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Tips For Traveling With Your Pet At Christmas

Pet Traveling Christmas - Paws at peaceMany pet owners, especially first time pet owners, would like to consider taking their pets with them at Christmas, but may not know where to start. This leads to them hiring a professional pet sitter, which can cost a pretty penny, or putting them into kennels for a week or two, which can lead to other problems when you get back home. We will discuss some tips for traveling with your pet this Christmas, whether it be a road trip or something more luxurious, so that you, and your pet get the most out of your vacation.

Probably the main reasons for pet owners not taking their pets with them at Christmas time is, because they think it may be a lot of hassle, and they haven’t researched about it, or they have just been misinformed. The fact is that many pets are really a member of the family, and should be considered when going on vacation, and you’re not as limited as you may think about where you can go. Hotels now have pet friendly rooms, as do many resorts, and many owners choose to rent homes instead of booking a hotel when traveling with their pets.

Preparation is key when traveling with your pet at Christmas time, and a little bit of knowledge can cut the stress down dramatically, like making sure your pet is chipped with identification. Depending on the country you live in, your dog may need a passport, depending on where you are traveling, but even so be sure he has plenty of identification, just in case he wanders off. Taking any medication your pet may need is essential too, and a good sized pet cage, or crate that he has been comfortable with because he may need to spend some time in it.

Making sure he has some favorite toys when he is in his crate, or a favorite blanket that will help him be less stressful, especially if on a flight. In addition, be sure that he is up to date on his inoculations, as some countries will not let you in with a pet unless you can prove this. Therefore, be sure to take any paperwork with you associated with this, especially rabies shots. When traveling with your pet at Christmas time be sure to take a good water bowl, and plenty of water, especially if it is a road trip as you never know how far it will be before the next pit stop.

Leaving your pet at a kennel can end up costing you more in the long run, and you also run the risk of him becoming sick, distressed, or being scared all the time you are away due to other pets in the facility. Moreover, leaving him with a pet sitter means giving access to your home to a stranger, and although they may be a professional things can get misplaced, and doors can be left unlocked by mistake. You wouldn’t leave a child behind when going on holiday, so why leave your pet behind? after all, he is one of the family.

Of course, there are some vacations it is probably not wise to take a pet along, but many owners are choosing holidays based around the whole family, taking their pets into consideration also. Having said that, even though their destination may change to accommodate their pet, it doesn’t mean it will be any less exciting, and in many cases a change can lead to even more fun and enjoyment. When taking a pet along on your next Christmas trip, it’s just like preparing for yourself, be sure you have ID, food, water, some toys to keep him occupied, and feel at home even while he’s away with you, and a nice warm blanket too.

When booking hotels, research, and phone ahead of time to be sure they have pet friendly rooms, and what they actually offer. Ask about other facilities regarding pets, like do they have a dog walking service, or if they have off lead areas in, or around the grounds, and also ask about hidden fees. Finally, with a little research, and preparation, along with asking plenty of questions when booking it will ensure you all enjoy your Christmas holiday, including your best friend who will be, so pleased you took him along this time.

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Making Senior Pets Comfortable In Their Last Year Of Their Lives

Making Senior Pets Comfortable In Their Last Year Of Their Lives - Paws at PeaceAfter spending more than a decade with our best friend, we know the inevitable is going to happen, but really don’t want to think about it. However, we still want what is best for him, and it’s still our job as a pet parent to take care of him the best we can and make him as comfortable as we can during his final year. The bond between a man’s best friend, and his owner often can’t be matched by anything else. Moreover, only you can know his preferences, dislikes, and favorite petting spots, whether it’s his ears or his belly. That being said, let us talk a bit more about other things that can make him more comfortable during this final phase of his life.

Many dogs in their last year of life prefer the quiet, so keeping him away from loud noises, or playing children may make him feel more secure at this time in his life. Also, at this point in time his joints may be aching, and he may even have arthritis, so it is important to make sure he has something soft to lay on, as hard floors will just make it worse. Talking to him in a soft tone, and petting him whenever he allows it will let him know that you still care about him, and that everything is going to be ok.

As he gets closer to his final days he may not be able to walk very far, so another thing you may want to consider is giving him his meals close to where he is most comfortable. Also, hydration is still important at this time of his life, so you should always keep a bowl of water close by, so he can take a drink whenever he needs one. Having said that, he may be at a stage where he can’t eat much solid food. Therefore, you may want to start giving him a liquid food, or mash his food up into a soup for him, so it is easier for him to digest.

Another thing that happens in the last days is he may have accidents, not being able to get outside quick enough for a bathroom break, so be sure to keep him in a place where it is easier to clean up any mess. Moreover, it is also important not to punish him at this late stage in life, it’s not his fault, just let him know everything is ok and don’t make a big thing about it, or it will just cause unnecessary stress. If he has a favorite food, a favorite toy, or even a favorite blanket, make sure all these things are around him or close by, so that he can see them, as this again will make him feel more secure.

It is also important to remember that at this point in their life pets cannot regulate their body temperature as well as they used to, so you may want to place a warm blanket over him if he shows signs of feeling cold. Some owners in the last days decide to sleep with their dog, either putting a makeshift bed by your dogs bed, or letting him sleep on your own bed, this can give him added comfort and security. If you can’t get time off work to be with him in his final days, try to get a good friend to sit with him, and maybe record some of his activity when you’re not there.

Finally, something that can often make senior pets feel more relaxed, and comfortable in their final days is soft music, and you can purchase music with just wildlife sounds, with birds singing and running water. Whatever method you choose to make your senior pet feel comfortable in their final year, it will surely let him know that you still care deeply for him, and that you are there for him just like he has been there for you for many years. Always be sure to take pictures, or video of your best friend, so you can look back and remember all the wonderful times you had together, and that he will always be in your heart, even when he’s passed on.

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Pain Management For Terminally Ill And Senior Dogs

Pain Management For Terminally Ill And Senior Dogs - Paws at PeaceMost pet owners that have had the pleasure of spending many wonderful years with their best friend will tell you how sad, and hurtful it can be when they are diagnosed with a terminally ill condition. We all know that sooner, or later our pet is going to reach the end of his life, but we’d rather not think about it until it is upon us. However, there are things we can do to make our pet feel better in his last days. This article will discuss some of the things we can do to make our terminally ill pet feel a little more comfortable during those last days, and when to consider euthanasia as an option.

End of life care for our beloved pet doesn’t always mean pain and discomfort, because now there are many things we can do to ease their suffering, unlike many years ago when the only option would have been to euthanize him or her. With so much progress being made with medication’s now, pain can be managed much better, so our pet doesn’t need to suffer and feel the discomfort that pain brings. Moreover, this is the time we, as responsible pet owners, can show our pet just how much they are loved by taking extra special care of them in their time of need.

One of the first things we need to do with our elderly pet, or a pet that has been diagnosed with a terminal condition is to make sure we keep appointments with the vet, so that our pet can be monitored and catch signs of any deterioration. In addition, make sure your best friend is surrounded by his, or her favorite things, like a special toy, warm blanket, or maybe a favorite cushion he loves to snuggle into. Pets with very limited mobility can develop sores, so be sure to check this often, especially on the joints, and provide an extra soft pillow for them to lay on.

Many older pets can develop incontinence and lose bladder control, so you should check them often throughout the day for wetness or soiling. Having said that, you can help them when they need to defecate, or urinate by supporting them with a sling, or a alternatively you can use a towel that can support their belly to assist them. Moreover, making them as comfortable as possible in their final days will let them know that you still love them as much as when the day they came into your life, reassuring them by talking to them, and staying in sight as much as you can will help them too.

Another option for terminally ill, and senior dogs is pet hospice care, where your pets final days, or weeks are made much easier with the use of carefully managed pain medications. As well as pain management, hospice care will also include dietary changes, and strategies along with human interaction, allowing your pet to live their final days with dignity. Hospice care generally requires constant supervision, and interaction, with you as the primary carer, and nurse while working together with your vet to make your pets last days as comfortable and pain free as possible.

Euthanasia is clearly a last resort, and not everyone likes to think or talk about it, but in many cases it is wise to at least consider it, especially if your pet is suffering greatly, or pain medication isn’t working. Your vet is specifically trained to enable him to carry out this procedure in a humane manner providing your pet with a pain free, gentle way to go, just like he was falling asleep. Of course this decision lies solely on you as the owner, and sometimes keeping a diary of his final days can allow you to weigh up if it is time to make this decision.

Finally, when it comes to an older pet, or a terminally ill pet, decisions can be extremely hard to make due to the stress, worry and not wanting our best friend to leave us. In the end we have to think of our pet, and his level of suffering, and our job as a responsible pet parent should be to base our decision on what is best for him or her. It is hard to say goodbye to a loved one whether it be human or pet, and there is nothing anyone can say to alleviate the pain we feel when losing a loved one, but we will always have the memories to cherish forever, even after they are gone.

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Nutrition Needs For Senior Dogs

senior dogs nutrition - Paws at Peace Pet HospiceNutrition for older dogs is a very important topic to know for those who own a dog, this is because as your dog gets older his nutrition needs change. Many owners who know little to nothing about an older dogs metabolism can unknowingly be giving their best friend the wrong foods, leading to an overweight dog, which in turn, can lead to unwanted health conditions. However, in this article we will discuss the changes in an older dog, and the necessary changes we need to make to their diet, and exercise routine, so that you can still give your dog the best as he ages.

As a dog gets older, his nutrition requirements can change quite a lot, depending on the breed, and the way the body uses energy as well as the food intake needed to produce energy changes also. This is called the metabolism process, and as a dog gets older the metabolism slows, so their fat and calorie intake doesn’t need to be as much as when they were a pup or in their prime. However, your older dog still needs protein, and fat but not as much, and their diet should consist of more fiber and grain as they get older. That being said, their exercise needs change too.

Some older dogs can stay on the same food they have always had, but less of it, while others may need a completely different type of food. An older dog needs a well balanced diet with an adequate amount of protein and calories, but more fiber to give them the feeling of being full. Lower amounts of fat means lower amounts of calories, and older dogs are better off with a higher fiber diet due to them being more prone to things like constipation, and if you want to stick with your regular food, you can add wheat bran to this, which will add to the amount of fiber.

As your dog gets older it is highly recommended that you visit your vet regularly for checkups on his health, and to get a professional opinion of what your dogs diet should include. Some older dogs have the opposite problem of being obese, and that is being underweight due to them not wanting to eat. This can be due to many different reasons, and this will be the time to take the food challenge, by experimenting with what he will eat, because some older dogs are disinterested in their food for a variety of reasons.

One reason an older dog may not be eating like his old self could be that he has trouble chewing the hard kibble, this could be because his teeth or gums aren’t what they used to be. Having said that, you can try to add water to the dry food to soften it a little, or it may just be the kibble is too large now, so a smaller kibble may work better. Moreover, older dogs that seem to be off their food can often do well on a completely different type of food, like chicken and rice with some vegetables and potato, which is why many dog owners with older dogs will switch to homemade recipes, as their dog ages.

Some older dogs may even need supplements to help them get the nutrients they need, but each dog is different and again, it is recommended to speak with your vet to discuss your individual dog’s needs. Older dogs can be prone to joint problems, so a supplement containing glucosamine and chondroitinnutrition can help support joints. If your older dog cannot eat a complete balanced diet then a vitamin, and mineral supplement may be needed to help with any deficiencies.

Finally, older dogs undergo many physiological changes, and one should keep up with those changes, and change their diet and exercise accordingly. Nutrition for older dogs is important, and so is exercise, although exercise may not be what it used to be, and one may have to make some other changes around the home if he is having joint problems or medical conditions. Making sure your older dog has a well balanced diet, with the right amount of exercise, will prevent him from becoming overweight, and protect him from unwanted health conditions that go along with being obese.

Paws At Peace Pet Health

Obesity In Older Dogs: Things To Know

obesity in older dogsThings To Know Regarding Obesity In Older Dogs

Obesity in older dogs is an increasing problem for many dog owners, and although sometimes it is caused by a health condition, many times it is something simple, like diet. In fact, in a recent study it showed that over 50% of dogs are overweight to some degree, some worse than others. In this article we will look at the things that can make an older dog obese, and what we can do about getting their weight to a normal level, in turn helping them live longer, happier and healthier.

With an older dog weight gain is a double problem, because an older dog has slowed down, needs less exercise, and his whole metabolism has slowed somewhat. Moreover, being overweight can increase his chances of developing health issues due to carrying around more weight than he needs to. Just like an older human, breathing can become labored, he can develop respiratory conditions, joint problems and more, so let us look at what diet changes should occur when a dog reaches his senior years.

All dog owners believe they are feeding their dog correctly, and many don’t even notice a slow gain in weight over time, because your dog is around every day. Many people will say “but I’ve been feeding him the same food since he was an adult”/ and don’t realize that as he gets into his senior years his calorie intake, as well as fiber and protein intake needs to change. Having said that, once he is in his senior years it’s not going to solve anything by just going shopping for a dog food labeled ‘senior dog food”, because you have to take into account his nutrition needs for his age, activity level and health.

Another thing to take into consideration is that all breeds are different.
Moreover, some breeds reach their senior years quicker than others, for instance, a large breed may be in their senior years at age 7, whereas a smaller breed may not reach that stage until 10 or even 12 years of age. An older dog that has gained a lot of weight may need a diet with less protein, but again this depends on the food he has been getting in the past. If, the protein is in the ingredients by way of poor quality protein like bone meal, or meat meal he is not getting the right amount. A real source of protein that is going to be beneficial to him would be real meat in the ingredients like chicken or beef.

Keep in mind, that poor quality protein is difficult for an older dog to digest, and provides little nutrients, and can even put a strain on their major organs. Another point to mention, is that if an older dog is overweight they may also benefit from a lower fat diet, and some even benefit from added supplements. Changing diet can help return your older dog to its normal weight over time. However, you also need to incorporate some exercise, because many owners stop taking them for walks, and just because you let him out in the yard for an hour, doesn’t mean he is actually exercising, he may just be laying down basking in the sun.

Diet change can be difficult for the owner, because there are no guidelines as to what goes into ‘senior dog food’ and it’s left up to the manufacturer to put whatever they feel is good into their product. Look for a dog food that contains whole grains, and vegetables, because these have good carbs with a low glycemic index. In addition, as mentioned earlier you should look for a food that contains real meat, like beef, or chicken as real meat is easily digested, and absorbed by the body. Furthermore, look for a food that contains minerals, and vitamins that include zinc, copper, vitamins A,D,E,K, folate, and biotin as these are the beneficial ones.

Finally, if your older dog is overweight or obese, take him to your vet to get a thorough checkup to make sure it is not a health condition that is causing his obesity. If it is just diet related, it makes sense to give him a food that will be beneficial to him, as in the long run he will live longer, and you will be able to enjoy his company for longer too. Leave out the table scraps, and talk to your vet instead about how much food you should be giving him, as sometimes older dogs need less food, and by getting him to his correct weight it will help give him more energy, and you may be surprised to see him return to his old self once his diet has improved.

Learn more about common health problems in older dogs in our blog.

Joint Problems Pet Care Pet Health

Joint Problems In Older Dogs And Cats

Joint Problems Cats Dog - Paws at Peace DallasTaking A Closer Look At Joint Problems In Older Dogs And Cats
When it comes to our older dogs and cats, they will almost definitely suffer from some type of joint pain, and most of this joint pain comes from a condition called arthritis. Just like humans, when they reach a certain age they start to get more illnesses, including arthritis, which can be painful, and in dogs and cats about 70% to 90% of them will get some level of arthritis during their life time. Therefore, this article will take a closer look at arthritis in older dogs, and cats and the symptoms, as well as what to look out for, so you can spot the early signs of arthritis effectively.
One of the signs in older dogs that he has arthritis is that you may notice him limping, or using one leg less than the others, depending on the joint that is giving him pain. Often, you may notice that he tends to limp more, or only first thing in the mornings, then not so much as his body warms up once he is moving around. Having said that, you may also notice him struggling a little with things that he had no problems with before, like getting in and out of the car, or walking up and down stairs.
Arthritis in cats however, may stop climbing, or jumping onto shelves or counters and other high places due to the pain arthritis is causing. Arthritis is much harder to detect in cats due to the fact that they manage to hide pain well, and this is because of their instinct to not show they are in pain for fear of predators. As the owner, you may notice subtle changes though, like him not jumping up to higher surfaces, or jumping down to lower ground, which have become less frequent for him. Moreover, his activities overall are less active too, and he even may be sleeping more frequently than before.
In cats you may notice that he has a much decreased time when he is playing, or hunt, and may not do this activity as long as he used to. In addition, you may also notice that he is sleeping in easier to access areas, and may even interact much less with people or playmates. Also, you may notice that your cat doesn’t groom himself as often as he used to, and his coat may become scruffy, or even matted. Furthermore, you might notice that he may groom himself much more on the joint that hurts him the most.
Also in older cats with arthritis, you may notice his claws becoming much longer due to inactivity levels, and there may even be temperament changes. He may become more agitated, or even aggressive when petted or handled, or he may be more aggressive towards other animals that he used to play with. Having said that, he may want to spend much more time alone, and may even avoid interaction with other animals or humans all together.
However, dogs don’t seem to mind showing their pain. Moreover, it will be easier to spot signs of arthritis, and that he is in pain. Keep in mind, that it’s not just joints that can be affected with arthritis in older dogs. Furthermore, there may be spinal issues that are connected to arthritis in dog’s, and this may result in a sore neck, or an abnormal posture, almost like a hunch back, or he may have a lameness in one or both hind legs. Also in dogs, as with cats, they may spend more time sleeping, but they may also not want to walk as far as they used to, so be prepared to cut your walks short if need be as he could be in pain.
Older pets that suffer from arthritis will often develop a condition called muscle atrophy, which is where the muscle tissue dies off due to inactivity, because of the joint pain of arthritis. Muscle atrophy can result in one, or more of the legs looking much thinner than the other normal legs, which is usually more prominent in dogs than in cats. Both dogs, and cats with arthritis, or any other type of joint pain, can often lick the area of joint pain, and even end up chewing, gnawing or biting the affected area, which in itself can lead to infections if it has got to the point of an open wound.
Arthritis in cats is fairly common in older cats, and should be checked for after about 7 years. With that said, the diagnosis is usually based on signs that can be spotted either by you or your vet. A vet can sometimes detect pain, and swelling or discomfort by examining the joints, and sometimes may decide to give an x-ray of the joints to confirm this, although it is not always needed. Once your dog, or cat has been diagnosed with arthritis, then it is a matter of managing the condition. Keep in mind, that as there is no cure, there are still medications to help ease the pain, and you can play a part by changing their environment to suit their condition too.
Once you know your dog, or cat has a joint problem, or arthritis, you can change his or her environment to make it more comfortable for them. Using soft comfortable beds in easily accessible areas where they do not have to climb, or use stairs to get to the bed is one good adjustment you can make. Additionally, placing the bed in a draft free zone, or sometimes an igloo style bed can make them feel warm and comfortable, especially with cats. Where there are steps, and if it is appropriate, you can use small ramps to gain access to favorite spots like window sills, or even a couch, and with cats make sure to get a litter tray with one low side for easy access.
For both older dogs, and cats with joint problems, try to make it so they do not have to go upstairs to access beds, food, or toys as this can be difficult for them. Moreover, groom them yourself more frequently, especially with cats, as they may not be able to do it themselves now without pain from the arthritis. In addition, try to cut their nails regularly, because they won’t naturally wear down from every day activity like they used to. Obesity will increase the pain level, so keeping them on a strict diet, so they do not become overweight is important for both dogs and cats with joint problems.
Ask your vet about dietary supplements, and pain medications to make your dog or cat more comfortable, and to be sure they are getting the right amount of vitamins and minerals. Furthermore, there are some very good medications to help ease your older dog, or cats pain, and are usually anti inflammatory medications. However, keep in mind, that there are various side effects to using them, so it is important to speak with your vet to weigh up the pros and cons of a specific treatment. There are reports to suggest that even acupuncture could help with arthritis pain in dogs and cats, although it hasn’t been scientifically proven, and if you decide to try this method, be sure to go to a reputable professional.
Finally, when an older dog, or cat has joint problems, or arthritis, even though it isn’t curable, it is manageable, and you can play a large part in making their final years happy. Using a combination of medications, and changing their environment can help them live a few more years pain free. Having said that, if you notice anything out of the ordinary with your older pet, don’t just put it down to old age, instead get him or her checked out, because the earlier arthritis is detected the easier it is to manage, helping to lead them to having a much more comfortable life with you long term.
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Taking Care Of Senior Pets In Their Golden Years

Senior Pet CareAs pet owners we all know that sooner, or later our best friend is going to get old, just as we do, but what can we do about giving him the best quality of life in his last few years? Many dogs after the age of about 7, or 8 are classed as senior pets, and depending on their health, there are quite a few things we can do to make life a little easier for him. In this article we will take a closer look at our senior best friends to see what we can do to make things a little more comfortable for him, after all, he’s made our life happier over the years, now let’s see what we can do in return.

One of the first things we need to do when our pet reaches his senior status is to schedule vet visits twice a year instead of once per year. That said, six months is quite a long time in terms of dog years, and a lot can happen in just six months when it comes to their health. Moreover, dental issues, joint issues, and many other conditions can set in, so it’s best to have a check up twice yearly. Any conditions that our best friend has developed can be relieved by medications or even diet, and if it’s a condition that can’t be treated there may be medications that can ease his pain if he is suffering.

Keep in mind, that diet should be one of the things we look at when our dog gets older, because their digestive system may become more sensitive, and their teeth may not be as strong. Therefore, looking at different types of food may be a good thing, because a softer food can make it easier to chew, or even a food that is easier on the digestive system can be better for him too. Having said that, don’t just run out, and buy a softer food, talk with your vet to see what he recommends, because he may even give you supplements to go with the new food or recommend a home made diet.

Another thing that is important in our dogs senior years is keeping up with parasite control, as their immune system isn’t what it used to be. Fleas, ticks and other parasites can spread disease, and our older dog can’t always fight off infection like he used to, so make sure he is taking flea and tick preventatives. Moreover, you should be treating him for heart worm monthly, because heart worm is even more dangerous in older dogs, and can kill any dog if not treated.

Exercise is another thing we need to keep our eye on, because he may not be able to walk for that same hour that he did just six months ago. We know exercise will keep him from becoming overweight, and is good for him, but at the same time he may not be able to walk as far or for as long now. However, you know your dog better than anyone, so paying attention to him when exercising is important, as you may be able to spot when he has had enough, or you may be able to tell if he is having any joint issues.

When it comes to our senior pets you may want to consider looking at your environment to see if you can do anything to make his life a little easier. Senior dogs are more prone to developing joint conditions, so if he is used to going up and down stairs often maybe you can change things so he can stay downstairs. Monitoring him when he is out in the garden could be essential too due to changes in temperatures. Keep in mind, that they can get heat stroke more easily during hot weather, and he is also less likely to defend himself against other animals.

Finally, we never like to discuss the inevitable, our best friend passing away yet we know it will happen, just as it does with family members and relatives. Therefore, the best approach is to treat every day as a golden opportunity to create a lasting memory with him, take a video or some pictures, so you can look back and enjoy the memories and share them with family and friends. Enjoy, and embrace those moments you used to take for granted, and set aside an hour or, so a day to just snuggle up with him, give him a treat, go for a walk, or just talk to him and let him know you love him just as much as you did the day you got him.

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Senior Pet – Taking Care Of A Senior Dogs During The Summer Heat

Senior Dog Summer HeatMost dog owners want what is best for their best friend, and that includes giving them healthy meals, a good bed, playtime and exercise, but not every owner knows the dangers of heat stroke. Heat stroke in dogs is a killer, and believe it or not thousands of owners lose their best friends each year to this deadly condition, yet it is preventable. Every dog can suffer from heat stroke, but it is especially the older dogs where it can set in much quicker, and if you know the signs to look for you can prevent it before it reaches the deadly stage.

First of all let us explain a little about how heat stroke comes about in our dogs to help our readers to learn what to watch out for. if, a dog’s temperature reaches 104 then it’s way of cooling itself becomes impaired, such as panting. Once his body mechanisms become overwhelmed then heat stroke can set in. That said, during this time as the temperature rises even further, other body functions start to fail, like the neurologic, circulatory, blood clotting and urinary systems, after which there is little chance of saving him. However, if you know the signs to look for early on, then he won’t get to this point, but sometimes without the knowledge we can inadvertently be harming him without even knowing it.

There are many signs of heat stress, or heat exhaustion that we need to pay attention to, especially in the warmer climates, even in the low 80’s dogs can get heat stroke, depending on where they are. If a dog is walking more slower than usual, or seemingly having trouble keeping up with you just walking, or if he is seeking out shady areas, and wanting to stop frequently these can be early signs. Moreover, prolonged and persistent panting as well as loud, or labored breathing can also be a warning sign.

Wide eyes or stressed eyes and increased anxiety in a dog can also be a sign of heat stress, although not all dogs will show all symptoms, any combination of what has been mentioned should be taken seriously. Having said that, if a dog is in a vehicle they can suffer very quickly from heat stroke, and early warning signs here could be barking, pacing, seeking out shelter under a seat or dashboard, and clawing at the windows or seats in an attempt to escape. Many dogs that die of heat stroke are simply because the owner left them in the car too long, even with a window down a couple of inches, this is because the heat in a car can be as much as 20 degrees hotter than outside the car.

Signs of heat stroke are obviously more serious, and immediate medical attention needs to be sort, especially if you notice a dog vomiting or having diarrhea, possibly with blood, drooling, eyes glazed over, staggering, seizures or even collapsing. One study showed that the temperature in a car can rise up to over 40 F in just one hour, the same study revealed that even on a mild day at 72 the temperature inside a car reached 93 F in just ten minutes. Therefore, it is highly recommended that if you have to leave your dog in a vehicle for more than 5 minutes, don’t take him with you, especially if you cannot let him out for a drink of water.

Because dogs do not have sweat glands like us, they can’t sweat to cool off, they only have panting, so they need to be cooled down in other ways, like giving them plenty of cool water to drink. in Addition, on hot days you can fill a child’s paddling pool, and let the dog soak his paws in the cool water, which can help cool him off too. However, make sure there is plenty of shade in the garden or yard area where you plan to set the pool up at. Having said that, if there is no natural shade like trees, then you could put a gazebo up, or a thick sheet or blanket to provide some shade.

The main concern with dog owners in the summer heat should be to keep the dog at a reliably cool temperature, remember he has a fur coat, so if it feels warm to you, then it’s probably hot for him. Taking him for walks early in the morning, or after dark when it’s cooler could work better than midday, and having an air conditioner in the home that he can lay in front of will benefit him greatly. Moreover, one should also remember that hot ashpalt, or paved areas can also add to heat stroke, so a grassy area would be better than a hard surface. Finally, by providing some of these things mentioned, along with what now seems logical solutions for him to cool off with, you may just be saving his life.

Fur Babies Pet Health Spring Uncategorized

Spring and Fur Babies

Happy Spring to all my pet parents and their fur babies.  Even though we had an early Easter all of the different lilies are still blooming.  Remember there are a lot of toxic flowers and ornamentals that grow in the yard.  Even if you do not have any be aware of the flowers in the neighborhood as you are walking your fur baby.  Make sure they do not eat any of them.

For those of you pet parents that like to garden as I do, compost can be very toxic to our fur babies.  Make sure to keep your compost bind confined and away from the curious noses our 4 legged family members.

Follow our blog at Paws at Peace for more pet care information.

Dr. Kim Simpson Pet Care Pet Health

Pet Care – Spring and Pollen

Spring is in the air and so is the pollen.  Make sure to keep an eye on your fur babies for signs of allergies.  Some things to look for are:

Runny eyes, scratching, licking at the body, rubbing face on the ground or with their paws, sneezing, shaking their head, ear infections, scooting their bottom on the ground and rubbing their back or sides against furniture.

If you see any of these signs contact your family veterinarian to get help before it turns into skin and ear infections.


Happy Spring


For more pet care information follow our Paws at Peace blog.