As hot as humans get in summer, it’s even hotter for dogs. Many people get their dogs a summer haircut to trim long, matted hair for their dog’s comfort. Some people shave their dogs, but is that the right thing to do?
Dogs sweat differently than humans and their coat actually protects them in many ways.
According to the ASPCA article, “Heat Wave! Should You Shave Your Pet?” you can think of your dog’s coat as if it were “like insulation for your house,” as per Dr. Louise Murray, vice president of the ASPCA Animal Hospital. “Insulation stops your home from getting too cold in winter, but it also keeps it from overheating in summer—and your dog’s coat does the same thing.”
Dogs have many layers to their coat, which actually helps them in the heat. “Robbing your dog of this natural cooling system can lead to discomfort and overheating. And keeping your dog cool isn’t the only reason to leave his coat intact, Dr. Murray warns. Your dog’s coat prevents your pup from getting sunburn and helps protect her from skin cancer.”
For long-haired dogs, you can provide a “summer cut” to trim up the hair. The article advises to use a professional groomer and to never have your dog’s hair shaved to the skin.
If you’re thinking about shaving your cat, realize that “A pet’s coat is designed by nature to keep it cool during the summer and warm in the winter,” according to the article “Should You Shave Your Pet for Summer” at WebMd.com.
Dr. Karen Becker is not in favor of shaving cats “unless there’s a medical reason,” she said in her article at HealthyPets. “Whether a kitty lives indoors all the time or is an indoor-outdoor cat, she needs her coat.” Extenuating circumstances include medical reasons or terrible matting.
Your dog is adorable. The cutest pup on the block. But his manners! What do you do with your precious furry family member who lacks socialization skills?
Manners go a long way in both humans and dogs. There is hope if your dog lacks socialization skills. It’s naturally better to start socializing when your dog is a puppy. “It’s the important process of exposing a puppy to other animals and people so he will be better equipped to handle social situations,” according to “The Do’s and Don’ts for Socializing Your Puppy” an article at Vetstreet.com.
The best time to start getting your dog socialized is within the first three months of his life, according to the article. “When it comes to socialization, it’s the quality, not quantity that counts.”
Some tips from the article:
• Gradually introduce new experiences.
• Never push your pup if he’s scared.
• Control his first encounters and outings in a familiar place.
• “Associate good things with each new introduction,” the article said. Offer treats or praise.
According to the article, “Do’s and Don’ts for Socializing Your Adult Dog” at Dogster.com, here are things NOT to do:
• Do not go to a dog park or café to socialize.
• Do not overwhelm your dog to be crowded by too many people.
• Do not bring your dog to a friend’s party where there are lots of people and dogs.
• Do not push your dog to be involved in a class if he is fearful. One-on-one training may be best at first.
• Do not punish your dog if he is scared, and don’t yell.
Taking your time with your dog will go a long way. Remember to seek professional help if you need it.
Make Plans for Your Dog Now that the Kids are Back to School
Summer is such a great time for your kids and their pets. Dogs get extra time with their best human friends. Extra playtime. Extra treats. Staying up late and bonding all summer long. Now that kids are heading back to school and spending more time on homework and after-school activities, family pets may become depressed.
“This change in routine can cause your dog to suffer from separation anxiety or depression—to actually miss your kids—and even follow them to school,” according to the article “Separation Anxiety Can Be a Reality for Your Dog When the Kids Go Back to School” at Banfield Pet Hospital.
Signs of anxiety can include chewing furniture, shredding paper and obsessive barking, all of which “can be managed with structure and patience,” the article said.
For those who may have adopted a pet over the summer, “the change in routine when children return to school can be confusing to a new family pet,” according to the article “Leaving Your Dog or Puppy at Home: Back to School Tips” at North Shore Animal League America.
The following are tips offered by the Animal League’s Animal Behavior specialists:
• Ensure your children set a schedule and follow it throughout the year to feed and walk their dog. The routine will help.
• Have your child give the pet a “special toy” before leaving for school and put it away when your child returns home.
• While you and your child are away, hide treats for your pet to find.
• Have children return home directly after school to care for pets, such as feeding or going for a walk. Play a game before doing afterschool homework or activities.
• Include pets in afterschool activities for quality time.
Quality time, playtime, toys and treats can go a long way!