Keeping Your Dogs Cool In The Car

With school letting out across the United States, we are ready to mark the official start of Summer, which means the temperature will soon – or has been – start to rise. While the heat is a welcomed addition to the lives of many people, we also need to be more aware of the comfort and safety of our canine friends.

If we get overheated, we don’t need to rely on someone else to move us to a cooler area. We don’t have to communicate our discomfort to anyone and depend on their action for relief. Unfortunately, that is the case for dogs. They rely on us to ensure that the environment is comfortable.

One of the places where dogs don’t have an ability to control their own temperature is in vehicles. Summer is a great time to hit the open road and take a trip with your furry friend, but please be sure to not put them in a situation where they can be harmed due to overheating in vehicles, and tragically there are deaths every year.

As I was picking up groceries this weekend, I saw a sign posted at my local Wegmans grocery store that said the following. The sign had this text, which I have copied from a circular and pasted here.

A Pennsylvania shopper wrote us recently with an impassioned plea to pet owners not to leave dogs in hot cars. She cited some information about temperature escalation in a hot car, and I wanted to share this with you. I had not realized how quickly auto temperatures can rise on a hot day (though hot days have been few this season). And since 62% of American households have a pet – and 40% of these are dogs – it seems worth mentioning.

The customer cited information on a website www.MyDogIsCool.com, from United Animal Nations (UAN). Example: On an 85-degree day, for example, the temperature inside a car … with the windows slightly opened… will reach 102 degrees in 10 minutes. In 30 minutes, it will go up to 120 degrees. On warmer days, of course, it will go even higher. Studies show that leaving the window open a crack does nothing to reduce the heat inside the vehicle.

A dog’s normal body temperature is 101.5 – 102.2 degrees. A dog can withstand a body temperature of 107 – 108 degrees F. for only a very short time before suffering irreparable brain damage, or even death. The closed car interferes with the dog’s normal cooling process.. that is, evaporation through panting. If you dog is overcome by heat exhaustion, UAN recommends giving immediate first aid by immersing him/her in cold water until body temperature is lowered.

At Wegmans, we pride ourselves on quick checkout, but even so, consider these facts next time you have your dog in the car, and run into the store for “just a minute”. The website mentioned above is a source of additional information.

May Ellen Burris – Senior Vice President of Consumer Affairs, WegmansCircular text

I checked out the website and found that there are great resources there to help raise awareness including printable sheets to share on people’s cars, hang in your business, or promote on social media.

Bonnie Judd Shows Us Working With Dog Behind The Scenes

Vanity Fair produced this video as part of their Notes On A Scene series on YouTube featuring Bonnie Judd giving us a play-by-play look at how dog-centric scenes from popular movies are filmed. She gives us a detail look at scenes from “Air Bud: 7th Inning Fetch“, “Marley and Me” and explains how she trained the dogs who star in “A Dog’s Journey“.

Bonnie Judd has a long and respected resume of working with dogs, and other animals, on production sets. She has worked on productions like Smallville, Police Academy, Sandlot 2, Racing in the Rain, The Dogfather, and dozens of commercials. She has even contributed to Jimmy Fallon’s Race Through New York ride at Universal Studios Orlando.

In this video below from Vanity Fair, Bonnie gives us a behind the scenes look at some of the commands that are used to direct the dogs in various scenes. She tells us of the many safety measures in place to ensure the dogs and human actors are comfortable, and safe during the production.

One of the best things she shared with us is that the happiness of the dogs is important. She places a heavy emphasis on ensuring the dogs are not just following commands, but that they are enjoying the experience, and they aren’t placed in stressful or dangerous situations.

Some of the fascinating parts of the video are when she goes in depth in the process of how they trained the dog over time to interact with people and props. In the backpack scene from Air Bud, she tells us that they started with a small bag for the dog to carry, then gradually increased the size of the item until they ended up with a (newspaper-stuffed) backpack that the dog would carry without irritation.

In the hotel-chase scene from A Dogs Journey, she explains that they needed a series of events to occur where the dog would approach the door, sit, speak, dig, then release the dog so they got their reward (a dollar store toy duck!) after doing that sequence.

Another fun quip is that while telling us of training dogs for a basketball scene, she says that the dogs were very easy to teach repetition. They would perform each task exactly the same way, every time, but it was the trainers and the actors who were struggling to, in this case, throw the basket ball to the exact spot where the dog was expecting it!

Bonnie is delightful in this video. She clearly loves the animals she works with, she enjoys the challenge and reward of seeing the dogs show off their skills, and her laughter as she re-lives the scenes is contagious.

I have previous written on this blog about the American Humane Association and the work they do with the “No Animals Were Harmed” initiative to ensure the safety of animals on stage, film, and tv productions.

This excerpt from their website gives a quick overview of their participation

“American Humane works with production personnel and trainers in the pre-production planning stage, monitors the animals on set during production, and enforces American Humane’s Guidelines for the Safe Use of Animals in Filmed Media. It also investigates allegations of mistreatment and cruelty and sanctions productions that do not meet its standards of humane animal treatment.”

-American Humane Association

I would recommend checking out the other videos in the Vanity Fair “Notes On A Scene” playlist if you like to get a glimpse behind the scenes of some of your favorite movies.

Dogs! A Science Tail exhibit

Dogs! A Science Tail

An interesting podcast that I listen to is “Can I Pet Your Dog” hosted by Renee Colvert and Alexis Preston. This week they had a fascinating interview with Dr. Chuck Kopczak who lead the team creating “Dogs! A Science Tail” that was developed by the California Science Center.

A quick note about the podcast for those not familiar with it, Renee and Alexis host this weekly hour-long rollicking adventure about topics of interest to dog owners. Lighthearted dialog between the two hosts, along with serious interviews with experts make this a podcast worth adding to your playlist.

While “museum exhibits” might not be common water cooler talk, this interview about the contents and development of this science exhibit about this history of dogs and the role they play in society was a definite win on this weeks episode.

Dr. Chuck Kopczak was a great guest who talked not only about the history and background in developing the exhibit, but also walked listeners through an auditory tour of each section of the exhibit and told us why each one is important to feature.

He explained that from concept to opening, that it takes two years to plan and roll-out an exhibit of this size. (Dogs! is approximately 7,000 – 9,000 square feet). He said the planners worked closely with the directors of the Superpower Dogs movie to release both at the same time.

The most interesting fact that Dr. Kopczak shared was that oxytocin is released in humans as we gaze into the eyes of dogs, similar to how it is released when we gaze into the eyes of children or other humans. When dogs smell this hormone, it increases their gaze back at us! (I found this article in Science Magazine for further reading)

This exhibition reveals where dogs came from, how dogs experience the world, what makes our bond with dogs so special, and how to care for our canine best friends. There is also a demonstration area where dogs can show off their talents from police dogs finding scents and agility exercises, to service dogs helping individuals in daily life.

Highlights include an interactive Jeopardy! game show for attendees to challenge each other with, a dog grooming station, and activities where you can see how a dog sees, and hear how they hear.

Also playing concurrently with the exhibit is Superpower Dogs in IMAX.

Join an immersive IMAX adventure to experience the life- saving superpowers and extraordinary bravery of some of the world’s most amazing dogs. In this inspiring true story narrated by Chris Evans, our best friends are also real-life superheroes. Journey around the globe to meet remarkable dogs who save lives and discover the powerful bond they share with their human partners. Follow ‘Halo’, a rookie puppy training to join one of the most elite disaster response teams in America. Meet ‘Henry’, an avalanche rescue expert in the mountains of British Columbia , ‘Reef’, a Newfoundland lifeguard with the Italian coastguard, ‘Ricochet’, a Californian surf legend helping people with special needs, and the Bloodhound brothers, ‘Tipper and Tony’, who are lea ding the fight to save endangered species in Africa. As we discover the incredible abilities of dogs and the astonishing science behind their superpowers, we’ll never look at our best friends the same way again!

The Dogs! A Science Tail exhibit is set to start traveling to museums and science centers around the world after it’s initial run in California, so look out for a stop new you!

Resources mentioned in this post:

Best Sources For Free (Or Low Cost) Dog Toys

As any pet person can attest, commercial dog toys are expensive! It’s easy to spend $10 or more on a toy that – for heavy chewers like mine – can easily destroy in a day or two.

Having places to go for free or low cost toys is important both for my wallet, and to keep my dogs minds active and challenged.

The first suggestion for affordable dog toys is to create them yourself using safe items around the house. A quick search on Google brought up this page from Care.com that lists 17 DIY Dog Toys You Can Make From Things In Your House. They range from tug toys, to interactive feeders, and include crunchy toys like a water bottle in a braided bed sheet. Creative and inexpensitve!

The next suggestion is subscription boxes. Less expensive than buying toys individually is if you buy them in groups. Often, the price per toy is less when you commit to a year of boxes, and they are sent to you in groups. Services like Bark Box add treats into each box, so if you don’t normally buy bagged treats, you might not see the ‘toy’ savings.

An alternative to Bark Box, is the curated Goody Box from Chewy.com. Having purchased a few of these, I can speak to their value. They are heavy on the treats, but do include a toy or two. The evolving nature of these boxes means that they change over time and, you aren’t committed to a year of shipments.

Thinking outside the box, literally and figuratively, I saw a promotion at my local grocery store pharmacy that featured a free flying disc and waste dispenser if you talked to a Wegmans pharmacist about having your pet medication filled through them, they gave you the toys for free! (As an aside, the medication savings can be substantial). I picked up this free toy the other day while doing my grocery shopping! This was a limited-time promotion and was subject to availability, but this is one less toy I need to buy!

Free dog toys offered for a limited time at the Wegman's grocery store pharmacy when customer inquired about pet medications filled through them!
Dog toy from the Wegman’s grocery store pharmacy

The third source that came to mind was through local animal shelter garage sales. Often these organisations will receive donations from local big box stores of out-of-season merchandise. This benefits the store as a tax savings, and benefits the shelter through the proceeds of the sale. Be sure to check your local newspaper our online garage sale listing site to find out when and where these sales are.

Supporting local shelters is a great way to ensure they can continue to care for animals without a home, and a great place for you to find brand-new, low cost dog toys.

The Shelter Pet Project – #AdoptPureLove

I saw this video as an ad produced by The Shelter Pet Project on YouTube and had to share.

The Shelter Pet Project is the result of a collaborative effort between two leading animal welfare groups, the Humane Society of the United States and Maddie’s Fund, and the leading producer of public service advertising (PSA) campaigns, The Ad Council.

Our goal is to make shelters the first place potential adopters turn when looking to get a new pet, ensuring that all healthy and treatable pets find loving homes. We do this by breaking down misconceptions surrounding shelter pets and celebrating the unique bond between every shelter pet and parent.

The Shelter Pet Project’s new #AdoptPureLove campaign celebrates the special qualities of shelter pets and the incredible bond between every shelter pet and parent. Through the stories of actresses Olivia Munn and Rachel Bloom, NFL player Logan Ryan and everyday people, #AdoptPureLove encourages audiences to adopt from shelters and rescue groups nationwide.

Masking ‘Dog Smell’ For A Fresh Home

No matter which breed of dog you have, inevitably they will eventually smell like ‘dog’. While some dogs are smellier than others, a mild dog smell is normal. This article from PetMD goes into detail why dogs have that unique smell.

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The Pet House Candles from One Fur All are larger than a tea light and have a burn time of 10 – 12 hours! The Fresh Citrus scent is a light peach and pear aroma that gently covers odors in a room without becoming overpowering.

Their 10-pack features their best-selling, innovative scents include:

  • Lavender Green Tea
  • Fresh Citrus
  • Sunwashed Cotton
  • Pumpkin Spice
  • Lilac Garden
  • Moonlight
  • Mango Peach
  • Evergreen Forest
  • Vanilla Sandalwood
  • Bamboo Watermint

 

If you like the scents of the mini candles, they are offered in a larger 60-hour burn time size. The link goes to their Jasmine Lilly scent on Amazon.

These soy wax candles are infused with refreshing essential oils and surround a 100% cotton wick. The candles are dye and paraffin free, and are non-toxic. The perfect odor-neutralizing solution to air freshening in pet-friendly homes.

As a highly-rated seller on Amazon, One Fur All offers a 100% satisfaction money back guarantee. Its hard to believe that anyone could be dissatisfied by these products, and their review history speaks to that fact.

There are sprays, sachets, plug-in, and table-top options for freshening the air in homes with pets, but these candles add a warm ambiance to any room.

Keeping your house safe with pets around is the paramount concern of any pet household. These candles help to ensure that the environment stays safe and happy for every member, human and canine.

Sugar Cookie Decorating Tutorial

Browsing through the internet this week, I came across Anne from Flour Box Bakery and her tutorial videos. These cookies look amazing! She has tutorial and links to supplies to make cookies for every occasion. One video that stood out to me was her dog cookies. While they aren’t formulated for dog eating (they are meant for people to eat), the design and attention to detail was incredible enough I had to share. Please enjoy!

Check out the Flour Box Bakery!

 

If baking, or cookie decorating is your passion, check out this Corgi cookie cutter set from Amazon. Happy Baking!