Ask a Dog Expert: Dealing with Hot Weather

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Question: I feel like my boxer can't handle the heat. What can I do to ensure she's comfortable in these hot temperatures?

Answer - It's important to keep your dog cool and hydrated for the following reasons: Dogs are 80% water just like us. They need about an ounce of water per pound of body weight to stay properly hydrated. Dogs sweat only through their feet and by panting - which dries out their mouths so they need water.

There are a few things you can do to ensure your dog is comfortable in this heat.

1. Take walks early in the morning, or in the evening so that you can avoid the hottest temperatures mid-day.

2. Do not under any circumstance leave your dog in your car on a warm day - even just for a few minutes.

3. Bring a water bottle for you and your dog for the walk or play time.

4. Look for signs of overheating – diving into shade, excessive panting, searching for a water. Cut your walk short if your dog is showing any of the signs.

5. Do not give ice cold water is it shocks their system. Cool or room temperature water is best.

6. There are cooling jackets, bandanas, mats and different water bottles and dishes you can buy from your local pet store (Visit Bloomingtails in Byron) they have lots of awesome things to assist with the heat.

Ask a Dog Expert: Socializing a Puppy

Q – I have a new 9-week old puppy, and I have heard mixed reviews about socializing him at this age. What do you suggest? If I do decide to start socializing him, what is the best way to do so?

A – This is a great question! There are different points of view about this topic, but most recent science points toward YES, socialize your puppy early. Socialization means getting them familiarized with many different smells, sounds, environments, kinds of people, and other animals. Poorly socialized dogs are much more likely to react with fear or aggression to unfamiliar people, dogs and experiences.

As long as your dog has had his first set of vaccinations, and his overall temperament seems good (if you are unsure, please ask for a consult first from one of our trainers), you may start socializing him in safe environments. Please note that this does NOT include going to the dog park (yet) since you don’t know what other dogs will be there. A safe environment means meeting up with friends who have another dog who is mellow, demonstrates good behaviour that your puppy can learn from, and is fully vaccinated. You can also bring them to a puppy socialization class, which is highly supervised, and a trainer is there to go over proper play etiquette. Take it easy, and take baby steps so that your dog doesn’t get overwhelmed. Bring tasty treats with you everywhere, so that you can offer them when they seem uncomfortable or need encouragement in any situation. Have fun exploring this exciting world with your puppy!

Please email info@puppylovelondon.ca if you have any further questions.

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Ask a Dog Expert: Leash Pulling

Q - My dog pulls on leash. What can I do!? Walks are no longer enjoyable for me...

A - I would recommend that you take the time to work with your dog and be patient.  Think of it like a red light/green light game. If they pull, red light- the walk stops. Only when there is a relaxed loose leash, continue the walk (green light). Your dog will learn that the walk only continues when there is no tension on the leash. Remember not to pull your dog or yank at his leash when you want him to move forward since that counters the loose-leash training you are working on. If you don't want them to pull you, you shouldn't pull them. We offer a 5 week Loose Leash Walking Program as well!

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If interested in Puppy Love London's dog walking services or private training sessions please contact us at info@puppylovelondon.ca