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Tackle the Painful Piranha Teeth

by controlling puppy mouthiness

What is Matting?

Matting occurs when a dog’s hair next to the skin gets knotted, tangled in clumps masses. If un-brushed, the clump gets bigger, tighter, and closer to the body.  This can be caused by a lack of brushing, wet coats that have not been brushed out or dried properly, or a harness or collar that continually rubs against a dog’s fur. It is important your dog stays mat free as it can cause health issues like stress from licking and biting at the area, leading to general discomfort. Fleas and parasites might be hiding in their coat, which might cause sores, lesions, bruising, or discolored skin. The matted hair might also be hiding hot spots, and other skin infections. Unchecked, those areas can get bigger and spread. This could lead to the dreaded shave down.

a brown dog half way through getting a shave down

Simply put, matting is painful for your dog and brushing out established matts involves a process of pulling live hair out of the skin as healthy hair is encase in the matting. De-matting can cause increase pain and irritation, redness, and swelling.

What does it feel like to brush it out? Imagine a painful knot you’ve had to brush out of your own hair. Now imagine that you don’t understand what’s causing that pain. And to top it off, its on sensitive areas of your body like behind your ears, or in your armpits or on your chest. Yikes!

Do we need to get a shave down?

If the matting is somewhat loose and not close to the skin, it may be possible to brush through and remove some areas. This process is usually painful and stressful for most dogs. The kindest way to remove matting is the dreaded shave down, whether the matting is sparse or covers the dog. Shaving out the matting is not an easy fix! The clippers the groomers use get hot, which can cause further irritation. The matting might pull on the skin as it’s being taken off, which increases the likelihood of nicks. The best thing to do is to avoid matting in the first place, and maintain a healthy and knot free coat.

Maintain your Dog’s Coat = No Shave Down
short, manageable, & cute
Separation Anxiety Preparing Pets for Post-Quarantine Life By Erin Lovett, General Manager & Tito Rivera, Senior Behavior Counselor

According to Dr. Nick Dodman of the Tufts University Cummings School of Veterinary Medicine in Massachusetts

“Separation anxiety affects nearly 20% of the approximately 80 million pet dogs in the United States. That equates to 16 million dogs who suffer from Separation Anxiety. Older dogs are more prone to the condition. It is a devastating diagnosis leaving dogs and the parents who love them in distress.”

There are various reasons why a dog develops Separation Anxiety. Environmental factors, age, anxiety levels, genetics, physical health, and poor early coping skills between the ages of 3-12 weeks may contribute to the likelihood that  dog may develop the condition. A new factor, one of which is new for many of us, is the very abrupt work from home status since March. The issues have become so prevalent that many New Yorkers are finding themselves questioning,“how did we get here?”. In May, the New York Times put together an article discussing how to prepare to leave your dog home alone, again:

Read More: How to Prepare Your Dog to Be Left at Home Alone (Again)

Common Misconceptions

It is a common misconception that a dog will chew, destroy, or defecate because they are mad at their owners. In reality, the dog is experiencing some level of stress and is looking for a way to find relief.

Warning signs may include:

  • shadowing the owner from room to room
  • door dashing through opened doors
  • over exuberant greetings upon arrival urination or defecation
  • continuously vocalizing or destroying things in the absence of its’ owner

For others with less clear and milder symptoms, the signs may go untreated and cause daily distress for the dog.

Although there are a wide variety of symptoms that a dog with Separation Anxiety may display, the symptoms themselves resemble other factors such as: boredom, lack of mental and physical stimulation, cognitive dysfunction, noise phobias, and physical pain. Seek professional help if your dog displays any of these symptoms; separation anxiety does not resolve on its own.


In conclusion, provide your dog of any age with lots of fun things to do throughout the day. If you suspect separation anxiety, make an appointment with your vet to rule out alternative medical concerns. Then speak to your behavioral counselor to create a tailored training and management program.


By Michelle Aragon, Apprentice Behavior Counselor

In this blog we will talk about what to do with your furry friend during big family events.

The most important thing is safety. The doors will be opening and closing as you welcome in your family and friends but this is also an opportunity for your furry friend to run out the door. Pick a spot in the house that is away from the entrance, most preferably a room, and place a crate or a bed. If you do place a crate make it as comfy as possible. Put a blanket over it to make it more private for your dog. This will secure that your dog does not bolt out the door as your greet your guest.

If you do want your pets present in the festivities have them tethered so they don’t bolt out the door as it also minimizes any risk of injuries; we don’t want our happy pups tumbling people down by accident. You can also set up a baby gate to block them from reaching the opened door. We also recommend giving your pet breaks throughout the holiday gatherings. They may love to socialize but there will be a point where they just want to nap and take a break. This is where that comfort spot comes in again. You can place them in their comfort spot so they can rest and recharge.

Dogs know their family but they might get a little shy around new family or friends they have never seen. To help with introducing your dog to family or friends they have never seen have a bowl of treats in the entrance on the door. Have people grab one treat and ask for a simple sit and treat your pet. This will create a positive association with new people and will also reinforce proper greetings. No one knows your dog better than you do, so if they are noise sensitive give each guest a heads up so they can approach your puppy in a quiet and calm way.

Always know what makes your dog uncomfortable. Any sudden movements from a person can spook your pooch, kids screaming, high pitch hello’s, loud clattering, deep voices, tall people, it can be anything small or big. Giving your pet a break throughout the festivities will help them enjoy the day more. Have their first greeting with a new member a positive one and remember to have your pet in a safe, secure spot while your guest come in. Micro-chipping and having the proper identifications is always highly recommended.

We hope these tips help you during all the holidays throughout the year. Have a great holiday and a very happy new year!


Guide Dog Month

By Kristin Sells, Senior Behavior Counselor – CPDT-KA

September is international Guide Dog Month! It is only proper that we write a post in honor of these dogs and their faithful service.

Many handlers will refer to these special dogs as their eyes. I have personally had the privilege of raising five of these dogs, and I am currently raising a black Labrador Retriever for the Guide Dog Foundation for the Blind in Smithtown, NY.

While there are multiple organizations in the United States that provide these dogs to the visually impaired, they all are very similar in the methods used to train and prepare the dogs they breed for their very important jobs. Much research goes into the process of preparing dogs for Guide and Service dog work, with regards to both breeding and training. This article will be referencing the Guide Dog Foundation for the Blind. The Guide Dog Foundation breeds and trains Guide Dogs, and provides them free of charge to people who are visually impaired. Its sister organization, America’s VetDogs, provides service dogs for Veterans and first responders. They are non-profit and rely completely on the generosity of the public.

When a dog returns to the Guide Dog Foundation for formal training, it has already been preparing for this moment the entire first year of its life. The journey of a Guide Dog puppy starts well before they are even born! Their parents are carefully chosen from breeding stock produced by the Foundation that are temperament tested as well as thoroughly health tested to ensure they are the cream of the crop. These dogs are mostly Labrador Retrievers, Golden Retrievers, Labrador/Golden Retriever crosses, and Standard Poodles. Much research has gone into the breeds of dog used for service dog work. German Shepherds are another breed used frequently. Which breeds are used entirely depends on the specific Guide Dog School.

Breeder dogs live with families, typically the family who raised them, and have great lives, only being called upon when their services are needed.  I am the proud raiser of a Golden Retriever breeder dog named Levi. He has sired two litters which produced 14 healthy and happy puppies, who will soon begin their formal training as guide dogs and service dogs.

While some Guide Dog puppies are raised and trained then used for breeding purposes, most are on the path to becoming Guide or Service dogs. But who do these dogs live with during their first year? At roughly 8 weeks of age, puppies are ready to go out to their puppy raisers. They have been introduced to many things at their young age, such as different surfaces and sounds in order to prepare them for life as a service dog. A puppy raiser is the term used for the people who open up their home and heart to raise these dogs for the first year of their lives. Dogs are usually returned for formal service dog training with a qualified instructor once they are 14-16 months old. The success rate is approximately 50%. If it is determined that a dog does not want to become a service dog and would rather be a pet, they are offered back to their puppy raiser, or placed on the school’s adoption list. Dogs are never forced to work, If you see a working Guide or Service Dog, they truly do love their job. Finding homes for a released Guide Dog puppy is never a challenge. They are extremely well behaved, housebroken, and crate trained. However, they do not come this way! Although these dogs are very well behaved and have excellent dispositions, they do not come potty trained or crate trained, and are just beginning to learn basic obedience when they reach their raiser. It is the raisers job to teach them under the helpful guidance of the Foundation’s puppy advisers, who are employed to help puppy raisers with any issues that arise during this process.

Puppy raisers socialize the dog in every situation possible, in order to ensure that the dog will be able to work with distractions when it goes in for formal training. They also carefully expose the pups to anything that may elicit fear, for example a loud subway station with multiple tracks. Raisers take their dogs to restaurants, movie theaters, malls, and on many different forms of public transportation. Some puppies even accompany the raiser to work! They are all given a “future assistance dog vest” that lets the public know that this is a special dog, with an important calling. Under NY State law, puppy raisers are not granted public access with puppies in training, but are generally allowed the right of passage because of their bright yellow “future assistance dog” vest.  They attend bi-weekly classes with other puppy raisers in their region in order to make sure the dogs are where they should be in their training and socialization process. A lot goes into preparing a future guide/service dog for “college” which many puppy raisers say when they refer to when they send their dog back to the Foundation for formal training, where they work with licensed service dog trainers who prepare them to aid a disabled individual.  It is both a sad time, and a time of celebration. Having raised five puppies in the NYC area, I can undoubtedly say that the number one question I am asked is “how do you give the dog back? I could never do that”.  My reply is always the same “Yes you could. Become a puppy raiser and you’ll see why”.

I’ve done some pretty awesome things in my life. Two time CUNY Women’s Basketball Champion at Baruch college, graduating from US Army Basic training and Army Medic school were all pretty big accomplishments for me. However, at the absolute top of my list, is seeing my Guide Dog puppy “Sarah” with her new handler. As well as my puppy “Dave” who decided the Guide Dog life was not for him, become an incredible pet and therapy dog to one of my best friends. The pride and love I have in these dogs I imagine is unfathomable to anyone that has not experienced this. We put our heart into raising these silly puppies who turn into magnificent adult dogs, who I’ve been told first hand “He saved my life. I would not be here today if it wasn’t for him”.

So, with that being said, if you do not have the time or cannot commit to raise a puppy for the Guide Dog Foundation, I will ask you to please support their mission with a donation, no matter how big or small. It would mean the world to me and you’d be helping a wonderful cause. If you are interested in raising a puppy, or making a donation, please go to or call (631) 930-9000. If you want to learn more about service dogs, please contact [email protected].



Biscuits and Bath offers training classes, private lessons, train-and-play sessions, and home phone consultations with our trainers. Ask about what is best for you and your dog!


Resource Guarding

By Tito Rivera, Senior Behavior Counselor – IACP

Hello and welcome to another blog brought to you by the Biscuits & Bath training team. Today we are going to discuss about resource guarding. We are going to talk about what it is, what may cause it and ways to help prevent it.

Resource guarding is a normal canine behavior and is often misunderstood as aggression. Resource guarding can occur with objects, people, food and small spaces (guarding a large space such as a yard is a territorial display, this is related to but not the same as a resource guarder). Resource guarding can stem from several factors including shortage of food, competition for food, having items constantly taken from them, or something the dog may see as vital to his survival (even if it isn’t, the key factor is that the dog thinks it is vital to him/her).  Dogs will also display resource guarding in two main ways, the first is a more defensive stand where the dog will only react if you come very close to the resource, the second is a more overt display of aggression. Both of these displays stem from insecurity more often than not. Now that we have identified our problem how do we correct it?

After establishing a baseline, we can think about what we’ll need for our training. We’ll need a motivation (usually kibble), the trigger object (for our purposes we’ll use a food bowl), and a leash may be helpful. You’ll want to start with your dog’s EMPTY bowl on the ground with you standing next to it. Allow your dog to come over and check things out. Once your pup looks up at you after realizing the bowl is empty you can praise him/her and put a couple of pieces of kibble in the bowl. Each time your dog eats the food and looks up at you repeat the process. You should do this over the course of a week or two, adding more food per handful each time. The goal here is that after a week or two you should be able to stand near your dog’s bowl without problem. The next step will be to repeat the empty bowl set up, however this time you will be moving past the empty bowl and reward each time your dog looks up and appears relaxed with you moving near the bowl. Always remember to place all food rewards in the bowl during this exercise.

This is a basic example of working with resource guarding and is recommended to be used with pups or dogs that are in the early stages of displaying this behavior. If your dog is exhibiting more extreme guarding behaviors such as advancing or attempting to make physical contact then consult one of the behavior counselors in our training department immediately before proceeding. Take your time with training as solid results are more important than quick results. Until next time take your time and have fun training!

Biscuits and Bath offers training classes, private lessons, train-and-play sessions, and home phone consultations with our trainers. Ask about what is best for you and your dog!


Separation Anxiety

By Tricia Del Sorbo, Senior Behavior Counselor – CPDT-KA

“Hi my name is Rocky. I love long walks and playtime with my friends at Biscuits & Bath. Most of all, I love my mom. In the morning, I wake her up by licking her feet. Then she gives me my breakfast and we go for a walk. I love walks! When we come back inside she takes a shower. I don’t like this because she closes the door and I can’t see her. Then she puts her makeup on.  I really do not like when she puts her makeup on because after she puts her makeup on, she goes outside alone. When she goes outside alone, then I’m left all alone.  I don’t know if she’s forgotten me or if she’s gone forever. I yell for her to come back but she does not hear me. My heart starts to race, I pace and shake but she still does not come back.  I panic so I chew on the couch. Sometimes I even wet myself because I am so worried. I hate it when I cannot see her. My effort pays off though. After 8 hours of yelling for her she comes back.” -Rocky

“Hi my name is Jennifer. My dog Rocky has been destroying my home and peeing out of spite. He barks so much my neighbors are complaining. I am at risk of being evicted from my apartment. He is an angel when I am with him. I do not know what to do.” -Jennifer

According to Dr. Nick Dodman of the Tufts University Cummings School of Veterinary Medicine in Massachusetts, separation anxiety affects nearly 20% of the approximately 80 million pet dogs in the United States. That equates to 16 million dogs who suffer from Separation Anxiety. Older dogs are much more prone to the condition. It is a devastating diagnosis leaving dogs and the parents who love them in distress.

There are various reasons why a dog develops Separation Anxiety. Environmental factors, age, anxiety levels, genetics, physical health and poor early coping skills between the age of 3-12 weeks may contribute to the likelihood that a dog may develop the condition. Sometimes separation anxiety may develop in the same way as Post Traumatic Stress Disorder in which a single scary experience causes a lifetime of stress. For dogs who have been moved around from household to household or from family to family may develop attachment issues and panic when left alone.

Separation Anxiety is a medical condition that should be diagnosed by your vet in close communication with your behavior counselor. Often, dogs with separation anxiety will require both medication and training. Some dogs may experience psychogenic anorexia, which makes them so nervous that they refuse to eat in the absence of their owner. Other dogs may be so anxious that they injure themselves in panic or even self-mutilate by chewing their paws, legs, rump or tail.

It is a common misconception that a dog will chew, destroy, or defecate because they are mad at their owners. In reality, the dog is experiencing some level of stress and is looking for a way to find relief.  Luckily, we now have the technology to help us in these situations. If you suspect your dog may be anxious when they are home alone, set up a camera to monitor their behavior. Symptoms of Separation Anxiety vary from dog to dog. Warning signs may include shadowing the owner from room to room, door dashing through opened doors, hyper-arousal and over exuberant greetings upon arrival. For some people, the signs of Separation Anxiety are clear. The dog may try to escape, self-mutilate, urinate or defecate, continuously vocalize or destroy things in the absence of its owner. For others, the signs may not be as clear and milder symptoms may go untreated and cause daily distress for the dog.

Although there is a wide variety of symptoms that a dog with Separation Anxiety may display, the symptoms themselves resemble other factors. Boredom, lack of mental and physical stimulation, cognitive dysfunction, noise phobias and physical pain can also manifest in ways that may seem similar to Separation Anxiety. Seek professional help if your dog displays any of these symptoms.

According to Malena DeMartini, the leader in setting the road map for treating separation anxiety says: “An SA dog’s body is flooded with stress-inducing chemicals each time he’s left alone. The experience of daily panic and fear begins to make him hyper vigilant, constantly watching his owner for signs she may be leaving.”  “This constant state of mild stress punctuated by the panic brought on by actual absences contributes to a devastating cycle of stress chemical production that makes it impossible for a dog to learn to feel safe while alone without training intervention.”

Separation Anxiety does not resolve on its own. Early prevention is key. Start alone training as soon as you get your puppy. Keep them in a safe place and create a routine of leaving them alone for at least 30 minutes a day, not to exceed 4 hours. Play calming music for your pup while you are away to break the sound of silence. Through A Dog’s Ear is a composition of music aimed at calming your dog’s brain. Keep your comings and goings low key. In some cases, the dog starts by looking forward to the explosion of attention and endorphin when you return. The anticipation of your arrival may cause anxiety when the anticipation is prolonged for too long. There is no need to say goodbye when you leave. In fact, for a dog that is anxious when you leave, it may become a signal to the dog that they are about to experience a lot of stress. Some dogs may display aggressive behaviors simply upon hearing the word “goodbye”.  When you return, ignore your dog for a few minutes until they are calm.

In conclusion, provide your dog of any age with lots of fun things to do throughout the day and if you suspect separation anxiety, make an appointment with your vet to rule out alternative medical concerns then speak to your behavioral counselor to create a tailored training and management program.

Biscuits and Bath offers training classes, private lessons, train-and-play sessions, and home phone consultations with our trainers. Ask about what is best for you and your dog!


Keeping Your Dog Safe During Fireworks

By Michelle Aragon, Apprentice Behavior Counselor

Hello and welcome to another B&B blog! Today we will be discussing about the fireworks during the Fourth of July and how to keep your dog safe and secure. During this holiday, we see a 30-60% increase in lost pets across the country and only 14% return home. To avoid such a tragedy, we will explain the methods you can use to soothe your pet during this loud event and precautions you can take to prevent this from happening.

We must always remember that dogs experience the world by using their senses so noises will be louder and smells will be stronger.  With that in mind, dogs will hear the fireworks louder than we experience them while the smell of gunpowder will be stronger and the dogs will have no idea what is going on around them on top of that. During all that confusion and terror, a dog’s instinct is to run far away from whatever the noises are which is why we recommend keeping your pets indoors during the Fourth of July (and New Year’s) fireworks. That does not guarantee that your dog will not freak out. To make them feel safer, it is best to have a “safe spot” at home, a place where your dog can run to when they feel they are in danger (this could be a crate covered with a blanket). Make sure escape routes are accounted for. Close the doors and windows securely as well as the blinds if you are able to see the fireworks. Play some relaxing music so the fireworks won’t be too loud. Engaging your dog in play or even doing a quick training session may help get your dog’s mind off the fireworks. Think of this as celebrating the Fourth of July with your dog minus the scary loud noises! If your dog is a yard dog we recommend keeping them indoors. Out of panic, your dog will try to climb fences or gates and might get injured. Better to be safe than sorry!

If you want to help your dog to overcome their fear of fireworks we recommend planning ahead. Months of training has to be put in in order to desensitize your dog from fireworks. It is never a good idea to just put your dog in the situation from jump. Start at home and play firework noises from your phone, computer, or tablet. Begin with a low volume and increase slowly as you progress. Remember to have that “safe spot” available to your dog – we don’t want to rush them. Treat and praise them when they react positively to the noises.

Safety must always be a priority! Remember to check and confirm that your dog’s I.D tags, harness/collar, and leash are in good condition and fit properly. Making sure your pet has the proper identification is essential. Micro-chipping is highly suggested, especially in NYC!

If you are uncomfortable or unsure of putting your dog through any situation then it is best not to. Be safe and have fun!

Biscuits and Bath offers training classes, private lessons, train-and-play sessions, and home phone consultations with our trainers. Ask about what is best for you and your dog!


Senior Wellness Tips

By Casey Kantarian, Senior Behavior Counselor

It’s another joyful blog to help continue to foster the desirable connection and communication with you and your dog for as long as you can! “Dogs’ lives are too short. Their only fault, really”- Agnes Sligh Turnbull.

During today’s blog we will discuss ways to keep your dog healthy and living as long as possible! As dogs grow older, they start to have less energy, greater risk of health and mental problems and fragile joints just like humans do. It is very important that as your dog becomes a senior dog, to visit the vet for a check-up twice a year instead of the typical once a year. Catching an early sign of health problems is very beneficial in the quality of life for your dog.


Tips to improve your senior dog’s quality of life:


Mental Stimulation

Mental stimulation keeps the mind active, prevents muscle fatigue and reduces pain. Dogs of any age could benefit from mental stimulation games. In the human world, this is similar to doing crossword puzzles, word games, and yoga.

Have your dog isolate his/hers paws and balance on a balancing disc, fit bone or fit paws. Dogs of any age can increase their mental stimulation by using one or all three exercises. These exercises not only provide mental stimulation but also help build confidence in your dog. Additionally, they can help to reduce the risk of injury to your dog’s fragile bones.

Teach your dog to put his/her front paws up on one of the three items. To set your dog up for success, it is easiest to start with the balancing disc, then the fit paws, and lastly the fit bone. Lure your dog with a treat or their favorite toy onto one of the items and reward them for putting their front paws up. First one, then two paws. Once they understand this game, ask your dog to isolate his paws (learn rear end awareness). Then ask your dog to do the same thing, except with her/his back paws. Think about balancing on a small item that moves. This is working your mind, and abs all at the same time!

Dog’s move like cars. The front paws steer the body and the back paws are just in it for the ride. Ask your dog to put his front paws up on one of the objects and then step around it with her/his back paws. Before you try one of the three equipment products, consult with your vet to make sure it is safe for your dog’s joints.

Ever wonder if you can teach an old dog a new trick? Meet our trainers and start with some nose work activities and puzzle games. If your dog is slowly losing their eye sight due to old age, this is a great game to build your dog’s confidence, stimulate their mind and keep them active. First, let your dog watch you hide a treat in your hand or in a small container with holes. Once they paw at it, reward them with treats. Then start hiding the same container under a blanket or under furniture. It teaches your old dog a new trick, builds confidence, stimulates the mind and teaches them to use their sense of smell.



It is important to maintain consistent exercise. Just because your older loves her/his nap time, does not mean they can skip out on daily walks. Lower the risk of your dog from diabetes, becoming overweight or  having hip and joint problems. Multiple short walks for about 10-20 minutes makes it easy to get your dog out and the blood flowing.


Water Therapy

Does your dog have a hard time walking? Is your dog in pain? Water therapy exercises the brain, body and blood flow. For dog’s, this is very similar to water aerobics for humans.

Even if your dog is the healthiest dog, water therapy is a great preventative measure to ensure your dog’s muscles and joints stay healthy and strong. Water Therapy is especially helpful for dogs who recently had surgery and dogs suffering from arthritis.

Where in NYC can your dog do Water Therapy? As an expert team of trainers, we recommend Water4dogs located in the Tribeca area. Along with water therapy, they offer other services to help ease the pain of arthritis and hip disease.


Biscuits and Bath offers training classes, private lessons, train-and-play sessions, and home phone consultations with our trainers. Whether you have a puppy, teenage, adult or senior dog, ask our trainers how to prevent injury, stimulate the mind, maintain weight, and build confidence. Our on-site vet partners, NY Vet Practice, are also available to consult on joint and muscle pain/fatigue.


Summer Protection

By Tricia Del Sorbo, Senior Behavior Counselor – CPDT-KA

Cheers! With the weather warming up you are probably looking for ways to spend time with your furry friends outdoors. In this blog, we will talk about ways to keep them safe as we enjoy their company and the summer heat. If we are knowledgeable about the dangers, we can put worry aside and have some fun!

One of the main dangers to watch out for is Heat Stroke 

What is Heat Stroke?

Heat stroke is when a dog is not able to keep its body temperature within a safe range of 101–102.5 degrees. Unlike humans, dogs cool themselves through panting and can only sweat through their paws. Moderate heat stroke (104-106 degrees) can be regulated by a veterinarian within an hour if given treatment and first aid. Severe heat stroke (106 degrees or higher) can be deadly.

There are many products on the market today to help avoid overheating. Cooling vests are helpful for long walks and cooling mats are a great cool place for your dog to lay. Try a cooling mat next time you are eating at an outdoor café! For those strap-hangers, like myself, find a cooling mat for the interior of your carrier. It can go a long way in the heat of the subway platform.

Note: cooling aids are not a substitute for water and only provided limited relief. Offer your pup water at every given opportunity and keep them out of direct sunlight/heat for a prolonged period of time.

Symptoms of heat stroke:

  • Sweaty, hot paws.
  • Rapid Panting
  • Bright red tongue
  • Red or pale gums
  • Weakness
  • Dizziness
  • Diarrhea
  • Vomiting
  • Depression
  • Coma
  • Shock
  • Thick or sticky saliva

What should you do if you suspect heat stroke?

If you suspect even mild heat stroke, remove the dog from heat and provide a cool space for them to lie. Pour cool (not cold) water over them and provide a fan if possible. Consider a vet check up to rule out long term damage.

During days that are particularly hot, leave the AC on to ensure the temperature in your home is regulated while you are away. Always provide your pup with water, limit vigorous activity and play in heat, and keep your dogs indoors during the hottest times of the day. Remember, if it is too hot for you, it is too hot for them and they cannot take off their coats.

Trick: Always carry a 4oz travel bottle of water. Use it to wet a cloth (or anything absorbent) and place the cloth over the head, neck and ears. If you are carrying a cold beverage, the condensation can be used to wet a napkin.

Training Tip: Get your dog accustomed to having water gently poured over their back, ears and paws.

Hot pavement

Hot pavement is not something we often think about. Our feet are protected by our shoes but our dogs’ are not. Pavement, asphalt and metal can reach blistering temperatures, especially in direct sunlight. This can cause serious burns to the pads of your dog’s paws, resulting in pain, possible negative associations, high vet bills, and lengthy recovery periods.

If you want to make sure the pavement is cool enough for your dog to walk on, place the back of your hand on the pavement. If you can keep it there for 5 seconds, it is cool enough for your dog to walk on. The same rules apply here: If it is too hot for you, it is too hot for your pup. Metal will heat up much faster than pavement so consider avoiding walking your dogs over metal plates in the road or metal grates on the sidewalk. On very hot days, try putting cooling booties on your dog. This can provide the extra protection they need.

Trick: Walk your dogs in shadowed or shady areas of the sidewalk. Carry them over metal or tar. Walk quickly.

Training Tip: Teach your dog to accept paw handling and booties.


Most of us know about how dangerous cars can be for dogs because of how quickly they heat up.  We do not recommend leaving your dog unattended in a car for any length of time. For those owners with separation anxiety dogs; forgo the trip and reschedule until you have a sitter or can drop off at daycare. It is not worth risking your dog’s life.

On car rides, remember to buckle up your furry friend just like yourself.  This is for their protection and yours! A loose dog is a likely distraction to the driver. There are numerous harnesses, buckles and carriers that will secure your pup during travel time. Never secure your pup by the collar on long rides.

Pools/large bodies of water

Although pools can be a lot of fun and a great way for you and your dog to stay cool in the heat, they can also be dangerous. In some cases, dogs who have jumped or fallen into a pool, do not know how to get out. They can end up swimming until exhausted.

When introducing your dog to a pool, the first thing to do is teach them how to exit the pool on their own.

Of course, prevention and management is key to safety. Keep all gates around the pool closed and make sure to monitor your dogs when they are loose around a body of water.


Trick: Have your dog enter the pool the same way they should exit. Build an exit if one does not exist. Make a game of getting out of the pool.

Training Tip: Make sure to spend the time familiarizing them with their exit. Use food or toy rewards.




Sometimes when dogs are excited or stressed, they can forget or refuse to drink water. Dehydration is a particular concern in the summer, not just because of the heat, but because we’re all having too much fun for water breaks!

Some symptoms of dehydration include:

  • Diarrhea
  • Vomiting
  • Dry mouth, gums or tongue
  • Sunken eyes
  • Heavy panting
  • Behavioral changes, including lethargy, sullenness
  • Loss of balance
  • Lack of desire to eat or drink.

One quick way to check for dehydration is skin elasticity. You can check your dog’s skin elasticity by lifting the skin between the dog’s shoulder blades. If the skin does not return to its original position after 3 seconds, your dog may be dehydrated.

Another way to test is to slightly press down on your dog’s gums. The capillaries should refill quickly turning from white back to the original pink color. Again, if this takes longer than three seconds, your dog may be dehydrated.

There are many versions of the collapsible/travel water bowls on the market. Find the one that best suits you and your pup.

Trick: Allow them to lick the condensation off your cold cup/glass. If you have a beverage that contains ice, clean the ice and offer it to your pup (yes, clean means suck on the ice first).

Training tip: Teach your dog to drink water out of your hand, a glass, a poop bag, a bottle or bottle cap or even using a straw.


Ticks are projected to be in dangerously high numbers this season. Ticks can spread Lyme disease and other nasty illnesses.

  • Use a monthly tick prevention
  • Vaccinate for Lyme
  • Use tick collars for extra safety
  • Keep your dogs away from tall grass
  • Complete a tick check after every romp in the grass
  • Learn how to remove a tick properly
  • Speak to your vet about Lyme disease if you find a tick on your friend

Trick: prevention, prevention, prevention. Check your pup everyday if he/she plays in grassy areas. A tick comb or brush can help.   

Training tip: teach your dog to allow handling in between toes, ears, groin, tail and tummy. This is especially important to teach before the age of 12 weeks while your puppy is in its’ socialization stage. Older dogs can learn this too but it will take more patience on the part of the handler.

Enjoy your summer. Enjoy your best friend. Stay Safe!

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