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Summer Haircuts for Dogs and Why You Shouldn’t Shave Certain Breeds
To Do or Don’t: Socialization Tips for Your Dog
Make Plans for Your Dog Now that the Kids are Back to School

Summer Haircuts for Dogs and Why You Shouldn’t Shave Certain Breeds

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.

Cat Coats

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

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.

To Do or Don’t: Socialization Tips for Your Dog

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

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, 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!

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Leave Dogs Home when Hiking in the Heat; It’s the Law!
Beat the Heat with Cool Summer Treats for Your Dog
Check Concrete before Walking Your Dog in Hot Temps

Leave Dogs Home when Hiking in the Heat; It’s the Law!

For years there have been countless news stories of owners taking dogs hiking in the excessive heat. Many dogs suffered from terrible heat exhaustion and some died. Owners continued to do the wrong thing

A ban is now in effect on taking dogs hiking in the Valley when temperatures exceed 100 degrees. It is long overdue.

According to the article “Dogs banned from all Phoenix mountain hiking trails on 100+-degree days” at, “The City of Phoenix Parks and Recreation Board implemented the ban in June last year. The board refused to ban people from hiking mountain trails when the temperature is over 110 degrees; instead, they directed park personnel to do more research on the number of rescues and how many are a result of hikers going out not prepared for the heat.”

While many dog owners love to take their canines hiking, it is imperative to take the temperature into consideration. It’s simply best to err on the side of caution.

The article “Keeping your dogs safe while hiking in the Phoenix heat” at, discussed how reminders about heat stress are placed at trailheads so that hikers are aware of the dangers of hiking with dogs in the heat.

“If you’re caught hiking with your dog, park rangers could issue a warning and educate you on the dangers, but you can also be cited for failure to comply — a class one misdemeanor, with a fine of up to $2,500 and up to six months in jail,” according to the article.

It’s always best to be safe. If you want to hike, run to the store or take a walk on the pavement, leave Fido at home. He’s happy, healthy and safe indoors with the air conditioning while waiting your return.

Beat the Heat with Cool Summer Treats for Your Dog

Face it, if you get all the great summertime frozen treats and your dog gets nothing, it’s just not fair. There are some wonderful frozen treat ideas for your dog. They are easy to make right at home, and your dog will be thrilled!

Got Peanut Butter?

You’ve probably heard of Pupsicles — popsicles for canines — so why not whip up your pup’s favorite by making some Peanut Butter Pupsicles. According to “Cool Summer Treats For Your Dog,” at Dog Food Insider, not only do dogs love peanut butter, it’s “a great source of protein and heart healthy fats.” Make sure the peanut butter is xylitol free. Here’s the recipe:

You’ll need:
• 5 ounces plain yogurt
• ½ banana
• 2 TBSP peanut butter (smooth or crunchy)
• 12 pretzel sticks

1. Puree yogurt, banana, and peanut butter until smooth.
2. Pour into ice cube tray.
3. Cover with foil.
4. Insert a pretzel stick in center of each ice cube compartment to act like a Popsicle stick.
5. Place in freezer for 1-2 hours until completely frozen.
6. Serve deliciously.

The article offers up some even easier cool treats. Freeze up some favorites:
• Biscuits: Freeze your dog’s yummy biscuits in a container with water. “Your dog will enjoy licking and chewing the water to get their biscuits.”
• Watermelon: Freeze up some cube chunks of the delicious fruit and freeze for a healthy treat.
• Toys: “Place their favorite chew toys in a container, cover with broth, and freeze,” the article said. “Your dog will be entertained for hours licking the broth and finding their toys.”

Another great idea, according to, is to stuff a Kong toy with peanut butter and freeze. It “will make the challenge of getting those treats out last much longer.”

Check Concrete before Walking Your Dog in Hot Temps

Summertime can be challenging when taking your dog for a walk, especially in Arizona and other places where temperatures can get well into the upper 90s and 100s.

It’s hard to tell how the asphalt feels when you have shoes or sneakers on, but imagine if you were walking on your bare feet. It would be hot and your feet would burn. That’s what happens to your dog’s paws on hot pavement.

In the summer months, “Pavement, asphalt, wood, metal, sand and car or truck surfaces can become very hot,” according to “Summer Heat Can Be Murder On Your Dog’s Paws,” an article at The sun can have an adverse effect on these materials, which “can stay hot for hours even after the sun has gone down. Temperatures on these surfaces can exceed 145° F!”

In order to ensure your pet’s paws are protected, the article offers some great advice:

• Check pavement by using your hand or bare foot and leave on the ground or surface for 10 seconds. If it’s too hot for you, then it’s too hot for your pet.
• If you have to walk your dog when it’s hot outside, make sure to stay in the grassy areas.
• Don’t walk your pet during the hottest hours of the day. The best times are early morning or late evening “after the pavement has cooled down,” the article said.

Your dogs’ paws are very sensitive and delicate. Remember, “The pads of a dogs feet are not any thicker than our feet so if it feels hot to your bare feet then it’s just as hot to your dog,” according to the article “Summer Pet Tips: Hot Asphalt and Your Dog at

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Do you know how to read your furry feline’s body behavior?
Ensure Your Pets’ Safety When Riding in the Car
Take Your Canine Out to the Dog Park and Put Safety First


How to Read Your Cat’s Body Behavior

Do you know how to read your furry feline’s body behavior? Although you don’t speak cat, there are tips to learn how to communicate better.

In “5 Keys to Decoding Your Cat’s Body Language,” an article at Vetstreet, “Because feline communication signals are easily misread — or missed altogether — cats are often incorrectly labeled as temperamental and moody.”

Learn to detect your cat’s behaviors by being in tune to various signals. The article talks about five ways to help you figure out what your cat is trying to say:

  • The tail is a good way to measure mood. A loose tail usually means content while a tail held high can mean happy. A tail that slightly moves, twitches or wags can be a sign of interest, and a fast-moving more forceful tail can mean agitation.
  • Forward ears and slightly to the side mean your cat is most likely relaxed. When they prick forward they are interested or excited. Nervous cats may have fast-twitching ears while a fearful cat may pin back her ears.
  • A content cat’s pupils will be of normal size. When at ease your cat “may make eye contact and will hold the gaze for a while,” the article said. When your cat is aroused, the pupils may change shape.
  • A relaxed cat’s “whiskers are set out from her face, where they are less noticeable,” the article said. The whiskers might move out and forward if the cat is interested.
  • Relaxed cats breathe slowly and claws are tucked away. When a cat becomes more agitated, her muscles are more tense. Cats who are scared may slow down and “drop low to the ground” but “may speed up … in an attempt to get away.”

Keep in tune and learn how to read your cat; the more you know the better your relationship.

Ensure Your Pets’ Safety When Riding in the Car 

When taking your pet along for a car ride, whether it’s a short trip to the vet or a longer road trip, safety must come first. There’s a number of things to keep in mind. You don’t just want to throw your pet in the back seat. Not to mention, not all animals like to travel, so sometimes it can be stressful for you and your pet.

Here are some tips as suggested from the ASPCA’s article “Travel Safety Tips:”

  • For long trips, get your pet adjusted by taking her on shorter rides before the big one, and increase the length each time. Be sure to take vaccination records if going across state lines.
  • Secure your pet’s safety in a carrier or crate with proper ventilation. Ensure the crate is large enough so your pet can “stand, sit, lie down and turn around in,” the article said. Also make sure the crate is secure so it cannot shift or slide. Never allow your pet to ride freely while sticking her head out the window. Research proper harnesses or restraints if forgoing a crate.
  • Bring your pet’s food, bowl, leash, plastic bags, medications and first aid kit. Take your pet’s toys, grooming supplies and lots of bottled water. Feed your pet about three to four hours before departure.
  • Never, ever leave your pet alone in the car. “On a hot day, even with the windows open, a parked automobile can become a furnace in no time, and heatstroke can develop,” the ASPCA article said. “In cold weather, a car can act as a refrigerator, holding in the cold and causing the animal to freeze to death.”

In addition, find important information about pet seats and rule out the ones that do not work. Go to the Center for Pet Safety.


Take Your Canine Out to the Dog Park and Put Safety First

Dog parks can be all the rage for some dogs and pet parents, but they also can be a nightmare for others. While many dogs love to run around and play with other canines in a social setting, it’s just not for everyone.

In the WebMD article “Dog Park Safety: What to Know Before You Go,” Susan Nelson, DVM, clinical associate professor at Kansas State University College of Veterinary Medicine, discusses how dog parks are great places for dogs to exercise and learn important social skills.

Before you let your dog off leash, ensure he will be safe by checking out the park first, the dogs and owners that attend and see if it seems comfortable. Nelson advises to check out fencing, making sure it’s sufficient and to look for anything at the park that can hurt your dog. In addition, Nelson suggests dog parks that have separate areas for small and large canines. Large dogs can easily hurt the smaller ones, and “may see small breeds as prey, not playmates,” the article said.

Nelson also said that is it very important that your dog is well-socialized and not fearful. A dog who is scared will not have fun and the situation could be scary. Also, never take a dog in heat to a dog park.

Other tips for the dog park include:

  • Pick up after your dog.
  • Bring fresh water.
  • Keep a watchful eye on your dog at all times and leave the park if you detect any sign of a problem with another dog.
  • Ensure your dog is up to date on vaccinations.
  • Consider flea and tick control as they can be prevalent at parks. Discuss this with your veterinarian.

Keep your eyes and ears open, and you and your dog can have a great park experience.