Corn Chip Feet: Why Your Dog’s Feet Smell Like Fritos

dog paws

Even those of us with the most discerning palates have weaknesses. For some, that’s chocolate, ice cream, or other sweets. For others, it may be something salty, such as corn chips. If that’s the case, you may have caught yourself smelling one of your favorites smells on… your dog’s feet? What? That’s right, Frito Feet is a thing.

But what causes this phenomenon? It’s not like your dog walks over corn chips everyday (we hope). Stay tuned as Arlington Animal Hospital explains the what and the why’s of corn chip feet in dogs.

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Unlocking the Keys to Dog Body Language

dog body language

Every dog owner thinks they know what their dog needs and wants, and most of the time, you’re probably right! Humans and dogs have been evolving together for over 14,000 years, so it’s no surprise that we’ve become pretty skilled at reading each other’s emotions.

However, even if you’re fairly certain that you and your dog have excellent communication, there may still be a thing or two you can learn about these familiar, yet mysterious creatures. Dog body language is more nuanced than many people realize, and understanding it is the key to leading a harmonious life with your dog.

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Keep Cool with These Pet-Friendly Activities

summer pet activities

The winter was long (as usual), but spring has finally arrived! If you’re excited about the warmer weather, you can bet your pet feels the same way. Finding creative pet-friendly activities isn’t always easy, which is why Arlington Animal Hospital has put together some fun ideas to get you and your furry companion out of the house this summer.

Into the Woods

Pets love camping, so why not plan your yearly trip into the woods with your four-legged family member in mind? Campgrounds like Cherry Hill Park and Greenbelt Campground welcome pets and their owners. If camping isn’t your thing, there are endless opportunities to get out and explore the Appalachian Trail or one of the thousands of miles of hiking trails in our state (most allow leashed dogs).

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Tried and True: Senior Pet Care

senior cat care

Pets are living longer than ever, thanks to better nutrition, access to top of the line veterinary medical care, and pet parents’ increasing understanding of pet needs and health. And living with a senior pet – whether you adopted them as a brand new puppy or an adult dog – can be very rewarding.

One of the most important things to remember is that age is not a disease! Senior pets (those older than age 7) can live active, healthy lives for years to come. It’s true that with age comes certain conditions, but that’s just a matter of us paying attention to their needs, and making some adjustments along the way. Just how to do this? Arlington Animal Hospital gives you the rundown.

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Hit the Trails with These Dog Friendly Arlington Walks and Hikes!

 

Dog friendly Arlington hikes can be great pet exerciseThe weather is slowly shifting from hot and humid to slightly less hot and humid, and this has nature lovers excited to spend some quality time outdoors with their canine companions. Virginia is home to an extensive network of hiking trails, and the many dog friendly Arlington area trails are sure to keep you and your pooch busy this summer.

Dog Friendly Arlington Trails

Whether you and your dog are seasoned hikers or you just like to enjoy a leisurely walk in nature, there’s no shortage of options in our neck of the woods. Some of our favorites include:

  • Fort Bennett Park and Palisades Trail – This well-developed trail in a city park offers 11 acres of lovely woods and open space.
  • Windy Run Park – Wooded nature paths and a bubbling stream make for an enjoyable afternoon at this park (just keep your dog out of the stream, as it’s being restored due to erosion).
  • Theodore Roosevelt Island – Enjoy a variety of trails and beautiful scenery in this popular 90-acre island park.
  • Donaldson Run Park – This is a beautiful secluded area with a pond and paved walking paths.
  • Four Mile Run Trail – This trail features over 6 miles of paved walking paths in a natural setting (watch out for bikers and inline skaters).
  • Turkey Run Trail – You won’t actually see any wild turkeys along this moderately difficult trail, but gorgeous wildflowers and a lovely streamside hike are guaranteed.
  • Scott’s Run Nature Preserve Trails – If you like waterfalls, you don’t want to miss this secluded trail.
  • Mason Neck State Park – This family friendly park boasts trails, ponds, a playground, and a fishing area.

Lastly, don’t forget to pick up after your dog!

Heat Safety 101

In comparison to humans, dogs are at a higher risk for dehydration and heat stroke, so pet heat safety is a must when out walking or hiking:

  • Take frequent water breaks in the shade, and bring along bottled water and a collapsible bowl.
  • Walk in shaded or grassy areas whenever possible to avoid injuring your dog’s paw pads (hot pavement or concrete can lead to burns!).
  • On the hottest days, stick to early morning or evening walks when temperatures are lower.
  • Watch your dog closely; stop immediately and move to a shaded area if you notice any signs of heat distress, such as excessive panting/drooling, stumbling, bright red or pale gums, lethargy, or collapse. Call us right away.

What are your favorite dog friendly Arlington trails and parks? Post a picture to our social media page or let us know during your next wellness exam. Happy trails!

Scoop the Poop! The Importance of Cleaning up After Your Dog

Ew! You just stepped outside and stepped in a pile of dog poop! Scenes like these may make the mantra, “Scoop the poop!” a well-deserved one, but more importantly, cleaning up after your dog helps prevent the spread of parasites and disease.

That’s right. There are several risks to the health and wellbeing of your pet, as well as other pets and people, when animal waste is allowed to accumulate in public places.

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