Meet Oscar, The 18 Year-Old Dachshund Who Won’t Give Up

Old Dachshund Dogs

Oscar will turn 19 in August

Dachshunds have a relatively long lifespan of 12 to 15 years, but some amazing old Dachshund dogs and weiner dog mixes have lived well beyond that. Max, a famous Dachshund, Beagle, Terrier mix, lived to be 29 years-old. Chanel, a purebred Dachshund, lived to the ripe old age of 21. And Otto, a Dachshund-Terrier mix, and Scolly, a purebred Dachshund, both lived to see 20.

And today we have Oscar, a purebred Dachshund, who will turn 19 in August.

“He is the energizer bunny,” says Marc Renson, one of Oscar’s owners. “He just keeps going!”

Marc’s partner, Greg, adopted Oscar when he was just 4 months old and the couple has cared for him ever since. While Marc describes Oscar as “the perfect dog,” ownership of an aging canine doesn’t come without its challenges and expenses.

At 9 years-old, Oscar suffered a slipped disc, an injury common in long-bodied breeds like Dachshunds. Oscar became paralyzed and underwent a $5,000 surgery.

The vets thought he might not make it out alive due to his age, but he did, and he even regained his ability to walk.

At 12, Oscar underwent an almost full extraction of his teeth. Again, the vets thought he wouldn’t survive the procedure, but he defied their predictions. At 17, he had a stroke. And at 18, he suffered a rectal prolapse.

“At that point, the vet told us to put the dog down,” Marc says. “We did put the dog down; we put him down off the examination table and walked out of the clinic and went to another clinic.”

And thanks to an antibacterial shot and some medications, Oscar fully recovered.

“We have been determined to help Oscar no matter what,” Marc says.

“All the joy he brings to our lives; he is like our child. If clinic visits and carrying him up and down stairs is what we have to do, then that’s what we’ll do.”

Some people might wonder what kind of quality of life an 18 year-old dog can have. But Marc says that despite the fact that Oscar is now partially blind, partially deaf, and has a hard time getting started in the morning, his vital signs are strong and he’s a happy dog who travels around the house during the day, plays with his little sister Lucy (also a Dachshund), begs for kibble, loves car rides, and always wants to be in the same room as Marc and Greg.

“But he doesn’t run anymore or save us from the pool,” Marc says. “He used to jump into the pool after us thinking we were drowning.

It was the cutest thing. Bark, bark, bark, then jump right in and doggie paddle over to us. My heart is breaking remembering the memory.”

Fortunately, Marc has more than just happy memories to go on at this point. He still has his friend, who he refers to as a “caregiver” and a “soft, affectionate, and wise old soul.”

And he’s not giving up on him anytime soon.

“As a long-time dog owner, I believe that a dog will always let its owner know when it’s truly time. They will change their patterns, stop eating, hide in corners, or disassociate themselves.

I believe that and after everything Oscar has been through, he’s still loving. I know in my heart, he’s not ready yet. He still has more life that he wants to live. Long live Oscar!”

As a thanks to Marc and Greg for all they do for Oscar, we are giving the family a free trial of PetPlus. PetPlus is a benefit program for pet owners that provides member-only access to medications at wholesale prices, plus discounts on food, supplies, boarding, and more. Learn more and sign up at!

Have a story you’d like to share or know a pet-family deserving of a free trial of PetPlus? Contact the editors at content [at] petplus {dot} com or leave a note in the comments below. We’d love to hear from you. 


Should You Give a Pet as a Gift?

Pet as a gift

You’ve seen it before (most likely on the big screen): a beautifully wrapped present is placed on the floor, someone goes to pick it up, and it moves! Ah, and then the delight of opening the box to find a furry angel inside! The pet-as-gift is a charming idea for movies and TV shows, but does it make sense to give a pet as a gift in real life?

Why You Might Consider Giving a Pet as a Gift

Do you have a friend who is always talking about how much they want a dog? Or perhaps you have a family member who lives alone, and you just know that a cat would make a perfect companion. Giving a pet as a gift is a well-intentioned act, and indeed very generous — after all, pets bring such joy and love to their owners. However, while you might be sure that your friend or family member would be delighted to receive a fluffy new friend, they might have a different idea, and it’s important to do your homework before you give.

RELATED STORY: What Are Puppy Mills?

Considerations Before You Give a Pet as a Gift

Here are some things to consider before you give a pet as a gift:

  • Lifespan and health of the pet and pet parent: The recipient you have in mind should be prepared to care for the pet you give them for the next 10 to 20 years, depending on the animal’s age and expected life expectancy. That’s a big time commitment, and all pets need daily care.
  • The annual cost to raise a pet: Pets cost money. While you might be covering the cost of buying the pet, the recipient will have to pay for their veterinary care, food, medications, and other supplies. Can the recipient afford that, or would they want to?
  • Real estate restrictions: Are there any restrictions that would not allow the recipient to have a pet in their home or apartment? Many landlords, for example, will allow small pets but not large pets, and many require a hefty deposit regardless of the size of the animal.
  • Allergies: Is the recipient allergic to any animals? When in doubt, ask.
  • Pet compatibility: Does the recipient own other animals? Do those animals get along with other animals?
  • Dedication, time and patience: When you see pets given as gifts in movies and TV shows, they are usually pudgy puppies or fuzzy kittens. But puppies and kittens are a lot of work. They require training, time, and plenty of patience. Presenting someone with an adorable baby animal may seem like a sweet idea, but consider what the recipient is in for once the gift giving is over and you’ve gone home.
  • Desire and commitment: Be sure that the recipient wants a pet. Saying “I love dogs!” is not the same thing as saying “I want to own a dog, care for it for the next decade, and pay for whatever needs come up!

If you do decide to give a pet, don’t put it in a closed box, even if the box has breathing holes. The pet could get hurt or become scared, and you don’t want the animal’s first experience with their new owner to be a frightening one.

RELATED STORY: Choosing The Right Dog For My Family

Alternatives to Giving a Pet as a Gift

If you still like the idea of giving a pet as a gift but aren’t sure the best way to go about it, consider these alternatives:

  • Give a gift certificate to a local animal shelter or breeder. Adoption is a very personal experience, and most people like picking out their own pet.
  • If you decide to give a gift certificate or money for a new pet but want to find a way to spice up the presentation, consider a care package. Put together supplies that the recipient will need to care for their new pet: food, a leash, toys, a bed, a gift certificate for a first vet visit, etc. That way, they won’t have to worry so much about the details and can start enjoying their new friend right away.

Another great item to add to a pet care package? A membership to PetPlus. PetPlus is a benefit program for pet owners that provides member-only access to medications at wholesale prices, plus discounts on food, supplies, vet visits, boarding, and more. Learn more at

Would you ever give a pet as a gift? Have you ever received one? Leave a comment and let us know.


Is a Raw Pet Food Diet The Right Way to Go?

Raw Pet Food Diet

It seems like every few years a new dieting trend emerges, and the latest health craze has begun to spread out to our furry friends.


Similar to the popular paleo diet, or the ancestral diet, the concept behind a raw only nutritional regimen is that you eat only the things that our prehistoric predecessors would have eaten. That means everything you eat is unprocessed, grain-free, and supposedly much cleaner burning than the crud we typically consume.


While a diet like this can be a great way to trim a lot of the hydrogenated oils and trans fats out of our diets, when it comes to our pets, is a raw food diet a good idea? Recent studies are starting to think that it isn’t.


What might otherwise seem like a natural fit, a raw food only diet similar to what their wolven brothers and sisters consume might not satisfy our precious pooches dietary needs. However, as it would happen, our dogs have not been wolves, or anything close to wolves, for nearly 10,000 years. That means that their dietary needs are in no way the same as their more wild cousins.


Now, there are plenty of advocates out there for feeding your pet a raw diet, claiming that the unprocessed, fresh foods gives their pet:

  • an especially shiny coat
  • improved skin health
  • a boosted immune system
  • cleaner teeth
  • help controlling their weight

However, none of these claims have been tested, let alone proven, in any sort of scientific study.



What has been proven, on the other hand, is the fact that a raw diet of this nature leaves our pets at a much greater risk of contracting a virus, such as

  • Salmonella
  • E. Coli
  • Listeria.

Moreover, by feeding your pet a raw food only diet, the onus is on you to make sure that they are getting all of their essential nutrients. Pet food is generally crafted to meet all of your dog or cat’s dietary needs. A raw diet, on the other hand, is entirely crafted by you, so you will need to carefully select the things you include to make sure that your pet is maintaining a healthy diet.



The CSU Veterinary Teaching Hospital has the following recommendations when it comes to feeding our furry friends:

  • Make sure they are eating a well balanced diet
  • Ensure that the food they are eating is designed for their age and size (specifically, don’t feed a puppy or kitten food suited for “all ages”)
  • Make sure the brand of food you buy has strict quality control, and has a board nutritionist on staff.
  • IF YOU DO CHOOSE TO PREPARE FOOD – make sure the diet is discussed with a veterinary nutritionist to make sure that it suits your pet’s needs. Also, any meat used should be cooked to an internal temp of at least 165 degrees to ensure that any unwanted organisms are cooked off.
  • Make sure to employ a smooth transition when switching diets – generally ween your pet off their old food over the course of 5-7 days.
  • If you have any questions about your pet’s diet, consult with your vet

PetPlus is a benefit program for pet owners that provides member-only access to medications at wholesale prices, plus discounts on food, supplies, vet visits, boarding, and more.

Colorado State University News – Pet Health: Raw-food diets come with risks, and claims of nutritional benefits are unfounded
AVMA – Raw or Undercooked Source Protein in Cat and Dog Food


Are Bones Safe For Dogs?

Bones Safe For Dogs

Are Bones Safe For Dogs?

Dogs are so often paired with bones that it might be hard to imagine that perhaps they aren’t meant for each other after all. In recent years, many veterinarians and even the FDA have cautioned against giving dogs bones because of the health risks they pose. So, are bones safe for dogs?

But just what is so dangerous about bones, does anyone disagree, and what are the alternatives? Let’s take a look.

Wait a Second… Don’t Wolves Eat Bones?

This is a common and understandable question. If dogs evolved from wolves and wolves consume bones, shouldn’t it be safe for your dog to do so as well?

The truth is that wolves usually don’t eat the large bones of their prey; they are often left behind with the animal’s hide, skull, and stomach contents.

Additionally, wild wolves have shorter lifespans on average than domesticated dogs due to disease, parasites, and injuries — which yes, can occur if a wolf swallows an unfriendly bone.

RELATED STORY: Why Using Dog Dental Chews Improves Tooth Health

Why Are Bones Dangerous?

The FDA published a report in 2010 outlining the dangers associated with feeding your dog bones.

“Some people think it’s safe to give dogs large bones, like those from a ham or a roast,” says Carmela Stamper, D.V.M., a veterinarian in the Center for Veterinary Medicine at the Food and Drug Administration.

“Bones are unsafe no matter what their size. Giving your dog a bone may make your pet a candidate for a trip to your veterinarian’s office later, possible emergency surgery, or even death.”

The FDA goes on to list 10 reasons why it’s a bad idea to give your dog a bone:

Bones can break teeth

And fixing broken teeth can cost a pretty penny.

Bones can injure the mouth and tongue

These injuries can be very bloody and messy, as well as painful for your dog. They could also land you at the veterinarian’s office.

Bones can get stuck around your dog’s lower jaw

This usually occurs with round, hallow bones (like the end of a marrow bone). It can not only be a very frightening experience for a dog, it can also be painful and costly at the vet.

Bones can get trapped in the esophagus

Which is the tube that connects the mouth to the stomach. This can cause your dog to gag and in most cases you will need to head to the vet’s office.

Bones can get trapped in the windpipe

This can happen if a dog inhales a small piece of bone. This is an emergency situation, as your dog will be having a hard time breathing. Go to the vet’s office or an emergency clinic right away.

Bones can get stuck in the stomach

If the bone was small enough to swallow but not large enough to move from the stomach to the intestines, your dog will most likely require surgery to remove it.

Bones can get trapped in the intestines

If this happens, it can cause a gastrointestinal blockage, and surgery may be required.


It can be difficult for a dog to squeeze out sharp, jagged bone fragments. This is a painful situation and requires a trip to the veterinarian.

Bleeding from the rectum

Those sharp, jagged fragments can cause injury to the rectum and severe bleeding. This can be very messy and you’ll need to see the veterinarian. Never attempt to pull out a bone fragment that is partially protruding from your dog’s rear end; this could cause further injury.

Bones can cause peritonitis

Peritonitis is a severe bacterial infection of the abdomen that can occur when bone fragments puncture your dog’s stomach or intestines. This infection can be deadly and requires emergency veterinary treatment.

Varying Opinions

Some veterinarians and raw food groups argue that while cooked bones are not safe for dogs, raw bones are because they are softer, less likely to splinter, and more easily digestible. Talk to you veterinarian to find out their opinion on the matter. The opinion on whether bones are safe dogs will vary based on their recommended diets.

RELATED STORY: Raw Food Dog Diet

Safe Alternatives

No one is saying to throw out chewing altogether. Indeed, the right kind of chewing can be good for your dog’s teeth and breath, soothe the painful gums of teething pups, and be an outlet for mental and physical energy.

Ask your veterinarian about bone alternatives and chews like Greenies and Kongs, and always supervise your dog whenever you give them a new chew.

What do you think? Should you give your dog bones? Leave a comment and let us know your opinion, and to keep your dog safe and healthy, consider signing up for PetPlus. PetPlus is a benefit program for pet owners that provides member-only access to medications at wholesale prices, plus discounts on food, supplies, vet visits, boarding, and more. Learn more at

For more information: No Bones About It: Bones Are Unsafe For Your Dog via the FDA


5 Tips for Comforting Dogs Scared of Loud Noises

Dogs Scared of Loud Noises

For dogs scared of loud noises, summer can be a frightening season. Thunderstorms abound by day. The ‘pop-pop-pop’ of fireworks can startle us at night.

Why are dogs scared of loud noises?


All these loud and unpredictable noises may be tough for your dog to take. If the sounds of the season make your pet skittish, they are not alone — many dogs get fearful, anxious, and unsettled during fireworks, storms, and in the moments leading up to a storm’s arrival.

There are simple strategies — some done in advance, and some enacted when the storm strikes — that can help quell your dog’s fears and allow them to endure the noises with relative ease.

1. Swaddle Your Dog

For dogs scared of loud noises, some dogs may benefit from feeling snuggled in a blanket or from wearing a swaddle-like garment. One popular choice is the Thundershirt, which provides a calming pressure on your dog’s body. Or try a calming collar, which is also aimed at soothing pets in tense moments. Whatever garment you choose, putting it on as the storm approaches and your dog’s anxiety heightens can help ease your dog’s storm-related stress especially if they’re dogs scared of loud noises.

RELATED ARTICLE: Pet Emergency Preparedness

2. Have a Safe Comfort Zone in Your Home

Whether it’s a crate, your bathtub, or under the bed, your dog may already gravitate toward a safe, comforting spot in your home. If so, allow your dog that comfort during a storm’s buildup, or when the fireworks boom. Just keep in mind that this is meant to help your dog, so if your dog dislikes their crate or whines when stuck in small places, ignore this advice. Make sure to keep the crate and any room doors open so that if you pet does become uncomfortable, it’s easy for them to run and hide.

RELATED ARTICLE: A Guide to Dog Crates and Collars

3. Cover Up the Noises

Consider using a white noise machine, playing music, or going into a remote area of your home like the basement, far from outside noises, to help obscure the sounds of thunder or fireworks. Even turning on the TV or the radio can help to distract dogs scared of loud noises.

4. Distract, Distract, Distract

Just as you might look away when you’re getting a shot, distractions can help take your dog’s mind off of the loud noises. Try playing games indoors — tug of war or tossing around stuffed animals or soft balls could be all the distraction your dog needs from the storm.

5. Get Dogs Accustomed to Loud Noises

This won’t work day-of, but you can try planning ahead and slowly getting your dogs desensitized to loud noises. Try playing the sounds of thunder and firecrackers at a low volume, while providing your dog with positive reinforcement in the form of cuddles and treats. Over the course of days or weeks, gradually raise the volume slightly, being certain to stop playing the track when your dog becomes anxious. With exposure, it’s possible that your dog will become accustomed to the noise and realize that nothing scary or threatening will occur.

COMMUNITY CONVERSATION: My Dog Is Terrified During Thunderstorms. What Should I do?

Tell us: Does your dog get skittish from loud noises? Share your tips in the comments! And don’t forget that all pets can benefit from PetPlus, a new benefit program for pet owners that provides member-only access to medications at wholesale prices, plus discounts on food, supplies, vet visits, boarding and more.



The Best Fruits and Vegetables for Dogs

fruits and vegetables for dogs

Fruits and vegetables provide many health benefits to humans, like helping us fight disease, maintain a healthy weight, and lengthen our lives. But can fruits and vegetables for dogs improve their health as well? Many veterinary nutritionists say yes, especially if you feed your dog the right kinds of produce.

Before giving your dog any new food — whether it’s fruits and vegetables or something else — it’s a good idea to consult with your veterinarian.

Your vet will let you know the best way to feed your dog a new food to avoid digestive problems and nutrient imbalance.

So what are the right kinds of produce, and what are the wrong kinds? Let’s take a look.

Fruits and Vegetables For Dogs

Dogs Can Eat Carrots: Many dogs love carrots straight from the bag, and carrots placed in the freezer can make soothing and nutritious treats for teething pups. Carrots contain immune-boosting vitamin C as well as high levels of beta-carotene.

Dogs Can Eat Apples: Apples are an excellent source of vitamin C and pectin, a fiber that can improve your dog’s digestive health. In addition, the apple’s grainy texture will scrub your dog’s teeth while they chew (this doesn’t mean that you can stop brushing your dog’s teeth!) If you wish to feed your dog an apple, remove the seeds first. Apple seeds contain cyanide, which can be poisonous to dogs.

Dogs Can Eat Green Beans: Green beans are packed with vitamins and nutrients, including vitamin A, vitamin C, vitamin K, and omega-3 fatty acids. They are also a great source of calcium, fiber, copper, folic acid, niacin, iron, potassium, manganese, riboflavin and thiamin, and beta-carotene. Whew! You can feed your dog either fresh or frozen green beans; if you choose a frozen variety, make sure that it doesn’t contain salt, as salt is poisonous to dogs.

Dogs Can Eat Sweet Potatoes: Most dogs find sweet potatoes to be extremely tasty, so they can make a great addition to your dog’s dinner bowl. Slice them or dehydrate them to make a chewy treat. Sweet potatoes are an excellent source of dietary fiber and they also contain vitamin C, vitamin B6, beta-carotene, and magnesium.

Some other fruits and vegetables that are safe to feed your pup include: Asparagus, blueberries, broccoli, brussels sprouts, lettuce, oranges, pumpkin (sugar-free; no pumpkin pie filling!), spinach, strawberries, squash, and watermelon (without seeds).

RELATED STORY: 8 Things Your Dog Begs for That Are OK to Share

Fruits and Vegetables to Avoid Giving Your Dog

Onions and Garlic: These vegetables — in all forms — can destroy red blood cells in dogs and lead to anemia.

Avocados: Avocados contain a harmful chemical called persin that can cause vomiting, diarrhea, and fluid buildup around your dog’s heart. This chemical is very concentrated in the avocado pit, which could be fatal if ingested.

Grapes and Raisins: While is not fully understood why grapes and raisins are toxic to dogs, these fruits can be fatal even if a dog consumes only a small amount.

RELATED STORY: The Most Poisonous Foods for Cats

Fruits with pits: Fruits with pits such as peaches, plums, apricots, and cherries can be toxic to a dog not because of the fruit, but because of the pit, which contains cyanide like apple and watermelon seeds. If you wish to feed your dog one of these fruits, remove the pit or seeds first.

Do you feed your dog fruits and vegetables? Leave a comment and let us know. And if you care about keeping your pet healthy, sign up for PetPlus. PetPlus is a benefit program for pet owners that provides member-only access to medications at wholesale prices, plus discounts on food, supplies, vet visits, boarding, and more. Learn more and register at


Why Is My Dog Afraid of Animals All The Time?


Why Is Your Dog Afraid Of Animals?

A dog’s fear of other animals can have a big impact on their life, and your life too. Some dogs are afraid of all animals. Other dogs are only afraid of unfamiliar animals. And still others are afraid of certain species: many dogs are afraid of cats!

The way your dog shows fear will depend on your particular dog. Some dogs exhibit classic fear behaviors: tail tucking, trembling, panting, lip licking, trying to escape, whining, and hiding. Other dogs respond to fear by becoming aggressive. Rather than waiting for an attack to happen, they go on the defense and growl, bark, lunge, or bite.

RELATED STORY: Reading Dog Body Language

Clearly, a dog’s fear of other animals can be dangerous. A dog who is afraid and exhibiting fear behaviors could become a target for other animals. A dog who becomes aggressive when afraid may hurt other animals or people.

So what causes a dog to become afraid of other animals, and what can you do to help!

There are a number of factors that can contribute to a dog becoming afraid of other animals:

  • Lack of regular exposure to other animals: Even if you socialize your dog early, they may still become fearful if they do not have regular continued exposure to other animals.
  • Genetic predisposition: Some dogs are just born more anxious or timid. In many cases, these are traits passed on by the parents. So even if your dog is well-socialized, they may still tend to be fearful of other animals.
  • Traumatic event involving another animal: If a young dog gets into a fight with another dog at a young age and is badly injured, they may live to fear all dogs. In some cases, a dog may even become fearful if an animal was near them when something frightening happened, even if the animal was not directly involved.
  • Unknown cause: In some cases, you may not be able to pinpoint the exact cause of your dog’s fear.

RELATED STORY: How We Misunderstand Dog Aggression

What to Do if Your Dog Is Afraid of Other Animals

The first thing to do is correctly identify your dog’s fear of animals. Some pet parents mistake their dog’s fear for aggression and will punish or yell at their dog when it growls or barks at other animals, thus making the dog more afraid and their future reactions to animals worse.

So first things first: study your dog’s behavior and try to find the source of the problem.

Once your correctly identify your dog’s fear, you can go from there:

  • Manage your dog’s behavior: especially if your dog becomes aggressive when afraid. Keep your dog on a leash, stay a good distance from other people and animals, and stay calm. If you grip the leash tighter or tense up when another animal turns the corner, your dog will notice and tense up, too.
  • Do not punish your dog for being afraid: again, it can only make the problem worse. On that same note, you should not constantly reassure your dog when they are afraid. Your dog will not understand and may only become more anxious.
  • Do not force your dog to be around other animals if they are afraid. Many pet parents think that they can fix their dog’s problem by forcing exposure to other animals, and if the dog has never acted aggressive before, what’s the harm? The problem is that forcing a dog into an uncomfortable situation can actually increase their fear, and even if you’ve never seen it before, there is a good chance the dog could respond with aggression.
  • You may need the help of a trainer or animal behaviorist to correct your dog’s fear. Desensitization and counter-conditioning training — in which you to teach your dog that good things rather than bad things happen around other animals — can be very successful, but challenging to carry out.

Is your dog afraid of other animals? Leave a comment and let us know, and sign up for PetPlus, a benefit program for pet owners that provides member-only access to medications at wholesale prices, plus discounts on food, supplies, vet visits, boarding, and more.



Giving Back: PetPlus Announces $10K Donation Initiative

Animal Shelter Charity

Here at PetPlus we are on a mission to remove the limits on pet care. We think that means doing what we can — lending a hand to folks who need a little help providing the pet care their pets deserve. To that end, we are thrilled to announce a huge giving back initiative! PetPlus will be making a $10,000 donation to an animal shelter or non-profit in the fall of this year – but we need your help!

Click Here To Nominate an Animal Shelter For $10,000

How It Works

We’re asking YOU to nominate a local animal shelter or non-profit you think deserves the $10,000. We want nominations for big shelters, little shelters — and everything in between. Whether it’s where you adopted your pet, spend your weekends volunteering, or just a cool organization that you’ve heard about – we want to know about it!

To nominate an organization, please visit our Facebook page and fill out the form. Then SHARE the campaign on Facebook or Twitter to spread the word.

Not on Facebook? Not a problem. Send us an email to Include you first and last name, email address, and the name and location of the organization you would like to nominate. Also include a link to their website if they have one.

The Voting Process

The nomination period will close on July 16, 2014. We will then vet nominees based on their legitimacy, mission, and interest in receiving the donation. On July 23, 2014 we will announce 3 finalists and open voting up so you can help us select the winner.

All of the finalists will receive free PetPlus memberships, but we’re asking YOU to determine which organization will receive the $10,000 donation.

Why only support one? Because we believe we can make the biggest impact by focusing on one organization at a time.

Help Us Help Them

Help us make a BIG difference for an animal shelter or non-profit in need. Please make your nomination by visiting our Facebook page and filling out the form. Share this blog post on Facebook and Twitter, and don’t forget to come back on July 23 to cast your vote!


Tips to Keep Your Dog Safe at the Beach

Keep your Dog Safe at the Beach

The dog days of summer are upon us, and many pet parents are taking their four-legged friends to the beach for some fun in the sun. The beach can be a great place to kick back, relax, cool down, and toss a frisbee with a furry companion, but before heading out to sea, it’s important to be prepared to keep your pal safe on land and in the water. Check out our tips for keeping your dog safe at the beach.


  • Before taking your dog to the beach, make sure that your dog is allowed to be there! While many beaches are dog-friendly, others are not, and taking your dog to a people-only beach could result in a citation or fine.
  • If you take your dog to a dog-friendly beach, remember that posted beach rules are laws, so follow them carefully. Common beach rules include keeping your dog off of dunes, cleaning up after your dog, and keeping your dog on a leash which is extremely important in keeping your dog safe on the beach.
  • Make sure that your dog is up to date on their vaccinations.
  • Your dog should wear a collar with an ID tag at all times. Your dog should also know the “come” command if you plan to let them off leash.
  • Be prepared with a pet first aid kit in the event that your dog steps on a piece of glass or has an unfortunate encounter with a jellyfish.
  • Dogs that should not go to the beach include: puppies under 4 months (for their own safety), aggressive dogs (for their own safety and the safety of others), and female dogs in heat (because they could cause fighting amongst intact male dogs).
  • Be a good citizen. Don’t let your dog bother other dogs, bark excessively, or otherwise disturb other beach-goers who are trying to relax. If your dog is causing a scene or making a mess, it is probably time to head home.

RELATED STORY: The 7 Unsuspected Pet Dangers of Summer

Tips to Keep Your Dog Safe in the Water

  • Don’t assume that your dog can swim. While it’s true that some dogs are natural swimmers, others — especially those with flat faces (like pugs) — find it more difficult to take a dip. If you’re not sure about your pup’s water skills, outfit them with a life vest and supervise your dog whenever they get into the water.
  • Even if your dog is an expert swimmer, lead them toward calmer waters and away from dangers like speedboats and riptides, and ask a lifeguard to point out any potential danger spots.
  • Don’t let your dog drink salt water. While you won’t be able to keep your dog from taking a few gulps here and there, you should discourage them from drinking too much as salt water in excess can cause vomiting, diarrhea, and even salt poisoning. Additionally, some waters may contain dangerous illness-carrying microorganisms. Bring plenty of fresh water along and offer that to your dog instead.
  • Salt water can also irritate a dog’s skin, so rinse your dog with fresh water before leaving the beach or upon returning home.

RELATED STORY: Pet First Aid: How to Treat Dog Wounds

Tips to Keep Your Dog Safe in the Sun

  • It can get hot at the beach, so look out for signs of overheating and heatstroke, including rapid panting, drooling, loss of coordination, vomiting, diarrhea, collapse, and loss of consciousness. If your dog exhibits any of these symptoms, get them out of the sun immediately and head to the vet’s office.
  • Hot sand can burn sensitive paws. Bring a blanket or towel for your dog and consider dog booties if it’s a particularly steamy day.
  • Offer a shady place for your dog to take a break, like under an umbrella or a pop-up tent.
  • Dogs with pink noses and light, thin coats are at risk for sunburn and skin cancer. Apply dog sunscreen to your dog’s ears, nose, belly, and any other exposed areas. Some dogs — like those with hair loss or very thin hair — may also benefit from wearing a dog t-shirt.

Now that you’re prepared, go have some fun! Do you take your dog to the beach? Leave a comment and tell us about it, and to keep your pet safe and healthy all year round, consider signing up for PetPlus! PetPlus is a benefit program for pet owners that provides member-only access to medications at wholesale prices, plus discounts on food, supplies, vet visits, boarding, and more.



Blind Dog Duffy Can Finally See His Family Again

This is Duffy, the formerly-blind dog. Having lost his vision to diabetes, Duffy the Irish Terrier was blind for over a year. However, thanks to the miracle of modern science, he was recently given back his sight. And he could not have been happier.

RELATED STORY: What Causes Blindness in Dogs?

Watch as he sees his family for the first time in over a year!



Keep in mind that he knew nothing but darkness for over a year! In the video, Duffy is overcome with joy at seeing his people again. Just look at that tail go!


When Duffy was adopted roughly 9 years ago, his family knew that he was a somewhat unhealthy pup. He had signs of liver disease and the onset of diabetes was looming on the horizon.

RELATED STORY: Causes of Diabetes in Your Cat or Dog

Duffy’s condition worsened due to complications with his medication. The most devastating blow came when Duffy lost his vision. “I can only imagine what went through his mind the day it all went black,” said the dog’s owner, Benjamin May, in the original Reddit post.

However, as frightening as it must have been for him to lose his sight, it must have been that much more exhilarating to have it come flooding back. You can see it in the video — he can barely contain himself!

Duffy’s insulin treatment cost his family approximately $350 a month, and the surgery cost $5,000. While some think that the amount of money spent is too high, the May family has a different view on it. “He’s happy and he makes us happy, he’s family to us, you can’t put a price on family,” (Reddit).

Sign up for PetPlus, a benefit program for pet owners that provides member-only access to medications at wholesale prices, plus discounts on food, supplies, vet visits, boarding, and more.