Articles about dogs and dog training by Aleksandra "Lexi" Hayden
and FINE-TUNED CANINES, LLC - Florida dog training professional service in Naples, FL
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It is HOT to keep the dogs COOL! Here in Southwest Florida (Naples), we know what it means to live with dogs in a subtropical climate. We also know how to make hot summertime pleasant for our Florida canines.
If you're a good and responsible dog owner and caring pack leader to your dogs, you know to:
- Keep your dog hydrated and provide it an adequate amount of fresh water
- Provide your dog with the type of exercise and intensity of exercise that helps instead of hurting your dog - take the temperature, humidity and surface that a dog runs on into consideration
- Walk your dog early in the morning before the heat and humidity become unbearable and before the pavement gets so hot that it can literally burn your dog's paws; walking a dog on the grass might be a better option if possible
- Walk your dog later in the afternoon after it gets cooler outside and after the pavement has cooled off
- NEVER, EVER leave your dog in a parked car - even if it's just "for a short time". If you have to go shopping, leave your dogs at home. If you have to leave for a number of hours, ask a trusted friend or a canine professional to take care for your dog.
- Keep your dog inside the house when it's very hot. People often remark on our Shiloh Shepherd female Shakti and the Florida heat - "oh she must be hot". No she's not. She's always in the cool and her routine is carefully managed and adjusted according to the outside temperature. Yet she receives plenty of exercise and activities outside - when it's cool. Her coat is never shaved either. It protects her skin from sunburn and protects her body from heat stroke. Dogs cool off through panting. If the temperature outside reaches 100 degrees Fahrenheit or more, the dog's natural cooling system is not able to cope well enough to keep the body temperature low and this puts a dog at risk of heat stroke.
- Brush your dog regularly to allow good air circulation in the coat
- De-mat your dog's coat if there are any mats
- Do not shave your dog!!! Many double coated breeds have the extra fluff for a reason - it acts as natural insulation; if you shave your dog you're going to deprive the dog of the natural protective layer; shaved dogs can easily get sunburned and are at a higher risk of heat stroke! According to Veterinary insider:
"Contrary to popular belief, shaving your long-haired dog (or cat) will not keep him/her cooler during the hot, summer months."
Furthermore, it is also written that:
"Shaving pets for the summer can actually predispose them to sun burn and to heat exhaustion/heat stroke. Long hair and thick undercoats act as insulation against the sun's rays and their effects. Coats that are kept well-brushed and mat-free allow for good air circulation through the hair, which in itself can actually have a cooling effect. On the contrary, matted, unkempt hair coats stifle air circulation and do little to help cool the body. In other words, daily brushing is a must during the hot, summer months."
Know how to recognize the signs of heat stroke:
- excessive panting
- weakness while standing or unability to stand
- drooling and foaming at the mouth
- high fever
- dark red gums
- rapid heartbeat
- staring, anxious expression
- warm/dry skin
So what CAN we do to keep our dogs healthy, happy and active also during summertime? There are plenty of fun and safe activities that we teach here at FINE-TUNED CANINES:
- teaching dogs how to swim
- teaching water retrieving
- assisting dogs that know how to swim but are insecure about swimming to develop confidence in the water
- teaching balance and coordination water exercises for dogs
- teaching dog obedience in the water
- teaching dog agility type exercises in the water
- teaching water relaxation exercises
Remember! It is HOT to keep dogs COOL in the summer heat! Enjoy summertime with your dog and make it a safe and pleasant experience for your canine friend.
Contact FINE-TUNED CANINES about our dog training services in Naples, Florida.
Update: Chopper is now a permanent member of our family and pack. We're blessed to have the little guy in our lives.
The oldest and strongest emotion of mankind is fear, and the oldest and strongest kind of fear is fear of the unknown. ~ H. P. Lovecraft
Halloween has so many meanings to different people. Some love it, others hate it. Some celebrate it, others don’t. Whatever the emotions regarding this holiday are, the reality is that it is a part of our American tradition and because of that, dogs that live in this society are exposed to it to a greater or lesser degree. What meaning does Halloween have to our dogs? Of course, dogs do not understand the historical origins of Halloween or the cultural aspects of it. However, they do experience Halloween and this experience can vary from a very pleasant one to a true “horror event” that a dog would rather not go through at all. What does our dog’s experience depend on? It depends on many factors, with one of the most important ones being how WE, dog owners, prepare our dogs for the Halloween experience, how we act and how clearly we communicate to our dogs how we want them to behave around trick-or-treaters. We should guide our dogs to be balanced and social in various situations, including Halloween night.
About "weekend dog owners", responsible vs irresponsible dog owners, pack leadership and more
Tips on providing your dog with the physical and mental exercise during hot summer months. Movies showing dogs exercising on a treadmill. Ideas and examples of different ways to exercise your dog when it's really hot and humid.
Tips about traveling with your dog.