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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.

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Choose a Vet and Ensure Your Pet is Healthy for Life
Beat the Heat with Fun Indoor Activities for You and Your Dog
It’s Pool Time! Ensure Your Dog’s Safety in the Water

Choose a Vet and Ensure Your Pet is Healthy for Life

When you choose a family pet, there are many things to consider. What pet will fit best with your family’s lifestyle: a dog, a cat, a rabbit? Do your research and learn about the animal and what to expect.

A new pet brings happiness, but you must promise to be responsible and keep your pet safe throughout his or her life. According to “Responsible Pet Ownership,” an American Veterinary Medical Association (AVMA) article, there are many things to consider, including:

  1. Commitment to care and provide for the pet, including exercise, food, water and shelter.
  2. Invest in your pet’s health.
  3. Obey the laws, clean up after your pet and provide licensing.
  4. Provide proper ID and microchip.
  5. Spay/neuter your pet.
  6. Prepare for emergencies.

As a pet owner you are the guardian of their well-being and good health. When investing in their health, be sure to choose a good veterinarian right away. Budget for preventive health care, which includes vaccinations, heartworm prevention and deworming. Additionally, ensure that you can care for your pet in times of illnesses or injuries, the article said, as well as “Budget for potential emergencies.”

Don’t skimp on your pet’s health by trying to save money, as it can cost you later. “Regardless of what you read, providing your pet with regular preventive care is the key to a healthy and long life for your pet,” according to AVMA’s article “Money Tips for Caring Pet Owners.”

According to AVMA’s “Importance of Wellness Exams,” wellness exams for your pets are done for the same reason humans go to doctors and dentists, “if you can detect a problem in its early stages, it’s more likely to be treated and resolved with less expense, less difficulty and better success.”

Beat the Heat with Fun Indoor Activities for You and Your Dog

The heat is on in Arizona and it’s going to get hotter very fast. That means it’s more dangerous for your dogs to engage in outdoor activities. Excessive heat can have adverse effects on your dog and sometimes be fatal. Since we have a long summer ahead of us, it’s important to get creative for fun indoor activities to keep you and your dog busy.

Your dog needs to have mental and physical stimulation, according to “Rain or Shine: 10 Ways to Engage your Dog Indoors,” at The article offers ideas to keep boredom away that can be done in your own home while keeping your dog happy. Here’s some ideas to try with your dog:

  1. Food dispensing toys. Choose from classic rubber Kongs you can stuff with treats to a variety of new products including durable puzzle toys by Nina Ottosson.
  2. Kibble hunt: According to the article, put your dog’s kibble to work “by making your dog hunt for it with his nose…hide small piles of food in the house then release him to ‘kibble hunt.’”
  3. Tug and fetch: These classic games are easily played anywhere at home.
  4. Doggie play date: Does your dog have a friend or playmate? Schedule a play date at your home but make sure to clear the area of breakable items.
  5. Socialization outing: If it’s too hot for a walk, take your dog for a nice ride in the air-conditioned car. Consider a visit to the vet “where he just goes to hang out and get some treats and scratches just for being a great dog,” the article said. “This will provide the added benefit of teaching him that vet visits can be a lot of fun!”

It’s Pool Time! Ensure Your Dog’s Safety in the Water

From the pool, to lakes and the beach, summer is a great time for swimming. Contrary to what some believe, not every dog can swim, nor does every dog love water. Here’s some great tips on swimming and keeping your dog safe in any body of water, according to “Dogs and Water Safety,” at WebMD. The article provides the following tips:


Teach your dog the basics by choosing a quiet, shallow spot, get in with him at the edge and keep him on a leash. Do not force your dog. “When your dog begins to paddle with his front legs, lift his hind legs to show him how to float,” the article said.

The Beach

Be careful of riptides and strong currents. Keep your dog from washed up fish and drinking ocean water as they both can cause sickness. 

The Pool

  • Keep your pool fenced.
  • Use a sturdy cover when the pool is not in use. “It should be made of a material that lets rainwater drain through,” the article said. “Dogs can drown in puddles on top of pool covers.”
  • Ensure your dog knows how to get in and out of the pool and provide steps or a ramp.
  • Make sure the water is not too cold.

River, lake or pond

  • Invest in a life jacket for you and your dog.
  • Stay away from blue-green algae as it can make your dog sick.
  • Check the current before swimming.
  • Avoid dangerous fishing gear.

General Safety Rules

Always rinse off your dog after swimming to prevent damage to skin and fur. Make sure to dry your dog’s ears well to avoid infection. Don’t leave your dog alone near the water, and learn canine CPR. “Mouth-to-nose resuscitation and chest compressions could save a dog’s life in an emergency,” the article said.