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Summer music festivals are goin’ to the dogs!

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There are a host of dog-friendly music festivals across the country perfect for you and your four-legged bestie. Whether you explore the Woof Fest in Denver, Colorado; DoggieStock Music Fest in Washington State or Woofstock in Ohio, you’ll find music, excitement and festivities for a summer of fun.

Before you go, make sure to plan ahead. Take your dog’s personality, weather and travel into consideration before you take your pup to an event where he might not be comfortable. Dogs can become overwhelmed with the sights, sounds and smells of an event, so be prepared to leave an area if your dog isn’t comfortable.

Check out these tips before you head out with your pup for some summer fun.

The Heat – Many festivals are held during the hottest months of the year. But warm days can happen all year long. Check out the location ahead of time to see if there is plenty of shade where both you and your sidekick can escape the sun and stay cool. But don’t forget the sunscreen. That’s right, dogs need sun protection too. Talk with your vet to find out what is best for your pup.

Hot paws – Events can be held in a variety of locations like parking lots and streets where the pavement can reach scorching temperatures. If you can’t hold your hand comfortably on the surface for several seconds, then it’s too hot for your dog’s paws. If it’s too hot for you – it’s too hot for dogs!

H20 to go! – Make sure your event has plenty of water stations for your dog, not just to drink but to cool off as well. Bring plenty of water for your dog to drink along with a bowl and even consider bringing extra water to help him cool off if temperatures get too hot.

Food and yums – Festivals are full of delicious food and treats for humans. But these delicious bites can be harmful to your dog. Make sure your pup steers clear of trash and don’t let him eat food that’s normally not in his diet.

Pet friendly – The event your attending may be pet friendly, but is your pet friendly? Your dog may be socialized and love to run and play with others. But in unfamiliar surroundings with new sights and smells, your dog may become agitated, anxious or even protective of you. Also, don’t assume other dogs are comfortable meeting you or your dog. Use caution with others to keep you and your pup safe.

Summer festivals can be full of fun, excitement and joy. But take the time to know before you go to make them the best experience for you and your pup. Watch for signs of distress, heat exhaustion and anxiety in your pup and never hesitate to take your dog out of a situation if he is uncomfortable.

Now, pack up and head out for a summer of music, fun and play all across this great nation!

  • When Should You Switch Your Senior Dog to Soft Food?

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    As your dog ages, you’ll likely notice changes in your best pal’s energy levels, routine and even muzzle. Older pets may require adjustments to help them get around, exercise and live their best life as a senior. One important aspect of caring for a dog entering their golden years is diet.

    When it comes to diet, every dog has unique, individual needs, regardless of age. So, there's no one easy answer to the question of soft food versus hard food. Both types of food can provide your dog with the nutrition they need — as long as you feed your dog a high-quality dog food that’s nutritionally balanced and complete.

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    Signs Your Senior Dog May Benefit from Wet Food

    If your dog has very specific health concerns, such as aging joints or weight issues, consult with your vet for more information about what type of food best addresses your dog's needs. That being said, there are a few reasons why you may consider switching your senior dog to soft food.

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    Teeth Sensitivity

    As your dog gets older, their teeth may become more sensitive, which can make chewing kibble more difficult and even uncomfortable. Switching to a soft food can help to alleviate your pet’s oral discomfort when eating.

    However, if your dog is experiencing serious pain at mealtime from a condition like tooth decay or gingivitis, switching to soft food won't remedy the problem. Make sure you talk to your vet about oral care and dental treatment.

    Digestion Aid

    Digestion begins in the mouth with saliva, so if your dog has a tendency to scarf down meals, they may not be adequately chewing the food or adding enough saliva to it. Soft food can aid with digestion because it's more easily chewed.

    Hydration Help

    It’s no surprise that wet food has a higher moisture content when compared to dry kibble. If your senior pup is prone to urinary-tract issues or simply needs a little help staying hydrated, canned dog food may be a good choice.

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    Slower Metabolism

    Aging dogs tend to have a slower metabolic rate compared to their younger years, which puts them at a higher risk of becoming overweight or obese. Many nutritionally balanced wet dog foods offer high protein content with fewer carbs than dry food, which can benefit older dogs with slower metabolism. Always talk to your vet if you have concerns about your pup’s weight.

    Picky Eaters

    While wet food may be less than appetizing to humans, the opposite is true for dogs! If your aging best friend has started turning their snout up to dry food, wet food tends to be more appealing to picky eaters. Mixing wet food and kibble offers your pup a variety of flavors and textures; try adding wet food as a topper on dry food for a real treat!

    Whether you choose dry food, soft food  or a mix of both, ask your vet before making any transition. And when it's time to switch your dog's food, remember to do it slowly — even if it's the same brand and flavor — to help prevent stomach upset and allow your dog time to adjust.

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