Ruffing It: A Tail-Wagging Good Time

Pool-loving pooches, dock dogs and canines who prefer cooling off in sprinklers can rejoice—the dog days of summer are here. Vacations are planned, the beach is beckoning and your furry friends want to have just as much fun as you. Show them just how much you care during this season of sunshine.

Protect Your Pooch & Prevent Puny Pests

With this outdoor-centric season comes the full-blown time for fleas and ticks, so beware and prepare your pup with the best protection. As maddening as mosquitos are to us, these and other pesky pests can irritate pets to the point of hair loss and red, flaky skin with scabs. Not to mention the infections and disgusting diseases they can carry.

While Advantix, Frontline and PetArmor are cheaper, over-the-counter options, unfortunately, in our warm humid climate, fleas have become resistant to the active ingredients in these medicines. This season, it might be worth trying something new, possibly NexGard or Trifexis, both chewable tablets given to dogs monthly to prevent fleas. These prescriptions are more potent and known to work when other preventatives do not, especially here. Trifexis also prevents heartworm disease, and treats and controls adult hookworm, whipworm and roundworm.

You must also ensure your dog is protected from heartworm, especially during summer months when mosquitoes (the infecting agents of this disease) are at their peak. In worst-case scenarios, this preventable disease can be fatal. Dogs can’t get heartworms from other pets, only from infected mosquitoes—that is how it spreads. Heartgard is one of the most popular medications for heartworm prevention and can be purchased at your vet’s office.

Here are just a few vets & clinics in Bluffton:

Banfield Pet Hospital
30 Malphrus Rd., Ste. 106
(843) 836-1947 or


Bluffton Veterinary Hospital
21A Scott Way
(843) 815-5898 or


Buckwalter Veterinary Clinic
103 Buckwalter Pl. Blvd., #102
(843) 837-2733 or


Coastal Veterinary Clinic
21 Buck Island Rd.
(843) 757-1112 or


Palmetto Animal League Community Clinic
56 Riverwalk Blvd.
(843) 645-1727 or


Riverwalk Animal Hospital
58 Browns Cove Rd., N.
(843) 987-0844 or

Barking Beach Bum

There’s nothing better than the feeling of sand between your toes and cool ocean breezes on a hot day—just ask Man’s Best Friend.

While Bluffton’s own Brighton Beach permits pets year-round, not all of the sandy shores in our area allow dogs all day, every day, in the summer. If you’re planning a daytrip to Hilton Head Island this summer, dogs are not permitted between 10 a.m. and 5 p.m. until after Labor Day. Though this may put a hitch in your plans, it’s actually a blessing in disguise—this prevents pups from getting overheated in the harsh sun and burning their pads on scalding sand.

If your rambunctious retriever is beach bound, try to find calmer water away from rough surf. Also be wary about their saltwater intake, as this can lead to vomiting, diarrhea and dehydration. Be extra cautious if you have breeds such as Bulldogs, Pugs and Pekingese, as barrel-chested breeds have a harder time staying afloat and flat-nosed dogs overheat easily. If your pup has a pink or light-colored nose, or a thin, short coat, they have a higher risk of sunburn and skin cancer, so lather them up with sunscreen!

Doggy Vacay When You’re Away

When planning highly-anticipated vacations, daytrips and weekend getaways, don’t let your furry friend down when you’re out of town. With pet sitters and luxurious pooch resorts for playful pups, there are many options to keep your canine companion in a place of comfort.

Perhaps, instead of traditional boarding and the stresses that come along with being in a new environment and confined in a kennel, you might opt for a pet sitter. If your neighbor or friends are also out of town and you need someone to play with your pooch, consider looking on or They’re like AirBnB for your pet, but instead of searching home profiles, you’ll browse bios of pet-sitters, dog walkers, doggy daycare-givers and puppy enthusiasts, read reviews and find out how much they charge. Choose whether you want them to stay the night at your house or just stop by a few times day, thus keeping Fido comfortable and collected in an environment he’s used to.

If this is not an option, perhaps one of the many dog daycares in Bluffton can accommodate your pooch. Or, give your playful pal his or her own mini-vacay at a dog camp or pet resort that will keep their tails waggin’.

Here are just a few local options:
The Bark Shack
33 Ulmer Rd., Bluffton
(843) 757-0888 or


Evergreen Pet Lodge
105 Dillon Rd., Hilton Head Island
(843) 681-8354 or


Brooke’s Bed and Biscuit
25 Buck Island Rd., Bluffton
(843) 757-7387 or
Southpaw Pet Resort
10 Fish Haul Rd., Hilton Head Island
(843) 342-7200 or


Hardeeville Pet Resort
11642 Speedway Blvd., Hardeeville
(843) 784-6035 or


Camp Green Dog
1190 Argent Blvd., Ridgeland
(843) 208-3647 or


Park in Progress

Getting dogs outside for some exercise is always a good idea. It promotes better health, not only physically, but also mentally and emotionally, as they are able to de-stress and reduce any anxiety built up from being cooped up inside all day.

“Dogs are much better pets when they’ve had enough exercise. If you have a dog that needs to run and you’ve got no place for them to run, they get bored and look for something to do—that’s when they get themselves in trouble,” said Diana Radcliffe, who owns two dogs herself and is on the board of directors for the Friends of Bluffton Dog Parks. “It’s a good social environment for the dogs and for the people who own them.”

The dog park coming to Oscar Frazier Park this October has been 10 years in the making. With Beaufort County maintaining the one-acre park and Friends of Bluffton Dog Parks working to make this vision a reality since 2006, the canine play place will be located off Recreation Court by the Town’s Public Works building. Features include two main fenced-in areas—separate spaces for large and small dogs—as well as a section for older dogs and, possibly, a fourth long and narrow space for owners to play catch with their pups.

The fences are planned to be five-feet tall and the park will also have water fountains, which were generously donated by Belfair Plantation. This effort to have an outdoor place for pups has been a community endeavor, not possible without the many hands from generous volunteers who have donated time and money to the cause.

“We really appreciate everything everyone has done,” Radcliffe said, adding plans include a groundbreaking ceremony and grand opening celebration.

To support the dog park, pet-enthusiasts can make donations, as well as buy T-shirts and hats and follow the status of the park at

Article by Andrea Six