Though there were times it felt like it would never come, summertime is finally here! We’re sure your summer calendar has been filling up fast; between the birthday parties, barbecues and pool days. Let’s make sure we don’t forget about Fido!
A lot of our summer activity favorites can be our dog’s most dreaded events. Fourth of July is a great example; we want our dogs to come because we love spending time with them and they’re a part of the family. Our dogs on the other hand will be easily intimidated by the large crowds, loud noises and bright lights.
We’re here to help you prepare for those dog days of summer with a list of reminders and some fun ideas for you and your four-legged friend!
Every pup loves a pup cone! We are lucky to live in a community with not one, but THREE Briq’s Soft Serve locations! We highly recommend taking a trip to Briq’s with your canine companion this summer. They offer pup cones free of charge that are the perfect bite sized treat for your dog on a hot day with little mess! There are outdoor seating locations at each Briq’s location or you can enjoy the cold treat from the comfort of your air conditioned car in the drive-thru at the Weston and Wausau locations. What could be better than a trip to the ice cream shop with your best friend on a hot summer’s day? Briq’s knows shelter dogs love pup cones, too. They treated our adoptable Bella to a cone when she visited AND provided each one of our pups with their very own cone during a recent staff meeting. Four paws up, Briq’s!
Your dog can skip the car ride on a hot day: NEVER leave your pet unattended in a hot car. On a warm summer day temperatures inside your vehicle can rise to dangerous levels in a matter of minutes, even with windows rolled down. It’s just not worth the risk. Even leaving your vehicle running with the air conditioning on can be dangerous if your vehicle is going to be left unattended for a period of time. The following was obtained from local city ordinance (City of Wausau):
“8.08.050 Transportation of animals. No person may transport any animal in or upon any
vehicle in a cruel manner. Prima facie evidence of a violation of this section shall be that an animal
was left in or upon a vehicle for more than thirty minutes, during which period the ambient air
temperature as reported at the Wausau U.S. Flight Service Station was above seventy-five degrees
Fahrenheit, unless attended by a human being who has attained the age of ten years. (See also
section 8.08.140 of this code.) (Ord. 61-4677 ‘1(part), 1989.)”
There was also a great article recently with clarification on the Good Samaritan law that allows a person to break a car window to save a pet from a hot car. We encourage you to read that article at the following link http://fox11online.com/news/local/fox-cities/police-clarify-law-to-save-pets-in-hot-cars.
Fresh water at all times: Make sure your pet has access to fresh water at all times; whether inside or outside with you. If you’re taking a walk, even just a quick jaunt around the neighborhood, bring a bottle of water and a disposable or reusable dish for your dog. On especially hot days, add ice to your pets water whenever possible. Here at HSMC we like to fill kiddy pools for our dogs to lay or play in to keep cool. This is a great at home option for your pet, too!
Peanut butter popsicles?! Peanut butter is a great treat for your dog (as long as it doesn’t have xylitol which is toxic to dogs- always check the label!). Why not take this treat to the next level on a hot summer day? You can fill Kong toys with peanut butter (adjust accordingly for the size of your canine) and then toss them in the freezer. In no time at all, your dog has a frozen treat to enjoy that will keep him busy and entertained! You can add in banana or kibble (get creative!) for some added flavor or crunch. If your dog doesn’t like Kong toys, you can use a cookie sheet and scoop the peanut butter mixture out on a pan to freeze. Here at HSMC we like the frozen Kong method and the dogs seem to, too!
Ain’t no shame in takin’ it easy: Be sure to limit exercise on hot summer days. It’s ok to shorten your walk or not throw the tennis ball five more times. You may need to adjust your walk times to early morning or late evening hours to avoid the hot sun and pavement. Whenever possible on hot days, keep to the grass and avoid the hot pavement that can burn your dog’s paw pads. Find shaded spots to rest and avoid direct sunlight for extended periods of time. If your pet seems overheated, avoid allowing them to gulp down large amounts of water. Offer small amounts of water over a few minutes. Soak a towel in cold water and drape it over them or wet their coats and allow them to air dry.
Dog pool party?!: The Marathon Park Splash Pad hosts pool parties for dogs and their people! Dogs are able to be off leash and the money collected raises funds for safe swimming opportunities for those families that can’t afford a pool pass or swim lessons. Visit the link to learn more! http://www.ci.wausau.wi.us/Departments/Parks/OtherProgramInformation/DogGonePoolParties.aspx
Off leash parks: If your dog is up to date on vaccinations and friendly toward other dogs, you may want to take advantage of some of our local parks and their “off leash” hours. Remember to always keep your dog in sight, pick up after your dog and respect the rules of the park.
Memorial Park: 505 Memorial Park Road Wausau, WI: Off leash hours daily from 6:00am-9:00am. Dogs must be leashed when outside of the “off leash” area.
Riverside Park: 100 Sherman Street Wausau, WI: Off leash hours daily from 6:00am-9:00am and 6:00pm-9:00pm. Dogs must be leashed when outside of the “off leash” area.
Weston Dog Park: 6100 Rogan Lane Weston, WI: Nearly 4o acres fenced in for your dog to enjoy! Dogs must be leashed when outside of the “off leash” area.
Dog friendly stores: If you need to make a quick run to the store and feel the need to bring your dog along, there are many stores in our area that will welcome not only you, but your dog, too! Here’s a list of local stores that allow your dog in with you: Ace Hardware Weston, Fleet Farm, Lowe’s, Bed Bath & Beyond, Marathon Town & Country Store, Katzenbarkers, Petco and Petsmart. The best alternative on a hot day is to keep your dog in the comfort of your home, but if they must travel with you we suggest shopping at one of these fine establishments!
A trip to HSMC?: If you stop out to see us and have your pet with you, on a hot day or cold day, please let us know that your dog is in the vehicle! We have plenty of space available and can keep your dog comfortable in one of our visiting rooms while you’re here and would prefer to see your dog in here with us than out in your vehicle in the parking lot! We will also provide treats, belly rubs and fresh water free of charge!
Most important of all, let’s enjoy this summer weather together and keep an eye out for pets or people in distress.