August 22, 2007 Dog Days of Summer

August 22, 2007

Dog Days of Summer

Yes, it’s that time of year; the dog days of summer are here. It’s hot and muggy, a typical Indiana August. Make sure you are treating your pooch to some cooling care to keep him comfortable during the hot summer. Here are some ideas.
Freeze some water in a plastic margarine tub or bowl, put this inside your dog’s water bowl and cover it with water, (you don’t want his tongue to get stuck on the ice!) this will keep your dogs water nice and cool all day.
Be sure to wash the water and food bowls thoroughly each day because flies are out and leftover food quickly turns bad. Besides, dogs tend to “backwash” into their water bowls so wash it out before refilling it.
If your dog likes water, get a kiddy pool and fill it with water for your dogs own personal pool. A shallow plastic container also works well for this purpose.
If you have a hairy dog, brush him thoroughly to get rid of the loose undercoat that is shedding heavily this time of year.
The easiest way to get the undercoat out is to bathe him thoroughly with a good degreasing shampoo; rinse and repeat of course . . . the reason you repeat is, the first shampoo gets rid of the dirt, the second shampoo gets rid of the oil that holds in the undercoat. Rinse well, then slather him in a good conditioner to soften up the coat and the undercoat will slide right out. You can use a wide toothed comb while the dog is in the tub marinating in the conditioner to help remove the hair. Wet hair combs out easier and it won’t pull on the dog’s skin as much. You want to try to comb the dog thoroughly while the conditioner is on the hair so it will slide out easy. Then rinse the dog well, and dry him off. Undercoat tends to shrink up as it dries, and it gets very tight and forms mats. This is why it is so important to comb out as much undercoat as you can while he’s in the bath. If you are blow-drying your dog, great, brush him out as you dry him and that will remove the undercoat and help him dry faster. If you have a very large dog or want to let him air dry, towel him off first. If he has long hair, don’t rub the coat with the towel, but squeeze it out instead so you aren’t rubbing the hair into mats. Periodically check on the dog, and brush him out as he is drying so he won’t develop mats.
If you bathe your dog outside, don’t use the cold hose on your dog please. There are fittings you can pick up at the local hardware store that you can put on your kitchen or bathroom faucet and hook the hose to it. Warm water always works better to shampoo dogs and it’s more humane. It doesn’t have to be hot, but cold water is shocking to the system and cruel. It’s one thing to play in the hose on a hot day, it’s quite another to be washed in cold water.
If you get your dog groomed or groom him at home, shave his tummy bare so he can lie down on the cool floor and get cool. If you have his hair cut, or cut it yourself, don’t cut it so short that you can see skin, that will put him at risk for sunburn. Removing the undercoat is more effective at keeping your dog cooler than shaving off all his hair. The reason being, shaving off the hair still leaves in the thick undercoat, only now it’s short. Undercoat has to be brushed and combed out, or you can use a tool like the Shed-Ender® available at CVS in the “as seen on TV” aisle. Just be careful not to apply pressure when you use any tool on your dog, he may think it’s a great back scratch, and you may think you are doing a great job at removing hair, until you look at his red, scratched up skin. Be gentle and take your time. It will be well worth it in the end.
Dog’s sweat through their paw pads, and by panting. If your dog is panting, make sure he has plenty of clean fresh cool water available at all times, and make sure his coat is well cared for. A matted coat is like wearing a heavy wool sweater outside in August. If your dog is matted, he will need to be professionally groomed.
A dog’s body temperature is higher than a human’s is also, normal for a dog is around 101 degrees, so you can imagine how uncomfortable they feel if they are left outside in the elements. If you are cool and comfortable in an air-conditioned house, make sure your best friend is too. If he’s tied up outside in the yard, in the heat with a heavy matted coat, and water that’s been sitting outside all day in the heat, my friend, you are being a cruel and neglectful owner.
Remember NEVER to leave your dog in the car even for just a couple of minutes in the summer. Cars get extremely hot in a very short time and your dog can suffer heatstroke, seizures, and death.

August 8, 2007 Animal Neglect and the Law

August 8, 2007

Animal Neglect and the Law

It’s summertime and it’s hot! If you are a responsible pet owner, your dog probably lives in your home with you, with food, water and, if he lives inside your home, you keep his coat up by regularly grooming the dog or having it done to prevent matting. However, there are plenty of instances everywhere of irresponsible dog owners. Look around your neighborhood, what do you see? Do you see dogs tied up on short chains with no water or knocked over water bowls? Is the water clean? Is the dog a matted wonder? If you see pets kept like this, it is against the law.

This information is from the website:

(Criminal Law & Procedure (Miscellaneous Offenses) 35-46-3-7 Abandonment or neglect of vertebrate animals

Summary: Prohibits recklessly, knowingly, or intentionally abandoning or neglecting a vertebrate animal in one's custody.

Penalty: Class B Misdemeanor (35-50-3-3) maximum 180 days confinement; maximum $1,000 fine. Any law enforcement officer or other person with authority to impound animals who has probable cause can take custody of the animal involved.
4) "Neglect" means to: (A) endanger an animal's health by failing to provide the animal with food or drink, if the animal is dependent upon the person for the provision of food or drink; or (B) restrain an animal for more than a brief period by the use of a rope, chain, or tether that: (i) is less than three (3) times the length of the animal; (ii) is too heavy to permit the animal to move freely; or (iii) causes the animal to choke.

In my opinion, if you own a dog, you need a fenced yard. If you don’t have a fenced yard, then your dog must be confined inside your home, and you need to walk the dog regularly. Fences will prevent dog bites to anyone off your property. Fences also keep your dogs safe from traffic. Fences will prevent dogs attacking other dogs or other animals. There have been reports of cats that have been attacked by loose dogs lately. A fenced yard gives a dog space to run, and they won’t be as bored as one tied up on a chain or confined to a small kennel. Bored dogs bark incessantly, dig and are destructive, and are generally out of control when you let them off their chain. If you don’t have a fenced yard, you work and have no time to deal with a dog, and you don’t have the money to care for the dog properly; meaning flea control, heartworm preventative, vaccinations, spaying or neutering, and coat care, keeping the dog free of matted hair, then you don’t need a dog. Dogs are meant to be companion animals and are dependant on humans. If you can’t commit to doing it right, don’t do it at all. Shelters and rescues are full of animals that came from that same situation. It’s time to stop the madness.

Okay neighbors, now you have the facts. The law is stated above. If you see animal neglect or cruelty, report it to the police or animal control to investigate. You can remain anonymous.