conditions benefit from having a cooling pad against their skin.

This article will discuss the different types of cooling pads found on the market and which ones we think are the best for your dog.

Different Cooling Pad Designs

Depending on your budget and your dog’s needs will affect what kind of cooling pad you will want to buy. There are cooling pads designed to go in a crate, outside, or as an addition to a dog bed.

Automatic Cooling Gel Pad

Most pet stores recommend this cooling pad design because it is the most effective and inexpensive option for your dog. An automatic cooling gel pad comes pre-filled with a cooling gel that is usually activated by pressure. When your dog lays on the pad, the pad will lower in temperature anywhere from 5-10 degrees lower than the outside temperature. Some brands will cool down even lower. Many automatic cooling gel pads will stay at this range for three to four hours before automatically recharging.

Water Filled Cooling Pad

These cooling pads are on the lower-tech side but are relatively cheap. Water filled cooling pads are good for temporary use when traveling with your dog. The design is simple. Just fill the pad with water and place it in the freezer or refrigerator. When the cooling pad reaches the desired temperature, place it out for your dog. The tricky thing about these cooling pads is finding the most suitable temperature for your dog. They will only stay cool for around 2 hours before you will need to place it back in the refrigerator.

Simple Gel Cooling Pad

This is probably the cheapest option for pet owners. The pre-filled gel remains at a constant temperature that is usually between five to ten degrees lower than the outside temperature. If you live in a climate that is not overwhelmingly hot, this might be the best option for your dog.

Our Top Five Favorite Options

Splash and Dash Groomerie & Boutique considered tons of cooling pads on the market and whittled the list down to our top five favorites. We considered price, effectiveness, and features to find the best cooling pads.  

Pet Dog Self Cooling Mat Pad for Kennels by Arf Pets

Features:

  • Automatic Recharging Cooling Relief for up to Three Hours
  • Flexible Mat Design
  • 100% Safe for Animals made with Non-Toxic & Latex Free Materials
  • Durable Gel Construction
  • Three Sizes

Price: $69.99–$104.99

 

Premium Pet Self Cooling Pad by The Green Shop Pet

Features:

  • Pressure Activated Cooling System
  • Cooling Relief for Up to 4 Hours
  • Automatically Recharges After 15 Minutes of Non-Use
  • Durable Gel Construction
  • Five Sizes

Price: $19.98–$59.99

 

Cool Bed III by K&H Pet Products

Features:

  • Water Saturated Cool Core Which Absorbs Pet’s Heat
  • Fill Once With No Tools Necessary
  • Durable Construction from Nylon & Vinyl
  • Recommended for Outdoor/Indoor Use
  • Three Sizes

Price: $27.22–$49.99

 

Coleman Pet Cooling Mat by Coleman

Features:

  • Maintained Five to Ten Degrees Less than Outside Temperature
  • No Refrigeration Necessary
  • 100% Non-Toxic
  • Three Sizes

Price: $17.88–$25.99

 

Chillz Pad Comfort Cooling Gel Pad by Hugs Pet Products

Features:

  • Rechargeable 100% Non-Toxic Gel Technology Absorbs Body Heat
  • Recommended for Indoor/Outdoor Use
  • Puncture Resistant Material
  • Three Sizes

Price: $12.98–$29.98

 

More Cooling Options for the Summer

Living in a warm climate and having a dog with a thick coat is not always an ideal situation for their comfort and health. It is important to maintain a grooming schedule during the summer months to ensure coat length is optimal. We recommend having your groomer trim down a dog’s belly fur so they have more skin contact with a cooling pad. Brushing is also especially important to keep a dog’s shedding hairs from getting trapped in their coat.

 

Besides setting up a cooling pad for your dog, you might consider taking them for a swim. If you don’t have access to a dog-friendly beach or lake, you can always get a paddling pool for your backyard. If your dog loves the water, they’ll love a paddling pool! Your dog can splash around in fresh water, giving them a break from the heat. Backyard misting systems are also a fun option that supplies your dog with refreshing water.

 

Also in this vein are cooling vests that you can wrap around your dog’s body. Many of these vests reflect solar radiation while evaporating, which draws heat away from a dog. Activating a cooling vest is as simple as soaking the vest in water, wringing the vest out, and placing it on your dog.

 

Splash and Dash Groomerie & Boutique urge you to be mindful of the scorching temperatures when it comes to your dog. Preventing overheating is as simple as making sure your dog has enough water, access to shade, and is inside when alone. Getting a cooling pad or any other cooling system can help your dog be their most comfortable this summer!

 

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10 Things to Remember When Choosing a Dog Training Collar

I have spent time with dogs that are a little fluffy parcel sent from heaven and dogs that are a fiery furrball from hell. Adopting a rescue dog from the streets is an amazing experience and some of the sweetest dogs I’ve worked with were rescue dogs. However, some rescue dogs can have aggression or anxiety issues resulting from their past. Dogs from breeders can also exhibit unwanted aggressive behavior. Many choose to use a dog training collar as a tool to help with behavior modification.

There are several types of dog training collars you can choose from. For the purposes of this article, we will focus on e-collars or more controversially put “shock collars.” This article will simply present information and leave you to choose the best option for your dog. If you have an aggressive dog at home, please seek out professional advice from a dog trainer before deciding on using any dog training collar. We encourage pet owners to make humane and safe decisions for their dogs!

Shock collars were first used in the 1960’s with hunting dogs. Although they are not intended for punishment they do administer a shock. Most e-collars have varying levels of intensity and dog trainers recommend finding a “working level” for dog training. The working level is the intensity level at which a dog perceives stimulation that is not painful—but has a nagging, annoying quality. An e-collar is meant to be used as a deterrent to train away negative and unsafe behaviors until dogs no longer need prompting. These kind of collars can be used coinciding with the set boundary of an “invisible fence” or can be set to shock when a dog barks, triggered by the vibration of vocal cords.

Here are ten things to keep in mind when considering a dog training collar for your pooch.

1. Types of Collars

Regular

Flat

A flat collar is the standard collar for dogs. This collar is not considered a training collar—its only functionality is attaching identification and a leash. For proper fitting, allow two fingers width for wiggle room.

Martingale

Also known as a “limited-slip collar,” a martingale is designed for dogs with narrow heads like Afghan hounds or Greyhounds. The collar has a length of material with a metal ring at each end. A separate loop of material slips through each ring and a leash is attached to the ring at the end of this loop. If the dog’s head begins to slip out, the leash will contract. If properly fitted, the collar will tighten to the size of your dog’s neck without choking them.

Head Collar

A head collar fits similarly to a horse’s halter. One strap fits around a dog’s neck—sitting high on their head—while the other strap forms a loop around the dog’s muzzle. The leash attaches to the bottom of the muzzle loop. This leash is typically used for large dogs with the strength to jump and pull at the leash.

Aversive Collars

Choke Chain

This collar is made with metal links that tighten around a dog’s neck if they pull against the leash. The leash is supposed to fit high up on a dog’s neck, above the ears. Unlike the martingale, you have no control over the extent of tightening, so it is possible to accidentally choke a dog with this chain.

Prong or Pinch Collar

Also like a martingale, a prong or pinch collar has a control loop that is made of chain. The chain on this leash has blunted points, fang-shaped metal links, or prongs that face inwardly at a dog’s neck which pinches a dog’s neck when they pull against a leash. The size of these prongs should be appropriate to the size of your dog, but even if fitted correctly, the prongs will shift toward your dog’s trachea, pinching them.

E-Collar or Shock Collar

Shock collars use an electric current which passes through two metal contact points which signal a dog. Most shock collars have varying levels of intensity starting at no stimulation, to a working level, and finally a shocking, painful jolt.

Shock collars need to be fitted so that the prongs are nestled through the fur—against the skin. Caution! Shock collars can irritate and inflame a dog’s skin. Don’t leave a collar on for an extended amount of time and wash your dog’s necks where the contact points touch the skin regularly.

2. Positive Reinforcement Vs. Aversive Behavior Modification

There are two schools of thought when it comes to dog training.

The first and, most industry-preferred method, is positive reinforcement. This is when trainers use rewards and positive incentives to train a dog. The key is to get your dog to associate wanted behavior with treats & affection and unwanted behavior with attention-withdrawal. E.g. If you want to get your dog to stop jumping up—turn around when they jump on you and do not give them attention until they are sitting calmly. Once they are calm, give them treats and affection.

The second method of training is aversive training. This is when trainers or dog owners use collars and other devices to train “challenging” dogs with correction or punishment. Reliance on physical discomfort and sometimes even pain is used to deter unwanted behavior.

Professional dog trainers will use both techniques depending on the case of a dog’s needs. Your job as pet parents is to know the difference. Know the pros and cons of each to make a responsible decision on which training method you want to use with your dog.

3. Importance of Bonding

Both training techniques require developing a sense of trust and kinship with your dog. Using positive behavior reinforcement has the best results when a strong relationship exists. When a dog is eager to please and willing to modify their own behavior, each command you teach them will come quicker.

The same is true when using aversive dog training collars. A shock collar will effectively deter unwanted behaviors like jumping up or incessant barking but there is nothing to reward wanted behaviors like obeying a command to “sit.”  Training with only negative feedback is not always enough to teach new commands.

Later in this article, we will take a look at a UK study which reviewed the effectiveness of using dog training collars that used electric currents contrasted with using positive behavior reinforcement.

Cons of Using Electric Dog Training Collars

4. The Shock

Most pet owners are uncomfortable with inflicting pain onto their pet. Even when e-collars’ intensity can be adjusted, you are still using aversive behavior modification. Not every dog trainer knows to use the working level when training and inexperienced people can accidentally injure their dogs.

5. Misplaced Fear

If you have an aggressive or anxious dog, the last thing you want to do is instill fear. With shock training, some dogs begin to fear people, objects, or situations they begin to associate with the stimulus from the collar. The best way to counteract this disassociation is by limiting distraction when using a dog training collar. This will ensure that your dog associates pulling on the leash with the collar stimulus and not your neighbor’s lawnmower.

6. Over-Correction

This happens when a shock or stimulus is administered with bad timing—too late for a dog to associate behavior with the shock—or when a boundary fence or automatic bark collar delivers shocks unintentionally or too often. Without proper dog training techniques with shock collars, a dog might develop an issue that wasn’t there before. For instance, if a dog associates the collar’s stimulus with being outside, they might start urinating in the house as a result of the shock administered by the electric fence.

7. No Positive Reward

The way a dog inherently learns is through experimentation. With positive reward association, a dog knows they will be given a treat once they figure out what they are supposed to do. Even teaching a puppy to sit for the first time relies on them correlating the act of sitting with the delicious taste of a treat. Using dog training collars as the only means of training limits training to only deterring unwanted behavior.

Pros of Using Electric Dog Training Collars

8. Adjustable Intensity

Most e-collars on the market have a range of stimulus intensities. They also have a warning beep or vibrate mode that precedes a shock. Other collars have sprays which administer harmless but foul scents like citronella or an ultrasonic sound which only a dog can hear.

9. Faster Training Results

Some pet owners and dog trainers report that it only takes a few shocks to correct an unwanted behavior. Robin Macfarlane, a professional dog trainer with nearly 30 years experience, uses e-collars with success. Macfarlane states that using an e-collar provides dogs with an easier learning curve.

10. You Don’t Need to Present

Although sometimes problematic, if you have a dog that is constantly barking when you’re not home, which is irritating the neighbors, e-collars can be a quick fix. A boundary control electric barrier will also continue working when you’re not present. We do advise against leaving your dog unattended for a long period of time or with a shock collar on their neck.

Final Thoughts

Again, it is completely up to you as a dog parent to decide whether you want to use a dog training collar with your pooch. In the case of e-collars, the controversy exists and many will tell you not to use them like The Humane Society and the ASPCA. Still, there are professional dog trainers that endorse aversive training techniques like Robin MacFarlane and Cesar Millan.

In a UK scientific study, 63 pet dogs were used to find an objective scientific approach to the efficacy of using dog collars. The dogs were separated into three groups.

Group A was trained with shock collars by pro-shock dog trainers. Group B, the control group, was trained without shock collars from pro-shock trainers. Finally, Group C was trained without shock by trainers opposed to shock training. All three groups wore e-collars so there would be no difference in physical sensation (besides administered stimulus). This also ensured that observers of the training sessions could not tell which dog’s were being trained with shocks to maintain unbiased results.

The findings reported that “there were no differences between groups for a number of Corticosteroids in dogs’ urine, a physiological marker of stress.” Adversely, “when it came to salivary cortisol, Group C dogs were actually the highest.” As far as functionality of training, there were no differences between the three groups of dogs. 91.8% of owners reported in improvements in their dogs’ behavior.

Splash and Dash Groomerie & Boutique encourages you to conduct your own research and consider your own dog’s personality before making any final decisions.

 

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10 Things To Do Before Taking a Nervous Dog to the Groomer

Use These Tips to Get Your Nervous Dog to Enjoy Grooming

At Splash and Dash Groomerie & Boutique we understand the needs of a nervous dog. Many adopted or rescued pets come from a  difficult past. Dogs like this need special devotion to help them overcome their anxiety.

Some dogs love the pet salon while others fear it. A reputable grooming salon takes strides to make a dog’s time there a luxurious and soothing experience. Understandably, for a dog, even this pampering experience can be scary. A pet salon is full of loud noises from the clippers and blow dryers. Dogs can become fearful of other dogs that are also there for a grooming even when dogs are kept separate. All these foreign stimuli can make grooming a traumatic experience for a nervous dog. In some severe cases, dogs can have a full-blown panic attack from not being properly acclimated to the situation.

The issue with nervous dogs is that, for their safety, a professional should be the one doing their grooming. Every dog needs grooming. Without regular brushing, washing, and a trimming a dog’s coat can develop matts. Dogs that are neglected—without grooming—can develop skin irritations. Not to mention a dirty dog means a dirty house. Even though your dog may have some anxiety, she’s still going to need the pet care that comes with grooming.

No matter your dog’s situation, follow these ten steps to help prepare your dog for a positive grooming experience.

Step 1: Massage

When a dog goes to the groomer, a specialist will attend to areas of her body that need to be cleaned—even the sensitive areas. Her ears, groin area, paws, and glands will need to be handled. To get a dog ready for this, you can give your dog a full-body massage. Gently pet your dog from head to toe. Play with her paws and make sure you spread her toes apart. Play with her ears and scratch her bum. Making sure your dog is used to being handled is the first step.

Next, give her a massage on a raised table. This simulates the experience she will have at a grooming salon. Take baby steps with a nervous dog. Whatever you can do to make your dog more comfortable is a good idea. Plenty of soothing languages, treats, or a blanket will help her association with these foreign experiences a pleasant one.

Step 2: Bathing, Brushing, and Supplies

Try exposing your dog to as many of the sensations of grooming as possible. Re-create these experiences in baby steps at home first. Then when your dog is ready, take her to the groomer.

If you can safely give your dog a bath at home, give this a try. Constantly brushing your dog every day is also good for them. Get them used to as many sights and sounds as possible. Turn on a blow dryer so she can hear the sound then give her a treat. Hold up a pair of nail trimmers next to her paws without clipping—then give her a treat.

It might seem excessive, but for a nervous dog, this will help.

Step 3: Make Sure She’s Plenty Exercised

That old expression, “A tired dog is a happy dog” is very true. Not only do dogs crave exploring the world by peeing on everything, they need to get plenty of exercise. Before taking your dog to the groomer make sure she’s had a walk. This will give her time to relieve herself and workout any nervous energy.

Step 4: Find an Understanding Groomer

Not every groomer has the resources or the professional skills to handle an extremely nervous dog. If your dog suffers from anxiety or aggression, inform the groomer of the situation. Some groomers actually specialize in dogs with special needs.

Splash and Dash groomers are thoroughly trained with the professional skillset to accommodate for any dog. Our trained staff will work with you and your pup to ensure a safe and comfortable grooming experience.

Step 5: The Car Ride

When your dog is still a puppy is the best time to start acclimating them to car rides. Car rides can be very stressful for a dog. A car ride is a foreign experience. Your dog may anticipate a stressful destination like the groomers or vet. Take your puppy on car rides while they’re young. This can get them used to the motion of the car and the sounds of traffic. Drive around without a set destination. If your dog is older, you can still counter condition them to make car rides a more pleasant experience.

Bring your dog’s favorite blanket or toy. Make sure they are comfortable. Doggie car seats and restraints will ensure their safety. If your dog has stomach issues during the ride, this is most likely due to motion sickness. If this is the case, discuss anti-nausea medication with your veterinarian. Drive around without a set destination so that your dog will not relate a car ride to a stressful visit to the groomers or vet. This will curb their apprehension. Continually reassure your dog with a calm voice and plenty of treats.

Plan a trip to the groomers after your dog has mastered stress-free car rides.

Step 6: Training Visit

After finding a groomer you and your dog are comfortable with, ask if you can schedule a training visit. On this visit, you can walk around with your dog and help them slowly adjust. Your dog can see the facilities, hear the loud clippers & blow dryers, and can practice standing on a grooming table.

This also presents an opportunity for your dog to meet the groomer. A principled groomer will take the time to meet your dog and help her to relax. During this time a groomer can help coax her nervousness away.

Step 7: Special Equipment for a Nervous Dog

Dogs with anxiety are common. Over the years specialty grooming supplies have been made to adjust the grooming process for a nervous dog.

Scaredy Cut was developed with this purpose. Scaredy Cut are serrated blades with 7 comb attachments—1/2 to 1 or #1 to #6. This allows a groomer to trim a dog’s coat with the same precision of an electric blade. This silent clipper is a less abrasive way for a groomer to trim down a nervous dog’s coat.

Another specialty item that you can consider are Mutt Muffs. This headgear covers your dog’s ear to help them protect their ears against loud noises. Mutt Muffs fits the contour of your dog’s head and straps comfortably in place. The sound-reducing headgear was designed for airplanes but can be useful for dogs at the groomers. Another noise reduction product is the Happy Hoodie which wraps around a dog’s ears and head. This device was made specifically for dogs to help protect and calm them from the loud noise and high-pressured air from a blow-dryer at the grooming salon. The swaddling effect is similar to one that is produced from a Thunder Jacket.

Step 8: Aromatherapy

Many groomers, including Splash and Dash, have adopted aromatherapy into their pet salon treatments. The way aromatherapy works for dogs is through conditioning. You can train your dog to associate the calming scents with peacefulness. The ingredients of aromatherapy dog shampoos are typically botanicals like lavender, chamomile, and essential vitamins. These formulas are designed to induce a calm state.

Splash and Dash has a shampoo dedicated to getting nervous dogs to calm down. The shampoo treatment is aptly named—Relax.

Step 9: Acepromazine

Acepromazine is an over-the-counter tranquilizer and nervous system depressant administered for nervous dogs. The drug works as a dopamine antagonist. It is used to prevent anxiety during thunderstorms, fireworks, and vet or groomer visits. The effects of acepromazine last 6-8 hours and can combat nausea, stabilize heart rhythm, and lower blood pressure.

Before you give your dog any medication, consult your vet first! Your vet will be able to give you directions on a proper dosage for your dog and any expected side effects. Use of Acepromazine should be for a worst-case scenario option.

Some dog’s adrenaline will kick in under stress resulting in a more ‘drunken’ state where their behavior may become erratic. If your dog has been diagnosed with extreme anxiety, you may need to use prescription sedatives or have a veterinarian administer sedation.

Step 10: Take Your Time and Ease Into It

Allow your dog to adjust in baby steps. After a training session, maybe just have your groomer do a bath and brush. Next time, your groomer can try a nail trimming and ear cleaning. Your groomer will work with your dog toward getting a whole grooming session done in one appointment. Each time your dog gets a treat, and plenty of reinforcing loving approval. Over time, your dog will be less nervous and hopefully begin to associate the groomers as a relaxing part of their life.

If you are looking for a special place to bring your fur-baby click here! Splash and Dash Groomerie & Boutique is more than happy to offer their services toward nervous dogs who need accommodations and a loving touch to ease their way into grooming. Splash and Dash is not simply a grooming shop. The company offers a pet spa and salon experience that pampers your pets in sudsy luxury.

Finding a groomer is like finding a babysitter. You will want to leave your dog in trusting and professional hands.

 

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Do’s and Don’ts of Introducing the Family Dog to a New Baby

Relieve the Stress of Introducing Dog to Baby with These Tips to Make the Experience Memorable

Dogs are innately attuned to their owners. Most likely, as the nine months has progressed, your dog has felt the change in the air. Whether you have a nervous dog, a temperamental one, or a lover—using good judgment when it comes time for introducing the dog to your baby will help relieve stress. Studies have shown that a dog’s dander is actually good for an infant’s immune system! Yet making sure your dog is ready for the transition is important. This is for your child’s safety and the dog’s too. There are a few tricks and behavioral approaches you can use with your dog to ready them for the change.

Once a baby enters the house, inevitably, the dog will lose the spotlight as the center of attention. Your newly born child is going to take up much of your time. Your dog might exhibit some jealousy. Dogs can become confused with the new stimulus—the sight and smells of a little human creature might throw him off. As the family’s routine changes, adjusting to the new baby, your dog’s schedule will change too.

Preparing for this can be a smooth transition with careful preparation. A few dog training techniques and a peaceful introduction will support the bonding experience between your dog and the baby.

Start Before You Bring Home the Baby

Before the baby arrives is the best time to begin the acclimation process. Gradual changes to your dog’s routine will help prepare him. The trick is for the dog not to associate these changes with the baby. This will alleviate any tension.

You might need to change when your dog sleeps or introduce a dog crate if you don’t already have one. If your dog likes to jump up, blocking him off from the baby’s room will be helpful. Teaching your dog the trick “go to your place,” will also be extremely helpful. During times when you need your dog to be relaxed and out of the way use this command.

You don’t need to “wean your dog off affection” but be aware that if your time spent with the dog lessens, he might get jealous or anxious. The best way to handle this is to not have any abrupt changes when the baby comes home. You want to establish a positive association with the arrival of the baby.

You can play baby sounds at increasing intervals for your dog to adjust to the new sounds. It might seem excessive, but remember a dog’s hearing is much more acute than humans. A dog can hear a frequency range between 67-45,000 Hz compared with a human’s range at 64-23,000. This means that a baby’s crying might be frightening for a dog or at the very least unfamiliar and strange.

This same positive association exercise applies to smells. Before introducing the dog to your baby, take an article of the baby’s clothing and let your dog sniff to get accustomed to the scent. Give him a few treats for the positive association.

How to Handle the First Day

Just to be on the safe side, it’s a good idea to introduce your two children—one four legged, one two—a few days after you bring the two legged one home. Greet your dog alone first. You don’t want him to get excited and jump up on the baby. Of course, your dog is going to know something’s up, but this gives you and your spouse time to prepare, and time for the dog to adjust. A meeting in closer proximity should happen a few days later, especially if your dog is anxious.

When the time arrives put your dog on the leash first and allow him to sniff the baby. Praise, treats, and pets! Make sure your dog feels the love so that he can associate this with the baby. Most dogs have no trouble adapting, but being precautious never hurt. If everything goes smoothly, next time, you can have the two meet without the leash. Always allow your dog to approach the baby—invites prevent bites. If your dog has the choice to interact, they will respond better.

As the family settles down, don’t forget to continue to give plenty of affection when the baby is around. You don’t want him to identify good things with the baby’s absence. Once your baby begins to crawl make sure you are always close by watching. Dogs are tolerant but babies are exploring the world for the first time. They might pull on a dog’s tail or ears. Natural canine behaviors for communicating warnings could be snapping or growling.

Most of these tips are provisions. More than likely your dog and baby will be pals at first sight. Your dog will recognize your baby as one of the family and even be protective of your child!

Get Your Dog Relaxed

One of the best ways to have your dog be in the calmest state is treating them to a day of luxury at the pet spa. Splash and Dash Groomerie & Boutique offers tons of therapeutic and cleansing services for all dogs. Not only will your dog be nice and clean for the first day they will be relaxed.

Splash and Dash has an aromatherapy relax treatment with Canary Islands Lavender and Soothing Chamomile. Lavender is used as a tonic for healing burns and deters fleas as a strong antiseptic while Chamomile has pure fatty aromas which work as a natural sedative with exfoliating properties.

The Splash and Dash signature service is also something to consider with a newborn. Most of your time will be preoccupied with caring for your two-legged child. You don’t want to neglect the ‘pupperoni.’ With the signature service, you can drop the dog off for unlimited bathing and brushing at your convenience. This will free up your time for the more fun parts of having a dog.

 

Splash and Dash Services Include:

  • Standard & Showroom Style Grooming
  • Bath & Brush
  • Teeth Brushing
  • Nail Trimming
  • Aromatherapy
  • Facials
  • Pawdicures
  • De-Matting
  • De-Shedding
  • Ear Cleaning
  • And More!

 

We hope you new parents found this article helpful and we wish you congratulations and best wishes! Play Dirty. Live Clean!

 

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Hands Down The Best Dog Chew Toys of 2017

 Get the Safest and Best Dog Chew Toys for Your Doggie Nibbler

Some dogs are diggers. Some dogs are chewers. But all dogs are lovers! Chewing is a healthy behavior for dogs. If you have a new puppy that is making good-work out your furniture and shoes, then adding some of the best dog chew toys to his routine will help in his training. Giving a dog an alternative to chew on will help them differentiate between wanted and unwanted behavior.

Chewing is also healthy for a dog’s oral care. When dogs gnaw on chew toys, the friction can reduce plaque by 70%, according to WebMD. The mechanical action of chewing scrapes the plaque and prevents it from turning to tartar by isolating the calcium in the mouth. Dental chews and chew toys both promote this healthy chewing behavior.

Chew toys are also good for a dog’s mental stimulation. Dogs are naturally inquisitive creatures and can get bored while alone in the house. Chew toys help curb boredom which will also curb unwanted behavior—chewing things that aren’t chew toys.  Dogs who are fanatic for the chewable side of life will be plenty happy with the best dog chew toys to play with while you’re gone.

Play it Safe

Before we dive into our favorite chew toys we want to discuss good practices that will keep your doggo safe.

Some less durable chew toys can break into small pieces and can become a choking hazard. Tennis balls are great for fetch but won’t stand up to the bite strength of your dog. Tennis balls don’t make the cut for the best dog chew toys. Squeaker toys are also widely popular. Dogs do love them. But make sure the toy is sturdy. Dogs may try and ingest the plastic squeaker buried in the toy.

Size and material also need to be taken into consideration. Make sure any dog chew toys are non-toxic and do not contain chemicals like lead. Also, plush toys are great for small dogs, but the larger breeds—aggressive chewers—will need something that is long-lasting. Some plush toys have cotton stuffing which can be messy and problematic if ingested.

What Kind of Dog Chew Toys are Out There?

There are several different styles of chew toys out there. Each one is unique with different purposes.

Plush Toys

Plush toys are great for fetching, snuggling, and for smaller breeds chewing. You will definitely want to get a stuffing free chew toy for safety. If the toy is machine-washable this is also a plus. Plush toys tend to get gross after some playtime. The reason dogs love plush toys so much is because the toy retains the dog’s scent. Dogs feel an ancestral ownership over their toy. Plush chew toys are also great for tug-o-war!

Rubber Chew Toys

Rubber chew toys are very safe and completely durable. Some have squeakers or can be filled with treats and peanut butter for an extra incentive to gnaw on. Many of these toys come with an indestructible sales pitch. Take this with a grain of salt. ‘Indestructible’ has yet to meet my dog.

Fibrous Rope & Knot Toys

Rope style toys are great for durability. It takes a lot for a dog to chew their way through the fibers and the curvature of the knots are great for scraping away plaque.  These toys are washable and if your dog swallows a few threads they’ll be able to pass through.

Rawhides

Rawhides are great! They’re half treat, half toy. The best part about a rawhide is that they have a single ingredient. The chews provide glucosamine for healthy joints, and a variety of other vitamins like calcium, zinc, manganese, and potassium. The only downside to these is they do have an odor, but your dog will love it.

Top Five Best Dog Chew Toys

The KONG Wubba. The Wubba is made of durable reinforced nylon fabric that covers a tennis and squeaker ball. The nylon tails make the toy interactive—great for tug-o-war and fetch! This toy is more for playing than chewing but is durable enough to stand the test of the canine’s canines. KONG is a durable brand that is a trusted name in the pet industry.

Petstages Stuffing-Free Toys. Petstages are great squeaker toys for smaller dogs who love to cuddle and are drawn to that squeaker like Labradors to the water. The toy will keep squeaking even if it’s punctured and comes with two different squeaker pitches to signal to your dog. Two chambers within the toys maintain the sound even after vigorous chewing and shaking. Your dog will love it!

Bionic Bone. Bionic chew toys are great! They can bounce, float in water, and are dishwasher safe. They are also completely non-toxic and free of lead, BPA, and phthalate. The bones are strong and the hollow tube on the inside allows owners to hide treats or peanut butter inside for added deliciousness. Putting a treat inside the bone will give your dog some deserved mental stimulation and a treat.

RedBarn Filled Bones. Dogs go absolutely bonkers for these! RedBarn pet products have one toe in the best dog chew toys category, and one toe in most delicious treats for pups category. Best of all, the slow-roasted bones are naturally clean. No added flavors, colors, preservatives, or chemicals! Filled bones are a nutritious approach to chewing.

Simply American Beef Trachea Chew. These are five-star steaks for dogs. All Simply American chews are great including the Bully Sticks and Femur bones, but the trachea grooves are great for a dog’s oral care. Again, no artificial flavors, colors, preservatives or chemicals here—all natural. With these, your dog will chew his way to high heaven.

If you are still unsure about the best dog chew toys for your dog, speak with your groomer and veterinarian. Take into account your dog’s size and what makes them happy. If your dog isn’t much of a nibbler, get them a toy that can also be used for fetch. If your dog could chew his way to kingdom come, go with a rubber chew toy that will last!

Splash and Dash Groomerie & Boutique wants you to remember, Play Dirty, Live Clean!

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High Tech Pet Gear You Didn’t Know You Needed

High Tech Pet Gear & Gadgets

One of the best times to own a pet is right now. Today’s innovation makes way for modern pet gadgets that can make your dog’s life better, and your life easier. High tech pet gear first started taking off in 2009 when the category first became popular on Amazon. Since then, inventors and pet enthusiasts have collaborated on some really cutting-edge pet products.

Ranging from the practical to the strange, tons of high tech pet gear is available for you and your doggo. Even those who can’t own a pet due to allergies or living-facility restrictions may have options soon. Robotics researcher, Steve Yohana, developed what he calls the Haptic Creature—a robot designed to re-create touch based communication. The robot looks like a rabbit, with short fur on its belly and two ears. The Haptic Creature simulates purring, breathing, and ear twitching. Peculiar, yes, but Yohana says he’s had enough requests to make him interested marketing the product after his research is completed.

The availability of the quirkier gadgets makes sense as the pet industry continues to swell. More people own pets in the U.S. now more than ever. Meaning, more dogs to care for with high tech pet gear. In 2016, pet owners spent $66.75 billion. As the Millennials replace the older generations as the primary pet owners, many want their dog to have the best care available. This means going outside of the traditional toy box to find some updates on old classics and new gadgets to teach an old dog new tricks.

High Tech Novelty Items

Market experts say that high-tech novelty items are the most widely sought after products from pet parents. Items like gear that translates your cat’s meows into human languages. Or, treat feeders that give you the power to launch treats across the room like a T-shirt cannon at a baseball game are filling up aisles at pet stores.

  1. The Woofer

Putting clothes on dogs is cute, but it’s old news. Most pet boutiques have all the stylish clothing your dog needs, but few have clothes that are also speakers. The Woofer is a dog jacket that plays music! Now you can play music as you run with your dog or even turn the dog park into a dance party.

Yes, we’re thinking what you’re thinking. Veterinarian specialists have approved The Woofer as safe for your dog’s acute sense of hearing. The speaker is located on the backside of your dog, away from their ears, and volume levels are in the safe zone. The jacket comes in four sizes to fit breeds from a Jack Russell to a German Shepherd.

  1. Pet Snack Launcher

There are few companies making these hand held pet treat launchers that make giving your dog a treat make you feel like you’re in Kubrick’s “2001 Space Odyssey.” Most treat launchers are pretty cheap, but not all function the same, so ask your pet groomer or read reviews to get the highest-quality launcher.

Simply load up your dog’s favorite treats into the top cartridge and push the button. This interactive toy makes treat-time more of a game. You can master launching the treats into the eager jaws of your doggo for a seamless chomp.

  1. The CATTERBOX

There are a bunch of apps available on smartphones to help you decipher your dog’s bark, or your cat’s meow, into human languages. The most popular of all these devices is a collar called CATTERBOX. The collar translates your cat’s meows and generates a human voice deciphering the point your cat’s trying to get across. Usually, feed me. The collar works with the developer’s app and gives you various options for your cat’s new reproduced voice.

Cats aren’t the only ones having fun. There are dog translator apps available on the smartphones and the What’s Yapp dog collar is in beta version. These items combine hard science, imagination, and a fun ability to suspend your skepticism.

Functional Items & Practical Gadgets

Novelty products aren’t the only things you might consider getting for your dog. A variety of new high tech pet gear designed to make tedious parts of owning a dog less effortful are entering the marketplace too. For therapy dogs working with owners that have limited mobility, there are products that perform the physical parts of fetch for you.

  1. GoDogGo

This is automatic ball launcher is the world’s first fetch machine. The launcher has been around since 1999 and is now in its fourth generation of development. The way it works is simple. Train your dog to place the ball into the upper bucket part of the toy. The ball is then launched into the air for Fido to catch. Different weighted balls determine how high the ball will fly. A tennis ball will launch 6 feet high and be propelled about 11 feet from the device. A weighted GoDogGo ball will launch up to 15 feet away at the same vertical height.

This piece of high tech pet gear is perfect for dogs that are obsessed with fetch and demand that ball is thrown every minute of every second of the day.

  1. MagneClip

This is a low tech innovation with high tech functionality. This is one of those products that’s so simple you’re hitting yourself in the head for not thinking of it yourself. The MagneClip is a clip that attaches your dog’s collar to their leash. It uses a magnet instead of a spring loaded latch. Simple, but very handy!

Many dog owners know the struggle of holding waste bags in one hand, a water bottle in the other while trying to finagle the leash clip onto their dog’s collar. With spring loaded latches, the process becomes painstaking. Spring loaded clips jam and are meticulous. The MagneClip makes attaching a leash to a collar one fluid motion.

  1. Litter Robot II

This litter box looks more like a part of a space shuttle than high tech pet gear. But trust us, if you get one for your house, you’ll never go back to the low-tech life.  The Litter-Robot is a litter chamber that that has an upward-facing entryway where your cat can enter to do his business. The litter is sifted after every use and is automatically deposited into a drawer for reduced spilling and easy disposal which conserves litter.  A self-adjusting weight sensor detects a cat’s’ weight so every cat you own can use the Litter Robot. 

Pet Safety Items

Having a pet is almost the same amount of responsibility as having a child. Fortunately, there are awesome products out there to help pet owners mitigate that responsibility. As the future becomes the present, pet owners can care for their pets even when they’re not home.

  1. Petcube

This company is pioneering the ability for pet owners to interact with their pets remotely. Both the Petcube play and Petcube bite feature 2-way audio that lets your pet hear you and vice versa. Each also streams 1080p HD video equipped to rotate on a 138°  wide angle view with 3x zoom capability.

These features make it so that you can see your pet wherever he is in the room. Motion detection helps the family keep in touch and alerts you when your pet wakes up or if there are any disturbances in your home. The Petcube play comes with a built-in laser toy while the Petcube bites allow you to give your dog a treat from your phone.

  1. Komfort Pets Climate-Controlled Pet Carrier

For pet owners who find themselves frequently traveling with their animals, this climate-controlled pet carrier will keep their dogs cool even in scorching temperatures. The carrier can hold dogs up to 150 lbs and will cool and heat as needed with an LED monitor used to control the temperature.

  1. Voyce Dog Collar

The Voyce dog collar is a non-invasive and autonomous data health metric tracker. The collar uses IoT technology to give owners analytics on their dog’s health in real-time. It’s like a Fitbit for your dog!

Voyce Measures the following:

  • Heart Rate Variability
  • Blood Pressure
  • Quality of Rest
  • Resting Respiratory Rate
  • Resting Heart Rate
  • Distance Traveled
  • Calories Burned
  • Activity & Intensity
  • Light
  • Core Body Temperature

The data Voyce collects is seamlessly delivered in adaptable integration options with easy-to-navigate viewing dashboards. Voyce can also be integrated into other sensor technologies. Now pet owners have access to clinical data at all times which is backed up on the cloud.

The Future of High Tech Pet Gear

Every day engineers and inventors are dreaming up even cooler high tech pet gear every day. Stay posted to Splash and Dash Groomerie & Boutique for even more updates and reviews!

 

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Heat Stroke Signs to Tell Your Dog is in Distress

 

Who doesn’t love summer? The sun is soaring, high in the sky, beckoning us all out to the beaches, BBQs, and all the fun-filled vacation spots. You’re happy because work is slowing down. The kids are happy because school’s out. The dog is happy because all of a sudden, everyone’s home! But as we crank our A/Cs up and take cover in the shade, it’s important to watch out for dog heat stroke signs. A dog’s coat is suitable to keep a dog warm through the blistering winter, but many dogs are susceptible to heat stroke if we’re not careful.  

Dogs with squishy faces ( brachycephalic) like Pugs and Shar-Peis are extra sensitive to hot weather because of their anatomy. Nordic dogs with double coats like Pomeranians and Huskies may also have a hard time cooling off. Yet all breeds can be affected by heat stroke. When taking long walks or playing at the dog beach, watch for signs of heatstroke. If your dog begins to overheat there are some easy ways to quickly cool them down before things get out of hand.

Don’t let the sun keep you away from the summer fun! This article will show you dog heat stroke signs and the best way to prevent overheating.

What is Heat Stroke?

There are two veterinary risks to dogs exposed to an overabundance of heat. The first is hyperthermia, which is an elevation in body temperature that exceeds the accepted normal range. This is different than hypothermia, which is  when a dog loses more body heat than can be produced. A healthy dog’s body temperature floats between 101°  to 102.5° degrees Fahrenheit (38.3°  to 39.2°  Celsius). So any temperature reading over a 103° Fahrenheit (39° Celsius) is in the hyperthermia range.

Heat stroke is characterized as either non-fever hyperthermia that takes place when a dog’s heat regulating body mechanisms of the body cannot accommodate the excess body heat. Veterinarians state that a heat stroke sets in at 106° (41°C) or above. When a dog’s internal temperature gets this high this can lead to organ dysfunction or worse organ failure.

A fever hyperthermia develops with inflammation occurring in the body similar to the kind that a bacterial infection would produce. Non-fever occurs without signs of inflammation when a dog is overheated. All non-fever hyperthermia results from increased body temperature. Other causes of non-fever hyperthermia include excessive exercise, disproportionate levels of thyroid hormones, or lesions in the hypothalamus—a region in the brain that regulates the nervous system. The hypothalamus controls body temperature and other bodily mechanics.

Dog Heat Stroke Signs to Watch For

Heavy Panting

Every dog lover knows that instead of sweating a dog cools himself down by panting. Moisture is drawn from air passing over a dog’s tongue that circulates cooling down their body. Dogs do sweat through their paws to rid their bodies of heat but this is not the primary way of ventilating.

During the hot summers, a dog will usually pant regularly. There are stages of panting that show dog owners their dog is overheating. What pet parents need to watch for is excessive and heavy panting. Typical panting begins with a slightly parted mouth while your dog pants rhythmically. As their internal body temperature increases, the degrees of panting look more extreme. When a dog opens their mouth wide, with a swollen tongue hanging out to the side, this is one the first dog heat stroke signs. If your dog is salivating and drooling excessively this is also a red flag.

Fast or Irregular Heart Beats

Another sign your dog might be overheating is racing or irregular heartbeat. When a dog’s heart rate increases this is the body’s defense from the heat. The blood flow is pumped to the limbs away from any vital organs where damage can occur. If you need to check your dog’s heart rate on the spot without veterinary assistance put your hand to your dog’s chest. Count how many pulses you feel in 15 seconds, then multiply this number by four. A normal heart rate is between 60 and 140 beats per minute.

Dog Heat Stroke Signs Include:

  • Red Gums
  • Non-Production of Urine
  • Sudden Kidney Failure
  • Shock
  • Heart & Lung Failure
  • Vomiting Blood
  • Blood in Stool
  • Seizures
  • Lethargy
  • Muscle Tremors
  • Uncoordinated Movement
  • Unconsciousness

If you observe your dog showing any signs of heat stroke, get veterinary service immediately!

What Causes Overheating in Dogs?

Heat stroke is easy to prevent and the primary cause is severe environmental heat and humidity. This can happen when a dog is left outside all day, in a hot car, ventilated room, and a groomer drying cage. All these situations can be avoided and are a result of carelessness.

Another cause of heat stroke is upper airway disease which interferes with normal breathing. When airflow is constricted, this impedes a dog’s ability to circulate air to cool down. Other culprits of heat stroke are diseases like paralysis of the voice box (larynx), heart or blood vessel disease, and nervous-system disease.

Poisoning can also lead toward seizures and an abnormal increase in body temperature which are dog heat stroke signs. Poisonous compounds found in pesticides made with strychnine, which kills small vertebrates, are very harmful to dogs.

Lastly, any dog that is exercising in the heat needs to be monitored closely.  Heat exacerbates a dog’s temperature and when they are exerting themselves in hot temperatures they will need breaks to cool down.

Preventing Heat Stroke is Simple; Here’s How

Lucky for pet parents, like most dangers, heat stroke is easy to prevent. Before dog heat stroke signs even show up there are steps we can all take to keep our dogs safe.

The most common scenario of dog heat stroke is leaving a poor pup in the car on a hot summer day. Even with the windows cracked, car temperatures can reach life threatening sweltering conditions quickly. Pet owners should also make sure dogs aren’t overexposed to hot temperatures without access to fresh water and shade. Even long walks in the sun can be hazardous. Dogs that are more susceptible to temperature (the squishy-faced ones) like Pugs, Bull Dogs, Shih Tzu etc. will need plenty of ventilation.

The two easiest ways of keeping your dog’s temperature in a healthy range are providing cool water and shady areas.

Pet Care for an Overheated Dog

If you begin noticing dog heat stroke signs get your dog into a cooler environment immediately. Contact a veterinarian and in the meantime, there are steps you can take to get their temperature back to normal.

Put your dog in a cool bath tub or run hose water over their coat. Take care to make sure your dog’s head is thoroughly coated with water. If your dog is unconscious ensure water does not enter their nose or mouth. If needed you can apply a frozen pack to their head only. Make sure the water is cool but not cold. Overly cold water will actually counteract a dog’s cooling process, but a package of frozen veggies on their head helps.

Massaging your dog’s legs is also helpful. Rubbing their legs will stimulate blood circulation which will prevent shock. Of course, during all these steps, let your dog drink as much fresh water as he wants. Adding a small pinch of salt to his dog bowl will also replace any minerals he’s lost while panting.

Veterinary Care

If your dog’s heat stroke case is severe a vet treatment will replace lost fluids and minerals. This will be done through intravenous fluid therapy. A vet will also most likely check for secondary complications like kidney failure, brain injury, abnormal clotting, changes in blood pressure, and amount of electrolytes.

Play Safe!

Keeping our dogs safe is an easy task because they’re so cute and we love them so much! On hot days, simple common sense is the best way to prevent heat stroke. Teach your family to spot dog heat stroke signs so you all can enjoy the summer!

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