So, we are on Day 15 of our Dog Days of Summer Challenge, and I got to say that you guys haven’t disappointed one bit. You’ve made such creative ways to keep your dogs cool in this heat. Be proud of yourselves!
From “redneck” AC units to dogs on slides to dogs kayaking, you all have certainly come up with great, thoughtful ideas on how your dog can deal with Phoenix summers.
Keepin’ cool in Phoenix heat
We all know that dogs are vulnerable to the heat and I’m sure, like me, you get upset when you see a dog being walked during the hottest part of the day or people doing other thoughtless things with their dog when it is so damned hot outside.
That’s why it was just so wonderful to see all your photos and suggestions. Even when it was freakin’ 118 out there, all of you kept a cool head and thought of the dog first. Way to go!
Summer contest update
There’s still 15 days to go for the contest. Remember you can enter seven times. So as you think of things, just post them on Facebook for everyone to see. Here are the other official rules and ways you can win up to $120. Stay cool everyone!
Looking for some cool mud
Paddleboarding Salt River
Attention: residents of Phoenix. It is hot, still hot. You’ve still got time this Labor Day weekend to head up to Flagstaff, which may be Arizona’s most dog-friendly town.
In fact, it may be easier to list the places that aren’t dog friendly in Flagstaff than those that area — especially in downtown, historic Flag, where there dogs in all the best places.
Shopping in Flagstaff with your dog
You know how sometimes stores say they are dog friendly but you get a way-different vibe once you and poochie get inside? In Flagstaff, they offer genuine hospitality for dogs. There’s water bowls, dog treats and even resident dogs in the stores. Check out the art galleries along San Francisco street for a lot of love for dogs as well as dog-related art.
Dining with the dog
For breakfast, hit Biff’s Bagels, which is named after a beloved pet and has photos of everyone else’s dog on the wall. For lunch, wow — so many choices. Charley’s on Aspen and Leroux has a great dog-friendly patio. Or Mix. Or Macy’s. Or Mother Road Brewery. Or any others from our fine list.
Hiking with the dog
You don’t have to be a super wilderness person to enjoy a hike with your dog. There are a lot of mild trails out there — which is especially nice since you and the dog may not have been as active during this hot summer season. Altitude change can also affect breathing for you and the dog.
There are several dog-friendly park trails throughout Flagstaff. Just have a leash and plenty of water.
- Wilson Meadow at Hart Prairie: A hike that can go as short as you want it to go. Wilson Meadow offers plenty of romping room and a pond to swim in (That’s for the dog; not you).
- Griffith Spring Trail: Another short hike that allows your dog to wade in a creek.
Drinking with the dog
After a hard day of shopping, dining and hiking, it’s great to kick back with an adult beverage. Your best friend can come into the bar with you as long as the fine establishment doesn’t serve food. And that’s why we can get great scenes like this one at Hops on Birch:
Are you tempted to give your dog a buzz cut for the summer?
Phoenix temperatures have been at an all-time high and we are all looking for a way to keep our dogs cooler in the summer.
But back away from the clippers!
It’s tempting to get out the extreme scissors when you look at your long-haired Golden Retriever but actually that longer hair helps keep your dog cooler. The hair helps block the heat and regulate your dog’s temperature at the skin level.
“A dog’s coat is kind of like insulation for your house,” explains Louise Murray, vice president of the ASPCA Animal Hospital. “Insulation stops your home from getting too cold in winter, but it also keeps it from overheating in summer—and your dog’s coat does the same thing.”
Your dog’s coat also prevents her from getting sunburn and bug bites and helps protect her from skin cancer, according to Murray.
It’s totally OK to give your dog a “summer cut’’, a trimming to make her hair more manageable and that is a job best left to professionals. Summer cuts can also help reduce the amount of natural shedding that your dog and your house are experiencing.
All dogs benefit from a good brushing, and you don’t have to be a pro to do that. It’s important to select the right kind of brush for your dog’s coat. By brushing your dog regularly, you can strip out loose hair so air can circulate against his skin. Regular and thorough brushing also prevents mats, which are not only painful but also trap heat and moisture and can result in skin infections.
So, to recap, your dog just has to be well-groomed for the summer. No skinhead-look needed!
Happy Dog Phoenix is excited to have Monica Gomez be today’s guest blogger:
A healthy dog is a happy dog, but ticks living in the Arizona outdoors threaten the safety of your pet. Ticks are a major problem because they carry diseases and are difficult to detect. A dog that brings home ticks can spread Lyme disease, which affects a quarter of a million Americans per year.
The best way to prevent your dog from gathering ticks is to understand how these nasty pests find a new home. This guide by Carrington College can help you protect your dog by providing valuable information on spotting and eliminating ticks. If you follow these tips, chances that you will have to take your pooch to the vet this summer will be low.
What to take along on your next hike with the dog?
A good sturdy pair of pliers. Because if your dog is anything like the Beagle who gets her snout into cacti, you will need them.
Also, bring along some good friends. You will need them as well because it takes at least one person to hold the Beagle, one to do the pulling of the cacti and another kiss the dog’s boo-boo. True story.
Nonetheless, the weather is beautiful and the trails beckon for you and the dog. So here are some common-sense guidelines to follow on the trail with your dog. Of course, if you have a Beagle, then all bets are off.
- Keep your dog on a leash. Oh yes, it is just wonderful to have the dog roam free. Except of course when she gets attacked by a snake, coyote or anything else that thinks she is trespassing on their turf. Also your dog can get easily tangled up with other hikers and cause them to fall on the trail.
- Bring water. No, bring more water than what you are thinking. You just never know and plus you can help out some poor dog whose human didn’t bring enough water.
- Hike early in the day and select trails that offer some shade along the way.
Liz Illg, owner of Puff and Fluff Grooming and Pet Sitting in Phoenix, says a mini first-aid kit is also a must-have. “There are so many things that can happen on the trail and I like all pet people to be ready if anything were to happen, worse case,’’ she says.
Basic first-aid supplies:
- Absorbent gauze pads
- Adhesive tape
- Antiseptic wipes, lotion, powder or spray
- Blanket (a foil emergency blanket)
- Cotton balls or swabs
- Gauze rolls
- Hydrogen peroxide (to induce vomiting—do this only when directed by a veterinarian or a poison-control expert)
- Ice pack
- Non-latex disposable gloves
- Rectal thermometer (your pet’s temperature should not rise above 103°F or fall below 100°F)
- Scissors (with blunt ends)
- Sterile non-stick gauze pads for bandages
- Sterile saline solution (sold at pharmacies)
And now that you are fully prepared, get out there! The weather won’t be cooler much longer!