For several years I have worked as an emergency veterinarian. As the title implies, that means I treat emergencies. But what is a veterinary emergency anyway? How can you tell whether your dog is suffering from an emergency that requires urgent treatment at 1:00 am, or whether your dog’s problem is something that can wait until the morning? How can you tell when to take your dog to the vet — immediately?

A Maltese at the vet's office.

Maltese vet office.

This article will discuss several of the most serious and common veterinary emergencies. It is by no means exhaustive — there are far too many different types of true emergencies to list them all, and there are emergencies that can’t even be imagined before they happen. (If you doubt that, then I urge you to read my story about the dog who put his life at risk by eating a fake breast.)

Many emergencies are not subtle — collapse, paralysis, and hemorrhagic diarrhea come to mind. However, some urgently life-threatening problems, such as bloat, can start with symptoms that don’t seem like a big deal at first.

Several critical emergencies will be described below. If something seems wrong with your dog that does not seem to fit into any of the descriptions, there are some basic guidelines you can follow to assess the urgency of the situation.

First, check your dog’s gums. The gums give a great deal of information about circulation, blood oxygenation, shock, and hemorrhage. The gums normally should be pink and moist; when pressed gently with a finger, the pressed-upon portion should flash white and then turn pink within a second or two. Pale, blue, grey, or red gums signal trouble. It is best to check your dog’s gums regularly when he is not in distress, so that you can know what they normally look like. If your dog seems not well and you discover a difference in gum coloration, then he should receive treatment.

Second, remember that veterinarians — whether they work at emergency practices or at general practices — have telephones. If you’re wondering whether your dog needs treatment, call a vet to describe the situation. The vet should be able to help you decide whether the situation is urgent.

Third, remember that a situation doesn’t have to be life-threatening to warrant veterinary attention. Broken toenails, ear infections, bladder infections, and hot spots are all survivable, but they are also painful and are best treated sooner rather than later if possible.

Finally, if you’re in doubt, the safest course of action is always to seek veterinary attention. If your dog has a mild tummy ache and you take him to the vet, no harm will come to him. But if he’s suffering from bloat and you ignore it, he may be dead by the morning.

Now, let’s get on with the big-time emergencies that require immediate veterinary attention in dogs.

A vet examining a dog.

Vet examining dog by Shutterstock.

1. Difficulty breathing

This is the mother of all veterinary emergencies. After three minutes without breathing it’s all over. If your dog is having trouble breathing, or is “breathing funny,” making alarming noises when he breathes, or is puffing his lips when he breathes, you need to get to the vet immediately.

2. Restlessness, panting, inability to lie down comfortably, unsuccessfully attempting to vomit, and abdominal distention

These are all symptoms of gastric dilatation with volvulus, known colloquially as “bloat.” Bloat is one of the most urgently life threatening situations a dog can face. Some dogs will exhibit all of these symptoms, but others may only pant and act restless. Because of its urgency, dogs exhibiting any symptoms suspicious for bloat should be rushed to the nearest veterinarian.

3. Seizures

Although a solitary seizure is not likely to be life threatening, seizures often come in clusters, which can become progressive. And sometimes seizures are caused by toxins that can cause fatal reactions.

4. Collapse or profound weakness

These can be symptoms of major problems such as internal bleeding (particularly a syndrome called hemoabdomen), cardiac compromise due to a condition called pericardial effusion, anaphylactic shock, certain poisonings, a glandular condition called Addison’s disease, and some types of organ failure. All of these problems require urgent veterinary attention.

5. Profuse hemorrhage or major known trauma

These are veterinary emergencies. Profuse hemorrhage is a no brainer. However, dogs who have fallen from height, have been struck by cars, or have been in altercations with much larger dogs can appear unharmed at first, despite suffering major internal injuries.

6. Protracted vomiting and/or diarrhea

This is a veterinary emergency, especially if the liquid produced is significantly bloody. A dog who vomits once or has a single loose bowel movement may not require any treatment other than a few hours of resting the stomach and a day or two of bland food. However, repeated vomiting and diarrhea can rapidly lead to life-threatening dehydration; they also can be symptoms of major problems such as gastrointestinal obstruction.

7. Struggling to urinate

This may simply signify a bladder infection. Bladder infections are painful but not life threatening. However, this symptom could also represent obstruction of the urinary tract by bladder stones — a situation that is very urgent indeed. Either way, your pet will be best off by seeing the vet since bladder infections, as mentioned above, are painful.

8. Not eating or drinking

You will have to make a judgement call. If my pal Buster (a Labrador Retriever mix, and quite a chow hound) leaves over a piece of kibble, I know something is wrong. Other dogs may intermittently pass up a meal here or there. However, dogs who go a day or longer without eating almost always are sick. And they usually won’t drink enough water to cover their needs, so dehydration can set in as well.

9. Coughing

This may or may not be a veterinary emergency. It can be caused by something as simple and (relatively) harmless as kennel cough. Or it can be caused by pneumonia or exposure to rat bait. When in doubt, the safest course of action is to go to the vet.

10. Loss of use of rear legs

This is especially common in Dachshunds, Corgis, and other so-called chondrodysplastic (think short legs and long backs) breeds, and can be a sign of injury to the spinal cord. This paralysis or partial paralysis is usually very painful, and rapid treatment can make a big difference in outcome.

11. Severe pain

This is always an emergency. If your dog is vocalizing, panting, profoundly limping, or exhibiting other symptoms of agony, don’t let him suffer. Get to a vet for treatment.

12. Known exposure to dangerous poisons

This should precipitate an immediate veterinary visit. If you catch your dog munching on snail bait, don’t wait for the seizures to start before you go to the vet. Although there are too many dangerous poisons out there to list them all, some of the more common exposures include chocolate, rodent bait, grapes and raisins, human medications, and overdoses of flavored canine medications such as Rimadyl.

The 12 situations listed above are some of the most common emergency situations that dogs face. However, I must reiterate that this list is not exhaustive. And I must also reiterate that if you can’t tell whether your dog needs emergency attention, it’s always safest to take him in.

Next week’s column will discuss all of these emergencies again, but with a new twist. We will discuss what you can do to help your dog and maximize the chance of a successful outcome in each of these situations at home and while you’re on your way to the vet.

Other stories by Dr. Eric Barchas:

Got a question for Dr. Barchas? Ask our vet in the comments below and your topic might be featured in an upcoming column. (Note that if you have an emergency situation, please see your own vet immediately!)

The post When to Take Your Dog to the Vet Immediately appeared first on Dogster.

The 10 Dumbest Dog Breeds

Posted: June 20, 2017 in Uncategorized

Editor’s note: Please don’t take it personally if we tease your dog’s breed as one of the dumbest dog breeds. The opinions expressed here are those of the author and not necessarily those of Dogster.com.

When we use the terms “dumb” and “animal” together, it’s usually to indicate that an animal can’t speak for himself. But with the exception of a few breeds, such as the Basenji, dog owners know very well that dogs do speak (especially that yippy dog down the hall who you can’t believe hasn’t gone hoarse yet), albeit in a different language.

But there’s the other definition for “dumb,” which we tend to use to indicate the waiter who forgot your coffee, the driver passing you at 80 mph, or the dry cleaners who lost your favorite sweater. For humans, “dumb” is often used in the place of a more descriptive and harsh adjective, something perhaps you don’t want your children to hear.

Keep in mind that dogs don’t care if they’re deficient in the upper story, and that we judge dogs’ intelligence based on our own concept of “smart” or “stupid.”

Cavalier King Charles Spaniel.

Cavalier King Charles Spaniel by Shutterstock.

So What Makes the Dumbest Dog Breeds… “Dumb”?

  • Difficulty in Training: The No. 1 guideline people use to determine if a dog is wanting in the brains department.
  • Bad Memory: If your dog forgets your neighbor every time he comes over, he’s not just a bad host, he’s a dumb dog.
  • Sense of Direction: If your dog can’t figure out how to get around obstacles, such as the furniture that’s been there for five years, it’s a sign that he’s a bit dim.
  • Inability to Distinguish What’s Real: If your dog can’t distinguish between chasing a squirrel and chasing shadows on the wall — not too bright.
  • Ability to Zone Out: The longer your dog just sits and stares at a wall (and especially if he seems happy about it), the more likely it is that your dog is incapable of doing an agility course.
  • Inadaptability to New Situations: A dumb dog usually has more trouble adapting to a new environment than one with a modicum of brains.
  • Confusion About Who’s In Charge: If a dog is lacking in intelligence, he’s more likely to assume he is alpha, and it takes much persuasion to change this.

Why the Dumbest Dog Breeds Are Loved by Pet Owners

Rottweiler by Shutterstock

Rottweiler by Shutterstock.

Dumb dogs are for the people who just want a furry pillow with eyes, don’t intend on having the world’s greatest search canine, or want a dog for certain characteristics that go along with being dim. Many dumb breeds share similar desired characteristics such as cheeriness, cuddling ability, lap warming, patient temperaments, unquestioned devotion, and a desire to always be by your side. Not that smarter breeds can’t have these traits, but a dumb dog tends to be a happy-go-lucky guy who is attuned to you.

Why Some Dog Breeds Are Dumb

A beagle or hound dog looking sick and under the weather.

There’s a place for dumb dogs in the canine world, and there’s a reason they’re dumb. A pack is a hierarchy with the alpha at the top and authority trickling downward. The slowest canines in a pack are useful in that they don’t usually challenge that authority and provide a consistent demeanor. Breeds that are considered dumb were made that way by humans. These are mostly dogs bred and inbred to be companions to royalty long ago and dogs bred to have one particular trait, such as strength or tracking, which does not require intelligence.

Top 10 Dumbest Dog Breeds

  1. Cavalier King Charles Spaniel: Those big, slightly buggy eyes may look deep, but there’s nothing at the bottom of the well. These are very sweet companion dogs whose history of being inbred, as much as the royalty who kept them, helped create this deficit of brains. They are super cheery and affectionate, and we love them regardless.
  2. Rottweiler: How the Rottie gets on some of the top 10 intelligent breeds lists is a mystery. This breed is known for having trouble concentrating and learning commands. You’re also lucky if your Rottie remembers who you are. But these dogs are also very loyal and affectionate.
  3. Beagle: This breed has won at Westminster, so it’s clear it can prance around a ring on a lead very well. But the Beagle’s learning capabilities are limited, with the exception of using his sense of smell. This is put to use to find contraband in the Beagle Brigade, the troop of dogs who work airports. This is a very, very sweet breed who is devoted to his family.
  4. Basset Hound: This breed can be trained to track scents, but has little ability to adapt to situations and learn new things. He is actually a happy, friendly soul with comical antics.
  5. Pekingese: This breed is dumb and stubborn, a sometimes exasperating combination for the owner. These dogs also tend to think they’re in charge. But the Pekingese is also a loyal and excellent companion.
  6. Borzoi: This catlike, noble breed is rather like the stereotypical pretty face — very good at looking good but unable to do simple math. He is loyal and stately, and he makes a good pet for those who want a stable dog and something pretty to look at.
  7. Mastiff: This antiquated breed is sensitive as well as dumb. Training takes great patience. He does make a wonderful guard dog and family companion.
  8. Chow Chow: This ancient breed is both stubborn and stupid. He is very hard to train and often does not understand the concept of “owner equals alpha.” Perhaps some of it is due his chagrin about his use as a food source at one point. This breed is really a formidable-looking love muffin.
  9. Bloodhound: Like the Beagle and the Basset Hound, this breed excels at using his nose. Unfortunately, he’s not adaptable to other tasks, and just try taking him out of his home. He is a good companion dog for owners who utilize his scenting specialty, and can make a good family dog.
  10. Bulldog: This bully breed is feisty and funny but not so bright. He’s prone to bullying and can be very tough to train. Aficionados, however, see his good characteristics such as his loyalty, guarding ability and affectionate nature.

Dumb dogs are affectionate, trusting, and funny. The cartoon 2 Stupid Dogs, which ran in the early 1990s, captured the dumb dog’s life. These dogs were indeed stupid, their dumb antics getting them into a lot of trouble. But, these cartoon canines were lovable and, perhaps, more importantly, accessible. Not everyone wants a smart but snooty Poodle or an intelligent but distant Border Collie. There’s plenty of room for the dumb dogs of the world (and plenty of dumb people to go with them).

What do you think? Is this list of the dumbest dog breeds totally off the mark? Let us know in the comments!

Interested in other breed profiles? Find dozens of them here.

Pug in a dunce cap by Shutterstock

The post The 10 Dumbest Dog Breeds appeared first on Dogster.

Dog Portraits from Photographer Shayan Asgharnia

From Questlove to Erin Brockovich, the Wall Street Journal to Macy’s, editorial photographer Shayan Asgharnia is known for capturing the intrigue, magnetism and depth in his subjects, creating a connection between them and the viewer. For us here at Dog Milk, this connection is most noticeable in his series of animal portraits, which focuses largely on dogs.

Dog Portraits from Photographer Shayan Asgharnia

Dog Portraits from Photographer Shayan Asgharnia

Asgharnia’s innate love for animals is readily apparent throughout his series of mostly black and white studio portraits. If you follow him on Instagram, in between shots of celebrities and editorial spreads, you’ll find some very adorable photos of Shayan with his dog Moosh (who has his own Instagram account, of course!):

Dog Portraits from Photographer Shayan Asgharnia

Dog Portraits from Photographer Shayan Asgharnia

I mean… c’mon! *heart explodes*

Check out more of his work at shayanasgharnia.com.


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Dog grooming is a huge business, and many dog owners are excited that their puppy pals should look and smell their best when they go out in public. Of course, not every dog is going to strike a pose on the show stage, and it can be fun to craft your own homemade dog shampoo for DIY grooming. These are recipes you can make in the comfort of your home with your partners, friends, kids, or other dog owners. There is a homemade dog shampoo recipe to fit any need, any budget, and whatever time you have available.

The ingredients are easy to acquire, most being ready-at-hand in the home, and most recipes are for single use, meaning there’s no need for storage containers. You can try a new one each time you wash your dog. Exactly how to wash a dog is a different matter. As anyone who has tried can tell you, convincing your dog to submit to a bath can be a challenging proposition. Thankfully, making your own dog shampoo at home is only as complicated as you want it to be.

Jack Russell Terrier getting a bath by Shutterstock.

Jack Russell Terrier getting a bath by Shutterstock.

How to make homemade dog shampoo: Common ingredients

Things as simple as vinegar and baking soda show up as components in many a homemade dog shampoo recipe. Others that can be picked up in grocery stores or drug stores include castile soap, which is olive-oil based, and glycerine, a sugar-based alcohol compound. In many cases, your standard baby shampoo or nontoxic dish soap is often incorporated into a homemade dog shampoo recipe to bind ingredients together. The recipes we’ll focus on here are very simple, and require minimal preparation.

Homemade flea shampoo

There are several recipes out there for homemade dog shampoo for fleas, one of which is not only very simple to concoct, but is also ideal if you dog has sensitive skin!

This homemade flea shampoo for dogs requires:

  • 1 quart of water
  • 1 cup of white vinegar or apple cider vinegar
  • 1 cup of baby shampoo or nontoxic dish soap (many sites recommend Dawn by name)

For a lower-volume homemade flea shampoo or for a smaller dog or puppy, try:

  • ½ cup of water
  • ¼ cup of white vinegar or apple cider vinegar
  • ¼ cup of baby shampoo or nontoxic dish soap

Apply either solution with a spray bottle or a thoroughly cleaned-out condiment bottle to minimize waste. Work the homemade dog shampoo into your dog’s fur, particularly along hard-to-reach areas down the spine, the base of the tail, the chest, and under the forearms, and let it soak in for at least five minutes before rinsing. Comb or brush your dog during that time to remove dead fleas.

Homemade dry shampoo recipe for dogs

If you bathe a dog too frequently, more than once a month or so, you run the risk of drying your dog’s skin. Between baths, a dog’s natural hair and skin chemistry reassert themselves, and you should give them time to do so. One potential solution between traditional baths is a homemade dry shampoo recipe for dogs. These homemade dry dog shampoos tend to involve baking soda, another item found in most homes and easy enough to get at any grocery store. Massaging a dry shampoo into your dog’s skin will give the dog the sensation of being petted and caressed without the resistance you might face in the traditional wet bath scenarios.

Several homemade dry shampoo recipes for dogs also include baking soda. These tend to involve:

  • 1 cup of baking soda
  • 1 cup of corn starch
  • A few drops of an essential oil –- lemon and lavender seem to be the most popular.

Sprinkle the mixture on your dog and massage it into the dog’s skin with your hands or with a comb or brush. It is best not to use too much baking soda at a time — a cup for a mid-sized dog, half a cup for a very small dog or puppy — and not to apply this method too frequently, since the residue from the powder can accumulate, no matter how much a dog shakes himself afterward. A dry shampoo is a good stopgap, but nothing beats the fun of having your dog shake water all over you or your bathroom from time to time.

If your dog has dry skin

If you bathe your dog more frequently, or if your dog tends to have sensitive, itchy, or dry skin, you might want to try a homemade dog shampoo that will bring some degree of relief. Adding ingredients such as aloe vera gel or glycerine can help relieve itchy and dry skin. Glycerine is a sugar-based, water-soluble alcohol compound, much less frequently found around the house than vinegar or baking soda, but can easily be found in drug stores, pharmacies, and online.

A typical recipe for homemade dog shampoos for dogs with sensitive skin involves:

  • 1 quart of water
  • 1 cup of baby shampoo or nontoxic dish soap
  • 1 cup of white vinegar or apple cider vinegar
  • 1/3 cup of glycerine
  • 2 tablespoons of aloe vera gel

This homemade dog shampoo recipe’s addition of glycerine and aloe vera provide soothing elements for dogs with sensitive or dry skin.

What are your favorite homemade dog shampoo recipes?

Have you ever created your own homemade dog shampoo? Are you a do-it-yourself aficionado? Do you prefer more sophisticated recipes? Do you enjoy the process of creating homemade dog shampoo as much as the results?

If you like putting things to boil, enjoy using specialty ingredients for fragrance and shine, or find that some methods work better for particular breeds of dog, let us know! Please, share your favorite shampoo recipe in the comments!

Read more on grooming your dog:

The post 3 Simple Recipes for Homemade Dog Shampoo appeared first on Dogster.

13 Ways to Pick Up Dog Poop

Posted: June 19, 2017 in Uncategorized

If you have a dog, you have dog poop to deal with. There aren’t any good reasons for not picking up the poop –- ignoring it invites germs and pollutants, never mind the occasional messy misstep. It’s also bad for the environment, annoys your neighbors, and gives our lovable canines a bad name.

We all have to make a habit of scooping dog poop. Fortunately, there are lots of ways to get the job done, and clever inventors come up with new solutions all the time. Here are 13 ways to scoop dog poop:

1. Plastic bag

Perhaps the most common method; you simply slip a inverted plastic bag over your hand, pick up the pile, and then tie the bag shut and toss into the trash.

Pro: Plastic bags are free and easy to wad up to fit in a pocket. Or you can buy a style of leash that incorporates a stashed bag, such as Kinn’s Kangaroo Plus leash.

Con: Your dog’s plastic-sealed package may sit in a landfill for several years, as it’s slow to decompose.

2. Pooper scooper

If you don’t like to get up close and personal with the poo, or you have difficulty bending over, a pooper scooper is for you. They’re sold at most pet stores; you simply squeeze the handles to scoop up the dog poop, then deposit it into a more appropriate place.

Pro: A touch-free, no-contact method.

Con: You’ll need to carry your pooper scooper along on walk, as well as a bag to collect the waste.

3. Flushing dog poop

Many cities ban flushing of pet waste down the toilet, so check your local regulations first. Also, do your research for your home’s specific septic setup. Once you get the okay, flushing can be one of the more efficient and environmentally friendly ways to clean up dog poop.

Pro: Safely eliminates smell, germs; doesn’t end up in the landfill.

Con: You need a foolproof method to carry the poop into the house to the nearest toilet.

4. Flushable poop bags

Again, check your local regulations and do your research first, but if flushing pet waste down the toilet is acceptable, flushable poop bags, such as Flush Puppies, make the job easier. Collect the dog  with the bag and flush both down your toilet.

Pro: Safely eliminates smell, germs; doesn’t end up in the landfill.

Con: Buying flushable bags can be costly.

5. Indoor potty

Indoor potty areas designed for dogs, such as the Potty Patch, are good alternatives for high-rise apartment dwellers or those that spend long hours boating or away from land.

Pro: Convenient when your dog can’t easily get outside.

Con: Needs to be emptied and sanitized regularly.

6. Designated doggie corner

If you’ve got a spacious yard, you can train your pup to go in an out-of-the way corner of the yard.

Pro: If you choose a little-used area, you eliminate worries about stepping in the poop.

Con: Germs, odor and environmental problems persist. Resulting parasites, such as ringworm or roundworm, can cause human illness.

7. Burying dog poop

Scooping up the poo with a shovel and burying it in your yard can be a good way to get it out of sight.

Pro: Eliminates the poop.

Con: Labor intensive; environmental issues may remain.

Note: avoid burying near vegetation intended for human consumption.

8. Wrapping dog poop in newspaper

If you oppose plastic bag use, you could wrap your collected waste tightly in newspaper before disposing of it.

Pro: Repurposes old newspapers, which decompose faster than plastic.

Con: Can be messy since you can’t completely seal the newspaper; needs to be coupled with a pickup method such as a scooper or shovel.

9. Power pickup

New solutions hit the market all the time, such as Auggie Dog, a power tool that picks up the pile for you then releases it at your discretion. We road-test the Auggie Dog here.

Pro: You don’t have to touch the waste or do any bending.

Con: Product needs to remain charged and kept clean.

10. Freezing dog poop

No, not in your freezer. Aerosol sprays, such as Poop Freeze, will firm up the poop, making it easier to pick up.

Pro: Eliminates odor; helpful when your dog has loose stools.

Con: Costly to keep up with; needs to be coupled with another pick-up solution.

11. Dropping dog poop in a methane digester to power a streetlight

Collected dog waste can be converted into methane gas, which can be used for fuel. Methane powered streetlights have been established in dog-populated areas, where owners drop waste into a methane digester, which does the rest.

Pro: Safely eliminates the poop and creates an alternative fuel source.

Con: You’ll need time, effort, and a financial plan to convince your town to set up methane digester.

12. Compost the dog poop

If you have the space in your yard, you can purchase a dog-specific compost bin such as the Doggie Dooley, which acts like a canine septic tank and breaks down the waste safely.

Pro: Eliminates germs and pollutants.

Con: Some cost and effort to set up; doesn’t solve the problem when on walks or outings.

Note: Never add dog waste to a compost bin that’s intended for garden use; only use in a dog-specific bin.

13. Call a specialist

You can sign up with a dog-waste removal company, which will send someone to your home at whatever interval you specify and clean up.

Pro: You don’t have to do it!

Con: Expensive to keep up with, needs to be coupled with another method when you’re on walks or outings.

Have we missed any? What dog poop pick-up methods do you like to use? Let us know in the comments!

Read more about dog poop on Dogster:

The post 13 Ways to Pick Up Dog Poop appeared first on Dogster.

Summer means beach days for humans and canines alike! If you don’t live by the water or would rather not deal with the hassle of bringing your pup to the shore (think: sand, strangers, choppy waters, pet restrictions!), create a DIY dog beach in your very own (enclosed!) yard. Here’s how:

Dog in a kiddie pool in summer.

Photography by tcsaba/Thinkstock.

1. Fake an Ocean with a Kiddie Pool

Purchase a kiddie pool (a.k.a. wading pool) to get all the splashing and fun of a day on the ocean without the dangerous waves, sandy shores, or deep waters. Kiddie pools can be found in just about any big box store once summer hits, and they’re perfect for cooling off when the temperature rises. But don’t let your dog sip from the hose as you’re filling up his doggie “ocean” — bacteria can sit in the hose, so it’s best for him to steer clear.

2. Protect Your Dog’s Skin with Sunscreen

Humans aren’t the only ones subject to harm from UV rays. Dogs are susceptible to sunburns — all dogs can get skin cancer and burned on the nose, and certain breeds, pups with short or thin hair, and pets with light hair or skin are especially at risk. Look for an easy-to-apply spray sunscreen formulated for dogs that will stand up to splashing around in the pool (waterproof!).

3. Stock Up on Dog Beach Toys

Don’t reserve traditional dog beach toys for a day at the shore. Toss a Frisbee to your furry friend and let him paddle after a water toy that floats. Or, add a beachy aesthetic with plush, sea-inspired toys in the shapes of underwater creatures or nautical favorites.

Dog chasing a sprinkler in the summer.

Photography by VladimirFLoyd/Thinkstock.

4. Add Sprinklers

If a dog beach without waves just doesn’t seem that exciting to you, add some interest with sprinklers that your dog can chase or run through. A rotating sprinkler really reinvents a game of fetch.

5. Don’t Skimp on Shade

Even if your pup spends the majority of his faux dog beach day in the pool and wears his sunscreen, it’s still good to provide a cool respite from direct sunlight. Set your dog beach up near at least one shady tree, or provide an old beach chair to give him a comfy place to relax off the ground (especially good if you’re around hot pavement, which could mean burned paw pads!).

6. Fight Dehydration by Providing Cool Snacks and Water

A dog beach day calls for cooling treats, just like a human beach day isn’t complete without a frozen drink and cold ice cream. Keep your dog from getting dehydrated — a big concern in warmer weather and if your pet is burning off tons of energy in the kiddie pool — with a good supply of drinkable water. For food, make sure you have treats on hand, or check out these recipes for frozen, dog-friendly snacks.

7. Dry Off with a Dog Drying Towel

Whether the dog beach day is over or your pup needs a break, dry him off with a towel designed especially for his four-legged kind. A towel crafted with highly absorbent microfiber fabric will ensure your pet gets clean and dry ASAP — and doesn’t bring his beach day into the house.

Was your at-home dog beach a complete hit? Read more articles on dogs and beaches here: 

The post How to Create a Dog Beach in Your Own Backyard appeared first on Dogster.

We asked you to show us your favorite dog dads in honor of Father’s Day… and you answered! Whether they’re cleaning up poops, providing playtime, or perfecting the art of naps, these dog dads are prime examples of fur fatherhood. Happy Father’s Day to all of the pet parents out there!

“Blendahboy & our two deaf pups The Yancy & Suzi #deafdogsofdragonflymanor” -Submitted by Facebook user Denise McKinnon Brillon Coll

“Blendahboy & our two deaf pups, The Yancy & Suzi. #deafdogsofdragonflymanor”
-Submitted by Facebook user Denise McKinnon Brillon Coll

“Debashish Roy Chowdhury. Best dad ever with Casper, Cookie and Lucky” -Submitted by Facebook user Sangeeta Roychowdhury

“Debashish Roy Chowdhury. Best dad ever with Casper, Cookie and Lucky.”
-Submitted by Facebook user Sangeeta Roychowdhury

“Eric with Xander, Peyton and Erin.” -Submitted by Facebook user Colleen Marie

“Eric with Xander, Peyton and Erin.”
-Submitted by Facebook user Colleen Marie

-Submitted by Facebook user Taylor Godine

-Submitted by Facebook user Taylor Godine

“My Jim with our fur babies Zuzu and Bailey.” -Submitted by Facebook user Janelle Hastings

“My Jim with our fur babies Zuzu and Bailey.”
-Submitted by Facebook user Janelle Hastings

“Jeff and Daisy enjoying the snow last winter.” -Submitted by Facebook user Danielle Bacon

“Jeff and Daisy enjoying the snow last winter.”
-Submitted by Facebook user Danielle Bacon

Angie Hammer Poynter and Chunk.

“Chunk loves his dad! (The feeling is quite mutual!)”
-Submitted by Facebook user Angie Hammer Poynter

“Lambeau and his dad, Marty” -Submitted by Facebook user Britt Kaetzel

“Lambeau and his dad, Marty.”
-Submitted by Facebook user Britt Kaetzel

“Jillian and her dad.” -Submitted by Facebook user Patricia Sanders

“Jillian and her dad.”
-Submitted by Facebook user Patricia Sanders

-Submitted by Facebook user Jackie Rosman

-Submitted by Facebook user Jackie Rosman

“Best friends!” -Submitted by Facebook user Joan Pistone

“Best friends!”
-Submitted by Facebook user Joan Pistone

“My boys” -Submitted by Facebook user Kate Vanden Bossche

“My boys.”
-Submitted by Facebook user Kate Vanden Bossche

“Daniel and his furgirls.” -Submitted by Facebook user Kysha Winchester

“Daniel and his furgirls.”
-Submitted by Facebook user Kysha Winchester

“Me and my little buddy Duke.” -Submitted by Facebook user Rick Otts

“Me and my little buddy Duke.”
-Submitted by Facebook user Rick Otts

-Submitted by Facebook user Maria Elisabeth Damkjær Petersen

-Submitted by Facebook user Maria Elisabeth Damkjær Petersen

-Submitted by Facebook user Mary Smith

-Submitted by Facebook user Mary Smith

-Submitted by Facebook user Melissa Zisk Brown.

-Submitted by Facebook user Melissa Zisk Brown

“Me and Kenji” -Submitted by Facebook user Scott Davis

“Me and Kenji”
-Submitted by Facebook user Scott Davis

-Submitted by Facebook user Elisa Cleek

-Submitted by Facebook user Elisa Cleek

“Michael and his dogs” -Submitted by Facebook user Cora Turner

“Michael and his dogs”
-Submitted by Facebook user Cora Turner

The post 19 of Our Favorite Dog Dads in Honor of Father’s Day appeared first on Dogster.