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4 Paws on the Road - August 2017

Q Jen, I have a very petite and short legged French bulldog named Harley who is two years old. I live in Salt Lake City, Utah where the summers can get very warm and as you know, this breed dog is prone to overheating. Even on cooler days when he gets playing hard, I can tell that he struggles with his breathing and needs to cool down. We bought a children’s size plastic pool last year and he does enjoy jumping into it and getting his little feet wet. Do you have any thoughts for helping to get him into the water further?

I already own an ice vest that I keep in the freezer and put on him when he is struggling/excessively panting. In addition, we use a cooling gel pad for him to rest on in the air-conditioned house and inside the RV.

On a side note, Thank you for encouraging me to feed my dog Primal raw food from the get-go of his addition to our family. He has zero allergies, zero skin conditions and his coat is seriously soft. Our vet is very impressed and Harley is the love of our lives!

Cheers, Corrinne

A– Thank you for your inquiry and I absolutely understand the importance of paying attention to our individual pets needs as they vary widely. I am a big fan of various different cooling coats and gel pads- Smart thinking on your part and I love that you have a small pool that Harley can get into. I suggest making the depth of the water enough where he can fully submerge his belly as well as his chest. Find an area in your yard where you can lower the pool into the ground a bit making it easier for your short legged friend to jump in and out of the plastic children’s pool. Fantastic Fan, by Atwood, makes a DC plug-in fan called the Endless Breeze, which I love to use when I am out camping off the grid. This fan is lightweight and can be used in the cigarette lighter of a car. The pups jump in their cooling pool and sit in front of the fan. Smart little ones! Hugs to you and Harley Man!

QHi, Jenn! As fellow full-time RV years there are times when I feel like my dog is extra sore and/or stiff from a hard day of hiking. My husband and I have a constant battle whether or not it’s safe to give a dog human aspirin or ibuprofen. Funds are very limited and we are not in constant contact with a regular veterinarian as we are always traveling on the road. We do not have regular Internet access and know better than to believe all that we read on line anyway! Any tips you might have that would be alternative to meds would be helpful for our lifestyle. How do I know who a really good vet is and how can I locate one?

Thanks, Rich and Keri 

A– I highly recommend that you avoid giving your pet human anti-inflammatories without specific instruction from a licensed veterinarian. Ibuprofen is an absolute no! Each animal has different needs and many, just like humans, have underlying conditions that we may or may not be aware of. Adding a human type drug to a dog or cats delicate system could be potentially hazardous, even fatal. Make sure that when your pet looks sore or uncomfortable, you go easy on them for several days. Even some gentle massage several times a day can be beneficial in pets of all ages. Our bodies tell us when we have overdone it and it’s equally important to take note when our pets are acting sore or stiff. Unfortunately, our pets age much more quickly than we do and if you find that yours is not recovering as well from a strenuous workout day, is off his or her regular feed or having trouble standing up or laying down or jumping up the stairs, I do strongly suggest that you please take your pet in to a veterinarian for an exam. That way, you can know exactly what you’re dealing with and have the proper medicine to help and not hurt your animal for years to come. Thank you for the inquiry on how to locate a quality vet no matter where you go and it’s a web site that I have used several times over the years in our travels. Look for an “AAHA Accredited” Veterinary Hospital- here you will find the highest standard of veterinary excellence available for all of your beloved pets. For more info, see

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