black and white dog swimming on pol

Brave a Heat Wave: Your Guide to Keep a Dog Cool on Hot Days

Hot dog! It’s already summer.

It’s second nature for us to wear lighter clothing, spend less time outdoors, drink more water, use more ice, and gravitate toward water activities.

We even keep cool without even thinking about it. Our bodies are furless and we sweat.

But our animals sometimes need a little help to stay comfortable during peak temperature days.

When we start to feel the heat in our own bodies, you can bet our dogs are feeling it too.

When is it Too Hot for a Dog?

If you put a coat on outside during a 90-degree day, how comfortable do you think you would be? What if you put on two more coats? You’d be cooking.

While most of us can go outside or even sit in the car on a 75-degree day and be okay, dogs have a coat they can’t just slip off to be more comfortable.

A dog with a thick coat can start to get hot with temps as low as 70 degrees and it becomes lethal for them at 85 degrees.

Dogs with lighter coats will start to heat up at 75 degrees and the danger zone threshold starts at about 90 degrees.

Puppies, elderly and/or obese dogs are even more vulnerable to heat.

Here’s a handy guide on temperature ranges.

PETP_1272_how_hot_is_too_hot_UPDATED

Source: gopetplan.com

It’s risky to keep your dogs in the car on hot days, even for a short time and even with the windows cracked.

If you can’t leave your dog in the car with the AC running, then take them home.

Signs That Your Dog is Overheated

Dogs are able to cool themselves off by sweating through their paw pads, panting, and instinctively seeking cool places to lie down like under a tree or on a cool floor.

Animals are not always able to sufficiently cool themselves down.

It’s up to humans to monitor their pets for signs of discomfort and distress.

Here are the indications that your dog is getting to be too hot:

  • Heavy panting
  • Excessive thirst
  • Glazed eyes
  • Vomiting
  • Bloody & loose stools
  • Bright or dark red tongue/gums
  • Staggering
  • Weakness or collapsing
  • Elevated heart rate
  • Seizure
  • Abnormally excessive drooling
  • Unconsiousness

If you start to see signs that the heat is starting to get to your dog, there are things you can do to help keep him cool.

Removing a Dog’s Hair: Shaving vs. Undercoat Removal

Those of us with long hair will sometimes put hair back in an elastic, cut it short or shave it all off to be more comfortable during the hot months.

While we get a choice, our dogs don’t. You should understand your long-haired dog’s fur composition before deciding on hair removal.

While it may seem that buzzing it all off is a straightforward way to deal with a dog’s oppressive coat, sometimes it can be a bad idea!

For example, a Pyrenees’ overcoat being left intact will help the animal stay cool as the air flow reaches the skin to cool while the hair acts as a sunscreen. We interviewed Deb, a Pyrenees owner and she says that removing the undercoat is the best thing for Jesse.

You can follow Jesse’s adventures on Deb’s Facebook Page, The Travelling Pyr!

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Jesse found some shade and is keeping cool!

 

Sometimes shaving an animal will cause the hair to grow back thicker and make it hard to manage in the future. This could end up making it even more uncomfortable for your dog.

It’s important to understand the breed of the animal before you break out the clippers and give a buzz cut.

Here’s one resource to determine if your dog’s breed has an undercoat.

Also, keep in mind that some animals will shed their excess hair naturally. For example, a dog with a medium coat will be alright with just a good brushing to help clear out the hair that his body is naturally getting rid of.

Using an undercoat rake can pick up where a regular brush leaves off.

Be mindful of your animal’s grooming needs for the summer months.

Reminder for Dog Walking During the Hot Months

“It’s so hot outside, you could fry an egg on the sidewalk,” is what they say.

To protect your dog’s pads from damage and injury, you may need to make adjustments to your walk routine.

One way to do this is by simply opting for early morning walks. The asphalt will have had plenty of time to cool off overnight. It would be more comfortable for a human as well.

Limiting the path to a grassy area is another way to avoid pad burns.

If neither of the above adjustments can be made, there are products you can put on your pup’s paws to protect their pads. Chewy has several options in stock.

Some dogs are silent about their pain, so you don’t want the walk to end in a horrific discovery that your dog’s paws are burned.

We’d love to safely walk your dog for you! Find out more about our dog walking services here: https://furstarpetcare.com/services/

Food, Water and Your Freezer: More Solutions to Keep Your Dog Cool

Let’s start off with some basic reminders.

  • Keep the air conditioner or fans on when you leave your pets at home.
  • Provide ample shade for animals left outdoors.
  • Make sure your dogs have plenty of water.
  • For outdoor dogs, keep drinking water out of the sunlight.

There are water troughs for purchase that will auto-refill with a hose.

You might try products designed to keep water cool for your dog.

For your water-loving dogs, you can keep a small pool or an automatic sprinkler on.

There are a few frosty ways to beat the heat. One idea is to freeze your dog’s favorite rubber toys in a block of ice. This will have them licking at the ice to retrieve their toys.

“Pupsicles” have gotten a lot of buzz. Hit up Pinterest for Pupsicle recipes and ideas!

You might try sharing your chilled watermelon with your dog.

The ways we keep our dogs cool are not that different from how we keep ourselves cool.

Ways to Cool Your Dog Down

There are cool pads with water pockets that can help cool your dog down quickly. Some pads can be kept in the fridge on standby to provide relief to an overheated animal.

Another way to offer a quick cooldown is to drench a towel in cold water and wrap it around your dog.

If your attempts to recover an overheated and dehydrated dog don’t seem to make enough of an improvement, a trip to the vet may be in order. Call your vet with any concerns you might have.

Heatwaves are a reality this time of year, so it’s important to be proactive to stay ahead of dehydration and overheating. Our pet’s comfort matters just as much as our own. Stay cool!

Recap of How to Keep Your Dog Cool During the Summer:

  • Keep an eye out for signs of overheating and dehydration in your dog.
  • Think twice before shaving your dog’s fur.
  • Provide plenty of shade and water.
  • Keep drinking water sources full and cool.
  • Leave the AC/fans on for indoor pets.
  • Protect their paws from hot asphalt and don’t go for walks during a heat advisory.(Go in the early morning instead.)
  • Have cooling pads or wet towels available for quick cooldowns.
  • Optional: water coolers, wading pools, “Pupsicles” and toys frozen in ice.

 

Camping with Your Pets: A Checklist for Bringing Your Animals into the Great Outdoors

Are you feeling cooped up in the house lately? When you take your dog for a walk, do you take the same route every time? Would you and your pets enjoy a change of scenery?

When thinking of taking a vacation, does the idea of boarding your pets or flying with them sound dreadful? Does the idea of having to go down the hotel elevator every time your pet needs to do their business sound like a hassle?

What if you skipped the airline and hotel bookings and instead woke up to natural surroundings every vacation day with new adventures to be had? Imagine enjoying the best weather of the year in the great outdoors.

Consider a camping vacation!

Manners Check

Does your dog have the right temperament to share campgrounds with other families and animals? Will he be quiet for your neighbors after dark?

The last thing you want on your vacation is a confrontation by other campers or a park ranger.

sunset working dog horizon

It may be a good time to brush up on your dog’s behavioral training with a local dog trainer. 

Supplies Check

It’s pretty straightforward with packing for a camping trip. Everything your pets need at home, they will need on a camping trip. Let’s go over the list.

Shelter Needs

Bringing your pets camping doesn’t mean you have to share sleeping space. You can purchase a separate tent for everyone’s comfort. Chewy.com has this cool tent, though others out there are less expensive.

Some family size tents come with separate compartments, like this Coleman tent with a separate screened porch. A friend went camping with the Coleman tent, and she loved having a this screened porch while camping.

Kitty can come along on the trip as well. Just bring a carrier with a shoulder strap or use a collapsible carrier.

Food and Drink Needs

While many campgrounds offer running water, sometimes drinking it can make animals ill if they are not accustomed to drinking potable water. If you have room, you can pack bottled water or filter your own.

mountains nature cup water

Remember to bring plenty of food and keep it in pest-proof containers. If you don’t want to carry around too much bulk, a collapsible storage container would be a good choice as the containers will get smaller as the food is consumed.

Also handy are collapsible feeding dishes for eating and drinking times.

Pest Protection Needs

If the pest spray is working well on you, your pets could become the next target for hungry mosquitoes. Bring spray that is designed for use on dogs and cats.

Staying Cool Needs

Of course, keeping hydrated is the primary way to keep from being overheated, but if you and the animals are getting too hot, a solar-powered fan will help you all cool down.

When Nature Calls Needs

When your dog or cat needs to do their business, your duty is to make sure it doesn’t get left on the ground.

yorkshire terrier puppy on green grass field

Bring plenty of dog waste bags and sanitizer for your hands!

For your cat, you may be interested in using eco-friendly cat litter in combination with a foldable and biodegradable cat litter box.

With the current products on the market, camping with pets is more convenient than ever.

State Parks Check

If you are wanting to camp in a public park, per the rules you will need to keep your animals on a leash. For your cats, you can keep them in their carrier or walk them on a harness.

To go hands-free with your animals at your campsite, you’ll want to keep your dog hooked up to a tie out. This can be anchored with one of your tent stakes or even to a nearby tree or picnic table.

Alternatively, you can use your tent as a playpen or bring a separate foldable one.

Cats will easily escape a playpen. You should keep them in your tent or in their own crate/carrier.

To let your cat walk about, you could set up a picket line. If you have a set of trees close by your campsite, you take some line and wrap it around the trees. Then you take the leash and attach it to the picket line. This gives your animal the mobility to walk around and pace.

It’s good to have a plan if your kitty escapes. Do your homework ahead of time to plan what to do if your cat goes missing including how to train your cat to come when called.

The state parks website for Ohio does have a special section for those wanting to bring their pets camping.

Those wanting to rent a cabin may find pet-friendly accommodations at the following parks:

It should be noted that dogs are not allowed on the swimming beaches at the above parks.

Alternatively, you might look into camping at the pet-friendly EcoCamp in Swanton. TripAdvisor has it rated a 5/5.

Change of Heart

The great outdoors awaits! Go ahead and plan your camping trip while the nice weather lasts.

Maybe after some thinking, you decide that bringing your pets is too daunting or maybe your pets wouldn’t enjoy it. You shouldn’t have to cancel your plans, though. Columbus area pet care services are here for you.

Skip the boarding and let us take care of your pets while you enjoy the tranquil rest and relaxation that only Mother Nature can give. Contact Fur Star Pet Care to make arrangements. We’ve got your back.

man with blue and maroon camping bag and golden retriever in backpack

Christmas Presents for Pets: 10 Pet-Lover Approved Gifts for Under $20

They’ve been working hard this year! Our puppers and doggos protect the home with mighty barks. Our kitties bring us special “presents.” But most importantly they make us smile, laugh, and they fill us with love all year long.

Let’s not forget to pick up a little something special from “Santa” for our four-legged friends this holiday!

Who knows better than pet people on what are the best gifts and treats? Below are 10 reasonably priced, pet-lover endorsed presents for your cherished animals.

1.) SmartyKat Hot Pursuit Electronic Concealed Motion Cat Toy

Fur Star Pet Care’s own Jeanette Hale recommends this awesome cat toy! The kitties just love this!

A toy attaches to a small motor below the fabric circle. The toy moves under the fabric but then peeks out as it moves along. This really keeps the cats interested. The blinking lights feature also adds to the entertainment.

Columbus Ohio area quality cat sitter SmartyKat cat toy

Penelope playing with a SmartyKat Hot Pursuit toy!

The toy shuts off after a while to save on power and limit stimulation. Jeanette says, “Our cats love it so much, they sleep on it! Sometimes even when it’s off!”

For just $14 at Target, you can get one for your own feline.

2.) Cat Dancer 101: Cat Dancer Interactive Cat Toy

Is your cat relentlessly attacking the Christmas tree? This Cat Dancer toy may be just the diversion you need to give that tree a break!

The Cat Dancer is a very simple toy that makes for hours of fun. It’s a piece of curved wire with cardboard at either end.

One user says, “This is the cheapest, most amazing cat toy ever. Never met a cat that wouldn’t play with it for hours.”

This fun toy is only $2.09 at PetCo. It’s so cheap that Amazon offers it as an add-on item for other purchases for under $2!

3.) Colorful Springs Cat Toys

If you were a kid in the days before tablets and smartphones, you probably played with a Slinky or the spring stopper behind the door. Well turns out cats can pass the time playing with springy toys as well.

These colorful springs come in packs of 10. One cat mom in Alberta, Canada says that her kitty loves to play with these colorful coils.

Columbus Ohio area quality cat pet sitter cat toy colorful coil springs

Colorful coils for cats!

These thrills are cheap at just $4.57 from Amazon!

4.) KONG Naturals Cat Scratcher

Is it time for a new scratching post? Perhaps you’d want to try an inclined scratching product for your cat? The KONG Naturals Cat Scratcher is cheap and has received great reviews!

It has a no-mess design and is made with quality materials.

Chewy offers this great product for just $6.39!

5.) Temptations Treats for Cats

Guess which product is the number one selling cat treat product on Amazon? It is the chicken flavored Temptations treats!

Amazon users warn that this product is highly addictive. Your cats probably won’t want anything else, including their supper! Buyer beware.

man near orange tabby cat

Photo by Vlad Bagacian on Pexels.com

A 30-ounce container of Temptations runs about $15 from Amazon.

6.) Keeping Busy with Pawzzles

Whoever decided to make getting treats a challenge has got to be a genius. When pulling yummies out of a Kong isn’t quite challenging enough for your pooch, there are pawzzles!

See how smart your dog is by watching them work at these puzzles to earn their tasty reward.

These cool contraptions start at about $8 on Amazon

7.) Kong Toy Jumbler Disc

Another toy that will keep a dog busy because of its puzzling nature is the Saturn-shaped KONG Jumbler Disc toy!

In the center of the disc is a spherical compartment that can house other toys, like their favorite ball. The pup can spend hours trying to get at the insides!

One California dog mom says, “they cannot destroy it and have so much fun chasing it. So durable.”

You can order one of these from Pets Warehouse for only $9.97!

8.) BarkShop Best Bets

Amongst all the rough and tumble dog toys are the softer and cuter dog toys. One website offers really cute plushies for your pooch to play with!

A Missouri-based dog mom doted over the Murphy’s Mochi toy from Bark Shop! Unfortunately, this was a seasonal offering, and that season has passed. But there are brand new products to pick from that are just as cute!

Heli-yum Balloons is a close match to the Mochi. You can order one now for $11.90.

Order soon, because some Bark Shop designs are seasonal and limited edition!

9.) Chuckit! Ultra Grip Dog Ball Launcher

Fetch! It’s what dogs live to do. What better way to get some post-Christmas dinner exercise than to toss the ball around in the yard and try out your dog’s new toy!

One Ontario, Canada dog mom says that the ChuckIt! ball his her good boy’s, “Most prized possession.”

Columbus Ohio area quality dog sitter walker fetch ball

Bear loves his ChuckIt ball!

$11.95 will set you up with a launcher and a ball on Amazon! You can, of course, buy extra balls in various sizes. You can add some fun with balls that glow in the dark or whistle. All the balls are reasonably priced.

10.) Bully Sticks: Treats for Dogs

Another product recommended by this dog mom are Bully Sticks. Like herself, other buyers prefer the odorless version of these treats!

They look just like a cinnamon stick!

They last a while and dogs love them! Try out a new treat this holiday! Orders start at around $13 from the Bully Sticks website.

BONUS TOY: Good Boys Go Ballistic over the BazooK-9

This toy is more than $20, but shoot, we love it. For dogs who love to run and who love tennis balls even more, there is the BazooK-9 which will effortlessly launch those balls in a totally fun game of fetch.

Dog toy tennis balls Columbus Ohio area pet sitter pet care

The BazooK-9, Loads of fun!

You can take this to the park for around $25 when your order through Doggy Market.

 

adorable animal cat celebration

Photo by Pixabay on Pexels.com

Your furry friends have been good all year for Santa. Don’t forget to put something under the tree for them this holiday!

Columbus Ohio Area Professional Pet Sitter

Leave it to the Purrfessionals: All the Reasons Why You Should Hire a Pet Sitting Business

It’s the holiday season! For many of us, that means we will travel to go see loved ones, or take a vacation to get away from the ice and snow.

Among the list of travel prep, you will need to find someone to watch your pets. There are boarding houses, dog sitting services, neighbors, or other family members you may approach to keep your animals for your time away.

Some people love animals so much that they go into the business of taking care of them full time. Because caring for animals is their passion, they put a lot of thought and consideration into what you and your pets will need. So for some families, having a professional to watch your animals while you are away is the best option among the alternatives.

Motivation: Passion and Purpose

To find reasons why to use a professional pet sitter, we start at the roots. Someone who has made it their mission to care for pets and get referrals is going to be well-motivated to provide the best care they can.

Number one motivation is because they genuinely love animals. They have chosen a line of work that allows them the perk of spending their days with cuddly creatures. They find fulfillment in nurturing and providing loving care for animals.

Competition is another motivator. With services like Rover and boarding houses out there, they need to have a level of quality that is on par with or exceeds that of their competitors.

Asking just anyone to come to look in on your pets and feed them is leaving much to chance. While the friend or family member you would think to ask may be completely trustworthy and do an adequate job, an absence of incentive to do a good job may lead to an inconsistency in care.

Having the passion to care for animals and the motivation to make their human clients happy with excellent service means that your pet will be treated as though it was the service professional’s very own.

Keeping Up Appearances While You’re Away

Burglaries happen while people are away and thieves know that the holiday season means that people are making more purchases and that many will not be at home. The holidays are a prime time for a burglar to come in and take brand new valuables. A house that appears to be occupied is less likely to be broken into.

If you are thinking about boarding your animals rather than using a professional pet sitter, consider that opting for in-home pet care could be a theft deterrent.

Columbus Ohio Area Professional Pet Sitter

Professional pet sitters will collect mail or packages while you’re away.

 

Finding a pet sitter with great service means that they will create a presence that makes it appear that someone is home. If you keep your animals in a boarding facility, no one will be stopping by your house to take in the newspapers and mail, turn on different lights, etc. Your house will just look unattended. If you’re off to a warmer climate to escape the snow, it would be great to have someone back home shoveling that winter white. Having this extra help will maintain an appearance that your home is being looked after.

Home burglary prevention is another reason why you should hire a pet sitter over a putting your pet up in a boarding home.

Accountable & Dependable Service

Using an insured and bonded service offers protection when things don’t go as planned. Services like Rover will allow you to purchase additional insurance, but this will have a $250 deductible that you are responsible for. This won’t cover issues concerning inadequate service.

With an independently owned insured and bonded pet sitting service you have the added peace of mind with having recourse in the event of property damage, vet bills, incomplete work, etc.

A business that has taken the steps to be insured, bonded and registered sets itself apart from a petcare hobbyist in that they are more invested in their services. This usually means a more serious commitment to service and quality assurance.

Our Columbus, Ohio area pet sitting service is locally-owned and offers GPS tracking and reports that provide daily documentation on your pet’s care.

Hiring a full-time pet sitter also means better availability. What if you ask your neighbor to help out with the pets and they decide at the last minute to take a trip out of town simultaneously? With a service dedicated to pet sitting, you will have a solid commitment to care for the time you have scheduled for service.

Locally owned petsitting services anticipate the busy times and will be staffed in order to meet the demands. Choosing a bonded and insured pet care service offers peace of mind. All of this means flexible and dependable service for your family’s needs that you can rely on when you need it most.

Columbus Ohio area professional pet sitter

Keep in touch with your pet’s care while you’re away!

Training & Continuing Education

Having a fully competent person to care for your animals is so important for the cat or dog’s well being. Being a professional means that the pet sitter will know what to look for in terms of illness symptoms and keeping track of everyday poop and pee patterns.

Professionals are focused on the needs of the animal

so they will do more than just fill a bowl with food or water, they will pay close attention to the animal’s needs and give your animals loving attention.

Fur Star Pet Care uses FetchFind to develop pet sitters’ skills and knowledge on the proper and attentive care of pets. Sitters will also be educated about fear-free strategies to maintain a peaceful home environment for pets.

Owner Jeanette Hale attends pet sitting conferences and makes sure that the staff is up to date on CPR training and other issues pertinent to pet care.

Hiring a professional pet care service like Fur Star Pet Care means that you will have someone with current training looking after your cherished animals.

Why Not Ask Your Neighbor Instead?

Sometimes we will feel like we are asking too much of our friends and family or that it’s uncertain that they can provide the level of care that our pets are used to. Hiring a professional pet sitter means that someone who wants to care for your pet, and who will be following a procedure, will provide care in keeping with your lifestyle.

Is the person you asked to watch your pet trained on how to care for a pet that is choking or ill? Will they do the bare minimum and leave you to wonder if the dog has been let out to potty enough, walked, and played with? Will they honor your requests and follow a protocol to make sure every task is completed? Are they trained on how to deal with issues such as separation anxiety or administering medication? If you have someone in your life who can do all of this, then you are truly blessed. For the rest of us, hiring a professional pet sitter instead can mean a big difference in how our pets will be cared for.

Columbus Ohio area professional Pet Sitter

Your cat will be waiting for you to return. Meanwhile, kitty makes a new friend – his pet sitter!

If plans fall through with your friend or neighbor, who will be the one to step in? A pet sitting service will have a contingency plan, and may even end up being your contingency plan if plans fall through with the alternative. Usually, they will take care of other housesitting issues as well, so why not hire a Columbus, Ohio area professional pet sitter in the first place?

Professional Pet Sitters: The Purrfect Choice!

Circumstances such as being in the hospital or planning a trip out of town can be very stressful. You’ll like likely have a list of things you need to do before you leave your pets behind. Rather than make a list for someone to follow, you can hire someone who already has their own comprehensive checklist. Hire someone who has thought of everything so that you don’t have to! Hire a Columbus, Ohio area pet sitting service to give you peace of mind while you are away. Book with Fur Star Pet Care now and leave it to the purrfessionals!