Tips for keeping your pets safe during the summer

The old saying “the dog days of summer” wasn’t coined for nothing. The phrase actually stems from the stars, as Sirius, the “Dog Star,” rises in conjunction with the sun between July and August. Some of our ancestors believed that the brightness of the sun and star combined to cause summer’s extreme heat.

Over the years, however, we’ve come to use the expression for sweltering days that aren’t fit for any dog. The truth is that dogs are more susceptible to the summer heat than we are. They have to wear a fur coat all year round. Whereas we can sweat to cool ourselves down, our pups sweat only through glands on the nose and paws and try to release heat by panting.

They can’t cool themselves off like humans. They can’t roll down the car windows or turn on the air conditioning. It’s up to humans to make sure that their dogs are comfortable enough and that they can live healthily in the summer heat.

It’s important for pet owners to do what they can to keep their furry friends cool and recognize signs of discomfort. Veterinarians say signs of overheating include panting hard. But heat stroke symptoms can include a staggered gait, rapid heartbeat, listlessness, restlessness, vomiting and a darkening of the gums and tongue. If your dog’s bodily temperature rises above the normal range of up to 102.5 degrees Fahrenheit, it may be time to take the dog to a veterinarian or animal hospital.

Summer Don’ts There are several summer hazards pet owners should be aware of. Here are five things you should never do with your dog:

  • Don’t leave your dog in a parked car. Even with the window cracked, temperatures can rise up to 30 degrees in the space of a few minutes. Pets are in danger of heat stroke when the indoor temperature reaches 110 degrees. Even when it’s 70 degrees outside, it is going to be suffocating in a quick amount of time in that car.
  • Don’t tie your pet outside in the blazing sun. Our canine pals need an escape during sunny summer months, so if you plan to let your pet outside, make sure that it can find shelter under a tree shade, a porch or other structure. The heat is not only a danger to your dog, but your pet can also become sunburned if it’s a thin-coated or wire-haired breed.
  • Don’t put sunscreen made for humans on your pooch. Chemicals in some sunscreens can be harmful if pets ingest them. What dog won’t try to lick off the gooey white substance if given the option? Pet stores sell sunscreens formulated especially for dogs.
  • Don’t exercise your pup under the midday sun. Chasing sticks or a Frisbee, or even a long walk, can put extra strain on a dog during peak sun times. The heat of the day can take a toll particularly on dogs who are overweight, older or who have certain diseases.
  • Don’t walk your dog on asphalt unless you test the temperature. A dog’s paw pads are susceptible to burns. Slip off your shoes and stand on the pavement with bare feet first. If it’s not comfortable for you, it’s not going to be comfortable for your dog either.

Tips for Keeping Your Dog Cool

  • Put warm — never cold — water on your pup’s paws to help them cool down. Even better is rubbing alcohol instead of water, which will cool as it evaporates from your pet’s pads.
  • Turn on a sprinkler outside for your dog to run through or buy a $5 plastic kiddie pool for your pup. Place it in the shade and fill it with a few inches of water for splashing and fun.
  • Brush your dog’s coat to get the knots out and add a bit of water to help cool your pet. This will happen as the water evaporates.  Also, schedule a grooming session or a shave for long-coated dogs or those with a heavy undercoat.
  • Fill your dog’s bowl regularly with cool water.  Add a few ice cubes to give your canine something cool to gnaw on.
  • Set up an old beach umbrella in the yard for your dog to lie under. Buy a well-ventilated doghouse and keep it in the shade. Some pet stores now sell misters that attach to a doghouse and spray water throughout the day.
  • Plug in a portable electric fan and aim it toward your pet.
  • Fill a spray bottle with water and gently mist your dog. Some may try to playfully bite the spray or stream.
  • Encourage your pet to lie down indoors on a tile floor, such as in a bathroom or kitchen. Ceramic tiles stay cooler than wood floors or carpet. Wet a towel for your dog to lie down on and place it on a surface that stays cool in the shade, like concrete, marble or tile.
  • Take a cool, wet towel and wipe down your dog, making sure to wipe the inside of your pup’s ears. Body heat is dispersed in the capillaries that line your dog’s ears, making coolness there especially important. Make sure to wring out the towel first because pooled water can lead to ear infections.
  • If your dog will be outside for part of the day, provide a large bowl for water that can’t be tipped over, leaving your dog without it.
  • Instead of playing outside in the heat, toss a ball for your dog indoors. Plan your playtime or your daily walk for early in the morning or at dusk.

NEWEST ARRIVALS

clio June 2018

Cleo was born on April 5, 2018 and is now 11 weeks old and looking to find the perfect home for her.  She is going to be tiny, perhaps 4 lbs. full grown.  She is so sweet and very smart.  Already potty pad trained and doing well with crate training.  Very loving.  Loves her belly rubs.

 

 

Sky Mountain Mi-kis is happy to announce the newest arrivals.  These two little girls, Zoey and Cleo, were born on April 5, 2018.  Their eyes are open and they are walking around and playing together.  Mom, Lola, is doing great and is an awesome mom.  The sire is Prince Albert.

Zoey and Clio

Lola’s sister, Lady Dolley Madison, also had two pups, born on March 29th.  Her little man and girl are up and running around.

Sir Tobias is the sire of these two.

Milo and Sammy

Princess Pia gave birth to her little girl, Blossom, on April 3rd.  Now three weeks old, she is walking around and anxious to move out of the whelping box.  Prince Albert is the sire of Blossom also.

Blossom

You can find pictures of all my breeding dogs in the Mi-Ki Galleries link.

 

 

MBUSA Dog Show 2011

 

Sir Tobias – Best in Show

 

 

Sky Mountain Mi-Kis took home quite a few Best in Show Ribbons at The Mi-Ki Breeders USA 9th Annual Invitational Specialty Show held in Orlando, FL, May 14 and 15, 2011 at the Marriott Residence Inn Sea World. Dogwood Hills Sir Tobias won Best in Show in Adult Class in all four of the events.  Paddington’s Lady Sophia won Best in Show Puppy Class.  Little Prince Albert of Dogwood Hills did well too. While not winning Best in Show he did come in First Place in the Puppy Class.

 

HOLIDAY PET SAFETY TIPS

While the holiday season is a time of celebration with friends and family, including our furry friends, cold weather, decorations and parties can create safety hazards for your pets.  Here are some simple tips that will ensure that your holidays stay festive and your pets stay safe.

Cold weather hazards:

De-icing products, salt and ice can get into your pets fur/hair and paws causing skin irritations and possible more serious conditions.  Thoroughly wipe your pet’s paws and tummy when he comes in from the cold.

Not everyone thinks that a pet needs to be dressed up in clothes. However, in the cold of winter, our pets don’t always have enough insulation from the cold.  Cover the pads of the paws with booties or socks.  Provide them with a sweater or jacket when it’s cold and/or rainy.  Dry them off when you bring them in from the weather.  A good belly rub always feels good anyway.

Holiday decorations:

Ingestion of glass,metal, ribbons or tinsel can lead to serious medical emergencies.  Snow globes and artificial snow contain chemicals that can be harmful if ingested or inhaled.  Ivy, holly, mistletoe, poinsettia, lilies and holiday greens can be toxic if ingested. Keep your pets away from that Christmas tree water as well.

Party time:

Everyone loves a party but sometimes the hustle and bustle can frighten your little guys and cause them to take off as soon as that door opens for your guests.  Designate a quiet, secure “pet room” away from the crowd and be sure that your pet is microchipped or wearing a collar with current ID tags.

No table scraps:

Resist the urge to give your pets scraps from the table. Fatty holiday meats can cause a number of gastrintestinal problems while bones can cause bowel obstructions or choking.  Most important – No chocolate.  The sweet stuff contains a chemical that is highly toxic to pets.

MBUSA Dog Show 2010

Mimi, one of our Mi-Kis, wins Best of Breed Adult! mimi_best_of_show 2010