Monday, July 22, 2013

When Stress Attacks

Murray is a pretty happy go lucky, relaxed dog, but when something stresses him, you sure know it!  Things like sudden separation anxiety when he has not been without me for a long period of time, some strange people, when he feels sick, the exam room at his vet's office, and water that is deep enough to require him to swim (he can't) are some of the things Murray stresses about when faced.  I have luckily learned that distracting him from his stressor as much as possible helps a ton!  Talking to him, or asking him to give a paw shake can sometimes be enough to break his nervous focus on whatever is plaguing him. Sometimes it's just not enough though.  Something I have started doing that has become more useful than anything else is a little "dog massage".  Now I realize it's not always convenient to stop and start massaging you dog on the spot, so I often use it at the end of a particularly stressful day.  If we had a vet visit, grooming (Murray hates being clipped and bathed) or maybe after we've had company, a massage is a great way to end Murray's day on a positive note.  I find if we do a few minutes of massaging before bed, his body relaxes, he sleeps soundly and it helps keep his nerves at bay a bit more with future stress.  An added bonus is there are several more benefits to massaging your dog aside from just stress relief.  I printed out a copy of an infographic Life and Dog put together a long while ago and thought I'd share it here too.  Take a look and print one for yourself.  Some great information here.

Friday, July 19, 2013

Beating the Heat

In our neck of the woods we are in a major heat wave.  High humidity and temperatures in the mid 90's daily.  Needless to say, it is very uncomfortable!  Dog owners must remember if is uncomfortable for them, it is uncomfortable for their dogs.  Since dogs can't speak to us, (at least not in our human language) we need to recognize their signals of discomfort and distress and have techniques and products in place to help cool our pups.

Let me start with a giant reminder...DO NOT LEAVE YOUR DOG IN A PARKED CAR FOR ANY LENGTH OF TIME DURING WARM MONTHS OF THE YEAR!!!  Please look online at the multitude of information to teach yourself about just how fast your car heats up (even with windows cracked) and how quickly this can kill a dog.  Also, PLEASE TEST GROUND SURFACE TEMPERATURE WITH YOUR OWN FEET BEFORE WALKING YOUR DOG ON IT. IT CAN AND DOES BURN THEIR PAW PADS!  Sorry for the caps, but as a dog lover, these two issues are especially concerning to me.  That all being said, let me move on.  The "cool" people over at The Uncommon Dog designed an awesome infographic to give you quick, helpful tips and information with just a simple glance.

Kiddie pools are becoming ever more popular to dog owners.  Maybe soon someone will actually market "doggie pools"!  Until then, kid pools do the job.  Whether you have a "soaker" like my Piper or a "splasher" like Murray, kiddie pools do the trick for a quickie cool down.  Piper plops himself right in and stays a while.  You can almost hear the "ahhh" this week when he plunks himself down sending much of the pool water cascading out and down my yard.  Murray is not a soaker.  He likes to play in the pool.  Dunking his head for a ball, kicking his paws, and running and jumping in are his pool time preferneces.  Either way, the result is the cool dog!

Does your pup have a favorite spot to lay in your yard?  Piper likes our patio.  Murray likes to be under our pool deck.  Sometimes all I do is wet them and our patio/ground down for a refreshing spot to nap in the shade.  Wetting down your dog and a shady spot in your yard can do just the trick!

Make sure plenty of fresh, cool water is readily available at all times in the heat.  One fill of a big bowl a day is not sufficient.  Would YOU want to drink water that has been sitting out in the heat all day?  No!  Neither does your dog.  Refresh it with a refill a few times a day.  I even add ice!

Don't be an AC hog.  If you have air conditioning in only one room of your house, make sure your dog gets to spend some time in their with you!  We're all in need of need a cool break, even your dog.

A couple other items that I have found to prolong their cooling off period are "cool collars" and "cool beds".  There are several styles and brand of each of these on the market, so research one that fits you specifically.  Both the collars and the beds are designed to remain cool for a length of time to help keep your dog at a more comfortable temperature.  I have found mine both work very well, and I would recommend looking into both of these.

So, please make sure you are keeping a close eye on your furry friends.  They depend completely on you to keep them safe.  Please don't let them down.

Tuesday, July 9, 2013

An Award!

We received the Versatile Blogger award from All Things Collie! Thank you so very much!  These collies are some beautiful dogs and their mom writes awesome posts! I really enjoy following them.  Please stop by their blog and say hey!   Now the Versatile Blogger Rules:

Add the Versatile Blogger award photo on a blog post.  

Thank the person who presented you with the award and link back to him or her in your post.  

Pass the award along to some favorite bloggers.  Contact the chosen bloggers and let them know about the award. 

Share Seven Things About Yourself.  

Seven things about us:
1. I have been blogging for one whole year now!
2. We travel as a family.  Dogs and humans together.
3. I (Murray) have one dog brother (Piper) and two cat brothers.
4. We just found a beehive in our yard!  Ut Oh!
5. We got a new "cool bed" for the summer!
6. This is our 4th award in our blogging lifetime :)
7. I (Murray's mom) am taking a clicker training course online and loving it!  :)

 I would like to give the Versatile Blogger award to the following blogs:

Small Tales
Jo's World
A Tail of Two Cardis
The Legacy Chronicles
Mollie & Alfie
Dachshund Nola
Urban Hounds
The Hailey and Zaphod Chronicles
Murphy & Stanley
FRANKly and ERNESTly Speaking
Molly The Wally
Furries of Whisppy
Sugar The Golden Retriever Dog Blog

I could go on and on as I follow so many amazing bloggers.  I made myself stop at 15.   

Friday, July 5, 2013

Our First Trip of the Summer!

A few pics of our first camping trip of the season!  Good food, some splashing around in the river and we even visited my alma mater!  We had lots of fun!

Are we there yet?
Mom's college

This posing stuff is BORING!
Piper, where you goin?

Out for a stroll

She Deserves Better