How Much is Enough? Keeping Your Dog Hydrated in the Summer


Just like us, dogs are made of up to 80% water. When the temperature soars during the long summer days, it’s especially important to make sure you keep your furry friend hydrated. Water is one of the most important aspects of a dog’s diet but is often taken for granted. In fact, the ASPCA suggests that a good general rule is one ounce of water for every pound of your dog’s weight per day. Adjustments may be made for hotter days and high activity pups. If you have any question about how much water your dog should be getting, please don’t hesitate to ask your vet.

To ensure that your dog is drinking enough water, the easiest thing you can do is to make sure that he always has plenty of cool, clean water available. That’s not limited to the home. There’s nothing like having your main dog taking on the world with you while you’re traveling. If you take your fluffy friend with you on errands or to “yappy hour”, bring a collapsible bowl and water with you to keep him hydrated on the go.


There are a few reasons your dog may not be drinking his water. Some dogs are more finicky than others and won’t drink water that is dirty or has been sitting too long. Make sure his water bowl is clean and the water is clear of debris. It’s also good to choose an appropriately sized bowl for your dog. If the bowl is too deep, he may not be able to reach the water if it gets too low. If the bowl seems to be in good shape, check your dog’s mouth. There may be a sore or foreign object causing him pain or discomfort.

At your next vet appointment, ask to learn more about the signs of dehydration. Some breeds are more susceptible to dehydration, especially during hot weather. Knowing the signs of dehydration and what to do about it can help you act quickly in a situation where seconds count. Armed with the right tools and knowledge you and your pup can enjoy a happy, healthy summer in the sun.



Dog-Friendly Virginia Spring Festivals

Festival Dog


Spring is here and with sunshiney days and moderate temperatures, it’s the perfect time of year to spend time with your pup outside. If your dog loves long walks and lots of new people and things to sniff, the festival life might be barking your name! Virginia is home to many fun pet-friendly festivals and celebrations, but always check festival guidelines to be sure. Also, remember to keep your pup leashed while you’re walking around so he or she doesn’t wander off to explore all of the new sights, smells, and sounds.

For The Daredevils

Dominion Riverrock is more than just a festival. It’s an all-out celebration of the Richmond riverfront complete with outdoor sports and fun musical acts. Put your pup’s athletic prowess to the test with the Ultimate Air Dogs competition or get some bonding time in with the SUP with your Pup event.

For The Clever Pups

If you love a good challenge and you own a “My corgi is smarter than your honor roll child.” bumper sticker then the Third Annual Dog Scavenger Hunt in Old Town Winchester, VA may be for you. Not quite a festival, but still a blast for you and your fur baby. Join other dog owners and their pet detectives on a quest to collect doggy treats around the town. Bring the whole family, there’s no additional admission charge for extra two-legged explorers.

For The Social Butterflies

Looking for a place to commune with fellow dog lovers while your pup makes new friends? Pet Fiesta at Reston Town Center is the place to be on Saturday, May 6th! This all day event is jam-packed with special dog events and awesome vendors. Bring the whole family and spend your Spring Saturday walking your dog along the W&OD trail, getting your faces painted, or taking in the Dog House of Style Fashion Show. Who knows, you may even leave with a new member of your happy family.

With so many pet-friendly events there’s no need to look into your dog’s pleading eyes as you whisk away to have fun or leave the fun early to race back to a lonely pup. Many Virginia, DC, and Maryland festivals and events are pet-friendly but always check the guidelines or FAQs. Finally, make sure you pack a leash, plenty of water, and snacks for you big spring festival adventure.


National Animal Poison Prevention Week: An Ounce of Prevention

Poison Control


Every third week of March is Poison Prevention Week for pets. During this time, take the time to educate yourself and the members of your family on potential poisons for your furry friend. Animals are naturally curious and it’s our job to make sure our pup’s adventures around the house are pleasant.

A little knowledge can go a long way to keep everyone in your house safe, especially those that can’t quite speak up for themselves. There are many online resources that can help you identify hazards around your house so you can keep them tucked away from your curious dog. It’s also a good idea to have the number of an emergency vet or the Pet Poison Helpline in a convenient place just in case your emergency is on a weekend or after office hours.

As you poison proof your home, keep in mind just how ambitious your pup is. Some dogs are content with keeping out of trouble while others may open closed doors, paw at cabinets, or even counter surf to get to something. Depending on your pet, you may want to approach the situation like having a precocious toddler in the house and invest in cabinet locks and door knob covers.

Many substances poisonous to dogs are common sense. Keep household cleaners, rodent and weed killers, and all medicines, even dog-safe medications, locked up tight. Other hazards lying around the house may not be as well known. Glue, electronics, and fertilizers are all potentially dangerous. Chocolate is actually the most popular candidate for pup poison and can be lethal in large doses. It is estimated that pet poison control centers get more calls about chocolate than other substance.

Another practice that can go a long way to keep your dog out of harm is to keep your garbage pails behind closed doors. Spilled trash is more than just a nuisance. Your puppy has a full access to poisons that may include: alcohol, cigarette butts, household cleaners, coffee grounds, bones, and a veritable buffet of foods that are potentially toxic. Another good idea is to keep purses, backpacks, and suitcases out of reach. The average purse often could contain a hodgepodge of potential hazards including xylitol gum, chocolate, cigarettes, battery powered devices, perfumes and more.

As the weather warms and we begin to turn our attention and adventures outside, it’s important to take note potential poisons outside of the home as well. Many plants may prove to be poisonous if ingested around the house or on a hike. Insecticides, herbicides, and rodenticides can be fatal even in low doses. Be sure to read the warning label carefully and keep pets off the lawn until the any applied treatments have dried completely.

It’s important to take swift action if you think that your dog has ingested something potentially harmful. Call your vet, emergency vet, or the Pet Poison Helpline to guide you through the best course of action for your pet. It’s true what they say, an ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure. Preparation is key to keep your best friend safe and happy through his household exploration.




Gifts for Your Dog

Dogs are often referred to as man’s best friend, but during the holidays it’s easy to overlook this important part of our family. Don’t miss out on this chance to celebrate your furry friend. No matter what your dog’s personality is we have the perfect gift idea!

Senior Sleeper

orthoAlthough this luxe couch pet bed is orthopedic, it certainly isn’t restricted to senior sleepers. Any posh pooch would love the plush foam mattress of this couch design pet bed. The ultra-soft suede material will leave you wishing Cozy Cuddlerz made this foam cushion pet bed in your size!

The Gobbler

Meal time can be a bit stressful if you have a gobbler on your hands. This playful interactive dog bowl by Aikiou (pronounced IQ), encourages your pup to eat more slowly. Slow eating can reduce digestive discomfort and related issues. Put your pup’s problem solving skills to the test while you train him to savor every bite.

Trendy Terrier

Lhasa apso puppy at ChristmasSubscription boxes are all the rage. You have one for make-up, one for snacks, and even one for crocheting! What about your furry best friend? If your dog is up on all of the latest trends, Barkbox is the perfect subscription box for this holiday season. Each month you trendy pup will receive a box packed with the latest toys and the tastiest (and healthiest!) treats. You’ll find you’re just as excited to open up the new Barkbox every month.

Fashion Choices

Keep your fashion maven mutt in the latest threads. This sweater is made with your dog’s style and comfort in mind. Some pups are made for the winter weather, but others have thin skin and coats. Your dog will be ready to tackle the brisk winds in this luxurious sweater!


Gourmet Pooch

Your furry friend isn’t a picky eater, he’s a gourmet pooch. Don’t leave him out of the holiday festivities! These limited edition holiday dog treats, Gingerbread Dog Houses, is made with all-natural ingredients. They focus on organic whole grains and local eggs, honey, and peanut products. BowwowMeow Bakery bakes their treats in small batches so you and your furry foodie will have the best every time.

winter dog

Your furry friend is with you through thick and thin. This holiday season spend a little dough on your doe-eyed, fuzzy companion to let them know they’re a part of the family. From premium dog beds to gourmet treats, there is no gift too big or small to win their love.


Fall Hikes with Your Dog!

Autumn is a wonderful time for outdoor adventures with median temperatures the perfect amount of sun exposure. While there is no need to worry about hot pavement and gravel or freezing temperature, there are some things that you should keep in mind if you plan on taking your pup for an afternoon or a few days in the great outdoors.Depositphotos_48304111_original

  • Know the trail – Before you head out to the state or national park of your choice do a little research especially if you plan on being out on the trail for more than a day. You should be able to find out whether or not dogs are welcome, any water points if applicable, park hours, and possibly even a map of the trail.
  • Pack up – In addition to water and snacks for yourself, you’ll want to be sure that you pack some for your furry friend! You should also be sure to take a leash and collar for your dog. Be aware of and adhere to any leash laws. Remember that your dog probably won’t be the only one out on the trail.
  • Know your pup – Not every dog dreams of trekking up a mountain. Keep your dog’s fitness level in mind; there are many leisurely trails that take little effort and time to complete if your dog isn’t used to extended periods of physical activity. Another thing to keep in mind are limitations of your breed; some breeds, especially those that are brachycephalic, have a more difficult time breathing than others so you will need to pay closer attention to them during your walk. Ensure that your dog knows and responds to commands, especially if you plan on letting your dog off leash. This is not just for your dog’s safety, but for the safety of everyone on the trail.
  • Getting home – Don’t forget to check your dog for ticks when you get home. If you’ve been trekking on overgrown paths you may find a tick or two on your dog even with the best flea and tick medication.

You’re informed and ready to roll out with your road dog, but where should you go? All of these trails are picturesque and dog-friendly.

  • Burke Lake Park – Fairfax, VA: This park is better suited for a leisurely walk and activities than an upward mountain trek. Dogs are welcome, but be sure to keep them on leash.
  • Bull Run-Occoquan Trail – Centreville, VA: This trail is follows the bend of the Occoquan River and is suitable for hikers of differing skill level. You can stay on the main trail or visit the branching trails.
  • Virginia Arboretum – Harrisonburg, VA: If you’re up for a little learning with your hike visit the Virginia Arboretum. More walk and less hike, this trail offers the best foliage that Virginia has to offer in one place.

Mild temperatures are ideal for long hikes and Virginia foliage has long been the backdrop for paintings and long, lazy drives. There is no one better to enjoy this sweater weather with than your four-legged best friend.

Fall Boston Puppy


Yappy Hours in NOVA

Let’s face it, you and your pup can only watch so many reruns and Netflix marathons!  Bars, breweries, and wineries in Virginia are steadily becoming more dog friendly. Dog-friendly happy hours or Yappy Hours, as some call them, are taking off in NoVA. Don’t worry if you can’t find an official Yappy Hour we have some dog-friendly hot spots that just might do the trick. If you and your friends want to grab a drink with your four-legged pal then you’re in luck.

Stunning Vineyard Sunset

Cantina Marina – DC: This beach inspired bar is one of the best places to catch a sunset and sip with your best pal. Check out the dog biscuit bar for your pup while you drink in the maritime views.

Shake Shack – Throughout Virginia and DC: Not only does this good ole’ burger chain love dogs as much as we all do, dogs actually have their own mini-menu*! Don’t miss out on the Bag O’ Bones or the Pooch-ini. Cheers to you and your pup!

Barrel Oak Winery – Delaplane: Barrel Oak Winery is well known for being a haven for dog lovers and wine lovers alike. If the name, BOW, is any indication your pup is in for a good time. Gather a group of your friends and their furry pals and enjoy scenic views, great wine, and live music for a good time.

Crooked Run Brewing – Leesburg: Crooked Run has an English Setter on property for you and your dog to play with. Well-behaved people and their pups are welcome to partake on the patio. This brewery doesn’t sell food, so don’t forget to pack a picnic with extra dog biscuits!

There are many bars, wineries, and breweries in Virginia that are super dog friendly! Some venues have their own established Yappy Hours, but you can unofficially start your own at a dog-friendly place as long as you have good friends. Don’t forget to check out your local dog lovers Meetup page for even more dog-friendly social activities.

*Shake Shack dog menu not available in stadiums, ballparks, or airports.

Keep Your Dog Safe in a Heat Wave

Golden retriever in flowersThe sun is shining, the days are long and summer is in full swing in Virginia!

This week we are experiencing temperatures in the 90’s and a heat wave warning has been issued for our area. It’s important to remember that we aren’t the only ones in danger of heat stroke; our furry family members also need to stay cool and protected from this summer heat.

Let’s take a look at 10 ways to keep your pet safe all summer long!

  1. When letting your dog outside make sure they have Drinking beagle puppyaccess to cold water and shade. Limit time outside to 5-10 minutes on days that are extremely hot. Pay close attention to the body language of your pup to be sure they are not overheating.

  2. If you are staying outside with your dog for longer periods of time, lightly spray them down with the hose to cool them off. Most pups love playing with water, so this is a fun activity too!


  3. We all love to play with our pups but on hot days it’s important to limit exercise and playtime. If you do want to exercise with your pup, the coolest hours of the day are just after sunrise.

  4. Long walks are great for your pup but not in the hot weather. Not only can your dog overheat quickly, they can easily burn their paw pads. Walk your dog on the grass if possible and on extremely hot days, skip the walk for something less dangerous. A great Egg on hot road surface beginning to frytest to see if the pavement is hot enough to burn your pet, put the back of your hand on the pavement, and if you can’t keep it there for five seconds, it’s too hot for your pup’s feet.

  5. Humans love ice-cream on a hot summer day and so does your pup! Make your pet a dog-friendly frozen treat, like these Peanut Butter & Banana Pup-sicles!


  6. Never leave your dog inside the car alone on hot summer days. Even if the windows are open, the car can still heat up very quickly. The temperature within a car can climb from 75 degrees F to 110 degrees F within 15 minutes.

  7. Buy a kiddie pool! A cheap plastic kiddie pool could be a great way to keep your dog cool in summer months. Be sure to supervise Dog in a small poolplaytime, but your pup will love jumping and splashing in the water as they cool down and relax.

  8. Be sure to have multiple water dishes available to your pup and change them out often with fresh, cool water.

  9. Check your dog for heat stroke. Watch for the following symptoms:
    • Panting.
    • Dehydration.
    • Excessive drooling
    • Increased body temperature – above 103° F (39° C)
    • Reddened gums and moist tissues of the body.
    • Production of only small amounts of urine or no urine.
    • Rapid heart rate.

  10. Keep in touch with your vet! If you think your dog may have heat stroke, it is critical that you act quickly. Call Ashburn Veterinary Hospital at (703) 729-9200 if you believe your dog may be suffering from heat stroke.


Summertime is the perfect time to relax, unwind and enjoy some bonding time with your pet. If you keep these things in mind, we know you’ll have a beautiful, sunny and safe summer with your furry friends!



Keep Your Dog Safe in a Heat Wave