Newark Mayor Booker Helps Freezing Dog

I don’y even care if this was a photo-op.  Mayor Cory Booker rocks for responding personally to the tweets of a tv reporter and her camera man concerning a poor dog sitting on bare concrete in the freezing cold.

If you know of pets not being properly protected from cold weather, please do something.  Try talking to the owners—maybe offer to help find a solution.  If that doesn’t work, let animal control and animal welfare groups know there are pets in danger.  Don’t forget, when temperature drop below freezing, water bowls freeze over unless they’re heated.  So, even if a dog or cat has shelter, it may not have access to water.

Friday Fun: Shih Tzu Rescued From Rocks

Not exactly fun, but a very happy ending.  Long distance paddle boarder, Charlie Head, spotted the little Shih Tzu stranded on rocks by the incoming tide.  Charlie interrupted his attempt at a 600 mile row from Cornwall to London to rescue the very lucky pup.  No one on shore was aware the dog was out there.

Many dog owners seem to think their dogs don’t need to be kept safe around water.  However, even the strongest swimmer is no match for rip tides and any dog will eventually tire & drown in just calm water.

Hypothermia is probably the biggest threat to a dog’s safety in water.  A dog’s coat loses its ability to insulate well when wet.  The water doesn’t need to be extremely cold for hypothermia to set in.  Temperatures that would be fine on land can be deadly in water.

A water temperature of 10 °C (50 °F) often leads to death in one hour, and water temperatures hovering at freezing can lead to death in as little as 15 minutes…Water at a temperature of 26 °C (79 °F) will, after prolonged exposure, lead to hypothermia.

Get your dog a good life jacket!  One that is secure and keeps their head above water—not all of them are good.  I’ve posted previously about our favorite life jacket.

We Like: Portage Bay Float Coat By Ruffwear

Summer is almost here and that means humans & their dogs will be on or around the water. We often ask our dogs to do things that their instincts haven’t prepared them for, like boating. I don’t think dogs come equipped with sea legs or the ability to judge whether it’s safe to jump in a river to go after water fowl. Most dogs can swim, but even the best swimmer can be crippled by strong currents, hypothermia, or panic and end up drowning. A good life jacket could make all the difference. Keep those pups safe!

With a good life jacket, dogs with amputated limbs or mobility problems could still benefit from water exercise.  You won’t have to worry about your dog sinking or her head going under water.

We have the Float Coat which I love.  RuffWear designed a great canine life jacket.

We like the life jackets by RuffWear because:

  • it’s one of the few with foam under the body & under the head, providing much better buoyancy than jackets with foam just on the back, & it keeps dogs horizontal in the water
  • it fits very snugly & securely with wide sections across the chest and under the belly, 3 adjustable straps/clips, and velcro at the chest. This jacket won’t twist or cut into your dog the way jackets with unpadded nylon straps can.
  • it has a handle on the back making it possible to grab a dog to lift it from the water
  • the different foam thickness and the ergonomic tailoring makes for a comfortable fit and allows for good rang of motion, in particular, the front legs (Saffron actually seems to like wearing hers even out of the water.)
  • highly reflective piping and bright yellow material makes your dogs more visible (I recommend the yellow instead of the red, since yellow provides a stronger contrast)
  • there’s a D-ring for a leash and a loop to attach a light beacon
  • fabric on underside has tight weave so dog’s fur won’t get knitted into fabric
  • super easy to keep clean and dries quickly