The following bi-weekly column is written and sponsored by Bark + Boarding, which provides a heart-centered and safe environment for your pets. Conveniently located at 5818-C Seminary Road in Bailey’s Crossroads, Bark & Boarding offers doggy daycare, boarding, grooming, walking and training services, plus in-home pet care.
by Chelsea Pennington, Writer and Animal Enthusiast
Summer weather can be great for swimming, hikes, and other outdoor adventures, but the heat can be especially hard on pets, so make sure you know the best way to keep your furry friend safe this season.
Overheating is the biggest danger in warm weather, so it is important to know the signs and keep an eye on your pet when they’re outdoors or in any warm location.
Symptoms include excessive panting or difficulty breathing, increased respiratory or heart rate, drooling more than usual, mild weakness, lethargy or even collapsing. More severe reactions can occur when a pet’s body temperature reaches over 104 degrees, such as seizures, bloody diarrhea and vomiting.
Pets that are very young, very old, overweight, not used to prolonged exercise or have previous heart or respiratory disease are more susceptible to overheating. Certain breeds are also more prone, especially flat-faced animals such as pugs and Persian cats, since they have trouble releasing heat by panting.
If your pet does become overheated, knowing what to do and acting quickly can prevent it from getting any worse. Move your pet into shade or an air-conditioned area if possible. Apply ice packs or cold towels to their head, neck and chest, or run cool (not cold) water over them.
Drinking too much water at this point could be dangerous, so allow them to drink small amounts of water or lick ice cubes. If you suspect your pet may be overheating it’s always a good idea to call your veterinarian or take them in to be seen.
Of course, the best way to deal with heatstroke is to prevent it! One of the most important and easiest things you can do is make sure your pet is hydrated. Always keep a bowl of fresh, clean water available for your pets indoors and outdoors. When they’re outside, make sure they have access to shade.
A dog house is not a good solution since it doesn’t allow air flow; instead, rely on a tree or set up a tarp or tent to provide shade.
Take your dog on walks in the morning or evening when it’s cooler outside, and avoid having your dog walk on asphalt for extended periods. Asphalt can get very hot and potentially burn your pup’s paws, and since they’re closer to the ground the heat radiating off the surface can cause them to warm up even more quickly.
Bring water on walks to keep your dog hydrated, and consider investing in a cooling mat or vest that you can bring along to lower your dog’s body temperature.
Some solutions that seem like they would help humans in the heat can be unhelpful or even harmful to pets.
While it’s okay to shave down some dogs, many breeds should never be shaved. Many double-coated dogs, like Huskies, have a special coat that keeps them both cool in the summer and warm in the winter.
For cats, brushing more frequently than usual can help prevent problems caused by heat. If you decide to use sunscreen or insect repellant for your pet, be sure to use a product labeled specifically for use on animals, not just the bottle of sunscreen you have lying around from last summer.
One of the most important things to remember in hot weather is to never leave your pet unattended in the car. Temperatures inside a car can rise to dangerous levels within minutes, even when the windows are left cracked.
For example, on an 85-degree day, the temperature inside a car with cracked windows can reach 102 degrees in ten minutes, and after thirty minutes it can climb to 120 degrees. Your pet can suffer from irreversible organ damage, or even die.
Leaving a pet unattended in a car is illegal in many states, and be sure to know what your state’s policy is so you know how to react if you see a pet left in a car.
If it’s just too hot outside for exercise but your dog needs to burn some energy, Bark + Boarding’s Doggie Daycare is a great option. They are able divide their play space into different sized play zones that can be joined or separated to accommodate dogs in need of a calm break or those who require some extra enrichment activities.
Your dog will receive outdoor playtime and bathroom breaks and constant, professional supervision while they play. Just because it’s heating up outside doesn’t mean your dog can’t have fun!
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The Arlington-Aachen High School exchange is returning this summer and currently accepting applicants.
The sister-city partnership started in 1993 by the Arlington Sister Cities Association, which seeks to promote Arlington’s international profile through a variety of exchanges in education, commerce, culture and the arts. The exchange, scheduled June 17th to July 4th, includes a two-week homestay in Aachen plus three days in Berlin. Knowledge of the German language is not required for the trip.
Former participants have this to say:
_”The Aachen exchange was an eye-opening experience where I was fully immersed in the life of a German student. I loved biking through the countryside to Belgium, having gelato and picnics in the town square, and hanging out with my German host student’s friends. My first time out of the country, the Aachen exchange taught me to keep an open mind, because you never know what could be a life changing experience.” – Kelly M._
Learn about the new assessment of Arlington’s urban tree canopy and the many ecological and social benefits trees provide. Staff from the Green Infrastructure Center (GIC) will share study results and compare canopy cover for different areas of Arlington.The webinar will include assessments of ecosystem services such as stormwater mitigation, air quality, carbon uptake, and urban heat islands. For background on Arlington trees see the “Tree Benefits: Growing Arlington’s Urban Forest” presentation at http://www.gicinc.org/PDFs/Presentation_TreeBenefits_Arlington.pdf.
Please register in advance to assure your place at the webinar, https://attendee.gotowebinar.com/register/29543206508863839.
About the Arlington County Civic Federation: The Arlington County Civic Federation (“ACCF”) is a not-for-profit corporation which provides a forum for civic groups to discuss, debate, inform, advocate and provide oversight on important community issues, on a non-partisan basis. Its members include over ninety civic groups representing a broad cross-section of the community. Communications, resolutions and feedback are regularly provided to the Arlington County Government.
The next meeting is on Tuesday, February 21,2023 at 7 pm. This meeting is open to the public and will be hybrid, in-person and virtually through Zoom. Part of the agenda will be a discussion and vote on a resolution “To Restore Public Confidence in Arlington County’s Governance”. For more information on ACCF and this meeting, go to https://www.civfed.org/.
Valentine gifts for someone special or for yourself are here at George Mason University from noon -4pm on February 14, 2023. Satisfy your sweet tooth with Kingsbury Chocolates, find a handmade bag from Karina Gaull, pick up treats from Village