27 Apr

8 Ways to Help Pets Beat the Summer Heat

Short-nosed breeds are more sensitive to heat

Short-nosed breeds can’t pant efficiently and are less tolerant of heat

Summer months are beautiful and everyone looks forward to with them with the anticipation of having a good time outdoors in parks, beaches and other fun spots. However, the summer heat can be a big issue, especially for your pets. When it’s hot you can  change to lighter clothing but they don’t have that luxury. It’s up to you to ensure that they are as comfortable as possible so that they enjoy the summer as much as you do.

While human beings keep our bodies cool through sweating, your pets get rid of body heat by panting or perspiring through their paws. Unfortunately this doesn’t get the job done quite as efficiently. Your pet is more easily susceptible to heat stroke because of this. It is therefore quite important that you shield your pets from the negative effects of the summer heat.

Dogs need extra care in the heat

Pay attention to your pets when taking them outside on hot days

  1. Keep Your Pets Cool

One of the things you can do is to have your pets clipped or shaved so that heat trapped in the furs will be minimal. You can sometimes provide cold food and water for your pet. This can be in the form of cold vegetables or chilling your pet’s water bowl by adding a few ice cubes to it.

  1. Have Plenty of Water Handy

Always make sure to keep your dogs well hydrated at all times. Replenish water bowls with cool and fresh water. You can spray your dogs with water or use a cold towel for their underbellies to keep them cool.

  1. Reduce Time Spent Under the Sun

Even though your pets may love spending a lot of time outdoors, you need to prevent them from doing this. Apart from the possibility of suffering a heat stroke, staying too long under direct sunlight also exposes your pets to the risk of skin cancers.

  1. Restrict Exercising

Restrict exercise times to mornings and evenings when the weather and ground is cooler. Keep exercises at moderate intensity – no fast running or anything vigorous. If your pets are still struggling, go for a slow or leisurely walk so that your pets do not exert themselves. Better still, take them for a swim to help cool their bodies and also have some fun.

Consider taking your dogs to a local dog park with water available to take a dip in. The water will help cool off dogs on hot days. Both the Clayton Dog Park and Maplewood Dog Park have water available for dogs to play in.

Water can prevent a dog from overheating

Water is a great way to keep a dog cool on a hot day

  1. Condition the Environment

During summer, provide plenty of shade for your dogs so that they are not exposed to too much sun. If you can provide air conditioning, Great! If not, you can provide a fan. The crate or kennel can be relocated to a shady area. You could freeze up large jars of water to keep in their cages at all times. You can also keep your pets cool by pouring a few inches of water in a kid’s paddling pool and placing it in a shaded area. They will enjoy cooling off inside the pool. Spraying the play area several times during a hot day will also help keep the environment cool.

  1. Watch Out For Signs of Discomfort

Ensure that you pay very close attention to changes in your pets’ behavior so that any hot spell or health issue can be detected and addressed early. Signs of heat – related discomfort in dogs include drooling, vomiting, diarrhea, fatigue, difficulty in breathing or heavy panting. Get the attention of your vet if you notice anything amiss.

  1. Protect from Hot Floor surfaces

Concrete, asphalt or sand can get your dogs’ pads burnt. So you have to protect them from the effects of walking on such surfaces if you cannot prevent it. You can also make use of doggie boots to help protect their paws.

  1. When Going Out

Don’t leave pets inside parked cars, even when the windows are down, because the temperature inside rises quickly and could lead to heat stroke. It may be better to leave your pets at home if you are going to places where pets are not allowed. Also ensure you carry enough water with you on outings. You can also consult your vet on the use of sunscreens for your pet.


Different breeds of dogs have varying levels of tolerance to heat.

  • Pugs, Pekingese, Bulldogs, Boston Terriers, and other short-nosed breeds can’t pant efficiently and are less tolerant.
  • Elderly or sick animals also have low tolerance for heat.
  • Overweight dogs trap more heat in their extra layers of fat and find it more difficult to breathe. They are therefore less heat tolerant.
  • Short-haired dogs and lighter coated dogs and cats (with pink skin and white hair) are more susceptible to sunburn.
20 Apr

Local Parks: Clayton Dog Park

entrance sign Clayton Dog Park

The sign you see when entering the Clayton Dog Park at Anderson Park from Clayton Road.

The city of Clayton offers dog owners in the area a relatively new dog park. This is another one of the great dog parks that Mid-County has to offer.

entrance at the clayton dog park

Members receive a pass code to open the gated entrance to the Clayton Dog Park. A sign with rules and membership requirements is posted at the entrance.

The park is located at Anderson Park at 8275 Clayton Rd 63105. Anderson Park was previously known as Haddington Court. Haddington Court was a neighborhood with a handful of houses that was leveled after a buyout from FEMA via the Missouri Sewer District. It was declared that these homes were in a flood plain of the nearby Deer Creek. This 4.56 acres of land was turned into a dog park of 2 acres in 2013 as well as an area for storm water management.

Tunnel at Clayton Dog Park

A tunnel is seen in the distance for dogs to run through and explore.

The park is secluded from the traffic on Clayton Rd. and provides a great place for dogs and their owners to socialize, exercise, and have fun. There is a tunnel for dogs to run through as well as a water area where dogs can splash around and have fun while getting wet. There is a dog water fountain inside the park so bowls can be easily filled up as well as plenty of seating inside the dog park for owners to use while their dogs play around. Picnic tables located outside the fenced-in dog park area are an ideal place for people to enjoy a meal outside.

picnic table at the clayton dog park

Picnic tables outside the dog park are available for all to enjoy a nice meal outside.

Dog park annual memberships are valid April through March and are offered to residents, people who work in Clayton, and non-residents. Up to three dogs per family are allowed to join the dog park. The rate for a resident is $80/year for the first dog and $60/year for additional dogs. The rate for people who work in Clayton is $100/year for the first dog and $75/year for additional dogs. Non-residents are charged $120/year for the first dog and $90/year for additional dogs. Membership applications are available online.

Dog park members are required to submit proof of vaccinations as well as proof that their dogs have been spayed or neutered. Members will receive a tag for each registered dog as well as a pass code for the gate. Dog park hours are 7 AM to dusk everyday.

13 Apr

7 Benefits Of Adopting a Dog From a Shelter

shelter puppies

A lot of folks tend to shy away from adopting dogs from shelters largely as a result of misconceptions and not as a result of any unpleasant experience they or anyone else has had with such dogs. There’s just this funny picture in people’s minds of dog shelters being for uncooperative, unhealthy, or badly behaved dogs.

The truth is that shelters are home to a lot of pleasant and adorable dogs that anyone would love to have as a member of their family.

Most dogs found in shelters once belonged to people who had to surrender them.  This could either be because the owners were relocating or because they are unable to continue taking care of them due to any one of a myriad of reasons: allergy, old age, ill-health, death, money issues or unforeseen circumstances.

So, if by chance, you are thinking about bringing a dog home, you should consider adopting one from a shelter. Doing so, apart from being a kind and humane gesture, has other benefits for you, the dog and other dogs.

shelter puppy

1) It Costs Less to Adopt From a Shelter

When compared to getting your dog from a breeder, shelters cost you far less. While all the shelter requires from you is the required fee for adoption, you will need to pay a pet store or dog breeder the going rate for the breed that you desire.

Also, since shelters spay or neuter their dogs and promptly take care of health issues, your visit to the vet after an adoption won’t cost you as much as it would if you were just buying a puppy from a pet shop or breeder.

2) Health Issues

Dog shelters ensure that dogs get their shots and medical attention when required. So, you can be sure of the health condition of your dog before adoption. Plus, mutts are healthier anyways.

3) The Joy of making a difference

Taking your adopted dog home, caring for and watching him or her grow will give you the satisfaction of having made a difference in the life of a once helpless creature.

4) Other Dogs Benefit

When you adopt a dog from a shelter, you have not only saved the life of that dog. You have invariably saved the life of another dog that can now fill the vacancy you have created. Also, the fee you paid to the shelter will go a long way in providing for the needs of other dogs.

5) Shelter Dogs May Require Less Training

A lot of dogs were members of one family or another before being sent to the shelters. Therefore, it is likely that that they have received some basic training such as learning to do their business outside from their former owners. This saves you the time and effort needed to do this training yourself and is desirable, especially if you run a busy schedule.

6) Bonding is Easier

You and your friend can bond more easily because the shelter can help you find a dog that is compatible with your requirements and lifestyle. The handlers in the shelter can guide you in making the right choice thus reducing the learning curve for both of you and ensure a long lasting relationship.

7) Variety

Because shelters are a filled with various breeds, you have a wide spectrum of choices. According to the ASPCA, about 25% of shelter dogs are pure-bred. This means that if you are particular about what you want, you might be able to get lucky and find the one you’re looking for.

Shelters in St. Louis

St. Louis is blessed with some great shelters that provide great opportunities for people looking for a new pet. Below are a few of the better known shelters in St. Louis:

Stray Rescue of St. Louis

Stray Rescue of St. Louis 2320 Pine St. 63103/314-771-6121

Stray Rescue of St. Louis is a wonderful rescue shelter. Its mission is to save and rehabilitate dogs who have been neglected and/or abused. Stray Rescue provides these dogs with shelter, food, and medical care. Stray Rescue is one of the few no kill shelters that also provides the expensive heartworm treatment for infected dogs. These dogs are then placed with families who will provide the love and care that these dogs deserve.

APA of MO adoption center

Animal Protective Association of Missouri 1705 S. Hanley Road 63144/314-645-4610

The APA Adoption Center works to place animals that have been surrendered to them to new, loving families. They work with dogs, cats, and other small house pets. They are not a rescue shelter by definition but they do great work giving pets a second chance.

humane society of missouri

Humane Society of Missouri  1201 Macklind Ave. 63110/314-647-8800

The Humane Society of Missouri is another option for those wanting to adopt a pet. These pets have either been rescued or surrendered. These kinds of pets are the most vulnerable and can provide the owner with much love and loyalty.

All of these shelters rely on volunteers and donations. People who can walk the dogs and even take them home and foster them are always needed.  It benefits both the volunteers and the dogs being helped. Visit their websites or call them for more information on how to get involved with helping improve an animal’s chances of finding a forever home.

saint louis dog walkers logo

Saint Louis Dog Walkers is happy to provide dog walks and pet sits for all kinds of pets, especially those adopted from shelters. Check out what dog walking and pet services we can offer you and your pets.

06 Apr

Local Parks: Maplewood Dog Park

sign for kellogg park

Maplewood Dog Park is located in Kellogg Park

The Maplewood Dog Park is a wonderful place to take dogs for some off leash fun. It is located in Kellogg Park at 2531 Circle Drive, Maplewood, MO 63143.

There are not many places in an urban setting where dogs are able to enjoy off leash fun. The parks focus is on the dogs. And the dogs have a great time socializing with the other dogs and getting their play time in. Another added benefit is that when the dogs are having fun, the dog owners from around the area get to meet and socialize among themselves and friendships are formed. A real community of people develops through regular meetings at the dog park. It’s a social club where both dogs and their owners look forward to being active members.

Entrance to the Maplewood Dog Park

This is the gate one enters to get inside the Maplewood Dog Park. There is an area for large dogs straight ahead and to the left is the area for small dogs.

The Maplewood Dog Park opened in 2005. There are two separate fenced in areas for the dogs to play. One side is for large dogs and the other side is for all the other dogs. Water is available in the park for owners to fill up dog bowls, chairs for owners to use, and there are trash cans for dog waste. There is even a pool area for dogs to enjoy when the weather is hot (bring a towel in case your dog gets soaked).

picnic tables at Kellogg Park

Use this picnic table and bring a meal while you enjoy some beautiful weather outside.

In addition to the dog park amenities, there is a very nice playground available for children to use in Kellogg Park just outside the dog park area along with an open field to play on.

playing fields at Kellogg Park

There is plenty of green space for people to play on just outside the fenced in area of the dog park.

The dog park is open from dawn until dusk except in the winter time when it closes at 7PM.

Membership to the dog park is required either through Maplewood City Hall or online. Proof of vaccinations and a photo of the dogs being registered is required to become a member. Digital photos are preferred and can be emailed to: dogpark@cityofmaplewood.com. Members receive a pass code to use to open the gate at the dog park.

Memberships for residents are $20 for the first dog per calendar year. Each additional dog is $5. In addition to Maplewood residents, residents of Richmond Heights, Brentwood, and Shrewsbury qualify for residential rates. Non-residents pay $50 for each dog per calendar year.

There are some simple dog park rules that must be followed . They range from no puppies under 4 months allowed to no alcoholic beverages, no dog food or treats, no leashes, no digging, and no dogs in heat allowed.

Sign with rules for dogs and their owners

This sign at the entrance to the dog park displays the rules owners must obey so all the dogs can safely enjoy themselves

This is one of the few dedicated dog parks in the Mid-County area and is a great place to take dogs to have fun, exercise, and make new friends. Residents of this area are very fortunate to have such a place to venture to for some outdoor fun with their dogs.