(Dr Karen Becker - Healthy Pets)
Make sure to keep all drinks with alcohol in them out of reach of your pet. Alcohol can poison your dog or cat. Depending on how much is ingested, an animal can become very intoxicated, weak, depressed, and can even slip into a coma. Severe alcohol poisoning can result in death from respiratory failure.
8 Steps to the PAW-fect Dog-Friendly Backyard
(Dogington Post - March 10, 2015)
Creating a backyard oasis that you and your dog can safely enjoy can be a bit challenging. Nevertheless, as long as you consider your dog’s personality, instincts, habits, and health, the task won’t be much of a burden. With a little planning, you can create a tranquil backyard that you both will certainly love to be in together.
What to Do:
1. Make sure to fence the yard.
Because not many things are more fun for your pooch than to run and play freely, ensure that you keep him safe by putting up a fence around the yard.
Make it tall enough to keep him from jumping over it, low enough to keep him from crawling under, and with slats placed closely enough to prevent him slipping through. Parents of curious, determined dogs may need to take extra precautions to avoid digging under the fence to escape.
2. Provide him a shady spot to escape the heat.
If you and your fur-friend like to hang out in the backyard for any length of time during spring or summer, make certain there's somewhere shaded and cool that your pup can rest in to get away from the burning hot rays of the sun.
Provide an area under a tree, some bushes, a patio, or any other shade-providing structure. Although a doghouse can give some relief from the warm weather, it can get rather hot inside so look for a structure that is well ventilated and consider adding a self-cooling pad to provide additional cool comfort.
3. Watch out for items that may endanger your dog.
Fill in any holes and smooth out any uneven spots in the yard where your pooch may trip and harm himself. Check patios for loose bricks or pavers and frequently check decking for loose boards or nails. Consider a little creative landscaping to cushion corners of patios and decks that can become a danger to a dog that's zooming around the yard. A strategically placed potted plant can prevent accidental injuries from sharp corners!
Also, patrol your yard on a regular basis to look for anything that your dog might accidentally chew on or ingest such as rocks, trash, or sticks. And, unless you're absolutely certain he is safe and secure, don't ever leave a dog unattended outside.
And, keep grass trimmed and weeds to a minimum to avoid potentially harmful, unwanted pests like insects and snakes from finding sanctuary in your dog's special space. If you treat your yard or garden for insects or fleas, be sure to use a pet-safe yard spray!
4. Remove hazardous plants in the yard or refrain from planting them.
Ask your veterinarian or search for a list of poisonous plants that can make your dog ill or die if ingested. Some of the most common poisonous plants include the Sago Palm, Oleander, Daffodil, Azalea, Aloe Vera, Begonias, Carnations, Ivy, and Poinsettia. Double check that every plant within your dog’s reach is safe. Even if your dog doesn’t ingest plants, some are dangerous even when only touched or brushed against.
Consult a pet-friendly landscaping book for even more ideas!
5. Provide warm and dry shelter during cold, wet weather.
Keeping your pooch outside for long periods of time during cold or rainy days is not recommended. For the times when he needs to get out to exercise, make sure to provide him a dog house or other appropriate shelter. Check that the structure is never placed where water can accumulate and provide ample warm and soft bedding.
Most importantly, think of your dog as an extension of your own family. If the weather isn’t comfortable for you, it’s likely to not be comfortable for your four-legged family either.
6. Keep some fun toys in the yard.
For highly energetic dogs and those that love to fetch, toys like tennis balls and Frisbees are ideal for the backyard.
If you have the luxury of plenty of space, set up an agility course for him and enjoy some time together practicing the exciting (and healthy!) sport.
For pets that are happily contented lying in the sun, a comfortable outdoor dog bed and a long-lasting chew toy may suffice.
If your dog likes the water, providing him a pet or kiddie pool will be great fun! Or, if your dog loves to dig (but you don't want the yard torn up) a simple wooden framed sandbox with some fun toys buried inside will provide lots of entertainment.
7. Keep a bowl of clean, fresh water nearby.
Always remember to change your dog’s water every day. Keep it close to him while outside. Playful dogs can easily and quickly become overheated and dehydrated even when the weather is cool.
8. Enjoy the yard with your pooch.
As much as your pet may love his toys, he will surely appreciate your company even more!
Spending some time with your dog outside will almost always help to keep him from exhibiting inappropriate behaviors like barking or digging. And, your presence will also guarantee his safety outdoors.
Top 4 Boat Safety Tips for Dogs
( Sonya Simpkins - I Love Dog Friendly)
Boats are great way to spend the hot summer days. The open water, the wind in your hair and jumping off the side of the boat for a swim when it gets too hot have a great deal of appeal for both two-legged and four-legged lovers of all things summer. However, you must take certain safety cautions when on a boat no matter if you are human or canine. To ensure your dog will have as much fun as you do on a boat and be safe, follow these four tips.
1. Introduce your dog to the boat.
According to ohbehavedogtraining.com, if your dog has never seen a boat, let alone been on one, then a proper introduction is necessary. First, bring your dog on board when the boat is docked and the motor is off and let him sniff around. Then, take him off of the boat and walk him a good distance away from it – but not so far he can’t see or hear it. Have someone turn on the engine. This allows your dog to get familiar with its loud sound. With the engine running, encourage your dog to check out the boat again at his own pace. Do not force your dog to get near or on the boat if he does not want to. This will only lead to him being more scared of the boat and possibly you, too.
2. Put a life jacket on your dog.
This is crucial, especially if you have a dog that loves the water and will jump in for a swim as soon as the boat comes to a stop. Or worse, if you hit rough water and your dog gets bounced out of the boat. A life jacket could save his life and give you peace of mind.
3. Provide lots of fresh cold water and some shade.
Dogs do not sweat but they do lose fluids through panting. In the hot sun, panting is how a dog cools himself off. Since it can be hard to keep a water bowl full on a boat, teach your dog to drink from a water bottle. Also, make sure there is a shady area for your dog to rest under whenever possible. Dogs can suffer from heat exhaustion and heatstroke, too.
4. Slather sunscreen on your dog.
Yes, dogs can wear sunscreen and it is just as important for them to be wearing it as it is for their humans. According to vetinfo.com, “Dogs, especially dogs with lighter coat skin, are sensitive when it comes to sun exposure. The sun rays are not healthy and have been related to the occurrence of skin cancer. In addition, dogs that are exposed to sun may suffer from sunburn, which can be extremely painful and can lead to ulcerations, autoimmune skin diseases and other complications.” Talk to your vet about which sunscreen would be best for your dog.
Sonya Simpkins is a social media writer for i Love Dogs, Inc. In her spare time, she loves to take her dogs for long hikes and treks to the beach, out to eat and on long road trips across the county. She then turns those adventures into useful advice for other dog parents who also love to take their dogs with them wherever they go.
Camping With Your Canine: Essential Tips and Tricks for Ruffin' It
Planning on sharing a pup tent with your pup this summer? Here’s what you need to know.
(Nicole Sipe - Dog Channel|August 4, 2014)
So you want to try "ruffing” it with your dog this summer, huh? Good for you! Camping with your dog is a terrific way to get out into the great outdoors and appreciate nature with your best furry friend. Camping takes some planning, though, and this is especially true if you’re including your dog in the fun. Here are a few tips to consider before you pack up the car, truck or RV, and head out of town.
Will My Dog Have a Good Time?
Some dog breeds are practically born to camp, hike and explore the outdoors (think Labrador Retrievers). Some dogs prefer to kick back in a nice, air-conditioned house. You know your dog’s temperament and physical abilities best, so before you become gung-ho on including your dog on your camping trip no matter what, stop and think about whether camping would be a good experience for him.
Take this short quiz to help you out. Answer "yes” or "no” to the following:
1. My dog loves new sights, smells, sounds and experiences, and loves to be outdoors.
2. My dog is relatively quiet and not "barky,” or can be quieted easily.
3. My dog obeys when instructed to sit, stay and lie down.
4. My dog is not aggressive with people or animals.
5. My dog is in good health.
If you answered "yes” to all five of the questions, you’re likely good to go! If you answered "no" to any of these questions, consider whether or not you and your dog might be happier on a different type of vacation, or even a "staycation."
Know Before You Go
Whether you’re pitching your tent at a state, national or private park, or pulling your RV into a KOA, each campground and park has its own policy on bringing pets. Contact the campground or park by phone or email, or visit their website for more details. Many places have strict rules regarding where a pet can camp out -- for instance, some don’t allow dogs in cabins, or will require that your dog be inside a tent or car during the night. Some parks will specifically say where pets can and cannot roam, including beaches, playgrounds, bathing areas or concession stands. Each location also has its own rules for doggie conduct, so be sure to check those out, too.
Planning and Packing
Once you’ve found a great dog-friendly place to camp, now it’s time to start getting ready for your trip! Keep these things in mind:
It’s wise to prepare for the unknown when camping. Here are a few things to consider:
Dog Tip: Car Trips and Car Safety
* Be sure to keep the dog's leash firmly in hand when loading and unloading the dog from the car.
* Always keep a current i.d. tag on the pet in case the pet manages to escape. Make sure the collar cannot slip off. Especially when traveling, it's important that the i.d. tag include an easily accessible number, such as your cell phone number.
* For safety, do not allow pets to ride in the front seat, no matter how much the pet enjoys it. Pets riding in the front seat can be thrown into the windshield if you have to make a sudden stop. Also, the pet can climb on the driver's lap, interfere with driving or fall down by the gas and brake pedals, causing an accident.
Another reason to keep pets in the back seat or in a crate is that airbags can pose hazards to smaller people and pets. Air bags can launch out of the dashboard at a great enough force to severely injure a pet or small human. Some cars come with on on/off switches for the bags. Visit www.NHTSA.gov for details about switches as well as a list of dealers and repair businesses that install them. FYI, air bags can be deactivated by a car dealer, but this could affect a vehicle warranty or insurance.
* Secure the pet in the car. An unrestrained pet can interfere with driving and become a hazardous projectile in the event of an accident or sudden stop, hitting the windshield, injuring a passenger or knocking the driver over (or out) resulting in loss of control of the car.
* Crates or sturdy pet carriers are an ideal way to restrain pets in cars. Stressed pets need a nice quiet place to rest and be alone at times. Secure the crate so it does not fly forward or flip in case of a sudden stop or accident.
* If your car does not allow room to set up a crate, obtain a dog seat belt, which doubles as a harness, from many pet supply stores and mail order/web merchants. Here are two sources:
* Or install a pet barrier to keep dogs in the back seat.
* If you don't have a crate, travel harness or partition between front and back seats, Patti Thorne-Smaridge suggests this tip using a short leash with a loop on the end. Adjust the back seat's middle seatbelt as tight as it will go. Slip the leash through the seatbelt and resecure it. If the leash is short enough to limit the dog to sitting up, lying down and turning around, it will probably be short enough to keep the dog from being thrown to the floor in the event of a sudden stop.
If using a loose leash in the back seat, allow enough slack so that the dog won't strangle if the driver brakes and the dog falls into the floor area. Fasten the leash to something inside the car, such as an arm rest. If you have to extend the loop outside the car window, use extreme caution. You do not want the leash loop to get caught on anything, get pulled by someone outside, or get entangled with the wheels of the car.
* Look behind you frequently. Tell a dog behaving well that she is good. Reassure a nervous dog that everything is OK.
* To curtail barking in the car, Katherine Houpt, VMD, recommends using a citronella collar, which discourages barking by emitting a spray of unpleasantly scented citronella each time the dog barks.
* Bring a dish and some water since dogs often get thirsty during car rides.
* Pack ice chips or cubes. This makes a tasty treat for your dog, plus it melts down into water along the way. For long trips, bring sufficient bottled water for you and your dog.
* Carry a first aid kit in your car, keeping it within reach from the driver's seat. Include items for both human and pet injuries. Also carry a couple of terry towels, which can be used for a variety of first aid needs from stabilizing a hurt limb to stemming bleeding to creating a temporary muzzle. A roll of gauze and gauze tape come in handy too. For a list of items to include in your first aid kit, see below.
* Rescue Remedy, a Bach flower essence available in most health food stores, is a natural stress reliever that many folks keep on hand at home and in travel kits. It can often help both people and animals recover from injury, fright, illness, travel fatigue, chocolate ingestion and irritation. Put a few drops in the dog's water bowl or portable water container. For stressed or injured animals, rub a drop on their ear or put a drop on the towel in their crate or carrier. Flower essences are free of harmful effects and can be used along with conventional medicines. Another safe, nontoxic Rescue Remedy-like product is Animal Emergency Trauma Solution, available from www.greenhopeessences.com, where you can also get Flee Free to combat fleas nontoxically. Other flower essence sources include anaflora.com and perelandra-ltd.com.
* Keep the windows rolled up high enough so that the dog cannot squeeze out. Dogs can make themselves very skinny in order to escape through a window, even in a moving vehicle.
* Secure the dog so that he cannot hit buttons for electric windows, adjustable mirrors, etc. Dogs have gotten their heads stuck in electric windows after activating them. Securing the dog will also help in case you stop at tollbooths or need to roll down the window to ask for directions. Another tip: have money at hand so you won't have to fumble at tollbooths and parking lots.
* When stopping the car, have things organized before opening the door, including stops at gas stations and rest areas. Make sure the dog is still secured. And when taking the dog out of the car, have the leash attached to the dog and in your hand so that the dog cannot escape.
* To prevent car-sickness:
** Avoid feeding the pet within three hours before a ride. Give the pet a good opportunity to relieve himself before the trip...a hardy walk has the added benefits of tiring and calming a dog before the road trip. Some vets suggest limiting water consumption just before the ride, too.
** Many pet owners have successfully used ginger as a natural way to prevent travel sickness. You can use grated raw ginger or powdered ginger root capsules. Ginger has worked for many humans, too.
** Some folks report success using mild natural remedies such as Rescue Remedy, available at health food stores. A common Rescue Remedy dosage is four drops in the mouth about ten hours before the trip, repeating every four hours or as needed. Some people prefer to drop Rescue Remedy into the pet's ears or water bowl.
** We've heard reports about other potentially helpful carsickness preventives such as B complex vitamins, Pet Calm (available from pet supply stores) and cooled peppermint tea (which also can be used to calm tummies after a trip).
** Some folks bring newspapers for their dog to sit on because the smell of newspapers has a calming effect on some dogs.
** Some give their dogs Dramamine before a trip. But discuss drug options with your veterinarian before you consider using them.
* Be prepared in case the dog gets queasy in the car. Cover the seats, bring towels, paper towels and baggies, give a back seat dog plenty of air, play soothing music, and do not play music too loudly.
* If your pet is unaccustomed to car trips, take her on several short rides before attempting a long one. Make sure that the first few car trips are to pleasant places, so that the dog will associate drives with positive experiences.
* For long road trips, give yourself and your pet a rest stop and take a walk every two or three hours.
* Avoid letting dogs stick their heads out the car window, which can lead to eye, ear and other injuries.
* Dogs are at risk in convertibles with the tops down and in the open bed of a pick-up truck.
* Avoid leaving a dog in a car alone to avoid the risk of theft, accidental death and heat stroke even when it does not seem that warm outside.
* If you must leave the animal in the car for a short period, take the leash off the dog. The leash can get caught on objects such as the parking brake to the adjustment handles beneath the seats. If this happens, the dog can panic and injure himself. Be extremely careful not to let the dog escape out the car when you open the door.
The above are ways to keep the dog safely out of your way. Tethering is the way to keep your furbaby safe in case of an accident.
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.
Infographic: What You Must Know to Safely Travel With Your Dog
(Brandy Arnold - Dogington Post)
In any state across the country, traveling with a small child that isn’t properly restrained is illegal – but only New Jersey carries these same laws for pets.
Did you know that 98% of dogs aren’t properly restrained during travel? Not only is this unsafe for you, the driver, but your dog faces injury if not restrained. Check out the infographic below for some safe travel tips – and a few facts that might change some minds about just tossing the dog in the backseat and taking off.
If you all don't mind I am going to chime in here. I have studied pet safety while traveling in the car long before it was glamorous. -1999 is when I started. I was told by many it was a waste of my time. Obviously I listened to them.. NOT, they just did not understand how precious our dogs are to us and we will do anything to protect them. With that said there are many ways to protect your pet while traveling. 1. you need a good fitting harness, make sure the width on the webbing is as big as you can get it comfortably on the size dog. This will help disperse the energy across a greater surface in case of an accident. 2. Secure the harness with a restraining strap made of materials that are rated (much like climbing gear) this includes the buckles or clips). 3. If using a crate, try and get a rated one. Do not rely on the seat belt to hold the crate onto the cars back seat. If your car has them: use the baby bar system for children's seats to secure the crate. If not, get friendly with a ratchet straps (found at Home Depot) and use those to hold the crate down on the seat. 4. If you are using the foam booster seats, please make sure you have a good fitting harness on your pup, and the harness is secured into car, as those boosters will slide in a heavy breaking situation or worse. They are meant to be used in the back seat only. They offer bigger and older dogs comfort while traveling so they can see out the window. 5. Doggie Driving was designed for those of us that want our pet to ride upfront safely. The fiberglass shell will protect the dog against impact. The shell provides that comfort and support to pets while traveling. While there is no one answer/solution for traveling with our furry children, there are many options out there. I am happy to answer any and all questions about all products, harnesses etc. Remember harness sometimes fit better for different breeds. Try many on your kid and get the best fitting one. Thank you all of keeping your pet safe while traveling and keeping the rest of us on the road safe too. Have a great weekend. Melissa and Zeus
For Crash-Test Dummy Dogs, Seat Belts A Bust
(Matthew Dolan | The Wall Street Journal)
The nonprofit Center for Pet Safety in Reston, Va., has teamed up with auto maker Subaru to run preliminary tests on 11 pet safety belts.
The goal: To figure out which pet restraints work well enough to earn a seal of approval from pet-advocacy groups, which the center hopes will one day set national safety standards.
This summer at a government product-testing lab in Virginia, seven of the 11 pet harnesses underwent crash testing. The center designed some of the world's first crash-test dogs, simulating a 25-pound terrier mix, a 45-pound border collie and a 75-pound golden retriever.
The final results, expected to be released this week, weren't encouraging. Sleepypod's Clickit three-point safety harness was the only restraint that consistently kept a dog from launching off the seat. It was also the only one judged to offer substantial protection to all passengers, dog included, in the event of an accident.
Subaru says it will soon offer Sleepypod's Clickit Utility Harness as an accessory in its vehicles.
The Center for Pet Safety, which says it doesn't receive any funding or free products from the pet-device industry, is in the first stages of trying to establish a uniform standard to judge all pet restraints.
"It establishes a good baseline," said Sean Kane, a noted auto-safety researcher with Safety Research & Strategies, who reviewed the study at The Wall Street Journal's request. The variations in test-dummy size were particularly important, he noted, since larger dogs consistently fared worse in the tests.
An untethered pet can create a safety hazard. Pet advocacy group Bark Buckle Up argues that unrestrained pets act like missiles in accidents, endangering passengers and themselves. In one calculation by motorist-advocacy group AAA, even a 10-pound unrestrained dog in a crash at only 30 miles an hour will exert roughly 300 pounds of force.
Law-enforcement groups say an injured or disoriented pet thrown from a car crash can turn violent or impede rescue efforts.
Several pet-restraint manufacturers say consumers should be cautious of these early test results. The firms say they crash-test their products at accredited facilities. The devices, however, aren't tested by the American Pet Products Association, the federal government, traffic-safety groups or other product-safety groups.
"Our members are continuously striving to develop products that enhance the lives, health and safety of pets," says Bob Vetere, chief executive of the American Pet Products Association, who says he hopes consumers will continue using pet restraints.
Nearly 90% of U.S. pet owners say they travel with their pets, but few strap them in, despite recommendations from the American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals and others. Some 17% of drivers surveyed in a 2011 AAA study admitted driving with a pet on their lap.
5 Holiday Preparation Tips for Smart Pet Parents
1. Decorate Without Your Pet’s Help
When you pull our your boxes full of holiday decorations, consider keeping your pet in a quiet room for an hour or two.
Your boxes are likely full of breakable ornaments, strings of light that are all too tempting to a playful kitty and knick-knacks that are easily knocked over.
It’s best for your own safety and that of your pet to decorate without their help. Don’t worry your doggy or kitty will understand!
2. Consider an Artificial Tree Over a Real OnePine needles, stagnant tree water and potentially poisonous tree food are just three of the reasons why you should consider an artificial tree over a real one this year.
If you absolutely cannot imagine the holidays without a real tree, consider putting up a small gate around the tree to keep pets away from the base where fallen pine needles and the pot with water will stay.
No matter what kind of tree you put up, be sure to keep ornaments up high. Low hanging ones are quite the temptation for cats and even dogs! One good swat or jump and your whole tree could come crashing down.
It’s best to put the ornaments up high where doggy or kitty will be much less tempted to play with the new seasonal “toys,” especially the breakable kind that can cause injury.
3. Tape Up Exposed WiresPuppies and kitties love to chew on wires, and you’ll likely have more wires than usual around the house during the holidays. Be sure to keep them taped up to avoid any serious safety issues.
You can tape wires tight against the wall inside your home and to the sides of your house on the outside.
Taping up your wires outdoors will also keep other little critters from chewing through your wires too!
4. Keep Lit Candles Out of ReachDuring the winter burning delightful smelling candles is a staple in many homes, maybe yours is one of them.
While candles are a lovely treat for the senses, they can quickly cause damage to your home if knocked over by a curious pet.
We recommend keeping candles up high and well out of reach of your pet. If you have a kitty that loves to jump up high, t might be best to avoid lighting candles this year. You have plenty other scented home goods options out there that can be safer than an open flame.
5. Ask Friends to Skip the Doorbell in Favor of a CallAsk any dog parent what happens when the doorbell rings and the answer is likely to be the same: your dog is called to action to protect the home! Barking! Running! Jumping! Playing!
If you’re hosting a holiday party where lots of people will be coming to your front door, it might be best to ask your friends to skip ringing the doorbell and to simply give your phone a ring instead. This will help your dog stay calm(er) while guests are arriving.
It can also help keep the stress levels of cats down as many are frightened by the sound of the doorbell.
5 Natural Disaster Tips for Pet Owners
(Veterinary Pet Insurance)
Be Prepared to Keep Pets Safe
Catastrophes come in many forms: fires, hurricanes, earthquakes, tornadoes, floods, violent storms and even terrorism. In the event of extreme weather or a disaster, would you know what to do to protect your pet?
Unfortunately, most pet owners are unsure of what action they would take if ever faced with such a situation. The American Pet Products Manufacturers Association (APPMA) 2011-2012 National Pet Owners Survey reports that many pet owners have thought about a disaster situation, but are not sure what they would do to care for their pet.
The best thing a responsible pet owner can do is to be prepared ahead of time.
1. Prepare a "Grab & Go" Pet Disaster Travel Kit
The American Red Cross, The Humane Society of the United States, the American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals and FEMA (Department of Homeland Security) all recommend having a disaster travel kit readily available for your pet.
Keep a small duffle bag or something as simple as a recycled shopping bag filled with the items listed below in a readily-accessible area that you can quickly grab when evacuation is necessary.
Your disaster travel kit should contain essential pet supplies for at least five days.
If you have the time to locate your pet's bed or a blanket before evacuating your home, bring them. These items can help reduce your pet's stress and to keep him as comfortable as possible.
In addition, a pet carrier and/or portable kennel is also useful if you have to take shelter at a friend's home or at a public shelter that allows pets. A carrier or kennel will help shield your pet from strange noise, curious onlookers and other wandering pets. It will also prevent your pet from becoming skittish and fleeing, potentially separating you in the chaos.
Be sure to label your carrier or kennel with your pet's name, your phone number and your veterinarian's phone number.
3. Locate a Shelter That Accepts Pets
Should you have to evacuate to a shelter, it is important to keep in mind that the American Red Cross and other shelters may not accept pets due to state health and safety regulations.
Researching shelters and boarding facilities for your pet now can help you avoid the difficulties of locating a place for your pet to stay during a disaster.
Keep a list of local shelters in your pet's grab & go travel kit for easy access.
4. Find a Pet-Friendly Hotel
Make inquiries ahead of time. Contact hotels outside of your immediate area and ask if they have pet-friendly policies and/or restrictions.
You might even ask if “no pet” policies can be waived in case of an emergency. Make sure to keep a list with phone numbers of pet-friendly places in your pet's grab & go travel kit.
5. Reach Out to Friends
Don't wait until disaster approaches; check to see if friends or relatives outside of your disaster zone would be willing to shelter your pet in the case of an emergency.
Preparing for an emergency now can benefit your family later, time is of essence
5 Apps That Could Save Your Dog’s Life In An Emergency
Doggie Do’s and Don’t's on Easter
Easter can be a fun holiday for your entire family and of course that includes the dog, too! However, because there are a few extra potential hazards and likely sources of stress for our four-legged best friends during this festive day, it’s important that you keep him safe. To have only the happiest of Easters this year, remember these do’s and don’t's:
What to Do:
· Watch out for diet treats. It may seem like a great idea to give Fido sugar-free candies and cookies, but you could actually be poisoning your pet. Xylitol an an artificial sweetener that is harmful to your pooch and can cause a radical drop in your pet’s blood pressure, cause liver damage, and worse, death.
· Keep chocolate bunnies out of reach. Keep Fido away from chocolates, especially the dark ones. These delights contain theobromine which, although harmless to humans, can be lethal to your dog, resulting in increased heart rate, shaking, seizure, and death.
· Avoid grapes and raisins. Health conscious parents often fill plastic eggs with grapes or raisins in place of candies. Although many dogs can eat grapes and raisins without suffering any ill effects, others can end up afflicted with kidney failure and even death after consuming just one. Best to skip these sweets altogether and not find out one way or the other.
· Beware of macadamia nuts. You probably won’t find these in a lot of Easter baskets, but in case you do, immediately put them away. Macadamia nuts have been found out to trigger not only diarrhea and vomiting in dogs, but also hind-leg weakness and fleeting paralysis.
· Include your dog in this special day. If you have kids and surprise them with Easter baskets on Sunday morning, surprise your dog with an Easter surprise, too! She’ll love being included in the fun and, having her own basket of dog-safe toys and treats will keep her occupied and out of your kids’ unsafe goodies.
What Not to Do:
· Don’t allow your dog access to pennies. When planning an Easter egg hunt, many folks fill plastic eggs with loose change. Because some dogs will eat almost anything, make sure that your pup doesn’t ingest any coins as they can cause severe anemia as well as kidney breakdown.
· Don’t leave harmful objects in your dog’s reach. Put away candy foil wrappers, electric cords, and keep Easter displays and baskets beyond your pet’s reach. While the shiny candy wrappers can cause various intestinal problems, electrical cords, when chewed on, can deliver fatal electric shock. The plastic “grass” used to fluff up Easter baskets may look like fun to a dog, but can cause serious problems to your dog if ingested.
· Don’t forget where you hid the Easter eggs. Keep a list of where you hide your eggs. When the egg hunt is over, take a quick count to make sure everything has been found, particularly in and around the yard. While the thought of gobbling up an old hard-boiled egg after it’s been hidden outside for a few days is enough to turn our stomachs, your dog might think he’s hit the doggy lottery! Besides causing an upset stomach and intestinal distress, rotten eggs can cause dangerous food poisoning and a hefty vet bill. Both hard-boiled and plastic eggs can also pose a choking hazard if swallowed whole.
· Don’t share your Easter dinner with the dog. Traditional Easter dinners often include dishes like ham, chicken, turkey, or lamb and a variety of side dishes, casseroles, and desserts that may contain ingredients (like onions, sage, grapes/raisins, nuts, chocolate, and more) that are dangerous for your furkids. They day following big holiday meals, like those served and Thanksgiving and Easter, are the busiest days of the years for veterinarians dealing with dogs that have eaten bones, dogs with pancreatitis from eating too many fatty foods, poisoning by unsafe ingredients, and general upset stomach. If you want to do a little something special for your dog, try a new Easter-themed toy or dog treat instead of a dish from the dinner table.
6 Must Have Tips For a Safe, Happy and Dog-Friendly Easter
We've got an Easter Basket full of safety tips to keep your hound safe and sound.
(Nicole Sipe - Dog Channel)
If your Easter traditions this year include egg hunts and baskets full of goodies, be aware that some of these holiday staples might be dangerous to your pet’s health.
Here are 6 hazards to look out for so that everyone -- human and canine -- can have a safe and happy Easter.
1. Easter Baskets
They’re fun gifts for children, but keep Easter baskets and toys away from your curious dog. Shiny tinsel or colorful Easter basket grass might look like an enticing snack to a dog, but if eaten, it can become caught in the intestines or cause choking. Same goes for small toys and other goodies that can be gulped down when you’re not looking.
2. Easter Eggs
Hiding and finding Easter eggs is a fun holiday treat. Just don’t forget where they’re hidden -- because your dog is sure to find them if you don’t! Fresh, hardboiled eggs are OK for dogs to eat in moderation, but if your dog finds a spoiled egg days later, he could be heading for an upset tummy. Keep track of the number of eggs you’ve hidden!
What’s Easter without a beautiful bouquet of Easter lilies adorning the table? Thankfully, this beautiful flower is not particularly poisonous to dogs unless ingested in large amounts, but for our feline friends, even a tiny lick can prove extremely dangerous. If your house includes cats, play it safe and don’t bring Easter lilies into your home.
Be aware that other types of lilies, including calla lilies and lily of the valley, are poisonous to both cats and dogs, with symptoms ranging anywhere from stomach upset to tremors depending on amount ingested.
According to Pet Poison Helpline, calls increase by nearly 200 percent during the week of Easter, with owners calling with concerns about chocolate poisoning from Easter candy. Delicious for humans, chocolate is poisonous to dogs, and can cause vomiting, diarrhea, abnormal heart rhythms, seizures and possibly death if eaten in large amounts. Dark chocolate is even more poisonous to dogs than milk chocolate, because it contains more of the chemical theobromine, which is responsible for the poisonous effects.
5. Easter Candy
Dogs are attracted to the sweet taste of candy, but just like chocolate, it’s a no-no, but mainly because dogs don’t need all that extra sugar. Sugar-free candy that contains xylitol is especially bad for pets, and can cause a drop in blood sugar, seizures or liver failure. Keep any Easter edibles safely out of reach of your dog.
6. Giant Easter Bunnies
It may be tempting to get your dog's photo with the Easter Bunny, but make sure your dog is comfortable with the idea of being held by a giant plush creature. A scared dog can be dangerous to himself and others.
How To Dog-Proof Your Fence
(Dogington Post - February 13, 2015)
Whether your pooch is an all-star jumper, a creative climber, or a first-rate digger, here are some tips and tricks to dog-proof your fence and successfully keep your four-legged family safely inside your yard.
Aside from determining what type of escape artist you've got on your hands, it will be helpful to determine why your dog is so keen to escape. Is there something visible beyond his yard that's just too exciting to ignore? Is he bored or lacking exercise? Is your dog spayed or neutered? These common reasons for abandoning the backyard are easily remedied. Still, once some dogs have had a taste of "life on the outside," preventing an escape from recurring is vitally important.
If your pooch is a digger, it's really quite simple to dog-proof the fence around your house. Because your dog will most likely dig in areas of the fencing that are easiest to dig out underneath, focus on spots that surround the gate, or anywhere there's a slight gap between the fence and the ground. This also includes any areas of soft, easily diggable soil or sand.
Think like a dog! Inspect the entire perimeter of the fence, feel around for loose soil, look closely for enticing gaps or openings, and identify areas that your dog has already begun digging.
After identifying where your dog is most likely to dig her way out, it's time for preventive measures. Start by digging your own holes under the fence in those areas. Then, bury bricks or concrete blocks in the holes you've dug. Dig deep enough to completely bury the bricks or blocks, and then cover them with about an inch thick layer of dirt and cover with sod or mulch bedding. This way, your dog-proofing will be hidden from view, but will still be effective. With this method, when your dog does decide to dig, instead of soft dirt, she'll reach impenetrable brick or concrete and will quickly learn she's not getting very far!
For smaller dogs, or those that are less aggressive in their digging, simply burying a strip of chicken wire across the length of the fence may be sufficient to halt any escape attempts. To do this, dig out a channel several inches deep and bury the chicken wire so that it becomes an underground extension of your fence.
For Climbers and Jumpers
Preventing climbers and jumpers from escaping is slightly more difficult than for diggers. But, there are a few preventative options you can choose from. Most obviously, if your dog can easily leap over a short fence, replace it with one that is taller. A 4-foot tall fence is a mere hurdle to many determined dogs. While most dogs are stopped by a standard 6-foot tall fence, the parents of truly gifted jumpers may need to go higher.
If your dog can climb a chain link fence, installing a wooden or vinyl fence instead may be all that's necessary to keep him from climbing out of the yard.
For those super determined dogs who have learned to scale a wooden fence, consider adding an extra layer of protection by attaching additional fencing to the top of your existing fence, and angling it inward, toward the yard. This way, if he can get to the top of the fence, he'll need to defy gravity to get over it!
Tips and Warnings
Make inspecting your fence for potential escape routes a part of your regular routine. Check for loose or broken slats, holes, or openings that can be slipped through.
If your dog is just too interested it what's going on outside your yard, take steps to block his view of what's beyond. Fill in any space between fence slats with additional slats or cover chain-link fencing with aprivacy screen. Then, make your own backyard more fun and exciting so he's less inclined to want to leave. Make the backyard a fun zone with dog toys, agility equipment, and plenty of play time with his very best friend - you!
Sometimes, even our best efforts aren't enough to contain our dogs. Keep in mind that there's always a chance of escape, no matter how solid your fence is. Never leave your escape artist unattended in the backyard.
In addition to keeping a watchful eye on your curious companion, make sure he
always wears a properly fitted collar with an identification tag while outdoors and that he is microchipped, should his collar be lost.
If your dog does happen to get outside, don't forget to praise your pooch for coming back to you each time you call him, even when you are a little upset because he has gotten out of the fence. You want your pet to continue on coming to you whenever you call him, right?
Whenever possible, avoid using electric,invisible fences that provide a quick static shock to your dog if he crosses the boundary. Although many pet parents swear by the use of these e-collars and invisible fencing, very often a dog will exit the yard, receive a static shock, and become afraid to return to the yard for fear of being shocked again. Instead, take the time to train your dog some important obedience cues like coming when called, "leave it", and stay.
If escaping the yard continues to be a problem despite taking the steps outlined above, consider consulting a trainer or animal behaviorist for additional advice.
Pets and Fire Safety: What You Need to Know
(Sonya Simpkins - I Love Dogs)
Fire season is here and we want to make sure all pet parents are prepared if one should break out. There are many things to consider, so we’ll help you out by breaking them down.
A few questions first:
Fire Prevention Starts in the Home
First things first – check your smoke alarms. Are they working? Do you have batteries? Make sure you have them in or near all the bedrooms, kitchen and living areas, and that your hallways remain free of clutter in the event of an evacuation.
The next thing to do is create an evacuation plan and practice it regularly with the whole family including the dog(s). Also, designate someone to be responsible for the animals.
In addition to that, make a key for a trusted neighbor. In fact, make a couple of keys in case one neighbor is not home. It sounds like a lot, but you can never be too careful.
American Kennel Club (AKC) spokesperson Gail Miller says, “Many animal lovers consider their pets to be members of the family. In the unfortunate circumstance of a fire, the safety of the people living in the household is unquestionably most critical. However, for many families, it would be devastating to have to the tragedy of a house fire compounded by the loss of a beloved pet that could have been saved with some simple planning and forethought.”
If you can safely do so, leave a door open, or install a doggie door so that your pets can escape.
Just Say No to Candles
Replace your candles with flameless ones – especially if you have an excitable dog with a long tail. And if you insist on having real candles, please exercise caution and responsibility by keeping them out of reach and by blowing them out when you’re done with them.
“Whether it’s from your cat gracefully slinking along your windowsill or fireplace mantle, or your dog exuberantly clearing off your coffee table with his tail, unattended lit candles pose a significant fire risk to you, your pets, and all the other members of your household.” notes trupanion.com.
In fact, it was a candle that burned down Twilight actress Ashley Greene’s apartment in March. The fire killed one of her dogs, a Fox Terrier.
Are Those Electrical Cords or Chew Toys?
Electrical cords pose a real threat to your dogs. They look like chew toys to puppies, which could not only start a fire, but electrocute your dog as well.
According to trupanion.com, “If given the chance, a teething or bored pet will often happily nibble on an electrical cord. Not only should you take the precautionary steps to prevent such masticatory behavior because of the fire hazard it poses, but also because of the mouth burns and lung and nervous system damage that it’s often associated with.”
Is the Stove Off?
If you have a gas stove, make sure all of the burners are turned off, and buy stove knob covers to keep the knobs in place to prevent someone or some creature from accidentally turning one on.
Why You Need a First Aid Kit
Pack a first aid kit. Include things like any medications your dog takes, food, treats, toys, leash and collar, and most importantly, your contact information, the vet’s information and an emergency contact in case you cannot be reached.
Sticker MeGet some “Pet Alert” stickers and place them in visible areas like your front and back doors and front windows.
“These stickers, which are available free from most pet stores and non-profit humane organizations, stick to your front window and tell firefighters to ‘Please rescue my pets!’ They let fire crews know that you have pets inside the house, how many, and what kind,” says says VPI Pet Insurance.
Planning is key to keeping your dogs safe in the event of a fire. If you take the time now to put these safety measures in place, you’ll have a better chance of keeping your dogs and yourself out of harm’s way.
Keeping Your Dog (And Your Kids) Safe On Halloween
(Dianne Sarasin in Lifestyle w/ Dog17- Dogington Post)
Halloween is just around the corner so here are some tips for kids, parents, and dog owners to help keep everyone including dogs safe this Halloween. Bizarre sights and sounds can cause stress in a normally calm dog. It is much safer and better to keep dogs out of the excitement by securing them away from the door and by providing a long lasting chew treat.
Teach your kids to “be a tree” and stand totally still if any dogs come near them on Halloween. Halloween is lots of fun for kids, but many dogs can become confused or scared by kids in strange looking costumes and by so many people coming to the door, yet they are never being invited in.
5 Warnings About Pet Halloween Costumes
Cute Outfits Can Be Dangerous
Dressing up your cat and dog on Halloween may be a fun tradition in your family. Some Halloween pet costumes, however, can be potentially dangerous to our pets.
Make sure your pet is having fun, too; take caution when choosing an outfit for Fido or Fluffy this year and never leave your pet alone while in costume. Here are a few tips to consider.
It’s possible that your pet could have an adverse allergic reaction to a Halloween costume, due in part to either the type of fabric or the brand of detergent or fabric softener used to clean the costume.
If you notice your pet itching while wearing the costume, remove it. An allergic reaction could cause a red, itchy rash which would then require veterinary treatment.
2. Dangling Objects
Dangling objects on a pet Halloween costume, such as bells, ornaments, fabric, string and bows, can be chewed off and swallowed, leading to a life-threatening condition called linear foreign body ingestion.
The item ingested can tear your pet’s intestines and require emergency surgery.
3. Constricting Fit
Make sure your pet’s Halloween costume isn’t a tight fit. Tightness around your pet’s neck, paws, legs and torso can cause your pet to panic and lead to a potential injury.
Tight elastics can pinch your pet’s body and cause swelling, thereby creating great discomfort.
4. Constant Supervision
Never leave your pet alone while dressed in a Halloween costume. Panic, boredom, anxiety or curiosity can lead your pet to chew on the costume and ingest pieces of it.
Intestinal obstruction is a serious condition that may require emergency surgery. There is also the risk that the costume could strangle your pet should he or she try hiding under furniture or in a favorite hiding spot that won’t accommodate the costume itself.
5. Keep the Outdoors Off Limits
Don’t leave your pet outside by him- or herself. With Halloween comes a lot of unusual noises — trick or treaters, loud music or sound effects at the neighbor’s house, the doorbell constantly ringing — your pet could be feeling a great deal of anxiety. Escape may be an option for Fido or Fluffy. If your pet is wearing a costume and tries to flee, he or she could become entangled in the fence, a gate, a tree or even a bush, leading to injury or even strangulation.
Always keep your outfitted companion by your side during Halloween. Supervise your pet’s costume and behavior as well. Halloween can be a very stressful occasion for some pets. Be mindful of your pet gaining access to Halloween candy, which can be toxic. For more information, check out this printable Halloween infographic and read 5 Ways to Keep Pets Safe on Halloween.
Tips for Taking Your Dog Trick-or-Treating
(Sonya Simpkins - I Love Dog Friendly)
Service Dogs may not get as excited about Halloween as their humans do, but that doesn’t mean they want to miss out on all of the fun, either.
If you’re thinking about taking your dog trick-or-treating this year, these tips will ensure that you and your dog have a fun and safe time.
Please note that organizations like the ASPCA and spcaLA, strongly advise against taking your dog out on Halloween, so try to find a dog-friendly trick-or-treatingevent instead.
Trick-or-Treating Space Invaders
It will be dark and chaotic, so make sure your pet can be easily seen by using reflective leashes and collars. If you don’t want to buy a new leash, you can get some reflective tape and place the tape on your dog’s leash and collar.
Haunted by a Shadow
Keep your dog on his leash at all times. If you don’t want to hold onto your dog’s leash, you can get a leash that ties around your waist, or add an extra leash to your existing one and attach those leashes together. This keeps your dog safe and your hands free to steal Halloween candy out of your kid’s bag.
The Calm Before the Storm
It seems like a no-brainer, but do not even consider taking your dog along while you trick-or-treat if your dog cannot handle the excitement. He’ll be touched, approached and stimulated left and right, so if there is any indication that he will freak out, don’t take him.
Passing Out the GoodiesIf you’re not going trick-or-treating, but you’re expecting trick-or-treaters, use these tips to keep Fido calm and happy.
No Tricks, No Treats
Keep the bowl of candy out of your pup’s reach. You already know about the dangers chocolate
presents to dogs, but wrappers and sticks can also do some serious stomach damage.
Hide and Seek
If your dog goes crazy when the door bell rings and barks his head off at the little ghosts and goblins at your door, consider keeping him in another room. Also make sure your dog has had plenty of exercise. A tired dog is a good dog.
Beware the Jack-O’-Lantern
Pumpkin is good for dogs, but a pumpkin with a lit candle inside is not good for pups. Keep the jack-o’-lanterns outside and the dogs in.
There Was an Eerie Glow that Night
If you’re using lights to decorate your house for Halloween, take note that curious puppies often mistake cords for chew toys, so keep any cords out of reach. And definitely do not let your dog get a hold of any glow sticks, which could make Fido very sick.
Dogs and Chocolate: Get the Facts
Most of us have heard that chocolate can make dogs sick. But how serious is the risk?
Your Dog Ate Chocolate: Now What? ..After eating a potentially toxic dose of chocolate, dogs typically develop diarrhea and start vomiting.
If the dog isn't vomiting on its own, the vet may advise inducing vomiting immediately to keep as much theobromine as possible from entering the system.
One method is giving the dog a one-to-one solution of hydrogen peroxide and water. But DeHaven says that treatment is now discouraged because it can cause esophageal ulcers.
She recommends syrup of ipecac, which induces vomiting.
When a dog shows signs of hyperactivity and agitation or is having seizures, the faster you get it to the vet the better. But there is no specific antidote for chocolate poisoning.
Usually, after vomiting is induced, activated charcoal is given to help prevent the absorption of the remaining toxins. Fluids are typically given along with intravenous drugs to limit seizures and protect the heart.
Symptoms of theobromine poisoning generally occur within four to 24 hours after chocolate is consumed.
Harnesses prevent dogs from having tracheal damage from recurrently pulling on their leash.
Choosing a Dog Harness for the Car
(Dr. Phil Zeltzman, DVM, DACVS, CVJ - Pet Health Network)
2013 dog harness study
Luckily for dog lovers, the Center for Pet Safety* (CPS) set out to answer this very question in their "2013 Harness Crashworthiness Study." They had 3 main objectives:
The problem is that there are many different breeds, weights, and shapes of dogs out there so it is not that easy to create a universally safe harness.
Researchers created canine crash-test “dummies” with multiple weights and sizes, as well as a realistic center of gravity. They equipped each one of them with one of 20 harnesses -- made by 7 different companies.
Key harness safety factors -- in the event of an accident -- were determined to include the following:
Unfortunately, results of the study were very disheartening. Out of the 7 companies and 20 harnesses, only a single company provided a harness with optimal performance.
Sleepypod’s® Clickit Utility was the winner by far. According to the Center for Pet Safety the Clickit harness consistently kept the test dummies in their seats, and was the only restraint to offer substantial protection. The company provides harnesses to fit small, medium and large dogs.
So please remember, not all harnesses are created equal. In fact, most harnesses are not even adequate. When choosing a harness, make sure the proper testing has been performed. If you'd like to purchase the harness that outperformed the others in this 2013 test, it can be found at www.sleepypod.com/clickit.
Wishing you and you furry loved ones safe travels.
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.
Hiking With Your Dog: Tips and Tricks
Exploring the outdoors is always better with your furry friend by your side.
(Fara Rosenzweig - Dog Channel)
There are many great dog-friendly trails across the country that you and your dog can explore near home or on the road. You can spend hours together taking in scenic views while exercising. It’s a great bonding experience, but Fido may sniff into trouble if you’re not fully prepared.
Andrea Servadio, co-founder of Fitdog Sports Club, says, "Let your dog have fun and explore. But at the same time, don't let them mull around and sniff too much. You are out there for exercise, so keep up a good pace so both of you get the maximum benefit.
Before you hit the trails, make sure you’re well prepared. Servadio shares a few tips so you and your dog can enjoy an active outdoor adventures.
Watch Out for Critters
The best way to avoid wildlife is to go on a trail that has a lot of foot traffic. This typically keeps critters away from the area. On remote trails, you want to make sure your dog is by your side. This way you can look out for any potential dangers in the area. If your dog does not heel off leash, then it's safer to have your dog on-leash.
Look Out for Dangerous Plants
Keep your dog focused on the trail, away from dense woods or foliage, because you never know what dangerous plants or animals are waiting there for your dog. A main concern when out hiking is the Foxtail plant, a grass-like weed. The barbed seed heads can burrow into your dog's nose, paws and body, eventually finding their way to organs such as the lungs or brain, which can lead to death.
If your dog is around prickly plants, make sure to do full-body check after a hike and remove anything that has penetrated the skin before it turns into an infection or travels to any organs.
Also make sure your dog is not eating any plants he finds out in the wild.
Plants Poisonous to Dogs>>
The Dangers of Mushrooms>>
Check for Ticks
While you're checking for plans make sure to do a thorough check for ticks. Certain ticks transmit Lyme disease and Rocky Mountain spotted fever. If I dog is bit by multiple ticks they are at risk of severe anemia or tick paralysis. If you find a tick on your dog, don’t touch the tick with your bare hands. The spirochete that causes Lyme disease can enter through the skin. Wear gloves and part the dog’s coat to look down close to the skin.
More on Ticks>>
Dogs get sunburns just like people. If you have a dog that has exposed skin around the nose and mouth, or a thinner fur covering, be sure to use a pet sunblock. If they got sunburnt then you’ll notice a little red on their skin. It will peel a few days later.
Prevent Dehydration or Heat Stroke
When exercising with your dog, it's important to watch for signs of dehydration and heat stroke – both of which can lead to death if not addressed. Symptoms to watch out for are:
Heatstroke in Dogs>>
Essentials to Bring on a Hike
Before you leave for the trails, make sure you have these basic essentials.
Safety Tips For Hiking
(Ron Miller - Dogington Post)
There is a lot of enjoyment for dog owners and their dogs when going for a hike in the forests. I love to watch how my dogs run to investigate each new spot as they romp playfully through the woods.
However, you do need to take a few precautions when hiking with your dog. Below are a several good tips on what to take along so you and the pup return home safely.
This is the time of year when many hunters take to the woods in search of various game. It is mandatory these hunters wear blaze orange so they are highly visible. You and your dog also need to wear the same color. In fact, it is mandatory for humans even if they are not hunting. There are blaze orange vests for dogs that are lightweight and will not hinder the dog’s sense of freedom of movement. Use these and never take a chance of being mistaken for a deer.
When hiking with your dog carry a dog whistle for calling the dog back should they wander off. These special dog whistles send out a high frequency sound the human ear cannot hear but a dog will hear from as far away as five miles.
Identification tags on the collar are a must. Be careful to provide only a phone number and a small dash of info such “I am lost, contact this number for my owners”. Do not leave the dog’s name on the tag as this can be used by those who have found the pooch to lead the dog into thinking they are friends. This is not always the case when a lost dog is found by strangers so use this precaution. You can also include a small reward for the safe return of your dog.
Hike with a backpack containing one survival kit in the event you become lost and must spend the night in the woods. Food and water, along with a quality survival kit will provide you and the dog with all the essentials for a safe night in the woods. Most people are going to have a cell phone with them and feel the survival kit, along with food and water is not really required. This is a mistake because how do you know there will be cellular service in the area you are hiking in?
When hiking with your dog take these simple precautions for a safe and fun hike.
10 Tips to Get Your Couch-Potato Dog Into Shape For Hiking Season
Dog Hiking Checklist
There are plenty of hiking trails for dogs, but before you take on the great outdoors, make sure you’re fully prepared.
Let’s be real: If you’ve lived life on the couch the last six months and up and decided you were going to run a marathon—heck, even a 5K!—in one day, there’s a good chance you’d fail, immediately. Building up the strength, and maybe more importantly, endurance, to head out on a miles-long adventure takes time.
Same goes for your dog. Muscles are tight, joints are creaky, and that lung capacity? Yeesh. Start slow to avoid injuries, and be patient. Head out on a paved trail that’s easy on the body, and take your time—you’ll be bounding up mountains soon enough.
Hit the Trails
Once you’ve worked a walking routine that’s become doable for your dog and are ready to take the next challenge, simply move the routine off the, er, paved path.
Rocky terrain is inherently more difficult—it forces us to not only work to keep our balance, but leap and bound and step over all sorts of obstacles in our way.
Beyond that, hiking in nature is visually stimulating. It’s a great opportunity for dogs and humans alike to take in beautiful views, and experience new (or long-forgotten) senses, like the smell of a certain flower. The key starting out is, again, not to overdo it—a brisk 20 minute walk is a good place to start.
Trot the Trails
Based on the shape of your dog (and the energy level!), start taking on more vigorous but still dog-friendly hikes. Turn that 20-minute trek into a half-day adventure. Then, turn that half-day adventure into a day-long excursion.
Switch up scenery if you can—a rocky mountain one day and sandy beaches the next will work different muscles and stave off a short attention span.
And as always, the name of the game is baby steps, and making sure you’re constantly staying in tune with the needs of your dog and offering water and rest along the way.
HOUSEHOLD PET TOXINS
Household Pet Toxins Infographic
Household Items Can Cause Serious InjuryAs smart as you think your pet can be, his curiosity can get him into serious trouble.
Cleaning solutions, antifreeze, fragrance sprays and other common household chemicals are often stored under sinks or on garage shelves where pets can gain easy access. Be sure there is adequate ventilation when using any chemicals, thoroughly wipe up any spills, tightly close any bottles or containers and stow them safely in cabinets that pets cannot pry open.
Create a safe living environment for your pet by keeping these hazardous items out of reach.
Why I Don’t Recommend Retractable Leashes
(Healthy Pets - Dr. Becker)
A retractable leash is not so much a leash as it is a length of thin cord wound around a spring-loaded device housed inside a plastic handle. The handles of most retractable leashes are designed to fit comfortably in a human hand. A button on the handle controls how much of the cord is extended.
Retractable leashes are popular primarily because they aren't as confining as regular leashes, allowing dogs more freedom to sniff and poke around on walks. But unfortunately, there are many downsides to this type of leash.
10 Reasons Not to Use a Retractable Leash
Ten Things to Do If You Have Lost a Pet
(Katy Lost Pets)
TIP #1- If your beloved pet strays away from home, it can be a traumatic experience for both you and your pet but you should act immediately. The longer you wait, the farther your pet can travel and the chances increase that it may become injured. Shelters only give you three days to claim your pet before it's adopted to someone else or worse.
2- 1st post a sign in your own yard. Post signs at intersections within a 2-5 mile area of where your pet was lost. In addition, post signs at grocery stores, community centers, pet stores, veterinary offices, churches and apartment complex laundromats.
TIP #3 - Advertise in both local and community newspapers and check thoroughly all columns dealing with animals as well as “Lost and Found” for at least three months.
TIP #4- Search the neighborhood. Walk, ride a bicycle or drive slowly through your neighborhood several times each day. Whistle a few times, then call your pet’s name twice and then carefully ‘listen’ and look. Do this OFTEN. Your pet may be injured, frightened or trapped and unable to come to you. Hearing your voice may encourage your pet to answer you. After you call his name 2 or 3 times, remain in one place long enough for your pet to find you. A lost pet may hide during the day, so be sure to go out again at night with a flashlight and call for him.
TIP #5- Visit all animal shelters and animal-control agencies in addition to calling or e-mailing. File a lost pet report with every shelter in your city. Provide these agencies with an accurate description and a recent photograph of your pet. Check with the shelters every few days. Notify the police if you believe that your pet may have been stolen. We have a list of agencies in the "notes" section on our page.
TIP #6- If lost anywhere near a busy highway or road, contact the Texas Department of Transportation, to see if a car has hit your pet.
TIP#7- Contact veterinary clinics both in your area and surrounding areas. An animal could be injured, rescued and taken out of the area in any direction for some distance. Many vet clinics will post your lost/found signs in their clinics.
TIP #8- Leave items with a familiar scent outside your home. A litter box, pet bed or a sweatshirt recently worn by a loved one can attract a pet who has strayed and become disoriented.
TIP #9- If your animal is a purebred, contact breed specific rescue groups in your area. A list of breed specific groups is in our "notes" section.
#10-The most important! Prevention! Microchip and keep it updated! ID tags with current address and phone number. Make sure the collar is snug and can not slip off.
Please prevent the next lost animal from ending up in a shelter or worse.
(Katy Lost Pets)
1. Take a picture of your pet right now.
2. Get tags with your address and 2 phone numbers. Keep them on your pet at all times. Google "personalized collars" to get a tagless collar.
3. Get your pet microchipped.
4. Secure your fence, check for loose boards.
5 Keep your pet indoors, animals left outside on their own are just an escape waiting to happen.
6. Get your pet neutered and spayed. Un-fixed pets want to roam and find love.
Pet Owners Have a Direct Link to Pets
It’s every pet owner’s worst fear: Your gardener left the back gate open and your dog got out while you weren’t home. Maybe your child left the front door ajar and your cat scooted out. Or, perhaps your area was hit with a natural disaster and your pet became separated from the family.
Scary situations for a pet owner—especially if your pet loses his collar or his ID tag information is outdated or worn away.
The good news: If your pet is microchipped, there’s a better chance he’ll return home safely. More than 1,200 calls are placed everyday by veterinary hospitals, humane societies and animal shelters who are using the microchip to reunite pets with their owners.
What is a Microchip?
A microchip is a tiny computer chip—about the size of a grain of rice—that is implanted by an injection similar to a vaccine needle under the skin of your pet. Anesthesia is not necessary and most animals don’t feel the injection, which is done by a veterinarian.
The chip is made of an inert, biocompatible material that will not disintegrate, rust or cause an allergic reaction. It also won’t relocate from its point of injection which, in cats and dogs, is usually between the shoulder blades.
The chip doesn’t have a power source or a battery; it’s activated by a short Radio wave that can be read by a scanner, so it lasts throughout your pet’s lifetime.
Birds, reptiles, horses and other animals can also be microchipped.
How Does a Microchip Work?
Each chip has a unique code. When read under a hand-held scanner, the code will appear on the screen. The code is then entered into the manufacturer’s database and, if you have registered your information, your pet will be connected to you.
Most veterinarians and shelters have scanners. If your information in the database has not been updated (for example, you moved and did not change your contact information), then the veterinarian or shelter that implanted the microchip will be notified.
Many shelters and rescue organizations microchip 100% of adopted pets. So, if you adopt a pet with a microchip, immediately contact the company that made the microchip (AVID and HomeAgain are the most common) and register your pet on their database.
How Expensive is a Microchip?
While a microchip requires no maintenance, it can cost between $30 to $45 to be implanted. Some companies charge an additional fee to register your contact information on the database.
Check with your veterinary hospital and local shelters to make sure they have scanners to read your pet’s chip.
If your pet is enrolled with a pet health insurance policy, check to see if you receive a microchip reimbursement. VPI Pet Insurance's optional CareGuard SM coverage offers a $20 benefit toward your microchip expense.
Is There a Downside to a Microchip?
The microchip industry is proprietary, which means each manufacturer maintains its own database; a national registry does not yet exist. However, microchip scanners display the name of the microchip's manufacturer when the microchip is read. The likelihood that your pet cannot be identified from its microchip is therefore very low.
The AVMA (American Veterinary Medical Association) and The Humane Society, among others, are pushing for a universal scanner. Currently, a shelter or veterinarian’s office must have four different scanners to ensure it can read every code—if they can afford to buy the scanners.
Check with your veterinary hospital and local shelters to make sure they have scanners to read your pet’s chip.
The Best Way to Protect Your Pet
Don’t rely on any one method to identify your pet. Make sure your pet wears a durable collar with up-to-date contact information on his identification tags.
A microchip is a permanent level of protection and could make the difference in whether or not you are reunited with your pet.
Millions of pets are microchipped in the U.S., and millions more have received the implant worldwide. Nearly $80,000 in microchip claims were filed by VPI policyholders in 2007. It’s a safe and trusted method to bring your pet home again.
Microchips For Dogs - Pros & Cons
Microchips are a popular identification choice for dogs. They are permanent, relatively low in cost and can help reunite you with your pet if he gets lost. The most important thing to know is that having one implanted is only fifty percent of the process. The chip must be registered by the owner to make it effective.
What is a Dog Microchip and how does it work?
A microchip is a tiny transponder, a radio-frequency identification (RFID) chip. Your veterinarian implants the chip using a needle-like injector, under the dog's skin in the shoulder area. The process is quick and relatively painless- it feels the same as getting a vaccination.
If your pet is found, the rescuing organization will scan him with a microchip reader. If a chip is present, the ID number for the chip will display on the scanner. Using the ID number, the rescuer can look up the pet's registration in the national database. This process works brilliantly, providing the owner has actually registered the chip.
Advantages of a Dog Microchip
The advantages are numerous- the process is quick, the chip can't get lost, the number is unique, and unlike a tattoo, the dog doesn't have to be wrestled to the ground or shaved to see if it's there. Because the database is national, microchip identification makes reunion possible no matter what state your pet is found in. All you need is Internet access and his ID number.
Microchips do not replace the need for pet ID tags. It only takes two seconds to become separated from your pet so his collar, with ID tags, should always be worn.
Disadvantages of a Dog Microchip
Like all technologies, there are a few disadvantages. On rare occasions, the chip can travel, so it's important that the full length and width of the shoulder area be scanned. Medical complications are extremely rare but like all other products on our planet, they are being reviewed for potential cancer-causing agents.
Some microchips, such as the Avid chip, cannot be read unless an Avid scanner is used. The technology in the chip prevents it from being read by other scanners. There is a universal scanner that detects most chips, but it is not compatible with technology used in older microchips. For rescue staff, this means they need to have several scanners in their possession and scan the dog multiple times. Additionally, most veterinary offices only have one type of scanner so it's possible that your dog may have a chip that goes undetected.
Registering and updating your Dog's Microchip
Registering the chip is the other half of the process. It is fast and easy, although there is a nominal charge for the registration. This puts yours and your pet's personal information in the national database. Pet information typically consists of: name, photo, rabies and chip ID number and veterinarian contact. Not only does this help rescuers, it's enormously helpful if you're ever in a position where you have to prove that the dog belongs to you. The registration captures owner information so rescuers know whom the pet belongs to and how to reach them. You can even add out of state contacts for extra protection. For the chips to provide protection, you must keep your registration current. If you move or change phone numbers, be sure to update your profile.
If your pet is lost notify the dog microchip company
If your pet is lost, contact the registration company immediately with the pet's ID number. This will trigger fax or email alerts to veterinarians and rescue groups. Even neighbors in your area will receive the alerts, if they've signed up for this feature. If your pet returns home on his own, don't forget to call back and advise them.
Determining if your dog has a microchip
Often, breeders insert a microchip before sending pups to their new home. They do not register the chip however, so the proud parents of the pup will need to do that when they bring him home. Note that if you are the pet's second owner, he may have been chipped previously.
Take your pet to your veterinarian and have him scanned for a chip. Ask if they use multiple scanners such as a Universal Scanner and the Avid Scanner. If they don't use both types and no chip is detected, go to an additional office and have the scan repeated, using the scanner that was missed. This process takes minutes and typically, there is no charge. If the pet scans positively for a chip, use the ID number you are given to check his registration. If he was registered to a prior owner, you can update the information. In most cases though, the chip was never registered so you'll want to do that now.
If you'd like more information on microchips or registration companies, Home Again and Avid are worth checking out.
EVACUATION: CARING FOR YOUR DOG DURING A FIRE OR NATURAL DISASTER
(AKC/May 11, 2015/)
Responsible dog owners are prepared to take care of their pets under any circumstances, including fire, flood or other natural disasters.
In the event of a fire or natural disaster, you and your dog could be forced to evacuate. A few things to keep in mind:
CARING FOR ANIMALS
(Ready.gov/Feb 18, 2014)
If you are like millions of animal owners nationwide, your pet is an important member of your household. Unfortunately, animals are also affected by disaster.
The likelihood that you and your animals will survive an emergency such as a fire or flood, tornado or terrorist attack depends largely on emergency planning done today. Some of the things you can do to prepare for the unexpected, such as assembling an animal emergency supply kit and developing a pet care buddy system, are the same for any emergency. Whether you decide to stay put in an emergency or evacuate to a safer location, you will need to make plans in advance for your pets. Keep in mind that what's best for you is typically what's best for your animals.
If you evacuate your home, DO NOT LEAVE YOUR PETS BEHIND! Pets most likely cannot survive on their own and if by some remote chance they do, you may not be able to find them when you return.
If you are going to a public shelter, it is important to understand that animals may not be allowed inside. Plan in advance for shelter alternatives that will work for both you and your pets; consider loved ones or friends outside of your immediate area who would be willing to host you and your pets in an emergency.
Make a back-up emergency plan in case you can't care for your animals yourself. Develop a buddy system with neighbors, friends and relatives to make sure that someone is available to care for or evacuate your pets if you are unable to do so. Be prepared to improvise and use what you have on hand to make it on your own for at least three days, maybe longer.
Plan for pet needs during a disaster by:
Take the following steps to prepare to shelter your pet:
Protect Your Pet During Disaster
Caring for Your Pet After Disaster
Prepare for Emergencies Now: Information for Pet Owners.
Create a preparedness plan for your pets and their well being during emergency situations.
The Ultimate Guide to Puppy-Proofing Your Home
(Dogington Post - May 14, 2015)
Bringing a new puppy home can be an exciting time for you both – as long as you make puppy proofing your home a top priority! Before a new four-legged family member sets foot in your home, take the time to carefully inspect every room for potential dangers. Put yourself in your puppy’s paws, see your world through his curious eyes, and take the following steps to ensure his safety.
Use child safety locks on cabinets and drawers, especially under the sink or where chemicals and cleaners are often stored.
Use a trash can with a heavy or locking lidto keep a scavenging pup from ingesting dangerous waste and toxic foods.
Push dishes, utensils, cookware, and food items to the back of countertops, to discourage counter-surfing.
Never leave a hot stove unattended and make sure pot and pan handles aren’t within your dog’s reach.
Make sure both human and dog medications, vitamins, and supplements are safely secured in a cabinet far from your dog’s reach.
If possible, install a pet gate to keep dogs - at least until they’ve learned what’s allowed - out of the kitchen entirely.
The Dining Room
Avoid using table runners or tablecloths that hang below the edge of dining tables as these can be pulled down - along with everything sitting on top of them.
Don’t leave a dinner table full of food unattended, especially if foods that are high in fat, toxic to dogs, include cooked bones, or may be a choking hazard.
The Family Room
Be extremely careful using rocking chairs, recliners, or sofa beds with a puppy in the room. Puppy tails and paws can be crushed under the leg of a rocking chair. And, many dogs like to nap beneath an opened recliner or sofa bed and may become injured when the furniture is closed.
Make certain that fireplaces are safely secured behind a screen and spark guard and never leave a burning fire unattended with a puppy in the room.
Block off any stairways with baby gates until you’re completely confident in your puppy’s ability to navigate them without falling.
Keep sewing baskets and craft kits safely out of your dog’s reach.
Cushion coffee and end table corners (that are just the right height to cause injury or become a chew toy) with a corner bumper.
Keep coffee and end tables clear of small objects, coins, paperclips, scented candles, and other items that might be enticing to your dog.
Keep closet doors closed at all times, with shoes safely tucked inside or on a shoe rack out of your dog’s reach.
Never leave a puppy unattended on the bed. A short fall from the bed can cause serious injuries, sprains, and broken bones.
Keep bedside tables free of small objects like coins and jewelry that not only become a choking hazard, but can contain toxic metals if ingested.
Keep dirty laundry, especially socks which are small enough to be swallowed, in a laundry basket. Look for a hamper with a lid, or keep the basket in a closet and out of reach.
Remind children to keep their bedroom doors closed at all times, both to prevent a new puppy from making a chew toy out of their video game controller or favorite doll, and to prevent accidental ingestion of small objects, like Legos or Matchbox cars.
Whenever possible, keep bathroom doors closed and restricted from access by curious puppies.
Use a garbage can with a lid, or place the can under the sink cabinet.
Keep medications safely put away in medicine cabinets or on a high shelf, far from your dog’s reach.
Keep toilet lids closed at all times. A puppy can easily drown if he falls into a toilet bowl.
Discontinue using automatic toilet bowl cleaners, or chemical cleaners that are dropped into the toilet tank or hung onto the side of the bowl as these release deadly chemicals into the water.
Use cabinet locks to prevent a puppy from snooping around under the sink.
If you have cats, use a covered litter box to prevent your pup from snacking on cat poop.
The Entire Home
Cover any electrical outlets with outlet covers or power strip covers to avoid shock or electrocution if licked or chewed.
Hide electrical cords within a cord-keeper whenever possible. Or, cut sections of chew-proof PVC pipe and run cords through the center to keep them safe from teething pups.
Cords hanging from drapery and blinds can become a strangulation or choking hazard. Wrap and tie up any hanging cords, keeping them out of pup’s reach.
Check that any plants within your home and yard are non-toxic and safe for dogs.
(The Yuppie Puppy)
Household cleansers, furniture polishes, disinfectants, insecticides, antifreeze, fertilizers, perfumes and make-up can be dangerous to dogs. Make sure cupboards and storage areas (garage) containing these items are secured. A bored or determined dog can go “where they’ve never gone before.”
Are the toilet lids down in any accessible bathrooms?
See that medications are locked up. The sound of pills rattling in a plastic bottle may entice the pet to chew the bottle open.
Remove candy, nuts and raisins from coffee tables or locations where a pet can reach them. Chocolate is toxic to dogs and nuts can be dangerous as well.
Check to see that any hobby supplies; i.e., paints, glue, needles and thread, etc., have been placed away from an inquisitive pet’s reach.
Pet Safety Advice for National Poison Prevention Week
(Kristen S. - ASPCA)
Common Poison Dangers
You may be aware of some poison dangers around your house, but some might come as a surprise. For instance, did you know that dryer sheets can harm your pets? They can contain detergents that cause gastrointestinal irritation, especially in cats.
Here are five other pet poison problems that could be lurking in your home. You should also ask your veterinarian for more advice about your particular pets.
1. People Pills
Prescription medications and over-the-counter painkillers, cold medications, and dietary supplementscan be harmful to pets. Keep them out of paw’s reach in cabinets or high up on shelves. Pets can grab them off low nightstands or counters. Also, pick up dropped pills before your pets can gobble them up. And never give your pets any kind of medication without speaking to your veterinarian first.
2. Dangerous Dining
There are certain foods you should be wary of when it comes to your furry friends. Chocolate, grapes, raisins, avocado, and gum or candy containing xylitol can all be dangerous to pets. Why is chocolate so dangerous? It contains large amounts of methylxanthines, which can cause problems from vomiting to seizures. Other problematic foods include coffee, macadamia nuts, onions, salt, yeast dough, and garlic.
3. Perilous Plants
Plants that can harm your pets include lilies, azaleas, and rhododendrons. Lilies are very poisonous to cats, and can result in kidney failure even from a small nibble. Poinsettias can also be problematic, but they’re not as dangerous as you might think. They typically cause mild to severe tummy upset if eaten. Check the ASPCA’s list of toxic and non-toxic plants to see if your plants are safe, and find some good green choices for your home.
4. Cleaning Supplies
Household cleaners like bleach, detergents, and disinfectants can be irritating and even toxic to pets. They can cause tummy troubles, eye or skin irritation, or difficulty breathing if inhaled or ingested by your dogs or cats. Take precautions when using these products. For instance, put your pets in another room while you mop, dust, and scrub. And, of course, keep cleaning supplies in a safe place.
5. Bad Chemistry
Pet poisoning incidents involving chemicals, like those found in ethylene glycol antifreeze, paint thinners, drain cleaners, and pool or spa treatments are on the rise. These substances can cause stomach upset, depression, breathing problems, and chemical burns. Don’t let your pets near chemicals when you’re using them, and store them securely. Also, clean spills right away so your pets can’t lap them up.
Animal Poison Control Center
If you think one of your pets has been exposed to poison, the ASPCA’s Animal Poison Control Center (APCC) can help. The APCC is staffed with specially trained veterinary toxicologists available around the clock. They have experience with more than 1 million cases and access to an extensive database to diagnose problems quickly and offer treatment advice.
Keep the APCC hotline--1-888-426-4435—in a prominent location. A $65 consulting fee may apply, but 80% of this charge is covered by ASPCA Pet Health Insurance. If you have any questions about your coverage, you can view your plan at the Member Center or call us at 1-866-204-6764.
Spring Garden Safety for Pets
Protect Pets From Budding Danger
Beautiful gardens are in popular demand, especially with the focus on enjoyment versus looks. Before you plant any seeds, however, it's important to remember that some of the plants that make our gardens and yards beautiful can make our animal companions sick or worse.
Eating poisonous plants is one of the most common ways that many pets, especially dogs, cats, rabbits, turtles and tortoises, ingest toxic substances. And since there are few effective treatments for toxic plant ingestion, a small mistake in the garden can be catastrophic to your pet and your family.
Plants That Are Reported To Be Toxic to Dogs, Cats or Rabbits
Fertilizers and Pesticides
Finally, no garden would be complete without fertilizers and weed killers. Though these products can make your plants healthier, they can injure (even kill) your pets.
Choose pet-safe options for substances like snail bait and weed and feed products, or go organic and try planting flowers like Mexican marigold, which naturally repel insects without harming animals. When all else fails, check the label and ask a gardening professional. If there's a doubt about the product's safety for your pet, don't use it!
Before you decide to forego flowers and plants and instead use artificial flowers, consider that some pets might find silk flowers just as tasty. A curious puppy or kitten with a sweet tooth for silk flowers can lead to intestinal blockage. Most will at least act as an emetic, which means your pet will vomit soon after eating. Other plants can lead to kidney or liver failure, seizures, or even death.
In order to protect your pet from possible poisoning, it's important to make sure you keep known poisonous plants and toxic items out of reach, watch for plants and toxic items that have been chewed on, keep an eye on your pet for symptoms of poisoning, and take your pet — along with a sample of the plant/toxic item — with you to your veterinarian immediately if you suspect a poisonous item has been consumed.
For additonal information on toxic plants, please visit the Pet HealthZone Pet Toxins & Poisons center.
Springtime Safety Tips for Dogs
(Dogster - Helen Fazio)
Unless you live in a very mild or tropical zone, making the transition from spring to summer requires some adjustments for dogs and owners alike. Just as winter ice doesn't become summer grass overnight, changeable conditions require flexibility. Here are some things to take into consideration now that spring has sprung:
Spring Outer Wear: If your dog wears a coat in winter, unless the heat transition is very dramatic, you may want him to wear a lighter sweater or doggy tee walking in the chilly sun. Coat-donning dogs are accustomed to having their body temperatures managed, and they get chilly easily.
Paw Care: Conscious spring paw care is essential. Roadside banks of icy snow have been repeatedly inundated with salt and other snow melting chemicals. The puddles from these glaciers are toxic and harsh for the pads.
Remember to wash your dog's feet with soap after every walk and beware of thirsty dogs who want to lap up snow melt water. As the sun warms the roads, dogs will again get thirsty on walks, so carry a water bottle and travel bowl to prevent sipping roadside sludge.
Shedding: Many dogs shed in spring. Shedding is a natural transition, but the dry, winter coat can cause mats and tangles as it falls out, especially if your dog wears a coat or a sweater outside.
Always remember to take your dog's warm clothes off inside after every walk. Gentle, regular brushing in spring helps restore oils to the new coat, stimulates the skin and prevents the dreaded dreads of an unkempt coat. Your vet may approve canine Omega 3 oil capsules to assist this transitional period for the coat.
Exercise: Warmer weather means we all feel friskier. It is normal for dogs to store fat in winter, but a heavier dog needs to begin spring exercise gently. Just as you may want to ease back into an outdoor exercise routine, your companion dog also needs to take it slowly at first. Increase walks and runs in the park steadily, but gradually.
Allergies: Dogs get springtime allergies too. As is the case for humans, dogs can become allergic over time, so do not be surprised if your dog's reactions to springtime allergens change from puppy to adult. Pollen from the first flowering trees, dandelions and tulips, dust, mold and even insects can cause allergic reactions.
Symptoms include itching, coughing, sneezing, flaky skin or an oily-feeling coat. Never use human allergy medicines for dogs on your own initiative. Canine allergy medicines are effective; your vet can prescribe the safest dose.
Toxic Plants and Mulch: Spring bulb plants pushing out of the ground often attract dogs. It's not that dogs just want to ruin the landscaping. Squirrels and rodents are also attracted to spring bulbs and an inquisitive dog might be hot on the trail.
But beware. Many spring bulbs fall into the allium family, and onions (allium) are toxic to dogs. Furthermore, cocoa mulch, often used as bedding mulch for park side flower beds, is very attractive to, but highly toxic to dogs. Keep your dog out of the flower beds and nobody will get hurt.
Lawn Chemicals: In the spring, your dog will be able finally to run on grass, not frozen snow or dead thatch. Please pay attention to where you let your dog run. Spring lawn care often combines herbicide and pesticide treatments to kill insect larva, ticks, fleas, "critters," and seed-sprouting weeds.
Nitrogen-based fertilizers, blood meal, milorganite, rose boosters and Japanese beetle inhibitors, grub killers, herbicides, insecticides (especially those with organophosphates), rodenticides, acid fertilizer for holly and azalea and slug and snail baits do not belong on dogs' paws. While these chemical washes might produce a green lawn, they also produce a toxic lawn for dogs. So, walk your dog in the safe scrubby grass in spring and keep an eye out for the "pesticide treated" signs in the formal lawns. Pesticides, herbicides and dogs don't go together.
By thinking ahead, dog owners can head off problems and help their dogs get the most out of getting out and about in spring.
Caring for Your Short-Faced Dog in Hot Weather
(Brandy Arnold - Dogington Post/ May 26, 2015)
Warm weather can bring on additional challenges for dog owners with brachycephalic breeds like Bulldogs, Boxers, Shih Tzus, Pugs, Frenchies, and Boston terriers. Because of these pooches’ short skull shape and nose, they usually have a reduced ability to breathe in air; thus, causing them to overheat more easily than other, longer-nosed breeds. As a result, these pug nosed dogs tend to become more vulnerable to heat-related problems like heat stroke, which can be life-threatening.
Hot Weather Safety Tips and Guidelines
1. Provide lots of fresh, clean water to drink. Always see to it that there’s cool drinking water available for your dog. If your short-nosed pooch spends some time outside, make sure that there’s enough water to drink there, too. Keep the water bowl shaded so the water stays cool and secured so it doesn’t overturn.
2. Keep your dog inside. The moment temperatures intensify and humidity increases, you’ll need to keep your pet inside your house. Your short-faced pooch can quickly succumb to the harmful elements if left out in the open during hot weather.
3. Use cooling mats, fans or air-conditioning equipment. There are many cooling mats for pooches found in the market today. Or, you can make your own by simply freezing water in a hot water bottle or sturdy zipper bag and then wrapping it well using a heavy towel. Just put it in Fido’s bed so he can stay cool this summer. Having a fan going in front of him while at home, or turning the air-conditioner on him when he’s in your car will help in keeping your dog from getting overheated.
4. Provide a kiddie pool. Lots of dog owners with pets that are intolerant of heat provide kiddie pools for their short-faced furballs to use when they are outdoors during summertime. Just ensure that the pool is situated well in the shade, and try to replace the water as often as necessary once it gets too warm.
5. Change Fido’s exercise schedule. Some short-faced dogs run the risk of becoming overweight, so calling his daily walks off during summer is not a healthy solution to deal with his heat intolerance. Instead, try walking your pooch when the sun is not as bright, either early in the morning or later in the evening.
6. Take a break. Be careful when going out for exercise with your dog, particularly during hot or humid weather conditions. Once your pooch seems to start breathing heavily or making extra noises while gasping for air, it’s time to rest and cool down. Dogs tend to overheat so much faster than us, so short-faced dogs like your furball may only be able to put up with a few minutes of physical stimulation before becoming seriously stressed by the summer heat.
10 Summer Household Items That Can Kill Dogs
(Fidose of Reality - Carol Bryant/ June 23, 2015)
Summer has officially arrived. The dog days, the heat, the sun, the pool, the fun, and of course, the living is free and easy. Well, for millions of dogs summertime is anything but free and easy. In fact, there are dangers lurking that you might not even realize are dangerous.
Here are 10 summer household items that can easily harm or kill dogs and why. Take note and let your dog-loving friends know:
(10) Snack bags: Empty (or not) potato chip bags are very tempting to a dog. He or she smells something yummy, sticks the snout it, and therein lies the danger. Although the bags may seem harmless, once the dog sticks the snout it, the “Mylar-like material creates a vacuum-like seal,” according to the Prevent Pet Suffocation website. Since the dog is unable to remove the bag from his head, he starts panicking, and will panic and run around until he collapses and dies from asphyxiation. All of this happens in minutes.
Solution: Keep bags out away from small dogs who jump and bigger dogs with prying paws. Ensure garbage cans are sealed and out of reach of pets.
(9) Paper shredder: You know that paper shredder set in the corner of your office? Under a desk? Neatly tucked away but within paw’s reach? Move it, turn it off, unplug it. One Fidose fan reports her dog licked the paper shredder, and since it was set on automatic, her tongue was pulled inward toward the deeper blades. Fortunately, the dog mom was home and the dog was rushed to the vet where the shredder was successfully removed from his tongue. The quick thinking dog mom immediately disconnected the head of the shredder and carried it with the dog’s tongue still stuck inside. Vets anesthetized the dog, reversed the shredder and ended up suturing the damage with over 100 stitches. Though the dog made a full recovery, she was left with a nick in her tongue. Vets told the upset dog mom that the accident happens often. Dogs and cats innately like to lick things, so a shredder is an accident waiting to happen.
Solution: Never leave a shredder plugged in and even better, move it out of the reach of pets. Cat tails can be pulled in as well. Other household objects to be wary of prying dog tongues include snail bait, yarn, string, electrical cords, and even household plants. Vets who treated the dog above report life-threatening blockages after a dog eats a piece of clothing left lying around.
(8) Dog toys: Not all of them, but some of them can be lethal. The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) does not regulate dog toys. The Consumer Product Safety Commission only regulates pet toys if consumers are at risk. Dogs are left to fend for themselves. That whole hierarchy thing sucks for dogs according to the FDA and CPSC standards. Beware of phthalates. What sounds like something Bugs Bunny might utter to Elmer Fudd is no laughing matter. Phthalates give a product a “vinyl” smell. According to an article published by Whole Dog Journal, if a vinyl product smell lasts with time, the amount of phthalates it contains is really high. Many dog toys used phthalates in their manufacture. Read more about dangers of dog toys here.
Solution: Don’t give your dog vinyl chew toys.
(7) Certain cleaning products: According to my colleague, Dr. Patrick Mahaney, “check your cleaning products’ labels and avoid the following ingredients:
(6) Mothballs: The toxic vapors of mothballs can cause harm to both people and pets. Naphthalene or paradichlorobenzene are two chemicals that are infused into a mothball, both of which release toxic vapors that can harm living beings. Mothballs should be kept in airtight containers and not where pets can easily access them. We’ve taken to cedar shavings in my household, with great moth-repellant success.
Solution: Keep them away from dogs and out of reach.
(5) Shampoos: Not all shampoos for pets are created equal, and moreover, many of them could actually harm your dog.
Solution: There are many eco-friendly shampoos on the market these days, but not all are created equal. Biodegradable shampoos indicate that your soap residue is not going to harm the water supply or Rover’s fresh coat. Dog shampoos that are pH balanced are more in tune with the natural balance of acid in a dog’s skin.
Consult with your dog’s veterinarian before making any changes or additions to what you put on his skin. A hypoallergenic combination of ingredients is mild and designed for dogs who show reactions to other types of shampoos.
Here’s a tip: Flip it around. I ignore the front of boxes, cans, bottles, and sprays. Instead, I flip the product around and read the ingredients first. The fluffy white dog on the bottle of shampoo does not necessarily mean my dog needs to lather in this stuff. You should know what is going on the coat and potentially into a dog’s bloodstream.
Synthetic ingredients can irritate and aggravate the skin of dogs with allergies, so avoid anything less than organic. Residue left behind on the skin can also cause itching, even with the safest shampoo.
Keep human shampoos away from dogs, as these contain chemicals that are too harsh for a pooch’s delicate skin. Human shampoos tend to irritate and dry out a dog’s skin.
Like people, dogs have skin types: Normal, dry, and oily. Skin flaking may indicate dry skin, while oily skin will leave a residue-type “sensation” when you run your fingers through a dog’s coat. If neither of these issues is present, then skin is considered normal. A veterinarian can assist in determining skin type.
(4) Dog treats: Salmonella recalls and warnings in dog treats (and food) scare the tar out of me, how about you? So what’s a diligent dog mom or dog dad to do about salmonella poisoning and its risks in your life (and that of your dog)?
Solutions and How to protect yourself and your pet:
o For commercial pet food, be sure it’s from a well-respected, reputable manufacturer
o Ask about the quality and safety in manufacturing practices
o Ask if foods are routinely tested for Salmonella
o Ask if manufacturing processes ensure that all of its pet food products are safe for feeding
o Ask if meat ingredients such as poultry are sourced from USDA facilities
o What is the company’s protocol for testing their products? Does their website talk about quality and safety?
Cook Cook Cook
o Cook meats thoroughly!
o Your pet’s food should be cooked thoroughly
Wash Wash Wash
o Always wash hands with hot, soapy water, after handling raw meat.
o Always was dishes, utensils, countertops, etc. that come into contact with raw meat with hot, soapy water.
The Bottom Line
(3) Insect repellant: Many human bug repellants contain DEET, a toxin that can be harmful to dogs, so anything containing DEET should not be used on dogs.
Solution: Fleas are one problem, of course, but so are black flies, mosquitos, and other insects and pests that are a nuisance to dogs. I’ve opted for more natural alternatives, but even the word “natural” does not always mean safe, so proceed with caution and be an informed pet parent when using any substance, liquid, towelette, or powder on dogs. With flea and tick season right around the corner, proceed with caution. Here are 8 flea and tick hacks.
(2) Gum and Mints/Candy: A Cocker Spaniel mom friend of mine recently had an issue with her dog and a near fatal Xylitol scare. While she was out, her dog, Boomer, got into her unopened grocery bags and ingested a 40 pieces of Ice Breakers Ice Cube gum. Boomer had vomited and began drinking massive amounts of water. He kept begging his dog mom for water and kicking his bowls around. Something made the worried Angela Kussman Google “My dog ate Ice Breakers gum.” What she read shook her to the core and caused her to rush Boomer to the emergency vet.
Xylitol is one of the ingredients in Ice Breakers (and other sugar-free) products. The vet explained to Kussman that even a small amount can be lethal, and having ingested 40 pieces, the prognosis was very serious. With intensive treatment and monitoring, Boomer recovered, and Kussman is more informed as pet parent.
Solution: Read labels carefully. Anything sugar-free should be avoided. Check if Xylitol is contained in any products you purchase. Keep them from your dog’s path. Companies are not warning pet parents, for the most part, that Xylitol can be fatal to dogs. If you must purchase items containing Xylitol, hide them far from a dog’s reach. In our household, we rarely, if ever, purchase Xylitol-containing items.
(1) Alcohol: Not just the liquor store variety, but alcohol from mouthwash and other alcohol-containing liquids can shut down a dog’s body systems if too much is ingested. Perfumes and common cooking extracts like vanilla may contain as much as 35 percent alcohol by volume, so keep anything containing alcohol away from a dog’s reach, jump or nose. Effects of alcohol on a dog can be fatal, as a dog’s stomach can absorb alcohol completely within 20 to 30 minutes.
Solution: Keep alcohol-containing product out of a dog’s way and keep open bottles of beer and alcohol in general away from a dog’s lapping tongue to prevent emergencies and eventual death.
Did any of these surprise you? Have a safe and happy summer!
Rutherford Animal Hospital May 20, 2013 Please tell every dog or cat owner you know. Even if you don't have a pet, please pass this to those who do. Over the weekend, the doting owner of two young lab mixes purchased Cocoa Mulch from Target to use in their garden. The dogs loved the way it smelled and it was advertised to keep cats away from their garden. Their dog (Calypso) decided the mulch smelled good enough to eat and devoured a large helping. She vomited a few times which was typical when she eats something new but wasn't acting lethargic in any way. The next day, Mom woke up and took Calypso out for her morning walk. Halfway through the walk, she had a seizure and died instantly. Although the mulch had NO warnings printed on the label, upon further investigation on the company's web site, This product is HIGHLY toxic to dogs and cats. Cocoa Mulch is manufactured by Hershey's, and they claim that "It is true that studies have shown that 50% of the dogs that eat Cocoa Mulch can suffer physical harm to a variety of degrees (depending on each individual dog). However, 98% of all dogs won't eat it." *Snopes site gives the following information: http://www.snopes.com/critters/crusader/cocoamulch.asp .asp> Cocoa Mulch, which is sold by Home Depot, Foreman's Garden Supply and other garden supply stores contains a lethal ingredient called 'Theobromine'. It is lethal to dogs and cats. It smells like chocolate and it really attracts dogs. They will ingest this stuff and die. Several deaths already occurred in the last 2-3 weeks. Theobromine is in all chocolate, especially dark or baker's chocolate which is toxic to dogs. Cocoa bean shells contain potentially toxic quantities of theobromine, a xanthine compound similar in effects to caffeine and theophylline. A dog that ingested a lethal quantity of garden mulch made from cacao bean shells developed severe convulsions and died 17 hours later. Analysis of the stomach contents and the ingested cacao bean shells revealed the presence of lethal amounts of theobromine.
summer - swimming
Dog Swimming Safety Tips
(Gina Spadafori - Vetstreet| June 28, 2010)
They didn't coin the term "doggy paddle" because canines stay on shore. Many dogs enjoy swimming as much as people do, and cool times in the local swimming spot are irreplaceable summer experiences. But you have to look out for your pet around water, since even the strongest, most enthusiastic swimmers can get into trouble. The keys to water safety for dogs are prevention, preparedness and awareness.
No dog should be given unsupervised access to a backyard pool, neighborhood pond or creek. Swimming pools are best fenced off for safety. If that's not possible, they should be equipped with alarms that sound when the surface of the water is broken by a child or pet falling in and a ramp to help them find their way out.
Prevention also means teaching your pet what to do when he's in the pool. Dogs don't always understand that the steps are on a certain side, and they may tire while trying to crawl their way out. If your pet likes to swim, work with him in the pool to help him learn where the steps are so he can get out easily. Some breeds of dogs, such as bulldogs, pugs and basset hounds, do not have the body conformation to make them natural swimmers, and may need to be taught how to swim.
Obedience training is extremely important. Your dog should come when called, even when swimming. Emergency shortcut: Always carry extra retrieving toys. A dog who's heading into a dangerous area after a ball or stick can often be lured back to shore with a second item. It's no substitute for training, but it could save your dog's life.
Before letting your dog swim in natural surroundings, survey the area for safety. Rivers and oceans can change frequently, and an area that was once safe for swimming can become treacherous. Consider currents, tides, underwater hazards and even the condition of the water. In the late summer, algae scum on the top of standing water can be toxic, producing substances that can kill a pet who swallows the water. When in doubt, treat it like you would a child: better safe than sorry.
One of the best things you can do is to take courses in pet first aid and CPR. Many local Red Cross chapters offer these classes, and some veterinarians in your community may teach them. A near-death dog rescued from the water may be saved by your prompt actions — if you know what to do.
If your dog isn't much of a swimmer or is older or debilitated, get him a personal floatation device. These are especially great for family boating trips, because most have sturdy handles for rescue when a pet goes overboard.
Be aware of your dog's condition as he plays. Remember that even swimming dogs can get hot, so bring fresh water and offer it at every opportunity. When your dog is tiring, call it a day. A tired dog is a good dog, but an exhausted dog is in danger of drowning.
Be particularly careful with young and old dogs. Young dogs can panic in the water, and old dogs may not realize they aren't as strong as they used to be. Keep them close to shore, and keep swimming sessions short.
Don’t Go After Dogs Swept into Ocean, Pet Parents Warned
(Laura Goldman - I Love Dog Friendly)
Last Thanksgiving weekend, as a Northern California family took their dog for a walk along a beach, a 10-foot-high “sneaker” wave suddenly swept the dog into the ocean.
Three members of the family drowned in an unfortunate chain of events after the dad tried to rescue the dog. The dog survived.
Sadly, tragedies like this are not uncommon. Since that incident, two more people in Northern California have died trying to save their dogs. In almost all cases, since dogs are naturally buoyant, they made it out of the ocean alive.
“Compared to their human counterparts, many dog breeds have a compact center of mass in relation to their long limbs and an elevated head and neck, which makes them good swimmers in calm water,” U.S. Army veterinarian Capt. Lynn Miller said in a news release.
To help raise awareness and save the lives of pet parents, the East Bay SPCA, U.S. Coast Guard and National Park Service have joined forces and launched an ocean safety campaign.
In a new public service announcement, Coast Guard rescue swimmer Gabe Pulliam says that he has only rescued one dog in 12 years. And if Pulliam wasn’t wearing all his special equipment, he said his Labrador Retriever, Peaches, would swim circles around him.
“Peaches here is a much better swimmer than I am,” Pulliam says in the PSA. “If you see a dog struggling in the water, don’t panic. Don’t rush in after them.”
While it may be your first instinct to immediately dive in after your beloved dog, Allison Lindquist, executive director of the East Bay SPCA, told KGO-TV that pet parents really need to ignore that urge.
“Stay on the shore, the dog is gonna be fine,” she said.
At a press conference to launch the safety campaign earlier this month, Miller offered these safety tips for people walking their dogs on the beach:
Be aware that because of ocean currents, your dog may return a distance from where he was swept away. Be sure he’s wearing a collar and microchipped so you can easily be reunited.
If you get pulled into the water, try not to panic and swim parallel to the shore. If you can’t swim, try to float or doggie-paddle until help arrives. If you see someone swept into the ocean, call 911.
Pets and Drowning
Take Preventive Measures to Protect Your Pet
Summer is here, and that means pool parties and days spent at the beach. While we all want to enjoy the warm weather with our friends, families and pets, we need to be aware of the very real danger of pet drowning.
It’s estimated that thousands of family pets die in drowning incidents each year, though real numbers are not known, because most incidents go unreported.
However, these tragedies are largely avoidable if precautions are taken. Best of all, implementing safety procedures is not a difficult task. “Most preventive measures are common sense,” says Dr. David W. Reinhard, a consulting veterinarian for VPI Pet Insurance.
Pool Safety Tips for Pets
There are some basics rules you can follow to prevent tragedy when pets are around the family pool. First, your pet should always be taught where the steps in the pool are located, in case he falls in or gets in trouble while swimming, Dr. Reinhard says.
Even pets that are experienced swimmers can sometimes panic if they accidentally fall in the pool. Pets that are too small to use steps should not be allowed in the pool.
Here are some other helpful strategies for keeping your pet safe:
It’s estimated that thousands of family pets die in drowning incidents each year.
Water Safety Away from Home
If you’re heading out for a day at the beach or lake, there are other precautions that should be taken.
“There are differences between moving water on rivers versus the ocean versus a backyard pool,” says Dr. Tina Swan, a veterinarian who specializes in emergency care. Dr. Swan suggests pet life jackets for these situations. The life jackets should be worn even if a pet is simply near a body of fast-moving water.
If you’re taking your pet to the beach for the first time, keep him on a leash while he’s near the water. Once he becomes familiar with the ocean, follow the leash rules as posted on the beach. Most beaches (and dog parks) require dogs to be off leash in order to prevent aggressive and territorial behavior.
In addition, concerned pet owners can enroll in a pet CPR class to learn how to act quickly to help save their pet’s life should an accident occur. Your veterinary clinic should be able to provide you with CPR class information.
Summer Fun for Pets
Many pets do enjoy the water, and some are even natural swimmers. It is easy to have an enjoyable experience around a pool or lake with your pet. Implementing the simple safety measures listed above will ensure that your summer experience in a fantastic one.
Summertime Safety: The Backyard Pool
(Brandy Arnold - Dogington Post)
On a searing hot summer day, a backyard swimming pool surely has its rewards for relief from the blistering heat. However, it also has the possibility for disaster if you are not cautious enough. Pool safety concerns for dogs are similar to those for kids, and that’s far more than just mindful supervision.
Important Things to Consider
Pools can be an excellent source of fun and exercise for your water-loving pet. Below are just some of the safety issues that you need to take into account to ensure your four-legged friends’ welfare.
· Bear in mind that around the swimming pool, the sizzling summer heat can lead to heat stroke. Always watch for symptoms that indicate heat exhaustion. These include excessive drooling, lethargy, vomiting, foaming at the mouth, etc.
· After going in for a dip, prevent any possible irritation brought about by chlorine by always rinsing Fido off with fresh clean water. Use of goggles made especially for dogs is sometimes recommended for those with easily irritated eyes.
· Clean his ears immediately after swimming. Remember that lots of dogs, especially those with floppy ears, tend to be prone to ear infections. Cleansing the ears with an ear cleaner with a drying agent will help to clear out any excess water and prevent bacterial infection or irritation.
· If possible, install a Scamper Ramp so it will be easier for your small pets or senior dogs to exit the swimming pool. At the very least, be sure your dog is trained to exit the pool on his own. Accidents happen; arming your dog with the skills he needs to exit the pool could save his life.
· Never assume that your dog naturally knows how to swim. If your pet has never swam in the past, make sure that you are able to slowly introduce him to the water beforehand.
· As much as possible, avoid letting Fido drink the pool water. Keep in mind that chlorine can make him ill.
· Never allow your pooch to swim in a swimming pool that has a cover in it as he can become tangled in the cover get stuck underneath.
Other Safety Measures
Thinking in terms of “layers of protection” can go a long way to ensure that your pets are guarded well against the unforeseen. But, there are ways to avert accidents. Invest in a fence that prevents your dog’s access, but that will allow you to see what’s going inside should he get through. Once installed, always keep it closed even when you just have to leave for a couple of minutes. See to it that the barrier has an automatic lock gate.
Buying a floating pool alarm device can also be of great help. This mechanism floats in the pool and goes off once pool surface is disturbed. Have it set up so that the alarm can alert you both in and out of your home.
Never leave your pet unattended in or around the swimming pool, regardless of how well he swims or his knowledge of exiting the pool. A fun day of swimming can leave your pet exhausted and vulnerable to drowning or falling in.
Swim Safety: Is Ocean Saltwater Safe For Dogs?
(Brandy Arnold = Dogington Post)
One of the best things about this time of year is the warm, beach-perfect weather on the forecast. But, before you pack the beach bag, make sure you’re prepared to take care of your dog while he’s romping around in the salty seawater!
While at the beach, it is important to provide your pooch fresh, clean water to drink. If not, the dog will start to drink water from the sea. This should be avoided because like in humans, drinking salt water is not safe for dogs. As a matter of fact, it can result in dehydration, vomiting, and diarrhea.
A Brief Overview
The beach may just be the ideal spot for your pooch to play, get needed exercise, and bond with other dogs. Nevertheless, keep in mind that vigorous exercise can result in loss of water in the body. Since physical stimulation will cause your dog to become even thirstier, he will most likely need water to drink while playing at the beach. If your dog is not provided with enough fresh water to drink, he might resort to salt water.
The Side Effects of Drinking Salt Water
1. Drinking salt water is unsafe because it results in an osmotic effect that triggers diarrhea, causing dehydration in your pooch to worsen.
2. Fido may also vomit if he drinks the water too quickly, which may make his dehydration even more severe.
3. Aside from that, even if your pooch does not directly glug down salt water, he still may swallow small amounts of it while he’s swimming and playing in the beach.
4. Once Fido ingests sand along with the salt water, its effects may also worsen as it can hurt your dog’s intestines.
5. There is also the chance your dog will accidentally ingest bacteria, algae, or another toxin at the beach which will make him ill later on.
How to Keep Fido from Drinking Salt Water
The best way to prevent your pooch from drinking salt water is to provide him lots of fresh water to drink while at the beach. Ideally, you need to bring a water bowl that can be refilled continually with fresh clean water. The container should be one that Fido is familiar with, so that he knows where he can find his drinking water. If the use of water bowl is not possible, try carrying a water bottle filled with fresh water. Then, simply squirt into your dog’s mouth the drinking water he needs as often as possible.
Because excessive exercise normally results in dehydration, it is crucial that you give your dog regular breaks while at the beach. It is highly advisable that you take Fido into the shade and offer him lots of water to drink at least every 20 minutes or so – more often if he is particularly active.
Bottom line, the beach is a blast for dogs – but the saltwater can be a problem. Just provide plenty of fresh water and keep an eye on your pup to prevent him from taking a sip. And, have fun!
Nuts Dangers to DogsToxic Poisoning and Upset Stomach a Common Symptom
Dog owners, beware of rewarding your four-legged companion with a variety of salty treats in the form of nuts.
Nuts are one more "DO NOT EAT" item to add to Fido's list of toxic or harmful substances. Certain types of nuts can cause toxic poisonings, an upset stomach or an obstruction in your dog's gastrointestinal tract which can lead to life-saving surgery and unexpected veterinary expenses.
According to VPI Pet Insurance, walnut poisoning is one of the most common claims for toxic ingestion. The average cost to treat walnut poisoning is $356. The average cost to treat an upset stomach, according to VPI’s claims data, is $214.69.
Keep your pet safe and make sure the nuts listed below are out of your dog's reach.
Dogs love the taste of almonds, particularly the flavored variety (jalapeno, barbecued, smoked, vanilla, cinnamon, etc.).
While not toxic, almonds are not easily digested can give your dog an upset stomach and create gastric intestinal distress.
Black walnuts contains a toxin called juglone which can cause a vascular disease in horses known as laminitis, but doesn't appear to cause problems in dogs. Eating black walnuts can cause gastric intestinal upset or an obstruction.
In addition, moldy black walnuts can contain tremorgenic mycotoxins which can cause seizures or neurological symptoms.
English walnuts can cause gastric intestinal upset (tummy ache) or even an obstruction in your dog's body. Like black and Japanese walnuts, moldy English walnuts can contain tremorgenic mycotoxins (toxic chemical products produced by fungi) which can cause seizures or neurological symptoms.
Hickory nuts also contain the toxin juglone that can cause laminitis in horses. Eating hickory nuts can cause the same problems associated with black walnuts: gastric intestinal upset or an intestinal obstruction. Like walnuts, moldy hickory nuts can contain tremorgenic mycotoxins which can cause seizures or neurological symptoms.
Japanese walnuts contain no toxicity; however, they can cause gastric intestinal upset or even an obstruction.
Like English walnuts, moldy Japanese walnuts can contain tremorgenic mycotoxins which can cause seizures or neurological symptoms.
Macadamia nuts are very rich in fat which can give your dog a major upset stomach and may cause pancreatitis.
In addition, these nuts are reported to contain an unknown toxic principle that may result in neurological symptoms.
Pecans also contain the toxin juglone that can cause laminitis in horses. Feeding dogs pecans can cause gastric intestinal upset or an obstruction.
Like walnuts, moldy pecans can contain tremorgenic mycotoxins which can cause seizures or neurological symptoms.
Pistachios are also rich in fat and can cause your dog to develop an upset stomach. In addition, repetitive eating of pistachios can cause pancreatitis in your dog.
If you are concerned about any dangerous or toxic substances your dog may have consumed, please contact your veterinarian or the Pet Poison Helpline.*
THANKSGIVING DANGERS, HAZARDS, AND SAFETY TIPS FOR YOUR DOG
It’s the day after Thanksgiving. Where would you rather be – lounging on the couch with your dog sleeping on the floor next to you, hitting the after-Thanksgiving sales – or at the vet’s office praying that your dog survives or searching the neighborhood because he has escaped? I know where I wouldn’t want to be!
You can avoid Thanksgiving tragedy by being aware of the hazards and dangers to your dog and practicing a few safety tips.
Dogs like predictable routines, and Thanksgiving is not predictable. There’s lots of people coming and going, meals are prepared and eaten at odd hours, there’s lots of tempting food sitting around in bowls just waiting to be scarfed down. Dogs can get overly excited or nervous – and some dogs who are on the nervous side may get aggressive because the added stress simply “puts them over the top.”
If you know what to look out for ahead of time and how to prepare, then *you* won’t have (much!) added stress. So here’s some tips for you so everyone can have a safe Thanksgiving.
PREPARATION FOR YOUR DOG
You’re going to have a lot going on, especially if you’re cooking dinner. But please don’t neglect your dog! Keep to his regular schedule as much as possible. If you can’t walk or exercise him, look into getting a family member, neighbor, or a dogwalker. Be sure to exercise him before your guests arrive – tire him out, but don’t go overboard.
Dogs talk to us all the time and tell us they are stressed, but we often misinterpret what they are saying because we use our frame of reference – which is only human! What we intend and how our dogs interpret what we do many times are two different things. For example, most dogs don’t like to be hugged. To them, it’s a threat. What do children, especially little girls, absolutely LOVE to do to dogs? – hug them.
DON’T EVER LEAVE CHILDREN AND DOGS UNSUPERVISED, NOT EVEN FOR A SECOND.
Even a dog who normally likes children may be so stressed with all the Thanksgiving commotion that he can’t cope and end up biting.
If your dog is normally well behaved, you may ask yourself what’s gotten into him because he’s out of control. A normally calm dog may be nervous, and a normally friendly dog may be shy. Be alert for these stress signals:
Be sure your dog is wearing dog tags just in case he slips out an open door or gate.
If you are going out for Thanksgiving dinner or a parade, please leave your dog at home.
Finally, just for peace of mind, be sure you have your vet’s phone number and the name and address of the nearest emergency veterinary hospital.
WHILE YOU ARE PREPARING THANKSGIVING DINNER
Keep dogs out of kitchen! If your dog stays out of the kitchen, this prevents:
Keep all pot and pan handles on the stove turned inward.
Keep food away from doggie thieves by covering it and placing it out of reach of countertop and table edges.
After you’ve cooked the meal and *before* you sit down to eat, throw out all food and food-related garbage. Put something heavy such as a brick on top of your garbage can outside to ensure the lid will not come off. If you have a lot of other trash, then put it in your closed garage or storage area away from your dog until garbage collection day.
These cooking items can be consumed by your dog and get stuck in the intestinal track causing ablockage or perforation:
WHILE YOU ARE EATING THANKSGIVING DINNER
The best place for your dog is away from the table, preferably in that dog safe-room with a closed door or one that is gated off. If your guests can’t see his pleading eyes, then they won’t be tempted to give him some of their dinner!
Give your dog something to chew on, such as a frozen treat-filled food dispensing toy like a Kong.
Please instruct your guests that they should not give him any food during the meal or at any other time because deviation from his diet can upset his stomach.
CLEANING UP AFTER DINNER
Keeping your dog away from leftovers – both food and anything used to prepare the meal – is essential.
PLEASE don’t give cooked bones to your dog. Cooked bones spell disaster for your dogs because they easily splinter and could puncture your dog's his throat or intestines.
Put any leftovers in tightly closed containers and refrigerate them immediately to keep canine thieves away.
Regarding the turkey carcass, put it in a plastic bag, tie it up, and throw it in the outside garbage can immediately after eating.
THANKSGIVING FOODS THAT ARE HAZARDOUS FOR YOUR DOG
One especially dangerous Thanksgiving food is turkey skin. If you think your dog has eaten any or has any of these symptoms, then he may have pancreatitis, so take him to your vet asap.Symptoms of pancreatitis are:
NONFOOD THANKSGIVING HAZARDS
Here are some things you may not realize that also can harm your dog.
THANKSGIVING VISITORS OR GUESTS
When greeting guests, your dog should not greet them with you. With everything that is going on, you may forget to watch him, someone may inadvertently forget to close the door, or he can wiggle past your visitors before you realize it. You don’t want to spend your Thanksgiving looking for an escaped dog!
Please, please, please ask your guests NOT to feed your dog except his own food or treats! In fact, the safest place for him may be in that dog safe-room away from all the commotion of cheering from football games, kids running around, lots and lots of conversations (you know which family members are louder than others!) Even though you may think your dog is a member of the family who should be included in the celebrations, your dog may become stressed because this gathering is such a departure from his routine. Refer to the Stress Signs at the beginning of this article.
If children are among your guests, tell them to let your dog approach them, even if they know him from previous visits. They should stand still like a tree and let your dog sniff him. The children can pet him ONLY if his tail is wagging and he wants the attention. Remember, NO HUGGING THE DOG – dogs don’t like to be hugged.
ALWAYS, ALWAYS, ALWAYS have an adult supervise ANY AND ALL interactions between children and dogs. If your dog is exhibiting any of the stress signs, separate the children and dogs immediately. It probably would be best at that point to put your dog in his safe-room or crate away from your company or in his crate and to tell the children that they should not bother him for the balance of their visit.
If your guests have medications in their luggage, ask them to close and lock their luggage. With purses, put them in a closet with the door closed so your dog doesn’t go exploring…..
This may seem like a lot to do, but you love your dog and want to protect him or you wouldn’t be reading this article! While I was researching it, I came across things that I had not even considered could be dangerous – and you may have more. Please let me know if you do so I can add them to help others.
I wish you, your family, your dog, and your guests the very best – and the very safest – Thanksgiving!