Dogs at Work

take your dog to work in central Phoenix
Today is National Take Your Dog to Work Day but how great would it be if you worked where you had canine companionship all the time?

Sandra Munoz and Jeremy Gunter have it. They both have work spaces at CO+HOOTS, central Phoenix’s first shared coworking spot. The ultra-friendly spot was recently named by Inc magazine as the No. 4-ranked shared work space in the U.S.

Could it be because of the dogs?

Odeen Dominguez, CO+HOOTS Foundation cofounder, says that in the sometimes lonely world of owning your business,  it’s good to have an-always loyal supporter, even if they have no checkbook.

“In a space where entrepreneurs are putting their all into building their businesses from scratch, having dogs around allows for a much needed mental break that we’re happy to provide,” he says.

Cool space for canines

Sandra Munoz, owner of the Latinaology Hispanic women website, always brings Vanilla with her when she comes to write and network with others. The Maltese/Cocker Spaniel/Papillion/??? dog loves CO+HOOTS’ cool vibe as well as its cool concrete floors.

As part of her multifaceted entrepreneurial world, Munoz also writes automobile reviews. And of course, Vanilla, comes with for test drives– what dogs doesn’t love going on a car ride?

take your dog to work in central phoenix
Dogs as work place dealbreakers

For Jeremy Gunter, finding a job that allowed his dog, Chloe, was high on his list of workplace criteria. No Chloe; No Jeremy. Ackmann & Dickenson, website designers, got it that the smallish German Shepard was part of a package deal. Now, the two come to work everyday.

Weather permitting, Jeremy and Chloe walk from home to work and back. The walk helps mellow Chloe out for a day at the office, where she hangs out in her special corner and has a small arsenal of toys.

For Jeremy, Chloe’s presence provides some steady companionship and eliminates the need for him to go home and check on her. Did you know that one in five workers say they go home at lunch to check on their dogs?

What about the rest of us?

So what if you don’t work in a totally cool place like Sandra or Jeremy?

Perhaps it is a good idea to remind your manager and those in HR that there are a lot of advantages of having doggies in the office. Canines can help break down cubicle walls. Chances are that even if that person denied your budget request, you still will like her dog. And maybe that person isn’t such a jerk since she has such a nice dog.

Need more ammo to change workplace policies? Here a list of companies that let you bring your dog to work . Maybe it is time to follow in their paw steps!

 

 

Heatwave — keeping your dog safe!

phoenix dogs during heat wave
Yea, it is hot in Phoenix now. Hot for you and the dog. Blazing, furnace-level hot. Mucho de heat.

We checked in with our friends at Blue Pearl Specialty and Emergency Vet in Gilbert for some info on how to keep your dogs safe during this excessive heat. Here’s a great Q and A with Dr. Gloriana Halterman, DVM

What should dogs drink in the heat? Anything besides water?

Water is really best. Things like Gatorade or Pedialyte have a lot of sugar. Having lots of fresh, cool water available is the most helpful thing to do for your pet. Misting sprays can also help your pet dissipate some of the heat.

My dog still wants to walk in the heat. What can I do?

It’s tough. But when it gets this hot, sometimes you have to say, “We just can’t do it.” One option may be to wait for the sun to go down. But you’ll still need to be cautious. Another option is to seek out an indoor exercise area, such as a doggie day care that is well air-conditioned.

What about booties? Do they help?

They can be helpful, but the problem is they get worn down with extended use. And we don’t want to be overly reliant on them because then we can encounter the other problems that the heat brings, such as heatstroke. If it’s hot enough, you can use them to help your dog walk short distances — just enough to get from one place to another.

How about having the dog just walking on grass when it is hot?

Grass is better than concrete. But be cautious around dry, broken grass. And especially with artificial turf — this may look like it would be cooler but it can actually get quite hot.

What else should I know dogs and this kind of heat?

One thing that we really want to stress is to take caution if you have a breed of dog that is brachycephalic, such as a pug or a bulldog. Because of their short noses, these breeds are very prone to heat-related problems. Last year, I had a horrible case of a family who had their bulldog out at 9 p.m. at night on the Fourth of July and he still got heatstroke. Just be very, very cautious if you have one of these dogs.

Also, if you suspect your dog is suffering heat-related problems, please don’t dunk her in an ice bath. You may accidentally lower her body temperature too dramatically. Instead, gently cool your dog with wet towels, a mister or a fan.

What have you seen so far during this heat wave?

We haven’t actually seen as many heat-related cases as you may think at our Gilbert hospital. We did have one case of heatstroke and another dog with bloat who had skin lesions that appeared to be heat related. It’s actually more common to see heat-related cases at the start of the summer. Right now, when it’s so brutally hot, everyone is very cognizant of the heat. It’s earlier in the season that people are generally less aware of it. But we will continue to see some cases throughout the summer.
Great advice about keeping our dogs safe when it so hot out there, Dr. H — thanks so much for the info!

Hiking with your dog in northern Arizona

hiking with dog near Prescott
How hot is it going to be in Phoenix next week? 117???? Yee-ow – time for people and dogs (and people with dogs) to get out of town and go hiking in the hills in northern Arizona.

We caught up with awesome Mare Czinar, Arizona hiker extraordinaire, to ask her recommendations on hiking in northern Arizona with your dogs.

Mare, who has eight dogs at home, shared some good suggestions.

Prep before you go hiking

Make sure your dog is ready to hit the trail. Get her vaccinated and protected against ticks, fleas and other summertime dangers, says Mare.

It’s also good to have the veterinarian give your dog the once-over before doing any serious long-distance hiking just to make sure she is in good shape.

Also,know what trails require dogs to be on leashes. That’s especially handy when you share the trail with horses; a loose dog can get a horse tangled up pretty fast and that can lead to some bad complications (true story!)

Water, water, water

The biggest problem Mare sees on the trails is that people don’t bring enough water for their dogs. It’s important that people give their dogs water before, during and after the hike.

Generally speaking, larger dogs might drink 0.5 to one ounces of water per pound. Dogs 20 pounds and lighter will be closer to 1.5 ounces per pound per day. And just like with people, it always pays to have more water than you think you will use.

Water is the best insurance you can have on the trails. If you or your dog get hurt, you will be grateful for that extra water you carried.

Favorite dog-friendly hiking trails

Two of Mare’s favorite hikes to go on with her dogs are Horton’s Creek near Payson and Parson’s Trail near Sedona. She loves these spots with with running water but she also cautions that that water can be harmful to your dog. Water contaminated by animal or human waste can contain bacteria, which can cause diarrhea and worse for your dog.

Hiking with dogs, is just like hiking with humans – a little prep work goes a long way.

Happy trails everyone!

Swimming for dogs

dogs enjoying swimming pool in phoenix
Hanging out in the swimming pool can be the perfect anecdote for the Phoenix heat for you and your dog!

Some dogs are just naturals around water; others, well, they don’t like it and they’re afraid of it. Some of the dogs I have had the hardest time bathing are the first ones to jump in the pool. Dogs, go figure!

Swimming can provide an excellent summer cool down for dogs as well as a way to burn off some pent-up energy. Teaching your dog to swim also makes sense safetywise since every year, more than 10,000 dogs drown in the United States – mostly because they easily found their way into a pool, but couldn’t find their way out.

Just like there is a right way for humans to learn swimming, there’s also a right way to get your dog to come into the pool, with you, say behavior experts.

Start in the shallow end of swimming pool

Ideally your pool has steps. Start there with your doggie swim lessons in the pool. It’s a good way to remind them that there is an exit from this big tube of water. If you have any doubt about your dog swimming in water (i.e water is not their middle name – Portuguese water dog, for example), start out by having them wear a life vest. Look for a lifejacket with a handle that you can use to guide your dog in the water and a D-ring to attach a leash. Attach a leash, and walk slowly into the water, letting him get used to having wet feet.

Bring some training treats, toys and your positive tone of voice to reinforce your dog as he enters the water. Gradually take him into deeper water until he must start paddling to stay afloat. Make sure he is using his front and rear legs to paddle, otherwise he will become exhausted really fast. To get all the legs moving, put your arm under his belly.

 After swimming activities

Remind him of the stairs as you get out of the pool. And now, it’s time for some more water: give him a good rinse with fresh water to get rid of all the pool chemicals. And some water to drink. All that moving in the water can be deceptively exhausting. And after that, it wouldn’t hurt for one more treat. And a big, big beach towel to get dried off with.  Learn more about keeping your dog safe around swimming-pool chemicals

Worried that you are not the person to teach your dog to swim? Phoenix has at least two companies that will provide dog swimming lessons:

 

Dogs and vacation

Amazingly, we are already in June and dreaming of taking time off. But, what about the dog – as we so often ask around here? If you are headed to destination that is not so dog friendly, where is Poochie going to stay?

When it comes to finding a dog-sitting place in metro Phoenix, there are a lot of options – and they all have one thing in common: book early!

Here are some choices you have in finding a place who will care for your dog while you are on R&R:

Dog-sitting friends:

Pros: Whether you drop off the dog at their house or they come over to your place to watch the dog and live off your AC while you are gone, friends make a terrific dog-sitting option. Dogs can still enjoy their favorites (the sofa, bed, stack of dirty laundry) and remain the spoiled little member of royalty that they are.

Cons: What happens if the dog pees in your friend’s house? Or rips up the sofa? What happens if the dog gets really sick while you are gone? Or if the dog escapes? Is your friendship strong enough to handle these potential crises? Talk with your friend before handing over the leash.

Professional dog sitters

Pros: If your dog has special needs (i.e. older, poor health, behavioral problems), a professional pet sitter may be for you. Your dog can still hang out where they are most comfortable. Some pet sitters come to your house twice a day; others spend the night or take the dog home with them. Many are trained in CPR and have experience in giving medications.

Cons: The rates are really flexible. Some charge $22 per 20-30 minute visit; while others charge $100 for an overnight visit. Others charge extra for holidays or more than one dog. Contact the National Association of Professional Pet Sitters or Pet Sitters International  for some suggestions. But nothing beats personal referrals. Also make time in your schedule for the prospective pet sitter to come to the house so you and the dog can check him out. That first get-to-know-your-dog visit should be complimentary.

Doggie daycare

Pros: Some of these places are palatial — your dog may stay at a  swankier resort than you do.  Some doggie day care places go all out with a swimming pool, play spaces, Animal Planet on the flat-screen and lots of doggie camaraderie. So if your dog loves other dogs, check this out.

Cons: Paradise is never cheap. Daily rates can range from $40 to $70.  That can add up if you are gone on an extended va-cay. Many of these new-style boarding facilities also offer day care, which means your dog could be boarded at a place she already knows.

Alternatives? Your veterinarian’s office can offer boarding as well. It may not be fancy but your dog will be monitored by professionals. 

No matters which option suits you for this vacation, act fast. Good places book up; others charge last-minute-appointment fees. And if you are taking your dog to a place with other dogs, you may to have make sure she is up to date on her vaccinations.

And what about the hardest part—saying goodbye? Experts say avoid long, emotional farewells that could only upset your dog. Instead, bring back treats (lots of them!)

Happy vacationing!

 

Hikes, dogs and the heat

dog hike on hot trail

Want to take your dog out for a hike?

Just do it before it gets to be 100 degrees out – that’s the law now in the city of Phoenix.

The city of Phoenix changed what had been an interim policy into a permanent ban and now dogs shouldn’t be on th trails once the temperature is 100 degrees or more. Phoenix is the first city in the country to have laws like this on the books.

New hiking rules for dogs

The new rules cover all city of Phoenix trails; however there are certain Phoenix trails that dogs can’t go on no matter what the weather is.

Under PCC 24-54 (failure to comply), people who hike with their dogs when it is 100 degrees or hotter could be subject to a Class One Misdemeanor that could include a fine of up to $2,500 and six months jail time.

Why do we need such a rule for hikes?

Anyone who hikes in Phoenix knows the answer to this. We’ve all seen dogs on out on trail when it was just too hot for them. It’s one thing for dumb humans to go out when it is too hot but it’s just unconscionable to bring a dog out in the heat like that.

Phoenix veterinarians who practice near popular city hiking trails report they frequently treat hiker dogs who have been overheated. And, vet warn sometimes dogs brought in for heat exhaustion don’t survive the ordeal.

While the city of Phoenix didn’t have any statistics on the numbers of dogs affected by heat in the mountain preserves , the city of Glendale reported in 2011 that three dogs passed away on trails. The only way the city knew about those deaths was because the fire department was called to help the dogs. “For everyone incident reported, we believe there are dozens of animal fatalities that we don’t hear about,’’ said Sue Breding, Glendale spokeswoman.

Heat is dangerous for dogs

Dogs can’t cool off as easily as humans because they don’t sweat like we do.

Dog lovers who want to get some exercise with the dog, should do it early in the morning or in the evening and bring plenty of water. And know the signs of heat distress in your dog.

Let’s stay safe (and legal) out there!

 

 

 

 

 

Play (dog) baseball!

dog days at Arizona Diamondbacks baseball in Phoenix
Photo courtesy of Arizona Diamondbacks baseball

Baseball is back and that means you can have a hot dog with your dog at an Arizona Diamondbacks games in downtown Phoenix this season.

Last year, the Diamondbacks became the first of any kind of baseball team to offer an entire dog-friendly seating area through its Dog Days of Summer promotion. And because many of those games at the PetSmart Patio were sell outs, they are expanding it Mondays this year.

That means you can take your dog to 12 Sunday afternoon games and eight Monday night games at Chase Field this summer.

What you get at the baseball game

Dog Days offers a semi-private space with all the comforts for four people and one dog. You get All-You-Can-Eat hot dogs, soda, water, popcorn, peanuts, and chips. There’s also dog-friendly ice cream.

Dogs can also run around and play in Chase Field’s outdoor and indoor (air-conditioned) dog park.

In addition to having sellout games, the Dog Days of Summer were a success in another way: onsite adoptions held during the event allowed 58 dogs to find forever homes.

Check out the schedule if you are interested in taking the dog to the D’back ball games.

Does your love of dogs and baseball go even farther? Many teams in the National League West are sponsoring dog-day events. You and the dog could hit the road to catch a game in cooler place this summer.

Check out this list of dog-friendly games across the country

See you at the ball field!

Dangerous-to-Dogs Desert Plants

dog with dangerous plant
Springtime is busting out all over in metro Phoenix-land and the industrious among us are taking advantage of great weather to plant trees, vegetable gardens and landscaping — but what about the dog?

No, you really can’t get the dog to shovel the dirt for you (of course, they can dig – boy, can they dig) but you should think about the dog when choosing what is going into the ground at your house — surprisingly, a lot of common desert-garden mainstays can be poisonous to your four-legged buddy.

Plants poisonous to pooch

    • Aloe: Causes vomiting, diarrhea, loss of appetite, depression, tremors, change in urine color
    • Bed of paradise: Nausea, diarrhea, lack of coordination, increased heart rate
    • Lantana: Bloody diarrhea, frequent urination, shock, vomiting
    • Oleander:Vomiting, diarrhea, loss of coordination, shallow/difficult breathing, cardiac failure
    • Sago palms: Black (tarry) stools, jaundice, increased thirst, bruising, liver damage

 

Our friends at Sonoran Foothills Pet Clinic have a very comprehensive list of plants that can be dangerous to your dog’s health. The chart also includes photos so you can easily ID plants. So check it out before heading to the nursery!

Keep your dog out of the plants

Follow these simple strategies to help prevent your dog from being accidentally poisoned:

  • Vigilance: Keep an eye on your dog while they are outside
  • Alternatives:If your dog loves to dig, set up an alternative spot where they can dig to their heart’s content.
  • Alternatives (part 2): Be liberal with the dog chews and chewing toys. Make your garden less attractive to your little digger.
  • Exhaustion: Exercise the dog more often; a tired dog is going to be sleeping inside instead of heading out to the Great Outdoors.

It’s also a great idea to keep a list of important phone numbers in a visible, easily accessible location and at the ready on your cell phone. Dial in:

  • Your primary veterinarian
  • One or more nearby 24-hour veterinary emergency clinics
  • ASPCA Poison Control: (888) 426-4435 (possible fee)

Hiking with the dog in or around Phoenix

hiking near tortoise trail in phoenix
Went to a great presentation at the Paradise Valley REI the other night about hiking with your dog in the Arizona desert — I and several other interested dog people/hikers came to learn from the instructor, Chris, and swap stories about being out there with the dog.

All of us agreed that having your dog on the trail with you is one of the best things ever – It provides both of you with some exercise and bonding time and it is an excellent way to have some companionship without having to say too much.

Chris suggested that before you go it is a good idea to talk with your vet first to let them know your hiking goals. The vet can assess your dog’s fitness and give some any Fido-specific first-aid tips.

When hiking with the dog

He also suggested some other prep work to get you and the dog ready for a Big Outdoors Adventure:

  • Need to have a leash: Non-retractable is preferred. Rein in your dog to prevent them from stumbling onto snakes. Also, some people have gotten their legs shredded when leashes got wrapped around their legs as their dogs lurched for something. It’s good to have a leash with less “give.’’
  • Poop bags: All local trails require people to clean up after their dogs; dog poop carries several disease and viruses harmful to other dogs and people.
  • Medications: You can carry several over-the-counter drugs with you in case of emergencies – talk with your vet to make sure these are right for your dog:
    • Anti-histamines for allergic reactions or swelling. Benadryl is a favorite.
    • Hydrogen peroxide to induce vomiting
    • Buffered aspiring for pain
  • Extra bandana and cool towel: Place them on dog’s neck, armpits and ears to cool your baby down
  • Tweezers, pliers, comb, Leatherman: Any of these can help do the trick when your dog dives into cholla.
  • Water: Do you have enough for you and the dog? What about if you were stranded or had to carry the dog out? What about if you ran across another dog in trouble?
  • Vet phone number: Do you have it as part of your contacts on your phone? And do you know where the nearest 24/7 emergency clinic is – just in case.

When getting ready for a hike, I always feel that I am prepping for the Apocalypse. But it’s simply preparing for the worst and hoping for the best. And usually, it is the best, when you are out there with your dog.

Where to hike with your dog?? We have some trails for you

Snow dogs!

emma the dog playing in snow
Photo by Randy Binting

Like OMG, there’s snow – and a lot of it — only two hours away from Phoenix. Flagstaff has gotten three feet of the cold, white stuff in the past six days.

Should your weekend plans include a trip to the mountains for you and the dog to play in the snow?

Absolutely! Dogs love the snow – for them, it’s just a new way to play. It’s like a gigantic cardboard box that they can  shred, only it is colder and whiter.

Fun for the dog in the snow

So romp away — just keep these tips in mind when taking your desert dog up to the High Country:

  • Elevation: Just like you, your dog may need a way to adapt to the higher elevation before doing a lot of exertion.
  • Temperature: Ditto for the cold weather. Again just like you, your dog is going to need a thicker coat to hang out in 20-degree daytime temps. Choose a bright colored doggie coat for easier spotting in the snow.
  • Temperature (part 2): Even the coziest coat can’t prevent frostbite on ears, paws or tails. Try getting the dog out in late morning or early afternoon when temperatures are warmest. If you notice the dog is whining, shivering, appearing anxious, or looking for places to burrow, take him indoors.
  • Watch out for toxins: Always keep an eye out for any antifreeze spill. Take your dog to the vet immediately if you think he has lapped up some of the sweet poisonous stuff, take him to the vet immediately.
  • Paw protection: Help protect his dry and sensitive paws by coating them with a small amount of paw protectant (natural cooking spray works too!) before walkies.
  • Easy clean-up: Keep containers of warm water as well as clean towels to spruce up the dog before he gets back in your vehicle.

Going up to the cold climate for outdoors romps may not be a good idea for your older or more fragile dogs –may be leave them behind on this trip.

Where to eat after you and the dog play in the snow? — We have some suggestions for dog-friendly restaurants in Flagstaff!

Road-trip tips

Also, remember there’s basically only one road from Flagstaff to Phoenix and it can get backed up. Make sure you have some extra water and snacks for dogs and humans alike in case of traffic jams and accidents. Call 511 or go to az511.com for road conditions before you head out

Stay safe! Stay warm! Go snow!