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Summertime, Summertime....
Sum-Sum-Summertime

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Sing along with me, 'cuz it is basically here! No matter where you are in the country, it is starting to steam up, and since we are really feeling the heat already here in Florida, we were inspired to share some ideas in this issue of the Paw Print Post about how to keep your dog cool and have a great time with him, her or THEM outdoors in the hot, summer weather.

First of all, there is no better way to cool off than to GET WET! If you have access to the shore, check out our new website page where we share some ideas about how to find dog-friendly beaches near you. Remember, if you are inland, there are often lakes, rivers, streams and swimming pools to enjoy.

In addition to dog-friendly places to go this summer, and some talk about summer travel plans with your dog, we have also included some frosty treat ideas in this issue that actually help your dogs cool off.

Have a great June, and enjoy your dogs!

Vacationing with your Dog this Summer
How to get there:

-ROAD TRIPS-
Although dogs and humans can get there by railway, trailway, bicycle, motorcycle (you get the picture!), the two most common modes of transportation for summer vacations are car and air travel. For most people the easiest and least expensive way to travel with your dogs is to simply pile them in the car with you and hit the road, bit there are always considerations to think about before you leave on a vacation with your pets, and we have a number of tips to share with you that can make your summer trip together more enjoyable and safer.

dog relaxing on a car travel road tripFirst- make sure your dog has a comfortable place to rest during the trip. Depending on how excitable your dog is and how long the trip is, your dog will most likely sleep once the trip gets under way. Make sure that you prepare a place with a towel or blanket and a few familiar toys. Some dogs are prone to motion sickness and anxiety when they travel. Make sure that you know what you are dealing with before you set off on a long trip. Several shorter trips prior to your vacation can help get your dog more used to car travel and let you knw if any issues exist. If your dog is prone to car sickness or continues to be overly anxious, check with your vet beforehand about supplements or medications that can help relieve these symptoms. Make sure you have what you need before you head out of town.

travel dog bowl from TazlabOf course, you will want to take a container with fresh water, as well as food and treats for the trip and have them with you in the vehicle. Remember to bring along easily-accessible food and water bowls. Travel bowels that collapse for easy packing are an awesome idea. The red travel bowl, pictured here is made by Tazlab and is available through their website. It folds up for easy storage.

Always keep your dog's collar on during the trip, and have a proper ID tag made for them beforehand with your cell phone number engraved on it in case you should somehow get separated from him while you are traveling. Keep your dog's leash up with you so you can easily clip and unclip it as you stop at various rest stops for doggie bathroom breaks. Plan on stopping every two or three hours to give your dog a stretch, walk, potty break and to offer them water.

Try to never leave your dog alone, but if you are traveling by yourself and don't have a partner to help you, it will be unavoidable for you to take short bathroom breaks and you will need a plan about how to leave your dog while you are away for a few minutes.

It is never advisable to leave your dog in the car in the summer for even a short time as the heat can be very dangerous and rise quickly in a closed vehicle, but if you must leave to visit the bathroom, make sure that your absence is as short as possible- definitely less than five minutes- and if at all possible look for a shady parking spot and stop when the car has been sufficiently cooled. Always lock your vehicle, but leave the windows down at least six inches to allow some air in.

Some cars can be left running with the air conditioner on while the car is still locked if they have an exterior keypad.

Before you leave on your trip figure out a way to manage your bathroom breaks, and keep your dog's health and safety at the forefront of your plans.

Photo Credits: Dog Sleeping in Car- Posted by Sugar Pond on Flickr. Licensed under the Creative Commons

-AIR TRAVEL-

Dog at airport in an approved carrier for under seat travel.Air travel can also be an option, especially if you are going to be spending a long period of time in a location that is far away.

Every major airline has specific policies regarding pet travel, where they are allowed to be and the costs involved, so be sure and check with them to see what will work for you. Many airlines will allow a very small companion animal (18 pounds or less) in a carrier that can fit under the seat, but others only allow pets to travel in the cargo areas. Be sure to really investigate this and compare your options. I have personally read some stories that concerned me about flights where animals were kept for hours too long in the cargo hold when a flight has been delayed on the runway. It is not the norm, but it is always advisable to know what can happen and learn how to avoid it. Ask questions so that you will know what can happen and how it will be handled if a problem arises.

pet airways logoOne newer airline called PetAirways caters to pet travel! In fact, they do not allow humans on board except for thier crew members who travel with the animals. Your pet travels  in a climate-controlled cabin and receives special care. They serve a limited itinerary, but if you  are planning a trip, you may want to check them out. They have a terrific airline pet travel comparison page that shows how their airline differs and what the major airlines charge and offer by carrier in terms of pet travel.

Our Facelift is Complete, and our Site is Growing!
We are excited to report that the Dog Paw Print website facelift is finished (YAY!) and our site's fresh new face is finally complete! We hope you like the cool, relaxing colors that we have used throughout... aquas and lime greens... because WE can't stop staring at our new pages! Ridiculous, I know (and a bit puffed-up too, so we do apologize for that!) Anyway- the great news is that now that our big overhaul is done, we have started to add new pages to the site once again.

We just added thirteen new paw print backgrounds and over fifteen new pages to the site since our last e-zine went out. If you haven't visited the website in a while, take a gander and see what's new.

Cool Summer Dog Treats
Dog licking a popsicle treatOne way to cool your pup off is to offer him or her a cold treat. These can be purchased (ie. Frosty Paws dog ice cream treats or other similar treats) but can also easily be made yourselves at home..

Your dog doesn't really care if the popsicle has a stick in it or not, so unless you want to hold it for her, just make a tasty frozen treat that she can lick and chew. and give it to them where you can let them make a little bit of a mess (the porch is usually a good place).

One of the easiest containers to use is a paper cup,. Just fill it up with one of the ingredient combos below, freeze it and pop out the treat for them later.

Here are some ideas for frozen treats to cool them off:
  • applesauce, water and some mashed banana
  • chicken. beef or vegetable broth
  • plain yogurt, peanut butter, honey and apple
  • frozen banana
  • fruit juice with bits of any fresh fruit you have on hand

Stay Cool!

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