Caring for Pets, Dogs, in the Summer

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Summer Pet Care 1

Summer Pet care

I’s all about our pets and we have some tips and advice for the dog and a bit about cats to keep them safe this summer.

My daughter-in-law Ashley, who has worked as a veterinarian tech, and LOVES animals, was so kind to prepare this article for us. Thanks Ash!

   Updated with even more very useful information.  Please check with your veterinarian about any questions concerning this post.

 Summer Pet Care

4th of July Pet Safety

More pets are lost on July 4th than on any other day. Here are some tips to help keep your pet safe:

  • Be sure your pet is wearing an up-to-date ID tag on its collar at all times.
  • Take a current photo of your pet, just in case you need to locate your animal.
  • Exercise your dog early in the day before the celebrations and parties begin. This will cause the dog to be tired, calm and easier to relax during the noise and commotion that comes with this holiday.
  • Keep fireworks and sparklers away from all pets!!!
  • During cookouts, ask guests to play with pets away from bbq flames.

If your pet is afraid of loud noises:

  • Play a cd or the radio with soft music to drown out the sounds of the fireworks
  • If possible, keep the pet in the basement where the noises cannot penetrate the area as well.
  • Ask your veterinarian for a tranquilizer to help calm your pet if it is severely anxious.
  • Give your pet distractions, such as a frozen treat or chew bone.


Tips and Suggestions

Pets can easily get over heated, some breeds more susceptible to heat related problems such as very thick coated cats and dogs (ex: Akitas & Malamutes – long haired cats & dogs) and those with flat faces (boxers, pugs, Persian cats).

  • Leaving a pet in a car during the heat, even with the windows cracked can be dangerous. Even when it is 70-80 degrees outside, it can quickly rise to 100 degrees in the vehicle. Leaving a pet in a car, even for a few minutes can be dangerous for the animal.
  • Use caution when taking your dog while exercising because it is closer to the ground and will get heated much more quickly then you will.
  • To help with the heat, if you have a thick coated pet, trimming its coat will help. However, avoid going to short as the layers in their coat protect them from heat and sunburn.
  • When using bug spray for pets, do not use anything with DEET in it. There are all natural ones, like Burt’s Bee’s (which is what I use for my pups) and some made specially for pets, found at most pet store.
  • For sun screen, find one that does NOT contain Zinc Oxide, it is toxic to animals. Baby Sun screens, and animal specific usually do not have Zinc Oxide.
  • It’s not a good idea to shave your pets hair very short. The hair acts like a barrier to protect again the Sun’s rays. Try thinning your pets hair, by brushing with a hair thinning brush like the Furminato
  • Heart Worms have been an increasing issue passed along to dogs by mosquitoes. Ask your vet for more information and preventative measures
  • When using insecticides and pesticides make sure these are safe for use around pets; otherwise they can be lethal to animals.
  • Check often to make sure your pet has plenty of clean water. When traveling with your pet there are many options for water such as special water bottles to spill-proof water bowls.
  • To cool down your pup of any age, put cool water in a small wading pool and be sure to keep enough water for the dog.
  • When is hot too hot?

IMG_66196259441554_resized (3)

How to tell if your pet is suffering from heat stroke:

Early stages:

  • Heavy panting
  • Rapid breathing
  • Excessive breathing
  • Bright red gums & tongue
  • Hard time keeping balance
  • If your pet has these symptoms and you cannot cool down your pet and advanced signs of heat stroke begin to become apparent, immediately go to the veterinarian.

Advanced stages:

  • White or blue gums
  • Lethargic and unwilling to move
  • Uncontrollable urination or defecation
  • Labored, noisy breathing
  • Shock

If your dog or cat shows any of the signs above, immediately try to cool them down by:

  • Apply rubbing alcohol to paws
  • Apply ice packs to groin area
  • Pour cool water on them
  • Give it ice chips and small amounts of water
  • Offer Pedialyte to restore electrolytes

***One way to tell if an animal is dehydrating is to pinch the skin on the back of its neck and pull up and let go. If it snaps back into place your pet is fine. If it is slow to go back in place, your pet is dehydrating. If the skin does not go back down, or takes a long time, your pet is severely dehydrated and should be taken to a veterinarian immediately.

If you happen to see a pet left in a car when it is hot outside options are:

  • Take note of the vehicle’s make, model and license plate. Ask the store manager or security
  • Help you locate the owner of the car.
  • In many states it is against the law to leave an animal in a hot car. If you live in an area with this law, call animal control or law enforcement.
  • Keep an eye on the pet in the vehicle until help or the owner arrives.

Traveling with pets:

  • Take plenty of water while traveling or hiking.
  • Pack ‘poop’ bags and use them. Be a responsible pet owner.
  • Do your homework and make sure that the location you want to take your pet is a pet-friendly place. Most hiking trails require that your dog is on a leash.
  • A retractable leash allows your dog plenty of room to play, while allowing a tight rein when needed.
  • Take along a dog toy, that way if you wear out before the dog does, you can sit, throw the toy for them to fetch.
  • If hiking or going to a lake, your dog will most likely be very dirty or wet; pack towels to cover your seats for the ride home.
  • If you take your dog on a hike or in the open, there is the potential for an encounter with a rodent or wild animal which could pose potential threat of disease such as rabies. Make sure your pet is up to date on its vaccines.
  • There is a vaccine to help protect against rattle snake venom. It does not stop the venom, but slows it down enough that you have more time to get your pet into the vet.

Taking your dog to the park:

  • Treat this activity with your dog, just as you would a child and do not take eyes off them. Though you may know the temperament of your own pet, you do not know that of other dogs.
  • Make sure your dog is healthy and up to date on vaccines. It only takes one sick puppy for others to catch it. For instance Parvo is a highly contagious and deadly disease that can easily be spread throughout the dog community. It mostly affects young puppies and unvaccinated dogs. It is wise to avoid places like dog parks and pet shops until your dog has been vaccinated at least twice for the Parvo disease. Parvo can live in the soil for many years, making it an easy disease to spread from dog to dog.
  • Please clean up after your dog!!! Keep ‘poop’ bags in your car or with you if walking.
  • Many weeds can also harm your dog, such as fox tails which imbed themselves in a dogs ears, eyes, armpits and toes. Ask your veterinarian which plants and weeds to be cautious of in your area and what to look for if your pet is exposed.

 The Yellow Dog Project

If you own a dog that ‘needs their own space’ while out with other dogs, The Yellow Dog Project is the solution! The concept is this: if you see a dog with a yellow ribbon tied to its leash or collar this signals to give the dog space and not to approach the animal.

Possible reasons a dog needs space:

  • Health issues
  • Elderly
  • Dog in training
  • Animal in rehabilitation from surgery
  • Dog is frightened/aggressive toward other dogs or certain types of people (example: children)

Copyright Carrie Groneman, A Mother’s Shadow, 2019

Recognize a blessing and be a blessing today.

Games While Waiting

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July brings parades, fireworks and so many fun activities for the family and friends.    The difficult part can be waiting for the event to begin for EVERY one.    I have the solutions for you that will entertain ALL  ages.    

First up:  Keeping little ones busy can be a challenge. 

Here are a few ideas  for the youngsters: – Count the people – How many ___ can you see, such as birds, things that are yellow, etc. – KidsActivity Blog has generously shared their FREE Printables for kids on an easy level as well as advanced.  Click HERE to easily print them off.

Here’s for All who are fidgeting and impatient while waiting:

– Click HERE for a REALLY fun game called ‘100’ that we enjoy is sharing some games that are easy to play, transportable and sure to keep kids of all ages entertained because who likes to wait!  Thank you!



An easy game for young children as soon as they can recognize the number of spots on dice and can count to twelve.

It is a useful game to help children as they learn these skills.

Age: All ages No. of players: 2 to 4

Equipment: Two dice Time: 5 minutes+

Aim: To be the first player to throw all the numbers from 1 to 12 in order.

1. Players throw the dice, the player with the lowest total going first.

2. Player One throws both dice, hoping to throw a ‘1’. Players take it in turns (in a clockwise direction) looking to throw a ‘1’.

3. On the next round, any player who did not throw a ‘1’ in the first round will try again this round, while those players who did throw a ‘1’ will try to throw a ‘2’. They can either throw a ‘2’ or they could throw two ‘1s’.

4. Play continues round by round with players trying to throw all the numbers from 1 to 12 in sequence. They can count the spots on just one die or on both dice added together. For example, throwing a ‘2’ and a ‘5’ could be counted as ‘2’, ‘5’ or ‘7’. 5. The first player to go Round the Clock (throw all the numbers from 1 to 12 in order) wins the game. Variation: A player can keep throwing the dice during their turn until they fail to get the number they are trying for.  


An easy dice game that is suitable for young children. Although it is very simple, it is still exciting and requires nerve and daring to win. An adult or older child may need to explain the rules and oversee the game. Age: All ages (as soon as a child can recognize numbers and count)

No. of players: 2 or more

Equipment: One die (Note: the plural of die is dice);

Pen and paper for scoring (if necessary)

Time: 5 minutes+

Aim: To be the first player to reach 50 points.

1. Players throw the die. The lowest number goes first (If two or more players score the same lowest number, they throw again.)

2. Player One can throw the die as often as they like and add the number shown to their score each throw. However, if they throw a ‘1’, their score for that round is wiped out and the dice is passed to the next player. The longer a player continues throwing the die, the higher their score for that round, but there is always the risk of losing that round’s score! A player can choose to end their turn at any time and keeps their points. Players take it in turns, in a clockwise direction.

3. Each player keeps a record of their score for each round. The first player whose total score is 50 points or more wins the game. So why does the game have its name? To win, don’t be too greedy and act like a pig!  

Drop Dead

This is a simple dice game for adults and older children, although younger children can also play with an adult to supervise and score.

Age: All ages (with adult supervision)

No. of players: 2 or more

Equipment: Five dice;

Pen and paper for scoring Time: 5 minutes+


1. To have the highest score at the end of the game. Each player throws one die to determine who goes first (dice is the plural of die). Lowest number throws first. Play continues in a clockwise direction.

2. Player One throws all five dice. If any of the dice show a ‘2’ or a ‘5’, those dice are removed and no score is recorded. If no ‘2’s or ‘5’s appear, score the total number shown. Player One continues throwing any remaining dice, removing ‘2’s and ‘5’s and scoring any rounds with no ‘2’s or ‘5’s until all the dice have been removed and the player “drops dead”.

3. Player Two then has a turn until they too drop dead, and so on for each of the other players.

4. The player with the highest score when the last player has been eliminated wins the game. Variation: The game can be played with only one die if you don’t have five dice. A score card is used, with each player’s name, running score and the number of dice they have left (starting at five). Players take it in turns to throw the die once. If it is a ‘2’ or a ‘5’, their number of dice is reduced on their score card; otherwise their score increases by the number shown. When a player’s number of dice reaches zero, they are eliminated. The player with the highest score when the last player has been eliminated wins the game.  


Go Fish

This card game (also known simply as Fish) is a simple kids card game which young children love. Children sit around a table. An adult or older child needs to shuffle and deal the cards, and oversee the game.

Age: 3+ (as soon as a child can recognize written numbers and letters)

No. of players: 2 or more (2-5 is good)

Equipment: One standard deck of cards (remove the jokers)

Time: 10 minutes+


The aim of Go Fish card game is to be the first player to place all their cards on the table in sets of four.

1. The deck of cards is shuffled and dealt so that each player receives either seven cards (for 2-3 players) or five cards (for 4+ players). The rest of the deck is placed face down in a pile (known as the fishpond) in the center of the table.

2. Players look at their cards and try to make a set of four matching cards, each with the same number or letter. For example, Player One may have the following cards in their hand. 4♣ K♠ 10♥ 5♣ 5♦ They could try to collect a set of ‘fives’ by looking for the two missing ‘fives’ cards; 5♠ and 5♥ .

 3. Player One then asks any other player if they have a ‘fives’ If they do, that player hands the ‘fives’ to Player One, who can then ask again (to either the same player or another player) for a ‘fives’ If another player does not have a ‘fives’ they say “Go Fish” and Player One takes a card from the fishpond and puts it with the rest of their hand. Players may end up with many more cards than they started with.

4. The player to the left of Player One then has a turn asking for a card from any player, and so on.

5. When a player has a set of four cards (for example, 5♣ 5♦ 5♠ 5♥ ), they put it face up in front of themselves.

6. Hint: Players should listen to the cards other players ask for. This may give them a clue when it’s their turn to ask for a card.

7. Play continues until; (i) one player gets rid of all their cards, or (ii) the fishpond is exhausted, or (iii) a certain time limit is reached.

8. The winner is the player with the most sets of four cards.  


The card game is a simple and enjoyable game for children of all ages.

Age: All ages

No. of Players: 2 players

Equipment: Standard deck of 52 cards (no jokers)

Time: 10+ minutes

Aim: To be the first player to win three wars.

1. The deck is well shuffled and all the cards are dealt (face down) equally.

2. One player turns over their top card and puts it on the table face up between the players. The other player then turns over their top card and places it face up on the first card.

3. The player who put down the highest card (with Aces low; that is A, 2, 3, …, 9, 10, J, Q, K in order from lowest to highest) picks up both cards and puts them face down at the bottom of their pile of cards. The winning player then puts down the first card for the next play.

4. If the two cards matched (made a pair; for example 6♦ and 6♣), the players have a ‘War’. They each put down another card, before putting down a third card each. The highest card of the third set wins the ‘War’ and gets all six cards. If the third set was another matching pair, they each put down another card and then a fifth card to see who wins the war and picks up all ten cards, and so on if any further matching pairs occur during a war.

5. The winner of War Card Game is the first player to win three wars. Variations: The winner could be the first player to win all the cards (which could take a very long time) or the first player to win five or seven wars if you want a slightly longer game.   

Copyright Carrie Groneman, A Mother’s Shadow, 2014

Recognize a blessing and be a blessing today