How to Know when your Dog is Overheating

Hot Dog

Last week I published an article on keeping your dog cool during the summer. Unfortunately, no matter how hard you try, your dog might overheat anyway. It’s essential to know if this is happening though. If left ignored, your dog could have heatstroke, slip into a coma or even die – and this could all happen within 20 minutes.

The first signs of overheating include heavy panting, hyperventilation , increased salivation early then dry gums as the heat prostration progresses, weakness, confusion or inattention, vomiting or diarrhea and sometimes bleeding. When it is hot out, you should be watching your dog constantly to make sure he doesn’t overheat.

At 105 degrees, heatstroke will set in. The three main signs of heatstroke are collapse, blood red lips & tongue and extreme difficulty in breathing. At 110 degrees, the internal organs will become affected and cell damage will occur. At this point the dog may have a seizure, slip into a coma, or even die.

If your dog is overheating, take action immediately. Try to get your dog to drink some water. Move him into an air conditioned environment, if possible. Cool your dog with cool, but not cold water. If you dog has thick fur, continue to apply cool water. Blow fans on the dog when possible and apply ice to the groin area, arm pits and neck.

Fortunately, preventing heat stroke in dogs is easy if you apply the general guidelines for keeping your dog cool. Just remember, your dog is just as sensitive to heat as you. If you are hot, chances are he is too.

Southwest Airlines Introduces New “Pet Friendly” Policy

Usually we don’t recommend flying with pets. Sometimes though, we know it can’t be avoided.

We pet lovers have happily noticed over this last decade that many business establishments have become pet-friendly. Restaurants permit dogs to sit with their owners on the porch. Many clothing stores are now allowing pets, and in fact hand out dog treats and leave water dishes at their doors. Well, now the aviation industry has decided to follow suit!

Southwest Airlines just today announced their new pet-friendly policy, PAWS (Pets are Welcome on Southwest). After hearing complaints from customers and employees alike, Southwest Airlines will now allow a limited number of small cats and dogs onboard the aircraft with their owners. There is a fee of $75 each way, and customers can begin purchasing their pet tickets on June 1, 2009, with travel beginning June 17. Southwest Airlines insists that the implementation of this new policy will not effect to the efficiency of the airline.

Keeping Dogs Cool in the Summer

I live in a climate that hovers between 105-110 degrees for at least a month during the summer. It’s a little known fact that dogs can get heat stroke during the summer that can be fatal. Given the fact that I’m the owner of a Labrador who is Black, keeping my pooch cool is a high priority.


Just like us, dogs dehydrate more quickly in hot weather. That’s why it’s important, especially if you are going to leave your dog outside, to keep a large water dish that is never empty. Remember that water can evaporate, especially in hot weather, so make sure to check the water bowl a few times throughout the day.


If your dog is going to be outdoors for any period of time, make sure to provide a shady area. Even if your yard tends to be shady, make sure there is an area that never gets sunlight. You can cover part of your dog run with a tarp, get her a doghouse or buy one of those instant shade shelters.

Air Conditioning

Just remember, if its too hot for you, it’s probably too hot for your dog. Leave your a/c on when the dog stays home.


It’s actually your dogs underside that needs attention when you are trying to keep her cool. Hose down her belly periodically or buy a wading pool for her to tromp around in.

Time for a Haircut

If your dog has long, thick hair, give her a little trim. She’ll be able to feel any gust of wind that happens upon her, and hey, she may look better!

Remember, Dogs can’t sweat like we do, so keeping them cool should be a top priority!

Dog Humor

How Many Dogs Does It Take to Change A Light Bulb?


  • Afghan: Light bulb? What light bulb?
  • Golden Retriever: “The sun is shining, the day is young, we’ve got our whole lives ahead of us, and you’re worrying about a burned out light bulb?”
  • Border Collie: “Just one. And I’ll replace any wiring that’s not up to code.”
  • Australian Shephard: “First put all the light-bulbs in a little circle…”
  • Dachshund: “I can’t reach the stupid lamp!”
  • Toy Poodle: “I’ll just blow in the border collie’s ear and he’ll do it.”
  • Rottweiler: “Make me!”
  • Shi-tzu: “Puuuh–leeez, daahling, I have servants for that kind of thing.”
  • Lab: “Oh, me, me!!!!! Pleeeeeaze let me change the light bulb. Can I? Can I? Huh? Huh? Can I?”
  • Malamute: “Let the border collie do it. You can feed me while he’s busy.”
  • Cocker Spaniel: “Why change it? I can still pee on the carpet in the dark.”
  • Doberman Pinscher: “While it’s dark, I’m going to sleep on the couch.”
  • Mastiff: “Mastiffs are NOT afraid of the dark.”
  • Old English sheep dog: “Light bulb? Light bulb? That thing I ate was a light bulb?”
  • Siberian Husky: “Light bulb?!? I ate the light bulb, and the lamp, and the coffee table it sat on, and the carpet under the coffee table, and…”
  • Jack Russell Terrier: “And what do I get for it?”

The Vet Bill

inearA man brought a very limp dog into the veterinary clinic. As he lay the dog on the table, the doctor pulled out his stethoscope, placing the receptor on the dog’s chest. After a moment or two, the vet shook his head sadly and said, “I’m sorry, but your dog has passed away.”

“What?” screamed the man. “How can you tell? You haven’t done any testing on him or anything. I want another opinion!”

With that, the vet turned and left the room. In a few moments, he returned with a Labrador Retriever. The Retriever when right to work, checking the poor dead dog out thoroughly. After a considerable amount of sniffing, the Retriever sadly shook his head and said “Bark.”

The veterinarian then took the Labrador out and returned in a few moments with a cat, who also checked out the poor dog on the table. As had his predecessors, the cat sadly shook his head and said, “Meow.” He then jumped off the table and ran out of the room.

Then the veterinarian completed the paper work and handed the man a bill for $600. The dog’s owner went postal. “$600! Just to tell me my dog is dead? This is outrageous!”

The vet shook his head sadly and explained. “If you had taken my word for it, it would have been $50, but, with the lab work and the cat scan…………….It’s $600.”

Doggie Olympics

frisbee_dogConvinced your dog can shed with the rest of them? Well now you have a chance to prove it.

On June 20, the third annual Doggie Olympic Games (D.O.G.) will take place in Long Beach, Washington. This event is fun for spectators, owners, and dogs alike. Packs of two (owners and their dogs) work together to compete for the Gold, Silver and Bronze Medals. This contest is for dogs of all ages, sizes and abilities.

The events are as follows:

  • What No Ducks? Ball Toss – A simple ball retrieving event.
  • Frisbee Throw – The dog with furthest catch wins.
  • Filla Fuller Brush Shedding – How much hair can you collect? Best shedder wins.
  • I’ve Got Rhythm Musical Sit – Basically musical chairs. For your dog.
  • Dunking for Dogs – The first dog to eat 5 pieces of a hot dog wins.
  • Luciano Pavarotti Commemorative Sing Off (Scary!)
  • Doggie Dash – The first dog to reach its owner, wins.
  • Rip Van Winkle Sleep Off – The dog lying down the longest without moving wins. (Great for Seniors)
  • Peanut Butter Lick – Who can empty the spoon of peanut butter the fastest? My dog’s got this one in the bag.
  • Babe Ruth Obedience Baseball – Dogs complete a command at each base to score.
  • Who’s Your Daddy? The pooch with the most interesting parentage frisbee_dog1wins.
  • Nadia Comaneci Agility – An informal agility event

dog-agility-athleteAll owners are also invited to the Pre-Registration Pizza Party on Friday, June 19th from 4:00 – 7:00pm at the Lighthouse Oceanfront Resort in Long Beach.

There will also be an award for the dog that travels the furthest to attend the event.

Click here for more information or to register.

Best Cars for Dogs

dog-car-rideIn 2008, named the Suzuki Equator the best Dog Car of the year. Why? Amid claims that “dogs like trucks the best”, researchers for the site began looking for a truck that could accommodate a dog while still being safe. The trouble with trucks is that there is always the risk that your dog will get hit by a flying object or get stuck in the rain, sleet, snow etc. (Being from Oregon, I myself think about these things.) 

The Equator stands apart because of its large enclosed cab that can carry people and dogs alike. If you want your dog to ride in the bed, there are tie-downs and rails to safely secure your dog in his crate. It’s surprisingly light for its size and can be loaded with any variety of heavy pets and pet paraphernalia on not lose any of its “Oomph”.

Suzuki not your cup of tea? There are a number of cars out there known for their dog appeal, including but limited to: Dodge Caravan, Honda Element, Subaru Forester, Toyota Highlander and BMW X5.

Here is what you want to look for when deciding if a car is canine-friendly:

  • Seats that fold flat or are easily removable.
  • Plenty of usable cargo space.
  • Plastic flooring for ease of cleaning.
  • Wide, square backs, with as little rear slope as possible, to make the most of the cargo area.
  • Door and window locks, so a dog can’t accidentally unlock a door or roll down a window.
  • Cars without an alarm system that detects motion.
  • All-wheel or four-wheel drive and high ground clearance because people with dogs tend to be more active.

For more of what to look for in a dog-friendly car, go to

Memorial Day Pet Travel Tips

dog_travelMemorial Day is just around the corner and you may be thinking about getting “outta’ dodge” for a while. As a dog owner though you have to think about what you are going to do with your furry friend. Traveling with a dog can be fun, provided you are well-prepared for the adventure. Here are a few things to remember before hittin’ the road:


Make sure your dog has all the right tags. Losing your dog on your trip does NOT make for good holiday memories. Consider getting a microchip, a tiny chip that is implanted into your dog by way of an injection. If your dog is found, she can be taken to just about any vet, and they can scan the chip and locate her for you.


Don’t forget to bring the necessities: leash, food, water bowl, dog bed, doggie bags, crate, dog bed, any medications and a few toys. You want your dog to have fun and be comfortable too. That’s the whole point right?

How will you travel?

By air? By Car? Although I don’t suggest flying with your dog, it can be done. Some airlines will allow you to bring your pet on the plane with you if the crate is small enough to fit under the seat. Otherwise, dogs are considered “cargo” (how rude!) and stored accordingly. If you are planning on traveling by car, just make sure your dog is accustomed to the car. If your dog has anxiety in the car, traveling with her may not be a good idea.


Gotta’ love trends. Dogs have become so popular that there are a large number of hotels that will put your canine friend up for the night. Some hotels even have a doggy room service menu, turndown service and/or doggie day care. Make sure to get the specifics on what they offer. Also, make sure you find out what the fees are. Sometimes there is an initial “deposit” as well as a daily fee for your pet lodging.

In case of emergency

In the same way you prepare yourself for any medical emergency on the road, prepare your dog too. Bring medical records with you and a list of veterinary services in the area.

You and your dog can have a fantastic summer holiday. Just make sure to be prepared and get ready for a great family weekend!