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Pet safety through the dog days of summer.

I glanced at the 10 day forecast for this week and regretted it instantly. 96, 98, 97, and so on. I think you get the drift. It’s only June and I’ve had to peel my leg from a hot car seat a handful of times already! I’ve been trying to get up early to do gardening chores to avoid the sun’s heat. It’s best to water in the morning anyway, but I still venture out to see how my plants are holding up in the hot afternoon.

(Eek! And it keeps on climbing!)

While on one of these “check ins” I glanced over at my faithful gardening companion (faithful: as in follows me everywhere, tripping me and pushing me from behind), my furbaby, my nosy friend, lover of outdoors, destroyer of gardens, my rescue dog, Toby. As he gazed up at me, content to be by my side even on the hottest of days, he gave me the idea for this months blog. Let’s keep our pets not only safe, but also refreshed this summer. It’s just going to get hotter. Let’s share some safety tips and hydrating tips for our favorite gardening companions.

(Who wouldn’t want to keep this sweet guy safe and refreshed?)

I have plenty of areas in my yard that Toby could seek shelter and shade from the sun. However, he appears to be missing the common sense chip in his brain and never seeks shelter in any of these areas. Instead, he will burrow under a row of my cast iron plants, flattening them out in the process, or he’ll dig under some other shrub (right by its roots) to find some cool soil to  lay down in. Mind you, he is not left outside for long periods of time (because he’s always by my side); but he’s big and black and I guess even a little time out in the full sun makes him sleepy. I don’t like my plants destroyed by his naps so I tend to leave him inside when we are away.

(Don’t let him fool you, he’s surveying what plants he will flop down on next!)

There are many opinions on if a dog should be kept as an indoor or outdoor pet, and I am not here to challenge any of those. I just want to say that if your dog is kept outdoors, shelter from the sun and fresh, clean water daily is a must. And keep an eye out for extreme temperature days and let them come in then.

(Oh to have a dog who knows where to go to get out of the sun!)

Whether you have an indoor or outdoor dog, they will all appreciate refreshment anytime they venture outside. Know how a breeze can make a hot day feel just little more tolerable? Our pets agree. A fan on a patio can be welcome relief for a pet lounging there. Digging a “bowl-sized” hole and placing the water bowl in it can prevent the bowl from getting knocked over, leaving your pet with no water. The soil around the bowl could keep the water in it a little cooler too. Other options to cool down your pet could be installing a bib attachment on your faucet where they can drink fresh water from,  a misting attachment for a refreshing spray, and if they love water play, fill up a kiddie pool to splash around in. Mosquito Dunks added to the pool keep mosquitoes from breeding there and they are perfectly safe for pets and all wildlife. Remember running like a wild child after the ice cream man on a hot summer day? Your fur friend would love a cold treat too. You can try one of these frozen dog treat recipes, or make your own chicken or beef broth popsicles. If your dog loves playing with toys like Kongs, make the broth popsicle in the toy for added pleasure.

(This guy’s got it made. He knows right where to go for a fresh drink.)

(A pool to splash in can be heaven for your water-lovin’ pups.)

Being refreshed is one thing, but pet safety is first and foremost! Never ever leave your pet in the car when you go run errands. Even with the windows down your pet can overheat quickly. At Rainbow Gardens we love to see your furbabies, so if we are your only stop for the day, bring their leash and bring them along. Walks during the morning or later evening hours are preferable, especially if walking on asphalt. If it’s too hot for your bare feet, it’s too hot for their little doggy pads. Same goes for truck beds and the like. If your dog is traveling in the back of a truck, spray it down with cool water before letting them jump in.

(No, no, no, no, and no! Don’t leave them behind for any length of time. Leave them home if you can’t bring them in wherever you are going.)

(These little pads seem tough, but can still get burned on hot pavement.)

A long day of lounging at the beach or river sounds like heaven to us, but that might not be the case for your pet. Especially if there is no reprieve from the sun’s rays. Fetching a stick in the ocean or river is great fun until your pet is dog tired from all the exercise and has no shelter to take a cool nap in. Make sure you plan specifically for your pet’s safety on any excursion you are taking with them. Bring along a little pop up canopy that allows a breeze to pass through and always bring fresh water. A cool, wet, towel can help them bring their body temps down some too. Here’s to keeping our pets safe all summer long! Rainbow Gardens loves our animals. Dog days of summer, here we come!

(Cool, wet towels, shady area, ahhh this is the life.)

The Happy Gardener has an awesome and sometimes not so awesome dog, but she wishes safety and refreshment for all types of pets!

Lisa Mulroy

 

 

 

 

 

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