The solar eclipse is just around the corner, which means that you should be prepared! If you have your solar glasses ready and the eclipse's peak time marked down, then you're ready! But would about your pets? Here are some eclipse tips for pet owners.
You've heard the warning about what happens when you stare at the sun - you go blind! Even if you don't lose all of your eyesight, just looking at the sun for a few seconds can permanently burn your retina. Which means that you'll have a black dot in the shape of the eclipse in the middle of your eye - forever.
So, what about pets? Obviously, pet owners might be concerned about their dog's or cat's eyes. You can't exactly tell your pet not to look at the sun, and there also are no doggy-eclipse glasses (although that would be adorable).
While our eyes can be damaged by looking at the eclipse, it's less likely to happen to your pet. That's because animals have the instincts that tell them not to look at the sun. If you do have your dog outside with you during the eclipse, you can hold some glasses over their eyes if you'd like the security. It's also best to keep them leashed and closed to you.
However, it's best to keep your pets inside with the shades drawn during the eclipse. This isn't because of the action of looking at the sun itself, but because the effect the eclipse can have on your pets. Because the eclipse can cause the sky to get extremely dark during the daytime, it can trigger odd behaviors in your pets. Darkness can make dogs think that it's nighttime, which can cause them to get anxious. When they see darkness, they think that it is bedtime, however, they don't feel tired. This can cause your pup to whine, pace, and more. Keeping your pets inside with the shades drawn helps prevent them from noticing the difference in light.
Have a safe and fun solar eclipse day!
Short dogs, tall dogs, long tails, no tails: all dogs are different! And one thing that's different about every dog is its fur. Dogs can have many kinds of fur, which means that their grooming needs are different. Various types of fur can also cause various levels of shedding. Here are some tips on how to categorize different types of dog coats and how to care for your pup's fur.
This type of coat is pretty self-explanatory. Hairless dogs have no cat. While they might have light fluffs of fur on their body, their base coat is simply their skin! Hairless pups don't really need to be brushed (obviously) but you'll still need to regularly bathe them and use shampoo. When outside, make sure to protect a hairless pup's skin with doggy sunscreen (yes, it exists).
Dog breeds with this coat: Chinese Crested, Mexican Hairless
One of the shortest coats (aside from a hairless coat) is a smooth coat. Smooth fur feels smooth to the touch and is very short. While a smooth-coated pup may not get tangles in their fur, it's still important to brush them and bathe them. Bristle brushes are best for smooth fur. Use a brush to go against the direction of your pup's fur and end by brushing in the direction of your dog's fur.
Dog breeds with this coat: Dachshund, Bull Terrier, Foxhound
Double coats can look unassuming, but they can come with a lot of shedding. Double coats will require much more grooming than many other types of coats. The reason is that double coats, whether they come with short or long hair, have two layers of fur. The undercoat is full of fur that can tangle easily as well as cause extensive shedding. When you brush double-coated dogs, you'll need to brush out the undercoat first (outward from the skin) and then brush the topcoat. After you've done this, use a wide-toothed comb (especially on long-coated dogs) to brush over everything.
Dog breeds with this coat: Chow Chow, Husky, Corgi, Akita
Wire coats are, well, wiry! These coats have a rougher quality than other coats. These types of coats need different brushes than other types. Because a wiry coat can get mats and tangles, you will need to use a stripping comb to start with. This brush will help remove tangles and thin out the coat. After using the stripping comb, you can use a regular brush to go back over the wiry fur.
Dog breeds with this coat: Airedale Terrier, Wirehaired Vizsla, Affenpinscher
Curly haired dogs can have rough curls or soft curls, but either way, those curls need to be taken care of. A soft, slick brush is perfect for curly-haired coats. Use the brush against your pup's fur in order to fluff up their curls and help them look cuter than ever. If you want extra fluff, you can blow-dry your dog after you bathe them.
Dog breeds with this coat: Poodle, Portuguese Water Dog, Bichon Frise
Last but not least... long coats! Pup with long fur can be found everywhere, but it doesn't mean they're all the same. Long-haired coats can range from rough to silky, which can change the way you groom them. Long-haired pups with coarser fur need to be brushed with both a bristled brush and a slick brush in order to remove their tangles. Silky-haired pups are okay with just a slicker brush, but you should be careful to remove mats and tangles.
Dog breeds with this coat: Irish Setter, Lhasa Apso, Maltese
No matter what coat your pup has, always make sure to brush them reguarly (once a day for thicker coats and once a week for short coats) as well as bathe them regularly. A clean, untangled pup is a happy pup!
We can't resist a pun! The month of Dogust (August) is upon us! Here are all the dog holidays you can celebrate with your pup this month.
International Assistance Dog Week (August 6th - 12th)
Dogs are amazing; we know that. But assistance dogs are especially amazing - they take on amazing feats for their owners. That's why this week is dedicated to honoring the special deeds that assistance dogs do. This holiday was founded by author Marcie Davis, who wrote the book Working Like Dogs and hosts a radio show of the same name. She is also the founder of the organization by the same name, which helps spread awareness about the work assistance dogs do as well as gives information on how to rain service dogs.
National Feral Cat Awareness Week (Mid-August)
We may all be dog lovers, but our furry feline friends matter, too! Ireland has devoted a week in mid-August every year to raising awareness about feral cats. Stray and feral cats aren't just a problem in Ireland, but everywhere! It's important to raise awareness on how to help curb the feral cat population. It's not because cats aren't loved, but it's because many stray and feral kittens die at a young age or suffer because of lack of food or exposure to the elements. Ireland has come up with the "TNR" or "Trap Neuter Return" method. It encourages those who see feral cats to trap them, fix them, and then let them back to their colony. This assures that they can keep the lifestyle that they're used to without contributing to population growth.
Other dog holidays that take place throughout the month include National Check the Chip Day, International Homeless Animals' Day, National Dog Day, and more! Keep your eyes peeled for our blogs on these holidays this month.
It's the midst of summer and you know what that means - heat! In most ares of the U.S., the days are getting hotter by the minute. It can sometimes be difficult to understand just how a dog can handle the heat, since we aren't dogs! Here are some things to keep in mind for hot days.
Say "No" To Parked Cars
Remember: Never, ever, ever leave your dog in a parked car in hot weather. This can't be said enough! Even on a day in the 70's, a car can heat up very quickly. On an 85-degree day, even a car with cracked windows can reach up to 120 degrees in just half an hour. If you have your dog with you, make sure it's somewhere where you can bring your dog along.
Keep an Eye on Humidity
Humidity matters just as much as temperature - sometimes even more. High humidity can mean that temperatures might feel much hotter than they are. Humidity can cause your pup to pant more, which means they lose moisture faster. Make sure you don't stay outside too long on days with a high humidity index.
Less Time Outside
Exercise is great for your pup, but you want to make sure you limit your dog's time outside on extremely hot days. While it's alright if they're just lounging in the shade, excessive exercise can be too much on your dog, both because of sweating and because of skin cancer risks.
Test the Pavement
If the pavement is hot, it can burn your pup's paws. The pads on dog's paws can be sensitive, so test the pavement before you take them onto it. To do this, just lay your hand palm-down on the pavement. If you can't keep your hand there for at least 10 seconds, the pavement will be too hot for your pup.
Always make sure that your pup is drinking plenty of water. Water on hot days is important to keep your dog from getting dehydrated. Always provide them with water inside the house, and carry water with you on long walks or trips to the park.
You love your pup, so be sure to keep them cool and happy during the hottest days of the year!
Adopting a dog can be an exciting time, but that doesn't mean it comes without questions! It's very important to make sure you ask the right questions when making the decision to adopt a dog. Here are some questions you should be prepared to ask the shelter when finding your forever friend.
Why is this dog here?
This is an important question to ask! Finding out whether your future pup came from another family, another shelter, or found on the streets can help you prepare for their needs.
Is there any history of abuse?
If your pup has experienced the horrors of animal abuse, you'll want to know this. Your amazing new pup might take a little more time to warm up to you and other people because of their history. Knowing this ahead of time can help you make sure they're happy and healthy with you.
How are the dog's health and health history?
It's important to know whether the pup you want has had any major illnesses like heartworm or Lyme Disease. Lyme Disease is something that might have recurrent symptoms, so it's helpful to know ahead of time whether they've had it or not.
Does the dog require any dietary needs?
Believe it or not, dogs can have allergies, too! Make sure you know what type of food the dog has been fed at the shelter and if they need a certain type of meat or have a need for a certain type of food.
How is the dog on a leash?
If your future pup isn't already leash-trained, you'll want to know! Leash training can take some extra work and often requires the purchase of a harness to help get your dog in control.
Is the dog housebroken?
No matter what type of housetraining the pup has had, you might have to put in some work in the beginning to get them used to your house. However, if the pup you're looking at has no housetraining, it might take a little more time and effort to get them to go outside.
Does this dog get along with cats/dogs/kids?
Before you take your pup home, make sure you know how they behave with other dogs, cats, and kids. Depending on who resides in your household, you might not care if they don't get along with cats or dogs, but it is important to know for when your dog is out in the public.
If you're a dog owner, then you know how important it is to give your pup proper exercise. However, walking your dog isn't always as easy as it looks. When challenges arise, it can be difficult to have a normal or easy walk. Here are some tips for dog-walking so that you'll be a pro in no time!
1. Use a Harness
If you've never used a harness before, you'll be amazed at how quickly it can get your dog in control. A front-clip harness will lessen the pulling your dog will do because of the amount of pressure and constraint they feel. Just make sure you get the right size so that it's still comfy for them.
2. No Retractable Leash
A retractable leash is the dog owner's worst nightmare. Why? A few reasons. Dogs can't feel the pressure of a retractable leash as much as a standard leash. The ease in which they extend also make it more difficult to control your pup.
3. Let Them Smell
Your pup loves walks not only to get exercise, but to smell around! Let your pup sniff their surroundings while you walk. if they get enough sniffs in, then they might actually pull less.
4. Walk on the Right (Left) Side
When you're walking down the street, make sure that you walk on the correct side. That would be the left side! This means that you'll be facing traffic and will be better able to see cars approaching you. Keep your dog on the left side of you when you're walking as well. This will put them closer to the grass instead of the road, whcih is safer for you and for them.
5. Watch for Other Pups
Pull the leash a little tighter when you see other dogs. This will prevent your pup from running up to them and greeting them. If you do see another dog, always be sure to ask before letting your dog greet them.
Hopefully these tips will help you have fun, easy walk with your furry best friend!
Those of us who love dogs know just how good dogs can be for us. But dogs aren't only able to help us emotionally - they're also able to help us physically! A study done by researchers from University of East Anglia and the Center for Diet and Activity Research at the University of Cambridge suggests that dogs can actually bring tons of health benefits to their owners.
Emotionally, a dog can help you by reducing your stress levels. And by reducing your stress levels, there is a host of other benefits! Lowered stress can result in lower blood pressure, which is good for everyone! even decreased.
But lowered stress levels aren't the only positive effect dogs have on their humans. It's been shown that dogs can actually help lower the risk of asthma in kids.
Another benefit is the amount of exercise dog owners can get. Even on extremely cold, hot, or rainy days, dog owners and dog walkers get more exercise than everyone else. The study showed that dog walkers got 12 more minutes of activity on an average rainy day than those who didn't own or walk dogs.
So not only does your dog help you by winning over your heart, but also by helping your heart be healthier! If you needed another reason to get a dog, there's it!
A little like The Fox and the Hound, this story of a dog and a deer will tug at your heart strings. We can all agree that dogs are heroes nearly every day in small ways. But in very big ways, Storm the English Golden Retriever was a hero this week!
On the morning of July 16th, Storm was out for a walk along Port Jefferson, Long Island, with his owner, Mark Freeley. Both Mark and his pup noticed a brown lump in the water. Storm, following his retriever instincts, leaped into the water after the shape.
When Storm reached the brown lump, he grabbed it by its neck scruff, and this is when everyone realized the lump was actually a baby deer!
In the video taken by Storm's owner, he expresses concern that his pup might actually not be helping the baby deer - but just retrieving it! But when Storm reached the shore, it seemed that all he wanted to do was help his little deer buddy.
The baby deer was clearly in shock, and after Storm nudged and prodded it, the deer woke up and ran - right back into the water! Thankfully, Storm's owner and his owner's friend were quick on their feet and dove in to rescue the deer themselves.
The 3-month baby deer had an eye injury and was quite worn after his journey, but he's currently recovering at an animal rescue, all thanks to Storm and his owner!
So, what's the bravest thing your dog has ever done? Also, it's totally okay if the bravest thin your dog has done is snuggle with you on the couch. That's pretty heroic!
With (hopefully) plenty of time to relax this summer, you'll want a great book to read by the beach. And if you're a dog lover, why not pick up a book about your favorite type of furry friend? Here are some of the top doggy books out there right now:
Let Me Tell You About Jasper by Dana Perino
This book is an inspirational tale about how a dog who can get its owner through just about everything - from political conflicts to stardom. Plus, there are adorable pictures of Jasper throughout the book.
Rescue Me by Richard Pibbs
If you're looking for an inspirational, non-fiction read, Rescue Me will give you all the feels. This book was put together by photographer Richard Phibbs, who compiled photos of adopted dogs over a three-year period. Along with pictures of adorable pups, there are stories of their journey.
Being a Dog: Following the Dog Into a World of Smell by Alexandra Horowitz
Want to get inside a dog's head? This book is perfect for that! Horowitz's book is all about how dogs perceive the world through their strongest sense - their sense of smell. It's an innovative book about how the air and its smells can hold endless information.
A Dog's Way Home by W. Bruce Cameron
W. Bruce Cameron is the infamous author of A Dog's Purpose. Just like his first book, A Dog's Way Home is incredibly moving and tells the story of a dog and an owner separated - and the strong bond that has the potential to bring them back together.
The Dog Who Saved Me by Susan Wilson
Probably all of the books will bring on these tears, but this one is sure to. It tells the story of a Boston K-9 Unit Officer who loses his furry best friend in the line of duty. Convinced not to get his heart broken again, Officer Harrison does everything he can not to fall in love with a yellow lab he finds. Hint: It doesn't work.
Now grab a blanket, your pup, and one of these books for a relaxing summer day.
July is a time of fireworks, summer picnic and beach waves. Because of that, there are some themed doggy holidays this month. Here's the holidays you can celebrate with your pup, or about your pup.
National Lost Dog Prevention Month
The 4th of July is the day when most pets go missing. Why? Because of the loud, startling noises. Fireworks might be fun for us, but they can be very scary for dogs. Even though the 4th of July is now over, it's important to remember that fireworks shows can happen all throughout the month of July. Make sure that you always keep your dog on a leash or in a fenced-in yard. Microchipping them will help in case of an emergency. Try avoiding places you know there might be fireworks shows.
National Pet Fire Safety Day (July 15th)
This holiday is run by The National Volunteer Fire Council (NVFC), ADT Security Services, and the American Kennel Club® (AKC). They all come together to increase awareness about the risks of fires in home and what to do if there's a fire emergency and your pets are home. For some important fire safety tips, you can go here.
National Craft for Your Local Shelters Day (July 21st)
This holiday is just what it sounds like! It's a great opportunity to give back to your local shelters, and gives you much more room for creativity than just a regular monetary donation. Sew Doggy Style, the founding website of this holiday, encourages you to sew cute (comfy) outfits for pups or adorable bandanas.
National Mutt Day (July 31st)
Mutts are so well-loved that they get two holidays per year! National Mutt Day is a holiday that specifically celebrates, well, mutts! You can celebrate this doggy holiday by donating to your local shelters (who often have mutts) or taking the day to spoil your own mutt.
However you celebrate July, with dog holidays or regular holidays, make sure you celebrate with your pup!