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Top LED Dog Collars – easily see your dog at night

LED Dog Collars

Orvis Safety Light & Glowdoggie

As the days are getting shorter, we thought it was a good time to update our LED Dog Collar recommendations.  The LED Dog Collar is a must have for any dog owner that takes their dog out at night. Not only can you better see your dog, but so can others! Wearing a dog collar light can be a great safety device and life saver.

Based on our tests, these are the Top 2 LED Dog Collars on the market that we think you’ll love. We tried to get better pictures of our own dogs with the LED Dog Collars on, but it was a challenge with it being dark outside and the dogs’ non-compliance in staying still.

Orvis Safety Light

Orvis LED Dog CollarThe Orvis Safety Light is waterproof, impact resistant, and visible up to 3 miles away. Best of all, the Orvis LED safety light fastens anywhere on your dog’s collar via a clip or hook-and-loop strap (both included). It’s like a mini flashlight on your dog’s collar. We’ll not only use this on dog walks at night, but also when we have power outages (like during Hurricane Sandy). We might even take it on a late night run.

Orvis Safety LightThe light is easily turned on by simply rotating the lens. It has both steady and flash modes. To switch from steady light to flash, just flip the battery to change the function. Allegedly, this is the light that Danish search-and-rescue teams rely on to keep their dogs visible in dark and dangerous conditions.

The light comes in clear (white), red and amber colors. It is a 100,000-hour bulb with a 250-hour battery life and weighs less than 1 oz. Being small and compact, it’s great for travel, especially since you can easily take it on and off.

Glowdoggie LED Dog Collar

Glowdoggie in green

Glowdoggie LED Dog Collar

We were impressed how bright the Glowdoggie Classic is! It’s the brightest all-around dog collar we’ve seen on the market and it’s not annoyingly bright either. Glowdoggie also makes an Ultra version which is about 50% brighter and can also run on rechargeable AAAs if desired.

The Glowdoggie (aka Leuchtie) is made and engineered in Germany. You can immediately tell it is made of robust, durable, quality components. It’s also 100% waterproof (your dog can go swimming in it) and comes with a 2 year warranty. The Glowdoggie has been tested in all types of extreme climates, from the Arctic Circle to the Western Australian Desert, and it’s used by many SAR teams around the U.S..

Glowdoggie

Fiesta tests the Glowdoggie

The Glowdoggie is unique in that it’s not actually a collar. It’s a flexible ring that you slip over your dog’s head and as such you need to order it in a specific size for it to fit your dog, i.e. there’s no way to adjust the size of the ring. There is no need to open the ring, except for changing the AAA batteries. The Glowdoggie should be used in addition to your dog’s normal collar. A nylon strap is included if you prefer to attach the Glowdoggie to your dog’s collar.

Fiesta has been using the Glowdoggie for over a year and loves it (so does her “daddy”, Luis).

Glowdoggie LED Dog CollarThere is no on/off switch on the Glowdoggie, instead, it’s turned on when the battery portion is facing down (as it is in the photo on the right) and gradually turns off when it is in the up position. Luckily there are plenty of instructional and product demonstration videos on the Glowdoggie website. The battery life is 100 hours. The Glowdoggie Classic + comes in six different colors (green, blue, aqua, red, white and pink).

Hot Weather Tips for Your Dog

summer dog

It’s great to spend time with your dog outside. Just remember to take some simple precautions to help prevent your dog from overheating during the hot weather. Here are our Hot Weather Tips for Your Dog:

Hydrate

Make sure to bring water with you – not just for yourself, but also for your dog. Check out these water bottles for dogs.

Shade

Look for a shady place for your dog so they can get out of the sun and cool down.
water bottle

Street Smarts

When the temperature is high, don’t let your dog walk on hot asphalt. Being so close the ground, your dog’s body can heat up quickly, and its sensitive paw pads can burn.

Not sure if it’s hot? Well if it’s too hot for your foot, it’s probably too hot for your dogs. Press the back of your hand firmly against the asphalt for 7 seconds to verify it will be comfortable for your dog. The last thing anyone wants is for your dog to burn his paws.

ruffwear cooling coat

cooling coat

If you live in an area where the ground is always scorching hot, consider getting your dog some dog booties for hot weather.

Exercise

Try to exercise dogs in the early morning or late evening when temperatures are lower. If your dog quickly overheats, you might want to try out a cooling coat.

Water Activities

Dogs, like people, often love to get wet when it’s hot outside. Make sure to introduce your dog to water gradually and don’t leave them unsupervised around a pool as not all dogs are good swimmers and they should not drink pool water, which can be toxic.

Summer dogDogs should wear a flotation device when on boats (just like us humans do). Never take your dog to the beach unless you can provide a shaded spot and plenty of fresh water for them to drink. Consider having your dog wear doggles to protect their eyes.

Remember to rinse your dog off after swimming to remove chlorine or salt from their coat.

Sunscreen

sunscreen for dogsSunburn is a hazard for pets who spend time outdoors. Use a pet-safe sunscreen to protect your dog from the sun’s harming rays, which can cause skin cancer especially of the ears and nose. Feel free to trim longer hair on your dog, but never shave your dog – the layers of dogs coats can protect them from sunburn.

Warning Signs

If you find your dog excessively panting or just not wanting to exercise or walk as they normally would, your dog might be overheating. Try to get them out of the sun and preferably in an air conditioned room asap.

Don’t Leave Your Dog in the Car!!!

NEVER leave your animals (or children) alone in a parked vehicle. A parked car can become an oven and easily lead to fatal heat stroke for pets and children. Please keep them at home if you can’t bring them with you.

Now that you have the tips – go outside with your best friend and enjoy a great, safe summer!

How to Help your Dog with Mosquitoes

“Dear Dogsized, My father’s border collie is constantly harassed by mosquitoes. Are there any dog-safe products for Charlie? – Kiku”

dog-mosquitoMosquitoes are definitely a problem for dogs! Not only do mosquitoes harass and bite dogs (as they do humans), mosquito bites can result in everything from an annoying itch to more serious parasitic diseases. Mosquito bites are also a primary cause of heartworm in dogs. If your dog has more hair (e.g. a chow) then they have more natural protection than say a bit bull or “bully” breeds. Regardless, those areas that show more skin e.g. nose, ears, eyelids, abdomen, groin and inside the legs are more prone to getting mosquito bites (and can also get sunburn).

There are plenty of things you can try to change in your environment to reduce the amount of mosquitoes, for example, avoiding stagnant water, using products containing oil of sandalwood or citronella and staying inside, especially in the early morning and early evening, when mosquitoes are most active.

Mosquito Repellent for Dogs

flys offTo protect your dog, do NOT use human mosquito repellents containing DEET on dogs. Instead, look for repellents formulated especially for pets that contain either permethrins or pyrethrins. Here are some dog mosquito repellent products for your dog to try:
Flys Off Spray
Flys-Off Fly Repellent Ointment
Pet Naturals of Vermont Protect Flea & Tick Repellent Spray
All Terrain Natural Pet Herbal Armor Insect Repellent Spray
Even if you use a mosquito repellent, make sure your dog is taking a heartworm preventative, such as Heartgard Plus, and also a topical treatment and prevention of ticks, fleas, mosquitoes, biting flies, and lice, such as K9 Advantix II.(see also our article on Advantix vs Frontline).

Mosquito Bite Treatment

Luckily there are some solutions to help your dog if he does get bitten. Treat bites with an antibacterial cream (e.g. Neosporin) to keep them from becoming infected. To help with the itchiness, you might also want to try Sulfodene or a Pet Hydrocortizone (Zymox).
Please see your veterinarian if the bites appear very large (i.e. possibly something in it) or if they do not heal or appear to be getting worse.

Bad Foods for Dogs – Avoid These Human Foods

As part of National Poison Prevention Week, here’s our list of bad foods for dogs:
bad foods for dogs

Dog owners all have different rules as what to feed their best friends, but there are bad foods for dogs which can be extremely harmful. It’s best to always check to see if a food is ok to feed to a dog before you give it to them.

Here is a list of foods which dogs need to avoid:

  • Alcohol
  • Avocados
  • Caffeine (incl. coffee and tea)
  • Chocolate
  • Dairy Products (incl. milk)
  • Fat Trimmings
  • Garlic
  • Grapes
  • Macadamia Nuts
  • Nicotine (ok – not a food, but some humans do “consume” cigarettes)
  • Onions
  • Persimmons, Peaches, and Plums
  • Raisins
  • Salt
  • Sugary Foods (incl. candy and gum)
  • Yeast Dough

If you believe your dog has eaten any of these bad foods for dogs, call your vet or the Pet Poison Hotline immediately.

As owners, we might eat these foods and not give them to our dogs, however, it’s just as important to ensure you have stored these foods away properly. Remember that dogs (even small ones) can jump on tables and counter tops. Especially when you aren’t at home, they have to the opportunity to work on trying to jump up and get to those grapes or chocolate sitting on the counter or table top. Do yourself and your dog a favor by storing it in the refrigerator.

Note that dogs can also have other food allergies. I was very surprised to find out that my dog, a Havanese, has quite a lot of allergies. He’s allergic to grass (but he still tries to eat it). He also had a bad allergic reaction to corn.

To learn more about the ingredients in your dog food, check out our article on How to Read a Dog Food Label.