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pdf icon    Summer 2017 Newsletter  in pdf format           starfish


In This Issue
  •  Highlights
  •  Board News
  •  Pet Friendly Retirement Homes in Canada
  •  Travelling in the Car with your Dog
  •  Summer Safety Tips
  •  “Going to the Dogs” Fundraiser   
  •  Park Clean-Ups  
  •  Garage Sale
  •  Kids Page
  •  Thank you



image: chairs on a beach


Highlights  by Julie More


image: happy face - sun

Summer is coming, which means vacations and car trips with your dog. Hence, the focus of this newsletter is summer safety and travelling in the car with your pet.

We are continuing to update our Retirement Homes and Pets file. In each newsletter we will talk about retirement homes in different provinces.  

Check out our Kids Page.
See how well you do with the Quiz smiley face   

Don't forget to participate in our two fundraisers (Garage Sale, and “Going to the Dogs” Dinner and Silent Auction), Park Clean-Ups, and the CHEO “Teddy Bear Picnic.”





Board News

Our focus at the last board meeting was how to update our website. What information to keep, what to add and what to delete. It is a work in progress. We didn't realize how big a task this is.


Pet Friendly Retirement Homes in Canada  by Julie More

In the Spring 2017 newsletter we published the Retirement Homes and Pets article, talking about our pet policy survey in the Ottawa-Carleton area. That's great, but what if you live outside Ottawa? How do you find a retirement home where your pet is welcome?

I decided to do some research. I started off with Ontario. I contacted V!VA Retirement Community head office to find out about their pet policy and to see if all their retirement homes have the same pet policy.  

According to Sasha Zivkovic (Community Relations at V!VA Retirement Communities):

“Each community offers the same policy regarding pets. Please note, each of our communities offers a dog wash station that is senior friendly.”

image: retired couple

There are seven V!VA Communities in Ontario:


V!VA retirement communities allow you to bring your pet (only one pet) with you when you move in; however, if your pet dies, you would not be allowed to get another one. Dogs, cats, etc. are welcome, but no exotic pets. Their other restriction is that the pet weighs 25 lb. or less. There is no extra charge for your pet as long as you can look after him. If you are unable to look after him, the staff can do it for an extra cost.  

This is just the start of my research. Stay tuned for our next newsletter, in which we will be featuring retirement homes in other provinces.


Travelling in the Car with your Dog   by Julie More

image: dog in car, and Travels with Charley book cover

Finally, winter is over. Summer is coming. Nice weather. Summer vacation. Yeepee! Your pup is looking at you, saying “I need to go on a holiday too. It's no fun being a stay at home pup. Woof, woofie, woof.”

Great idea you think. But how to get your pet ready for a road trip? Never fear. We have lots of ideas for you in this article.  

Going on a car ride with your dog is fun. Just think, they don't criticize your driving. They don’t care where you stop. Everything is an adventure for them. They never ask “Are we there yet?”

Get your pup to like the car by starting off with short fun trips, like going to the park that is about 10 minutes from your house. Slowly increase the distance. Dogs, like humans, love shopping. Take your pup to a pet store. If he is lucky, they may give him treats too. On the other hand, going to the vet is not a fun trip in your dog’s book. Squeeze your vet trips in between lots of fun trips.

It is a good idea to have a crate in your car for your pup, or use a car safety harness specially made for dogs. Both help keep your pup safe in the back seat. You never know when you may have an accident. Kelley, my golden retriever, can attest to that. We got into an accident, and thanks to her doggie seat belt harness, she was safe and did not get hurt. Otherwise the impact would have thrown her around in the van.

Now, going on a vacation requires packing essential items. Unfortunately, your dog hasn't learned the art of packing lightly. You will probably need twice as much space for his luggage as for yours.

image: car packed for vacation


Thank you Jill (co-editor of this newsletter) for coming up with this list:

check mark dog bowls for food and water

check mark fresh water (bottled is best for a long journey; some dogs are fussy about strange water)

check mark spare dry/canned food, in case you can’t find it en route

check mark useful medical paperwork (e.g. vaccination certificates), especially if driving into another country

check mark phone number of your vet at home

check mark towels to dry the dog if he gets wet, clean wipes for muddy paws

check mark dog brush or comb

check mark coat for wet or cold weather, if the dog usually wears one

check mark extra dog tag for collar with destination information on it (you may be able to find something suitable for temporary use in an office supply store)

check mark description and recent photo of dog in case he gets lost, including contact information

check mark blanket/mat for dog to lie on in the car or hotel

check mark good supply of poop bags

check mark long leash for exercising, ball/frisbee to throw

check mark first aid kit, medications (e.g. heartworm, fleas)

check mark favourite chew toys, for the crate or hotel room

check mark crate (best), or car safety harness for back seat


There is lots of information on the Web on this subject. Here are a few web sites I really like, with samples of what you can find there:


“.….. figure out how you want to restrain your dog in the car;  introduce your dog to the crate, if you are using one; exercise your dog before loading it into the car; avoid feeding your dog right before your trip; keep your dog's tags on whenever you are driving long distance; take breaks; don't leave your dog in a parked car on a hot day.”


“The most important pointer is to make driving in a car a pleasant experience, from the moment you start spending time together.”  

Love That Pet:

 “With careful planning and the right safety equipment, hitting the road with your canine companion can be fun and hassle free.” ….. “More often than not, dogs make for willing and eager travel companions.” 


A list of articles about pet travel (and many other topics as well).


KelleyTake some extra time training your dog to love car rides, and you never know, he may reward you by helping you teach your teenager how to drive safely!

Kelley (my golden retriever) loved to ride in the car. We took her everywhere since she was a pup. When Beckie (my daughter) started to learn to drive we took Kelley with us, of course. The poor pup was almost car sick the first time Beckie drove because her braking, accelerating and turning were pretty rough.

During the next few weeks and months, as Beckie’s driving got better, Kelley relaxed in the back seat. Every once in a while, when Beckie took a corner too fast, Kelley would poke her head between the seats as if to say “Hey, watch it, kid!”

One day Beckie said to me that her driving must be getting much better because Kelley had been relaxing in the back seat and hadn't told her off. Once, when she took the corner too fast, she turned around and apologized to the dog.

All my friends with teenagers who were learning to drive wanted to borrow my dog smiley-face



Dogs Welcome

A man wrote a letter to a small hotel in a Midwest town he planned to visit on his vacation. He wrote: "I would very much like to bring my dog with me. He is well groomed and very well behaved. Would you be willing to permit me to keep him in my room with me at night?"

 dog driving car

An immediate reply came from the hotel owner, who wrote: "Sir: I've been operating this hotel for many years. In all that time, I've never had a dog steal towels, bedclothes, silverware or pictures off the walls. I've never had to evict a dog in the middle of the night for being drunk and disorderly, and I've never had a dog run out on a hotel bill.

Yes, indeed, your dog is welcome at my hotel, and, if your dog will vouch for you, you're welcome to stay here, too."



Summer Safety Tips   from

Hot weather can make us all uncomfortable, and it poses special risks for your dog. Keep the following safety concerns in mind as the temperature rises, and follow our tips to keep your dog cool.

image: sun faceIf your dog is outside on a hot day, make sure he has a shady spot to rest in. Doghouses are not good shelter during the summer as they can trap heat. You may want to fill a child's wading pool with fresh water for your dog to cool off in.

Never leave your dog in a closed vehicle on a hot day. The temperature inside a car can rise to over 100 degrees in a matter of minutes.

Always provide plenty of cool, fresh water.

Avoid strenuous exercise on extremely hot days. Take walks in the early mornings or evenings, when the sun's heat is less intense.

Try to avoid prolonged exposure to hot asphalt or sand, which can burn your dog's paws.

Dogs that are brachycephalic (short-faced), such as Bulldogs, Boxers, Japanese Chins, and Pekingese, have an especially hard time in the heat because they do not pant as efficiently as longer-faced dogs. Keep your brachycephalic dog inside with air-conditioning.


General Health

Make sure your dog's vaccinations are up to date, especially since dogs tend to stay outdoors longer and come into contact with other animals more during the summer months.

image: vet visitKeep dogs off lawns that have been chemically treated or fertilized for 24 hours (or according to package instructions), and away from potentially toxic plants and flowers.

Keep your dog well-brushed and clean.

Fleas and ticks, and the mosquitoes which carry heartworm disease, are more prevalent in warmer months. Ask your veterinarian for an effective preventive to keep these parasites off your dog.

The AKC Pet Healthcare Plan can help with the cost of providing quality healthcare, including preventive medicine, throughout your dog's life.


Beach Tips

Make sure your dog has a shady spot to rest in and plenty of fresh water.

Dogs, especially those with short hair, white fur, and pink skin, can sunburn. Limit your dog's exposure during the day and apply sunblock to his ears and nose 30 minutes before going outside.

Check with a lifeguard for daily water conditions. Dogs are easy targets for sea lice and jellyfish.

Running on the sand is strenuous exercise. A dog that is out of shape can easily pull a tendon or ligament, so keep a check on your dog's activity.

Do not let your dog drink seawater; the salt will make him sick.

Salt and other minerals in ocean water can damage your dog's coat, so rinse him off at the end of the day.

Not all beaches permit dogs; check local ordinances before heading out.

Figgy Duff - digging in sandy beach


Water Safety

Most dogs enjoy swimming, but some cannot swim, and others may hate the water. Be conscious of your dog's preferences and skills before trying to make him swim.

If you're swimming for the first time with your dog, start in shallow water and coax him in by calling his name. Encourage him with toys or treats. Or, let him follow another experienced dog he is friendly with.

beach ballNever throw your dog into the water.

If your dog begins to paddle with his front legs, lift his hind legs and help him float. He should quickly catch on and keep his back end up.

Don't let your dog overdo it; swimming is very hard work and he may tire quickly.  

If swimming at the ocean, be careful of strong tides.  

If you have your own pool, make sure your dog knows where the stairs or ladder are located. Be sure that pool covers are firmly in place; dogs have been known to slip in under openings in the covers and drown.

Never leave your dog unattended in water.



By AirMany airlines will not ship animals during summer months due to dangers caused by hot weather. Some will only allow dogs to fly in the early morning or in the evening. Check with your airlines for specific rules.

If you do ship a dog, put ice packs or an ice blanket in the dog's crate. (Two-liter soft drink bottles filled with water and frozen work well.) Provide a container of fresh water, as well as a container of frozen water that will thaw over the course of the trip. 

By CarKeep your dog cool in the car by putting ice packs in his crate. Make sure the crate is well ventilated.

Put a sunshade on your car windows.

Bring along fresh water and a bowl, and a tarp or tent so you can set up a shady spot when you stop. Keep a spray bottle filled with water to spritz on your dog to cool him down. 

By RVA dog's safety should not depend on the air conditioning and generator systems in an RV or motor home. These devices can malfunction, with tragic results.

If you leave your dog in an RV with the generator running, check it often or have a neighbor monitor it. Some manufacturers have devices that will notify you if the generator should malfunction.

Never leave an RV or motor home completely shut up, even if the generator and AC are running. Crack a window or door or run the exhaust fan.

Never, ever leave a dog unattended in a vehicle in the summer months. Heatstroke and death can occur within minutes in warm temperatures.



Heatstroke can be the serious and often fatal result of a dog's prolonged exposure to excessive heat. Below are the signs of heatstroke and the actions you should take if your dog is overcome. 

Early Stages:


Advanced Stages:


If your dog begins to exhibit signs of heatstroke, you should immediately try to cool the dog down:

Check your dog's temperature regularly during this process. Once the dog's temperature has stabilized at between 100 to 102 degrees, you can stop the cool-down process.

If you cannot get the dog cooled down and you begin to see signs of advanced heatstroke, take the dog to the veterinarian immediately.

article reprinted with permission from the American Kennel Club


More  Summer  Safety  Links:

Summertime Dangers  - an article from the Ontario SPCA (in PDF format)



”Going to the Dogs” Fundraiser

image: Going to the Dogs Fundraiser

Come and bring your friends to our annual “Going to the Dogs Dinner and Race Night” fundraiser on Sunday, September 24th at 5 p.m., at Rideau Carleton Raceway.

We are still looking for volunteers to get donations for our silent auction, distribute posters, help with publicity, and help on the day of the event. Please email  and let us know what you are interested in helping with.

Thanks    smiley-face  


Park Clean-Ups


Park Notice - Pick Up After Your Dog

During the morning we hand out bags and gloves to dog owners. They are the ones who do all the work picking up the garbage etc. Their reward is a much cleaner park, and their dogs get dog cookies.

image: dog running with bone

RDOC would like to take this opportunity to thank all the wonderful dog owners who help keep our parks clean.



Just a friendly reminder about our Spring Park Clean-Up schedule:

Conroy Pit Park – Saturday, May 6th from 9-10 a.m.

Stittsville Park – Saturday, May 20th from 9-10 a.m.

Bruce Pit – Saturday, May 27th from 9-10 a.m.

Heritage Park, Orleans – Saturday, June 3rd from 9-10 a.m.

image: Clean Up Day at the Park


Garage Sale

Our second annual garage sale will be held on Saturday, May 13th at Betty's house (24 Elderwood Trail, Stittsville), starting at 8 a.m. Items can be dropped off at Betty's house on Friday, May 12th.


Please put a price on each item, as it will make our lives much easier. Please keep the prices low for quick sale.


We also need volunteers to help out on Saturday  smiley face


image: Garage Sale

If there is an item you want back if it doesn't sell at a certain price, please mark “firm” so we don't let it go for less than the price tag.


If you can help, please email me at




Kids Page

Don't forget to visit the latest edition of the Kids Page on our website. Just click on this link:

We have a new quiz for you, another page to colour for our contest, 2 tricks to teach your dog (“Speak“ and “Quiet”) and a little article about keeping fish in an indoor aquarium.


Thank You

We would like to thank our committee for proofreading this newsletter. We really appreciate your help. A special thank you to Kit Watson for the final proofreading of the newsletter.  

Jill & Julie (newsletter co-editors).


Dates featured in this newsletter

“Going to the Dogs” Fundraiser - September 24th at 5 p.m., at Rideau Carleton Raceway

Park Clean-Up Schedule
  Conroy Pit Park – Saturday, May 6th from 9-10 a.m.

  Stittsville Park – Saturday, May 20th from 9-10 a.m.

  Bruce Pit – Saturday, May 27th from 9-10 a.m.

  Heritage Park, Orleans – Saturday, June 3rd from 9-10 a.m.

Garage Sale - Saturday, May 13th at Betty's house (24 Elderwood Trail, Stittsville), starting at 8 a.m.



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Responsible Dog Owners of Canada (RDOC)

Responsible Dog Owners of Canada is a registered non profit organization that promotes responsible dog ownership through education and support, cultivates respect for the rights and privileges of members of  the dog-owning and non dog-owning communities, fosters recognition of the contribution that canines make through companionship, service/assistance and therapy and aspires to assemble a strong network of responsible dog owners to ensure the restoration and preservation of a dog-friendly society.

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