Summer heat is so welcomed here on the Cape after our long, cool spring season, but for our dogs there are several dangers lurking in the heat. Many people know that leaving a dog in a car is dangerous, even with windows partly open, but might not realize how quickly a car can heat up to a deadly temperature. Just running into a store for 10 minutes on an 80-degree day can leave your beloved pet struggling to cool off in a 99-degree car! Leave your dog at home.

Do you give your dog a summer haircut? Many professionals recommend against this. A dog’s long hair can actually help them stay cooler by creating an air chamber between the hairs that reduces heat conduction. In addition to this insulating layer, the hair also acts as a block to ultraviolet radiation and helps prevent sunburn and skin cancer. Sheared hair can also allow your dog to lose more moisture through their skin and become dehydrated. Try to keep your dog in a cooler place during the hottest part of the day, go for walks early or later in the day and always have fresh, cool water available for your dog.

Would you like to honor a beloved dog in our Memorial Garden while also helping to improve the lives of dogs left in our care? We offer Remembrance Bricks that are placed in the walkway of the Memorial Garden and allow up to four lines of text on each brick. Each brick can be purchased for $50, and order forms are available at www.friendsoffalmouthdogs.org under the “How to Help” and “FFD Items” tabs. If you have any questions, please call the shelter at 508-548-7742 and leave us a message.

Keeping your dog safe and healthy is important. If your dog needs to see a veterinarian for care, including vaccines, shots, heartworm and tick medications, but you are experiencing financial difficulties, call us. We can help pay the cost through our Medical Assistance for Veterinary Care program. Our local partners are Deer Run Veterinary Services, South Cape Veterinary Clinic and Falmouth Animal Hospital. We can work with other veterinarians who are willing to bill Friends of Falmouth Dogs or accept our credit card payment over the phone for their services.

The second program we are offering during the pandemic is Food for Your Dog. If paying for your dog’s food has become a real challenge, we will provide a voucher for up to $60 worth of dry or canned dog food. These vouchers will be redeemable at Uptown Dog on Route 28A in West Falmouth or at Falmouth Pet Center on Route 28 near Stop & Shop.

To participate in either or both programs, please call our office at 508-548-7742, Monday through Friday, and leave a message specifying what you need. Please be sure to state your name and phone number slowly and clearly. Volunteers will be checking messages each weekday and will return your call to collect needed information and process your request.

When we reopen, you can visit Friends of Falmouth Dogs Wednesday through Friday from 10 AM to noon and 4 to 6 PM, Saturday 10 AM to noon and Sunday from 4 to 6 PM.

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