We all know that it’s important to regularly brush our dogs to prevent mats from forming, and to keep their nails trimmed short so they don’t get arthritis in their toes. One aspect that is too-often missed in dog grooming and health is keeping your dog’s ears clean!
Every dog has individual ears, so how often they need to be cleaned will vary with each dog.
Common Problems with Dog Ears
Just as with our ears, dogs can have a variety of problems in their ears. A small amount of wax is normal and healthy, but dogs can have an excess buildup of wax, just as in people. Dogs with drop ears are also prone to developing a buildup of yeast, resulting in an infection.
Ears with yeast or wax buildup tend to smell horrible, and also be really itchy for the dogs. Besides the itch and smell, they can become infected if not properly cleaned. Ear infections can lead to permanent damage to a dog’s ears, including hearing loss and physical distortion.
How to Clean a Dog’s Ears
First, you’ll need a proper and safe ear cleaner. Do not just use human products on your dogs, and don’t put straight rubbing alcohol, hydrogen peroxide, or any other chemicals into your dog’s ear canals. You can severely damage their ears and make the problem worse.
One option is our In Pups We Trust Squeaky Clean Ears. As with all our products, this one is all-natural and made in the USA. The product is also gentle on the skin and won’t cause chemical burns like other products might. Plus, it uses aloe, eucalyptus, camphor, and wintergreen leaf oil, so it smells great!
You’ll want to start by putting some of the cleaner into your dog’s ear canal. It helps if the product isn’t super cold because the cold liquid can be uncomfortable. Many products, including Squeaky Clean Ears, will break down the wax and debris. This means you don’t have to stick cotton swabs down into your dog’s ears and risk damaging them.
After you’ve put the product into your dog’s ears, you can let them shake their head and remove it from their ear canals. You can also use cotton balls to clean any excess that is present on the outer edge of the dog’s ears.
How often you need to complete this process will vary depending on your dog. Dogs with drop ears tend to have more easily infected ears, due to the lack of oxygen flow, but ear infections can also be common in dogs with prick ears due to the opening being easily accessible for debris.
If you notice any signs of infection, including colored discharge, make sure to schedule a trip to your dog’s veterinarian in case antibiotics or other medical treatment is necessary. However, if you regularly clean your dog’s ears and make sure they are healthy, you can avoid an unnecessary trip to the vet!
Even though our dogs have fur, they can still be bitten by an insect. After all, we get insect bites under our clothes - bugs can be sneaky and small and find any place possible to grab a snack. Fortunately, there are some dog-safe insect repellents, such as our Buh Bye Bugs Spray, that will keep your dog safe from insects.
About Insect Bites in Dogs
As with humans, dogs can be allergic to bug bites. Bites can be localized and swollen, red, or puffy at the area of the bite. They can also cause a more systemic reaction and lead to vomiting, difficulty breathing, hives all over your dog's body, or an entirely swollen face. In some cases, this can progress to a severe condition called anaphylactic shock.
If your dog has an allergy to an insect, it's usually either the proteins in the saliva or the venom that causes the reaction. While some dogs are born with the allergy, continued exposure to a bite of that type of insect can create sensitivity. Common insects to cause issues with dogs are spiders, fleas, and ticks. Bee stings are also problematic for some dogs.
Treating Insect Bites in Dogs
Medication may be needed to treat your dog's insect bites or stings, including options of antihistamines and corticosteroids. In a more severe case, your dog may need IV fluids, oxygen, and epinephrine to survive the bite. These more severe reactions are rare, however, so the prognosis is usually good. However, it still sucks for our dogs (and takes time and money to head to the vet), so prevention is key.
Preventing Insect Bites in Dogs
The easiest way to prevent insect bites in dogs is to use a dog-safe bug repellent, such as our Buh Bye Bugs Spray, to keep your dog protected. Even if your dog is mostly inside, insects and bugs can still find their way into our homes.
In Pups We Trust is especially proud of our spray since it's safe to be licked! This means you can use the spray on even the most sensitive areas, like the ears, paws, and nose. It's also made locally in the USA and contains only all-natural ingredients.
Using the spray to repel bugs is the fastest, easiest, and safest way to ensure your dog doesn't develop an allergic reaction to bug bites or have to endure the itchiness and pain that comes with a bite or a string.
If you notice a sensitive spot on your dog be sure to try our Boo Boo Fixer it's only $5 and works on minor irritations
Ahhh, summer. We’re all excited and ready for the nice warm weather and to enjoy the outdoors! Our dogs often enjoy spending extra time with us as well. In our summer guide for dogs, we’ll be looking at some of the best ways to help your dog have fun this summer, too!
Fun with Water
If your dog loves water, then summer is the perfect time to take advantage of the weather and play some fun water games. Ideas include:
- Spraying the hose or using a sprinkler if your dog likes to chase and chomp water
- Fill a kiddie pool for your dog to splash around in the water
- Drop toys or treats in the pool or bucket of water for your dog to “bob” for rewards!
If you play any water games with your dogs, please also watch them and keep an eye out for “water intoxication.” It’s best to play water games for a short period of time to avoid your dog ingesting too much water. https://www.firstaidfordogs.co.uk/news/water-intoxication-also-known-as-hyponatremia
If your dog loves to dig, then make them a sandbox! Sand or small gravel is best to keep your dog from getting muddy by digging in dirt. A kid’s sandbox or plastic pool is a great option to hold the substrate. Once your dog’s dig box is filled with sand, bury treats and toys to encourage them to dig and let them have fun!
Hide and Seek
Start by sneaking away when your dog is distracted or having a friend hold your dog. Hide somewhere and call your dog! Not only is it a great way to play with your dog, but it also is a great game to practice your dog coming when you call them. If you have a friend, you can take turns calling your dog while the other one hides to make the game efficient!
Hide and seek can also be played by hiding your dog’s toys around the yard for your dog to find them. Start with one toy until your dog has learned the game and then start hiding even more! You can give your dog a cue such as “find it” to tell them it’s time to start the hide and seek game with their toys.
Playing with a bubble machine or blowing bubbles for your dog can be a fun game! Your dog gets to chase and chomp the bubbles - plus it’s a good excuse for us humans to get to blow bubbles, too! Bubbles aren’t just for kids anymore!
Make an Obstacle Course
For the energetic dog in your life, try making a fun obstacle course! For this activity, please follow any guidelines from your dog’s veterinarian about exercise for your individual dog (and don’t put stress on the joints of growing puppies). Jumps can be made by setting a broomstick on a brick (and this keeps it nice and low, so it’s safer). Other obstacles can be made for a dog to jump onto a platform. A set of chairs covered with a blanket can make a fun tunnel!
Besides fun outdoor, summer activities, you can help your dog enjoy the summer with some delicious and cool treats! One option is to make “pupsicles” for your dog by freezing dog-safe fruits or other foods in a paper cup or ice cube tray. You can visit our list of dog-safe fruits here: https://inpupswetrust.com/blogs/news/safe-fruits-for-dogs.
Play around with what your dog enjoys best! There are so many activities you can do to help your dog enjoy summer and have fun - which means you can try them with your dog and find their favorites.
Being able to travel with your furry best friend in your car is a great way to bond with your dog while spending as many moments with them as you can! However, there are certain considerations that can make your time in the car with your dog easier and more enjoyable, as well as keeping your dog safe.
What Should I Bring?
You’re probably familiar with most of the things you might need on a trip - many of them are probably similar to what you take on your daily walk. Items to consider bringing when you are traveling include:
- Poop bags
- Water for your dog
- Water bowl
- Training treats
- Rabies vaccine certificate
You can carry many of these items in a bait bag type of pouch, or in your own purse or backpack. If your dog is well conditioned, you can also have them carry some items in their own backpack.
Unlike us, looking for a gas station or stopping at a restaurant for a bathroom break, our dogs need a different location to relieve themselves. When you plan your stops, look to see if the property also has a grassy area for your dog. Many true rest stops have plenty of outdoor space to take your dog on a quick walks. These places are ideal for dogs who need to get moving a little or sniff for the perfect spot before stopping, since there are plenty of opportunities.
You can also check gas stations or restaurants on Google Maps satellite view if you are already thinking of stopping to fill up (gas tanks or stomachs!). While these places are often not dog-friendly inside, most will not mind your dog making a quick stop outside, especially since you are a responsible dog owner who will be cleaning up after their dog!
The other option is to look for a local park near another place you are stopping. City websites will often tell you if the park is dog friendly or not. What I love the most about stopping at a park is that I can use the excuse of letting my dog stretch their legs to give myself a break from driving and stretch my legs myself!
Regardless of where you stop to let your dog have a bathroom break, make sure you are cleaning up after your dog. Poop should be picked up and thrown in an acceptable trash can, and if you have a male dog who marks, try and prevent them from marking on buildings or other places where people are walking. As dog owners, we need to work together to keep our dogs well behaved and clean up after them in order to keep these areas for our dogs.
Food and Water Breaks
Depending on your travel set up, food and water might not be easily accessible to your dog when they are riding in your vehicle. Especially since dogs may be stressed more when they are traveling, make sure you are providing ample opportunities for your dog to eat or drink.
If it’s possible, offering your dog food close to their typical schedule can help. Especially keep this in mind if your dog likes to eat on the dot and you are changing time zones! It’s also helpful to bring a familiar bowl. If you are packing foldable travel bowls, you can introduce them to your dog before leaving on vacation so they are comfortable eating and drinking out of the different material.
You should try to offer my dogs water at every stop. Even if you’re not necessarily taking your dog on a bathroom break walk, you can let my dog out quick gas station or stores to offer them the opportunity to drink. If your dog is traveling in a kennel, you can also consider bowls that attach to their kennel directly to prevent spilling and offer your dogs food and water that way as well.
What to do about all that fur?!
One unfortunate aspect of many breeds of dogs is that they shed - a LOT! While most of us have a vacuum or broom in our homes to help tackle the amount of fur, it’s a different story when it comes to our vehicles. Not all of us will have access to a vacuum that can tackle the insides of our cars, and paying for frequent detailing can get expensive and take up a lot of time. If you plan to have your dog travel with you in the car, look for ways that you can cover your vehicle to keep the seats and floors as free from dog fur as possible. A sheet or blanket can help in a pinch, but there are also seat covers that can be purchased. A seat protector designed to help with dogs is often the best way to keep fur out of your car, because they often have openings specifically for seatbelt buckles and fabric that can be easily shaken out or washed to eliminate the dog hair.
Dirt, mud, sand, and more!
It’s not just dog fur that we have to worry about when traveling with our dogs. If you plan to make any stops to let your dog enjoy the woods, lakes, rivers, or beaches, you’ll also face the problem of bringing dirt, mud, and sand into your vehicle once the adventure is over and it’s time to travel back home. One way to solve the problem of a wet dog is to bring a towel to dry them off before the trip home, but not all dogs will dry quickly. If you have a breed of dog with a thicker coat, it may be hours until their fur is dry enough to not get the seats of your vehicle wet as well. Plus, dirt and sand can easily hide in thick fur, or in between your dog’s toes no matter the length of their coat. As with fur, sand and dirt can create problems for your vehicle’s cleanliness and it may need to be professionally cleaned. When looking into a seat covering to protect your vehicle, consider looking for one that is waterproof and has fabric that will easily repel the pieces of nature that might try to sneak a ride back home.
Safety in the Car
One of the most important and overlooked aspects of traveling with your dog is making sure they are safe in case of an accident. As humans, we have seat belts designed to keep us safe, and we often don’t think twice about providing the same measures to our dogs. There are a variety of ways we can help our dogs be safer while traveling.
One option is to put your dog in a kennel or a crate while traveling. If your vehicle allows for a crate large enough to hold your dog, they will be able to comfortably turn around and lie down, as well as being protected in the case of an accident. The biggest risk for dogs in a car accident is the risk of the dog becoming a projectile. Crates provide a barrier that prevents that from happening.
Another option is to use an adapter to buckle your dog into the vehicle. There are a variety of harnesses that can be used to keep your dog restrained safely. Some of these will buckle into the seat belt directly, and others will have a loop for the harness to be buckled into the seat belt in a normal fashion.
Conclusions on Traveling with Your Dog
Careful planning will go a long way in making your travels with your dog safe and comfortable! Consider the things you need to bring, how to plan your trip with breaks for your dog, and how to keep your vehicle clean and safe for your dog.