Dogs in Cars: Should My Dog Hang His Head Out the Car Window?
(Mike Paul, DVM - Pet Health Network)
We have all seen a car racing down the road with a dog’s head sticking out the window, ears flowing in the wind and lips flapping uncontrollably. “Man, is that dog having fun! He actually looks like he is smiling!” And indeed they are having fun. Unfortunately, they are oblivious to the dangers of their precarious perch. Few people would even think of allowing their children to hang heads out of a car window, or to stick their heads out of a sun roof, but they still allow their pets to risk serious injury by doing so.
What makes it so dangerous?
Dogs love the wind in their face but bad things can happen. First, foreign objects like leaves, insects and rocks can strike them with tremendous velocity. Just think back to the damage a tiny pebble might have done to your windshield or the finish of your car. The cornea of a dog’s eye is far more delicate and damages are not so easily repaired. Similarly, foreign bodies can find their way into a dog’s ear or nose and cause severe inflammation.
Even worse, a dog could jump through an open window or be thrown from the car during a swerve or collision. The least sever injury that would result is road rash or a broken leg. That of course assumes he isn’t hit by another car. A dog in the back of a car may look cute but sudden braking or swerving could transform it into a hurling mass of fur and muscle that could cause fatal injuries to the dog or a passenger.
Can my small dog sit with me?
I often see people driving with their dog on their lap, perhaps with their face right next to the owner. That can result in impaired vision, inability to operate controls and even interference problems with steering. Talk about distracted driving! In a 2010 survey, run by AAA (reported by Jim Walsh of USA Today). “20% of participants admitted to letting their dog sit on their lap while driving. A ‘staggering’ 31% said they were distracted by their dog while driving. Some states have gone so far as to pass legislation requiring restraint of dogs in moving vehicles.
What is the safest way for my dog to travel in the car?
How can you protect your dogs? It is pretty simple: restrain them. Do not allow your dog on your lap while you’re driving. There are widely-available, complete restraint mechanisms like doggy seat belts and restraint harnesses. They keep your dog secure and help protect him during an accident. They don’t have to be fancy or look silly to be effective, they just have to be worn.
To learn more about choosing a proper restraint, click here>
I am a believer that like small children, dogs, even when restrained, should be limited to the back seat of the vehicle. Passive protection mechanisms, like airbags, undoubtedly have saved many lives but a passenger side air bag will open in a quarter of a second and quite literally explode causing a tremendous amount of impact for an unsuspecting dog or cat. Keep them in the back seat!
If you have any questions or concerns, you should always visit or call your veterinarian -- they are your best resource to ensure the health and well-being of your pets.
How to Treat an Overheated Dog
(Brandy Arnold - Dogington Post)
With the warm weather of summer just around the corner, many areas of the country are already heating up! Dogs, in general, are intolerant of too much heat. Because of this, it is crucial that you’re aware of the signs of heat stress or heat stroke, and how to treat them if they occur. Knowing exactly what to do when your pooch gets overheated, and immediate action can save his life.
A Brief Overview
Heatstroke normally happens when a dog loses his innate ability to regulate his body temperature. Dogs do not sweat all over their bodies the way humans do. Their body temperature is chiefly regulated by respiration such as panting. If a pooch’s respiratory tract fails to clear heat quickly enough, heatstroke may take place.
If an animal experiences heatstroke, you may notice hyperventilation, excessive panting, dry gums that become pale, increased salivation, erratic or rapid pulse, confusion, weakness, diarrhea, vomiting, and possibly rectal bleeding. If the dog continues overheating, his breathing efforts will become slow, or worse, absent. This in turn can lead to seizure or coma.
To prevent overheating during the hot summer months, make sure your pet has a shaded, breezy place to rest, away from direct sunlight. Always provide plenty of fresh, cool drinking water. And, don’t push your dog too hard to play or work – give him plenty of breaks throughout the day.
The following guidelines will help should your dog become overheated:
Because overheating can be life-threatening if not treated immediately, noticing the early signs of heat exhaustion will surely reduce the chances of canine heatstroke and death.
1. Watch your pooch for signs of overheating during the hot weather. Dogs having difficulty with hot temperatures exhibit a combination of the symptoms mentioned above (hyperventilation, excessive panting, dry gums that become pale, increased salivation, erratic or rapid pulse, confusion, weakness, diarrhea, vomiting, and possibly rectal bleeding). Once you notice these signs, move your pet to a cooler area immediately, preferably with a fan. Dogs with heavy fur coats and short muzzles tend to manifest signs sooner than other breeds.
2. Using a rectal thermometer, take your pet’s temperature. A dog’s normal body temperature is 101.5 degrees Fahrenheit. Moderate heating usually happens at around 103 to 106 degrees, while severe heating typically occurs beyond 106 degrees. Contact your vet or the nearest emergency center and then report your dog’s temperature along with the symptoms he is exhibiting.
3. Reduce your pooch’s temperature by putting cool wet towels over his neck, under his armpits, and between his hind legs. Wetting his ear flaps and paw pads using cool water is also advisable. If you are outdoors, a stream or pond can be used to help him cool down.
4. Give your dog fresh cool drinking water. Never force water into his mouth as he may likely suck it out into his lungs. If your pooch refuses to drink, try wetting his tongue with the water instead. Hunting and retrieving dogs need to be provided with rest and water breaks to keep them from overheating.
5. Finally, transport your overheated pooch to your vet. Call ahead so he can be alerted to prepare for your dog’s treatment. Your pet may have to receive oxygen, some fluids, and other treatments. With severe overheating, seizure and or cardiac arrest may occur.
Please share this infographic on preventing pet suffocation graciously designed by Brittany Toonen, a graphic designer, whose former co-worker lost her dog to this. Thank you, Brittany! It's through the help, care, and dedication from so many wonderful pet lovers that Prevent Pet Suffocation has reached so many people.
Toxic Jerky Treats Responsible For More Than 1,000 Dog Deaths, FDA Says
(The Huffington Post | by Sara Gates)
Be careful what you feed your dog.
The U.S. Food and Drug Administration recently issued another warning abouttoxic jerky treats, and it seems the poisonous pet snacks are still a problem.
As of May 1, more than 1,000 dogs have died as a result of the toxic treats. The FDA has received 4,800 reports of pet illnesses since 2007, 1,800 of which were submitted in the months following the agency's last warning in October 2013. Even though 25 percent of these complaints were "historic" claims -- meaning the illness occurred some time in months or years past -- the jerky products appear to be an ongoing source of sickness for both cats and dogs.
So far, the FDA has been unable to pinpoint why so many pets are getting sick anddeveloping kidney-related diseases. However, the majority of cases appear to derive from consumption of a jerky treat that was imported from China.
Though pet owners could avoid Chinese-made nibbles, that's not a surefire way to avoid the toxic treats since ingredients in the product could still be produced abroad, Fox 5 News reports.
Since there is not one particular brand that has been singled out as the main culprit, the agency is asking owners who feed their dogs jerky treats to keep a close eye on their pets. (The Humane Society keeps a running list of recalled pet food and treats on its website.)
If symptoms such as decreased appetite, increased water intake, vomiting or diarrhea show up and persist for more than 24 hours after a dog or cat has consumed a jerky treat, pet owners are urged to contact a veterinarian immediately.
Pet owners who have a cat or dog may have consumed a toxic jerky treat may report their findings to the FDA by calling 1-888-INFO-FDA.
How To Tell When Your Dog is in Pain
(Brandy Arnold - Dogington Post)
Dogs generally experience pain for many of the same reasons that we do: dental issues, arthritis, physical injuries, or just not feeling well in general. But dogs cannot speak human, so having the ability to read your pooch and see when something is not right is an important to ensuring his health and quality of life. Being able to tell if your pooch is feeling pain is crucial in identifying the cause and allowing you to respond immediately to find the appropriate treatment.
You’ll know something may be wrong if…
1. Your dog cries out in pain. Vocalization is one of the closest things that dogs have to speaking. It’s one of their most obvious ways to communicate that something hurts. If your pooch whines and whimpers for no clear reason, this can be a sign that he is in pain.
2. Your dog starts limping. This is another rather straightforward symptom that you should watch out for. Dogs maybe hobbling or walking lamely for various reasons, usually all of them associated with some sort of discomfort. Limping can be the result of a wide variety of issues ranging from arthritis or joint pain, to back or knee injury, to pain in the foot or paw pad.
3. Your dog pants excessively. Because panting is a very normal thing for pooches, this particular indicator of pain can be rather tricky. When your dog pants at unusual times, such as the middle of the night, or when he’s been resting and shouldn’t be out of breath or thirsty, especially if the panting is associated with trembling, there could be a real problem.
4. Your dog licks a localized spot too much. Most dogs lick their throbbing wounds, stinging paw pads, tender broken toe nails, and other parts of their body when they are in pain. Although it doesn’t always suggest soreness, you can tell if something is wrong when you catch your furball licking and chewing a certain spot on his body over and over again.
5. Your dog’s temperament and behavior suddenly changes. Like us, dogs can also get a little irritable when they aren’t feeling well. A dog that is normally pleasant and friendly could become aggressive without warning when he’s in pain. He may even try to bite, especially if the area that hurts is touched. Other pooches may all of a sudden appear more needy and may seek more attention from people than usual. Loss of appetite may also be observable.
If you think Fido is not feeling well, a trip to your veterinarian may be necessary. There are many pain relief options available for dogs nowadays, but before trying any of them, make sure that you discuss the situation with your vet. Never, ever give your pooch over-the-counter medications like Ibuprofen and Tylenol as these drugs are very toxic to dogs.
No Bones About It: Bones Are Unsafe for Your Dog(U.S. Food and Drug Administration)
The idea that it's natural for dogs to chew on bones is a popular one. However, it's a dangerous practice and can cause serious injury to your pet.
"Some people think it's safe to give dogs large bones, like those from a ham or a roast," says Carmela Stamper, D.V.M., a veterinarian in the Center for Veterinary Medicine at the Food and Drug Administration. "Bones are unsafe no matter what their size. Giving your dog a bone may make your pet a candidate for a trip to your veterinarian's office later, possible emergency surgery, or even death."
"Make sure you throw out bones from your own meals in a way that your dog can't get to them," adds Stamper, who suggests taking the trash out right away or putting the bones up high and out of your dog's reach until you have a chance to dispose of them. "And pay attention to where your dog's nose is when you walk him around the neighborhood—steer him away from any objects lying in the grass."
Here are 10 reasons why it's a bad idea to give your dog a bone:
"Always supervise your dog with any chew product, especially one your dog hasn’t had before," adds Stamper. "And always, if your dog 'just isn't acting right,' call your veterinarian right away!"
This article appears on FDA's Consumer Updates page, which features the latest on all FDA-regulated products.
Posted April 20, 2010; Reviewed Sept. 24, 2013
Hi, my name is Terry. I manage this website for my furbaby, Daisy. When I first became interested in the Shichons, I found it was difficult to get information on them. A few sites, I am using for information are excellent sources. Then, I moved on to compile and share more information on choosing a good breeder, grooming, health, behavior, training and much more. I hope you enjoy this site and find it helpful. I am NOT promoting any information, just sharing. You and your vet know what is best for your baby.