Summer Pet Care in Lincoln, NE – 2019
Everybody loves the summer time, right? The warm air allows our bodies to relax and the sunshine puts us in a happier mood. Our furry friends sure love summer too. They love running around, hopping in the water, and taking in the fresh air of the season just as much as us humans…maybe even more! As pet owners, we need to keep a few things in mind so that our animals can stay happy and healthy throughout these hot summer months.
In order to gather the best advice on the topic of summer pet care, we talked to a few local experts. Dave Titterington, owner of Arnie’s Pet Food Store, was nice enough to share some words of wisdom with us.
“Summer means tick, fleas, and mosquitos, all which can impact the health of your dog,” Dave noted. “If using a flea collar, read the directions thoroughly. After handling the collar, wash your hands. Prevent children from coming in contact with the collar. Watch your pet closely for any abnormal reactions that might be caused from licking residue on the fur from the collar and make sure the collar is secure. If your pet ingests part of the collar, contact your vet immediately.”
“We have opted for the oral treatment for fleas, ticks, and heartworms from mosquitoes with our dog Ginger,” Dave informed us. “None-the-less, these treatments contain pesticides and should be handled and used accordingly. Also, never use a flea and tick treatment meant for a dog on a cat. Never!”
WARNING: This year’s tick season is anticipated to be the worst in years, and the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention reports the number of tick-borne diseases is increasing at a record pace while the geographic range of ticks continues to expand. Lyme disease is the most commonly-known tick-borne disease, but other diseases, such as ehrlichiosis and STARI, have been discovered and the list of tick-related illnesses continues to grow.
During the summer, we all enjoy a nice, cool treat like ice cream or a slushy. Well, so do dogs! That is why at Arnie’s Pet Food Store, they offer DogGurt.
“DogGurt is a healthy, organic frozen treat for your dog,” Dave explained. “It’s fat free yogurt with the benefits of probiotics and other all natural ingredients. Peanut butter, pumpkin, bacon, apple, or sweet potato are added to create an assortment of tasty flavors. Also, look for fast food places and coffee shops that offer ‘Pup Cups’ of ice cream on their drive-thru menu for your dog.”
Arnie’s Pet Food Store carries a variety of all-natural dog food and treats. A few of the new products they’ve gotten in their store for dogs’ health include:
- Ultra Oil for healthy skin and coat
- Super Snouts CBD for a healthier pet
- NO-HIDE dog chews
“Dog foods sold at Arnie’s Pet Food Store meet the high demands of nutrition that your dog needs,”Dave assured us. “All meat sources are listed and either meet or exceed the highest standards of the American Association of Pet Foods. This means that there are no fillers, dyes, by-products, or food additives. Plus, all dog foods we select are produced by family owned and operated pet food facilities where quality is paramount and production is never outsourced. Ninety percent of all leading brand dog foods made in the U.S. are outsourced to just three companies: Mars, Nestles, and Colgate-Palmalive. In fact, all Purina pet food products are produced by the Nestle corporation. Other brand-name pet foods are outsourced to the Smuckers corporation, and General Mills is now producing Blue Buffalo brands.”
Dave made us think about how dogs have evolved over time and, likewise, their diets. Dogs have evolved from wolves, a meat-eating animal. Today’s dogs still have the teeth, digestive system, and nutritional requirements as their carnivore predecessors. So, an ideal dog food similar to their ancestral diet, that of wolves, would appear to be the best diet for a dog. The ancestral diet for a dog is 50–55% protein, 25–30% fat, and 15% carbohydrates. However, since a dog has developed the ability to eat about anything, many pet foods are produced using meat by-products and inexpensive fillers such as corn, wheat, and sorghum. They may contain less than 30% protein, 20% fat, but are high in unnecessary carbohydrates, as much as 45% in some cases. A high-carb intake can lead to an over-weight pet and cause diabetes in our dogs, as well as other health issues.
Dave also talked to us about the amount of exercise our pets need: “Summer is a great season for taking your dog on a long walk or to the local dog run. Depending on your dog’s breed, they need between 30 minutes to two hours of daily exercise for optimal health; however, the summer heat means you need to be really good about keeping your dog hydrated. It is also recommended to avoid hot concrete or asphalt, take breaks when exercising, and never leave your dog alone in a vehicle on a hot day. Patronize businesses that are dog friendly and bring them along.”
Emphasizing the importance of exercise for our pets was Dian Quist with KENL INN. “KENL INN is a AKC Fit Dog Club, and we regularly offer K-9 Cardio classes,” Dian noted. “These classes start on July 15 and include jumping, climbing, and mental and physical stimulation exercises for dogs in the comfort of our gym. We even have the occasional nature hike, weather permitting.”
Now more than ever, fitness is important for both dogs and people. The most commonly recommended exercise to improve fitness is walking. Walking is considered a safe activity that improves muscular strength, circulation, memory, weight loss, increases energy, helps with sleep, and reduces stress.
For those who haven’t heard about the AKC Fit Dog Club, it is a program where dog owners who walk a specified distance with their dogs can receive a free AKC FIT DOG car magnet. It has been a great success, and now the program has expanded to recognize AKC FIT DOG Clubs. These are local groups, like KENL INN, which meet and accomplish certain fitness goals together with their dogs! Groups that may be approved as AKC FIT DOG Clubs include: AKC clubs, independent dog training schools, and other dog-related clubs and organizations. Participation in the AKC FIT DOG program will bring health benefits to both you and your dog.
If you’re looking for a doggy day care or over-night boarding for your animal, you’ll be happy to know that KENL INN is located on 44 acres just outside of Lincoln. They are devoted to providing the best possible care for your pet.
“Our trained staff and state-of-the-art facilities ensure that your pet receives the best possible care,” Dian added. “With seven large outdoor play areas, a nature trail through the trees and down to the pond, and two indoor play areas, your pet will get the exercise it needs. Rain or shine, sleet or snow, your dog is able to socialize and play with other dogs, or nap and snuggle, but most importantly, your dog is free to just be a dog.”
Speaking of play time and enjoying the great outdoors, specifically during the summer months when pools, lakes, and sprinklers are typically a part of the fun, it’s important to stay on top of grooming your pet. The experts will tell you that shaving a dog does not make it cooler for them. Dogs who have duel coats, like Australian Shepherds, Labradors, Golden Retrievers, Huskies, etc., should not be shaved in the summer. Shaving actually puts the dog at risk for a sunburn and overheating. Hair on dogs is present for many reasons, mainly for thermal regulation. So, you might think it’d make sense to shave your dog in the summer to cool them down, but this is NOT the case.
Garrett Brehm with WOOF! Dog Care Center also pointed out how dog fur can become matted and tangled when it gets wet and dirty, so it’s important to maintain your pup’s coat with regular grooming and bathing.
“We offer grooming options for dogs of all sizes, breeds, and fur coats. From shih tzus to golden retrievers to standard poodles, there’s nothing we can’t handle!” exclaimed Garrett. “Our state-of-the-art styling equipment ensures that your dog receives the highest quality spa experience. WOOF! only uses salon products that are all-natural, healthy, and wholesome.”
“Both grooming and boarding services at WOOF! book up very quickly, particularly in the summer months, as well as around the holidays,” Garrett added. “So, when making your vacation reservations for hotel, airfare, etc., make your boarding reservation at the same time. For holidays, such as the 4th of July, we book up approximately one month in advance.”
In conclusion, make sure your pet is having as much fun as you this summer by protecting them from ticks, fleas, and other pests; ensuring they are healthy with the right diet and amount of exercise for their specific age and breed; and keeping them fresh and clean after riding the heat wave into the mud and water.