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Dog Days of Summer

Two Dog-Friendly Businesses in Midtown

Article by Grace Huseth

Photography by Nicole Stephens

Originally published in Midtown Lifestyle

Dog Days 

At Dog Days, every day can be a pool day. The doggie daycare and boarding spot in Midtown is one of the few places in Atlanta where pups can paddle around using their signature doggie paddle stroke.

The pool at Dog Days Midtown is an above-ground 10-by-15-foot swimming oasis that is available to all dogs who participate in the daycare and boarding at Dog Days. General Manager Jessy Vaughan says the pool offers a workout as well as many health benefits.

"The Canine Swim Club is such a great concept. It's an outlet that's great for any type of dog, from active dogs to small dogs. Sometimes people think it's just for the Lab or super energetic dogs, but really it's great for an older dog that just needs to relax their joints and get some exercise."

—Jessy Vaughan

Dog Days' pool has pedigree status in comparison to other pools in Atlanta, even those that don’t cater to canines. The pool is specifically designed for dogs and is equipped with a copper/silver ionizer that kills bacteria and sanitizes the water without chlorine or harsh chemicals. After all, a pet-worthy lush coat starts with healthy skin.

Dog Days takes great pride in the happiness and health of all its guests. In addition to being great exercise and a lot of fun for your dog, swimming offers additional health benefits such as relaxation, chronic pain relief, increased flexibility and more.

Boxer mix Rhoadi is a tripod dog who loves the water. He’s still energetic and honestly forgets that he only has three legs, with only one in the front. Yet after a long day, his opposite shoulder gets tight from a day of play and pressure on the joint. When Rhoadi leaps into the pool, he’s able to loosen his leg muscles while increasing range of motion in his joints. He uses a vest for added buoyancy, his rear legs to tread and his tail as a rudder to turn on a dime to fetch a tennis ball.

441 Armour Drive NE, 678.974.8147,

King of Pups

If panting is a pup’s only way to cool down, imagine the impact of a cold treat on their tongue. King of Pups, a brother company of the iconic Atlanta popsicle King of Pops, has made popsicles gone to the dogs. 

A little ice cream won’t hurt a dog, but King of Pups makes sure its canines only eat things you can find in your kitchen, including yogurt, banana, peanut butter and honey. No added sugar, salt, artificial flavors, preservatives or additives make the treats not as sinful. 

Even pups must watch their waistlines. King of Pups come in individual serving sizes of 1.75-ounce cups for small dogs and 3.5-ounce cups for big dogs. And if they get full, the treats are resealable. Pop the lid back on and put it back in the freezer for later.   

Bark a big NO to raisins, which are toxic to dogs, as well as macadamia nuts since dogs can develop weakness, depression, vomiting, tremors and hyperthermia after eating them. 

552 Decatur St. SE, Atlanta, Georgia, 1.833.EAT.POPS, 

BluePearl Veterinary 

Catherine Ray is one of those people who always knew what she wanted to do. “I was the little 5-year-old who showed up at career day with a stethoscope because I wanted to be a veterinarian,” she says.

Now Dr. Ray is a senior clinician in emergency medicine at the BluePearl Veterinary Partners—Westside Atlanta hospital, and she has saved the lives of countless pets.

But this time of year, she always warns people about a danger so obvious many of us don’t think about it—Georgia’s summer is deadly to dogs.

“Gosh, that heat and humidity is intense,” she says. “The longer dogs spend outdoors, the more at risk they are, and of course, the risk increases with higher heat and humidity.”

Emergency veterinarians all over Georgia can tell you that dogs die in the summer heat, sometimes to the absolute shock of their owners. 

Dr. Ray wants people to know one of the reasons. Dogs’ bodies are not built to withstand heat as well as humans. People sweat from the skin covering their body, and vapor rising from this moisture is what cools us. But dogs don’t sweat like this. Instead, dogs cool by panting, which is not as efficient. Panting helps dogs circulate air through their bodies and regulate their body temperature.

“They transfer heat and cool themselves off with their breathing.”

—Dr. Ray

Just knowing this fact can save dogs’ lives, Dr. Ray says. It’s the reason people should avoid leaving dogs out for hours in 80-degree or 90-degree heat, even when there is plenty of shade. You need to be even more careful if your dogs have shorter snouts, what some people call the “smashed face” look—pugs, bulldogs and those with a condition called laryngeal paralysis. In all of these dogs, breathing is less efficient and so is their ability to cool.

So make sure you always have water available for your dog and avoid the hottest parts of the day for time outside. In August in Atlanta, it’s simply too hot to leave your dog outside for the whole day, no matter how many shade trees may be nearby. 

Also, the best way to save dogs’ lives is not to let them get heat stroke in the first place.

“The first sign you’re going to see is the dog trying to compensate with increased panting,” Dr. Ray says. When that doesn’t cool them enough, they will eventually start getting exhausted. “They’re getting weak, they’re getting lethargic, their body cannot compensate.”

At that point, your dog has a bona fide emergency. “Pile cold wet towels on top of the dog and drive them to the vet right away,” she says.

Keep your dogs cool, and you’ll have many long years to love them, just like Dr. Ray and her boxer-Labrador-mix Windsor and her pitbull-boxer mix Jupiter.

“Basically, the answer is prevention,” Dr. Ray says. “If there is one disease process that can really be stopped with prevention, this is it.”

1071 Howell Mill Road NW, 404.649.6333,

  • King of Pups

Businesses featured in this article