The Dog Days of Summer Are Approaching…

July 27, 2010 | By | Comments (0)

As a dog owner and dog-lover, I've been tucking away a few canine-related items to group together into one pooch-related post. One product, one health issue, and another is simply too wacky to be believed.

Since I'm as interested in going hands-free/bag-free as possible on a dog-walk as I am while jogging, the new leash and dog collar I found, from a company called ALITE, are a revelation, and yet it's almost surprising that other pet-product designers haven't though of this yet! The Boa Lite leash has a little pocket built right into it for storing doggie waste bags, which ensures you never leave home without this vital item. ($30) If you already have a leash you love, you can just get the Boa Pod, (below) which attaches to your leash. ($13) The sturdy, comfortable "Kung Fu" collar has a tiny little pocket (your dog will never know!) built right in, so you can stash an extra baggie there, or a key or whatever tiny item you might need on hand. ($18)

Meanwhile, it's been insanely hot all over much of the country, and while we're sweating and seeking out fans, air conditioning and cold iced tea, our dogs need extra attention too. Some ground rules for making sure Spot stays well throughout the dog days of summer, from the ASPCA:

*If you take your dog to the beach with you, be sure you provide some shade for him. He's probably not interested in getting a base tan, haha.

*On the hottest days, keep walks short and try to walk in the shade as much as possible, especially because on hot streets, the pavement can burn unprotected paws. And what's more, they're closer to the asphalt, so it's even more broiling down there.

*Never leave your pet alone in a car, even if you have the windows open, since the vehicle can become an oven in just a short amount of time.

*Know your dog's limits—certain breeds, especially, are just not equipped to handle the heat and cool themselves well, such as the flat-nosed breeds like Pugs—and watch for warning signs of heat stroke, which include excessive panting, drooling, mild weakness, and even collapse.

And finally, this is just something I wouldn't believe unless I read it with my own two eyes and knew for a fact it was for real. When my mother told me that their dog would be attending "day camp" during his week-long stay at the kennel during their vacation (pets aren't allowed), I figured it was just another way for the business to charge for extra play sessions with the staff. I mean, I know that my parents are dog freaks and that they feel badly when they have to put the dog in a kennel, and so they chose a place that they trust and they know will keep the dog active and entertained—regardless of the high cost.

But then she forwarded me the information email from the doggie "Inn", replete with details about the fact that each week of the day camp this summer had been assigned a theme. And dogs signed up for day camp during the this particular week in July would be attending "Rodeo Camp", which apparently would include "barrel racing, horseshoe fetch, rodeo relays, skinny dipping in the swimming hole [the place has an indoor and an outdoor pool], tumbleweed tumbling, and campfire confection at the chuck wagon." I don't even want to think about the various hats, scarves and other costumes the dogs staying that week will be wearing. Other camp themes: circus week, luau week, Olympics week, and Western week.

In a way I have a feeling that these various themes are as much to amuse and entertain the staff as to make nervous, doting pet owners feel better, but honestly, the whole thing is just absurd! I could have sworn I'd read something like this in The Onion. But nope, it's real and it's happening in the wilds of suburban NJ! Ahh, the crazy things we do for the pets we love!