Symptoms of a Flea Infestation

The summer months are prime time for fleas, which thrive in the heat. And if untreated, they can lead to tapeworms and other diseases.

Symptoms of an infestation can include:  Severe itching that causes a skin rash, legions and possibly ulcers,  dermatitis, and scratching and biting at the inflamed area on the skin. Flea attacks are most common on your dog’s, head, neck and tail.

The symptoms of fleas appear suddenly and range from very mild to severe. Be on the lookout for fleas crawling through your dog’s fur, particularly in your dog’s skin folds. Adult fleas are flat with 3 pairs of legs, brownish in color and 2 – 8mm long. Also look for “flea dirt” (excrement) in your dogs bedding and skin

Summer Camp – For Dogs!

Summer is here, dog lovers, and you know what that means: it’s time to pack up the car and take your pooch to summer camp.

Doggie summer camps are for real, folks, and their level of intensity ranges from day camping and hiking events with like-minded owners to kennel-free boarding at a pet “ranch” to the full-on summer camp experience with you and your pooch taking part in swimming lessons, costume contests and handicrafts.

Here are a several options you can either take advantage of this summer or go ahead and book for 2011.

Sleepaway Camp for Your Dog
For those who fear that their dog is getting a little too citified — or just need to travel without their pet — the Double Dog Ranch offers a service you might describe as adventure boarding. Think of this as a doggie dude ranch where your pup can romp around in the woods while you take a much-needed vacation to the beach. Or if your dog needs a little tutoring in the obedience department, these guys can help out with that too.

The Double Dog Ranch has two locations, one in Northern Oregon and the other in Southern California. For booking info, you can check their available dates online. They’re updated daily. Rates begin at around $40 a day.

A Camp That Caters to You and Your Dog
Just as camps for kids get booked up, so do canine camps. But if you are looking for a summer 2011 destination, consider Canine Club Getaway. This is one of the most hands-on camp experiences available to you and your dog. Canine Club Getaway is one part summer camp, one part dog-friendly resort. In fact, the camp is held at a scenic resort property in Lake George, N.Y.

But just because you’re not roughing it doesn’t mean you don’t get that classic summer-camp experience. Canine Club Getaway provides a smorgasbord of activities for dogs and owners such as “Barks and Crafts,” “Red Light Green Light,” “Guided Hikes,” and even “Doggie Weddings” (not legally binding in most states). “Last year, we had two dogs that were going to breed,” Costa tells Paw Nation, “So we had a little costume party ceremony. It was really fun and it was presided over by our staff Ph.D.”

Rates for summer 2011 start at $1,099 for a single room. If you are looking for a fall getaway, keep checking the camp’s website. Costa says that they’ve “been kicking around the idea of another event in October.” See a video of the camp below.

Day Camping and Hiking with Your Dog
Want to get in on some of this awesome dog camping, but don’t have the time for a week-long summer camp? The Dog Scouts of America might be the place to go for a slightly more introductory-level camping situation. Plus, you can meet like-minded dog owners in your area.

The Dog Scout motto is “Let us learn new things, so that we may become more helpful.” Who doesn’t want their dog to be more helpful? Maybe they can teach your dog how to start a campfire, or at least how to fetch you a cold beverage out of the cooler.

Troops are cropping up all over the nation, and offer dogs and owners the chance to bond over activities like backpacking, day camps, and of course earning merit badges.

Courtesy of RadioFence.com, a Leading Internet Retailer of Pet Supplies including Pet Gates, Dog Training Shock Collars and Bark Collars.

Pet-Friendly Dorms: Send Your Pet To College

Many college freshman bring family photos or a favorite blanket from home when they head off for school, but according to the New York Times, today’s freshman are ditching those inanimate objects in favor of something closer to their hearts: they’re bringing along the family pet now that more and more schools are allowing animals in the dorms. The Times reports that institutions that are allowing pets include including Stephens College in Missouri, Massachusetts Institute of Technology and Eckerd College in South Florida.

As animal lovers, we understand the appeal of being allowed to bring a cherished pet to college. But as much as we love spending time with animals, we do see some potential hazards. Will the stress of sole pet ownership add to the pressures of college life? Will the dogs bark, for example, and disturb studying students? Will large numbers of loud students upset the animals?

The New York Times piece sparked so many questions about the logistics of allowing pets in dorms that they asked Deb Duren, the vice president for student services at Stephens College, to answer a few follow up questions, addressing many concerns, such as how the school plans to deal with the fur and poop that comes along with a building full of pets.

Duren explains that most of the campus is pet free, with the exception of two residence halls and a wing of a third so students with allergies don’t have to be affected by pets. There are special “poop dumpsters” for handling waste, and they offer doggie daycare to help keep the dogs happy while students are in class.

Even after reading Duren’s responses, we still aren’t sure how we feel about it. Some Paw Nation staffers think it’s a good idea to have pets on campus and others believe it is too problematic.

What do you think? Do pets belong in dorm rooms? Would you bring a pet to college with you? Do you wish you had been able to?

Courtesy of RadioFence.com, a Leading Internet Retailer of Pet Supplies including Pet Gates, Dog Training Shock Collars and Bark Collars

What It Means When Your Dog Sniffs Down There

Some dogs are so affectionate that they’re not content with licking your face. They also want to share your more private smells which can prove embarrassing for you or an unsuspecting visitor.

Men and women alike are victims of this socially awkward behavior. Dogs do this out of a natural instinct to learn about this person (in the same way they sniff each others behinds) and out of habit. Keep in mind that dogs have a very strong sense of smell so they can learn a lot about a person through sniffing.

This strong sense of smell also leads to another reason canines might sniff that private area – because some dogs can actually sense prostrate cancer. They can detect a problem just sniffing people but, according to a recent study, can actually pick up the scent of chemicals associated with early prostrate cancer in urine.

Courtesy of RadioFence.com, a Leading Internet Retailer of Pet Supplies including Pet Gates, Dog Training Shock Collars and Bark Collars