- Never leave animals alone in the car. Even when it’s only 70 degrees outside, your car can reach 90 degrees on the inside within 10 minutes greatly increasing the risk of heat stroke.
- Repeat… Never leave animals alone in the car. Even if you leave it running! Your dog could accidentally put the car in gear or cause other damage.
- Think about your dog’s feet when walking. A 77 degree day means that the asphalt on the street is 125 degrees if it’s sunny outside. We know you don’t want to walk barefoot on that, neither do they! Try taking a walk in the early morning before it heats up.
- Make sure there is pleanty of water. Dogs cannot cool themselves by sweating like we do. Panting is the only option they have. Make sure there is access to cool, clean water to drink.
- Fleas, ticks and mosquitoes abound when it’s warm out. Make sure your pet is protected as to not get heart worms, lyme disease or others.
- Read the label on that yard treatment. Although everyone wants a nice green yard with no weeds, the treatment you put down may poison your pet. Read the label to ensure it is safe.
- Ensure tags are up-to-date and readable. Summertime is when everyone is outside and the chances for a dog to get out increase. To help them get back to you quickly, make sure tags are up to date with your mobile number.
- Plan ahead for vacations. If Fido is going with you, make sure to book dog friendly hotels in advance so they are not full. If they are not going, make sure a dog sitter or kennel is booked. No one wants to cancel a vacation at the last minute because Fido doesn’t have a place to go.
- Get rid of the winter coats. You put your’s away, so should they. Shedding is natural and helps remove some of the winter fur, but your best friend could use some help. Shaving is never a good option since it opens their skin up to burning but a good dog grooming will help rmove the excess fur.
Fireworks can wreak havoc on a dog’s nerves and you can not control which neighbors will let them off when. Here are some tips to help when fireworks are being set off:
- Stay calm and gentle. Don’t mirror your dog’s anxiety.
This is your time to shine as the alpha leader of your family. Be empathetic but confident, so your dog knows that he is protected and doesn’t have to play that role for you. Don’t coddle!
- Don’t punish your dog or command that they “relax.”
Your dog’s surprise by all the noises would be the same if your house came under air raid. Imagine how you would feel with someone sternly telling you to lay down and relax.
- Try distracting your dog.
This is a great time to bring out special toys (like the ones that squeak in ways that might drive you to drink). Or, special occasion treats. If you have a combination, even better! There are many toys that feature areas to stuff them with a treat where the treat removal becomes a puzzle for your dog. But, if your dog doesn’t want to play or eat treats, don’t force the issue.
- Let your dog be in the place that he feels safest.
This might mean your lap, which could be comfortable if your dog is a pug, not so comfortable if it’s a German Shepherd. If your dog wants to be on the floor at your feet, let him. Don’t command that he be on the couch with you, where it’s more comfortable for you to pet and soothe him. Try getting on the floor with him to see if that helps.
- Stay in an enclosed room with your dog.
Basements and man caves are typically already designed to drown out the noises of everyday life. These are great places to retreat with your dog and put on some music or a movie to help cover the erratic sounds of fireworks.
Just because Labor Day is right around the corner, don’t stop being vigilant when it comes to keeping your dogs safe in the summer months. Here’s how to recognize and neutralize two potential dangers that your pet could face in summer:
Prevent Deadly Heat Stroke
Summer sun and temps won’t go away just because the calendar says September, especially in California and parts of the South and Southwest. With the glow of the sun comes high temperatures, and that intense heat can pose a danger to your pets, who can easily become overheated. Overheating could lead to heat stroke, which could be deadly to your pet. Here are some tips from the Central Oregon Veterinary Group on how to prevent heat stroke in dogs:
- Your dog can’t fill his own water bowl. Make sure he or she has an adequate supply.
- Never chain your pet in a spot where shade is not (or will not be) available.
- Never leave your pet inside the car while you leave for “just a minute.”
- Take your pet for walks during the cooler parts of the day.
- Head for the river! A dip in the stream will feel good for both of you.
Signs of heatstroke include excessive panting, pale gums, thick drool, and vomiting. Heat stroke is a serious condition and needs immediate attention, so if your dog is showing signs of any of these symptoms, call your veterinarian right away. In the meantime, provide your dog with cool (not cold!) drinking water and use a cool damp towel over his or her fur and belly to help draw out some of the body heat.
Prevent Swimming Pool Drownings
Among Americans’ favorite summertime activities is floating down a local river on inner tubes and rafts. Swimming, of course, is popular too. Many locals also retreat to their own backyard swimming pools, which is a convenience and a great source of entertainment, but also poses a potential hazard for dogs. If your dog jumps or falls into a pool of water, it may be difficult for him or her to get back out. Most dogs can tread water for a few hours, but once exhaustion sets in, they could drown. Dogs can be trained to get out of a pool on their own, but don’t count on yours knowing how to instinctively.
Ask your pool installer or vet about safety measures to prevent pet drownings. Visit PoolProducts.com and review the variety of safety products available. There are “skamper ramps” and dog safety life jackets available for purchase. Make your pool pet-friendly and rest with the peace of mind that your backyard is safe for your family and pets.
Be Wise, Have Fun and Keep Your Pet Safe
Don’t let concerns about heat stroke and drowning prevent you from having fun in the sun with your pets and loved ones. By taking simple preventative measures and keeping a close watch on the health and location of your pet, there are only good times ahead.
- Never leave your dog in a car alone, even if the windows are down.
Even on a nice 80 degree day, your car can heat up over 100 degrees or more in 10 minutes. Dogs have heat strokes at 110 degrees. Cracking the window still does not allow enough ventilation for all the heat to escape and opening it too much will allow your dog the ability to jump out. If you can’t take your dog with you every where that you go, leave him at home. Trust us, he will appreciate it more.
- Never put your dog in the back of a pickup truck without being in a crate properly restrained.
Yes, we know he may “like” it, but it’s not safe. Dogs are easily distracted by many things, squirrels being one of the most popular items. You do no want your dog jumping out of the back of a moving vehicle. And do not use just a leash to keep them from jumping as your dog could hang themselves by accident. If your dog has to ride in the back, please crate them with the proper restraints and protection from the wind. Just like how you like being protected by the windshield, so do they.
- Asphalt heats up quickly, protect your dog’s paws
Black asphalt, as with any black items, heats up quickly in the sun light. Don’t walk your dog during the heat of the day and if you do, check the temperature of the asphalt. If it burns your hands it can burn the pads on their feet.
- Ensure your dog has plenty of shade while outside
If you must leave your dog outside for any amount of time, ensure that they have plenty of shade as to not get sunburned or over heated.
- Keep their water fresh and full
During the summer
water evaporates fast and is a place where parasites can grow. Remember to replace their water daily and to keep it full so that your dog does not dehydrate.
- Go to the groomer
Imagine if you had to have a fur coat on all summer. While a dog’s hair does have built in heat management, they need help. Take yours to a dog groomer to get their undercoat brushed out so that the air can flow thru easily cooling your dog. Never shave down to the skin as their skin can burn just like yours.
- Keep them on a leash
We know, it’s summer and everyone wants to run free, but unless it’s an off leash dog park or your fenced back yard, always keep your best friend on a leash. It will help keep them from getting lost, getting into a fight with other dogs or being hit by a car.
- Keep the cocktails and food on high ground
Everyone loves a cookout, so does your dog.
Remember that your dog doesn’t know which foods and drinks are good for them, they only know what smells good to them. Cocktails and beer can lead to alcohol poisoning fast.
Have fun this summer and be safe!
The trees and flowers are blooming and your allergies are taking over. This could mean only one thing, it’s spring! While spring is a great time to get out in the yard and celebrate with your family, there are some potential hazards for your dog. Easter brings celebration but it also brings a lot of toxic dangers around for your dogs. Here’s a list to watch out for:
- Easter Grass – That colorful fake grass used to make your Easter basket so vibrant. Ingesting this “grass” can be lethal to your dogs and other pets because they can not digest it. The threads get stuck in their intestines causing damage.
- Plastic Eggs – Those shiny plastic eggs that contain goodies and sometimes, if you’re a really lucky kid, money. If chewed and swallowed the plastic can cause intestinal problems that may require surgery. Make sure you keep track of how many you put out and that they are all found by who should find them, not Fido days later.
- Chocolate – We all know that chocolate is dangerous to pets, but make sure your children know. Besides, puppies love bunnies, they just shouldn’t have chocolate ones.
- Easter Lillies – They are a sign that spring is a coming, brining new life out of winter. But, did you know that they are one of the most poisinous plants for pets? Especially cats. They can cause kidney failure in less than two days if untreated.
- Toys – Don’t forget those small and fun toy bunnies, chicks and others Easter basket stuffers that post a potential choking hazard for Fido.
Find more information about pet toxins and poisonous items for dogs and cats at the Pet Poison Helpline at www.petpoisonhelponline.com. The helpline is also open 24/7 at (800) 213-6680.
Have a happy and great Easter with your family!
Springtime is here and it’s time to get out in the yard. When planting, remember some plants are toxic to dogs and other pets. Here’s a list of items to stay away from:
- Oleander – It can cause serious issues including gastrointestinal tract irritation and abnormal heart function.
- Lilies – They are toxic to cats and can cause severe kidney damage.
- Tulips – The bulbs contain toxins that cause drooling, loss of appetite, depression of the central nervous system, convulsions and heart abnormalities.
- Cocoa mulch – Reacts like chocolate to dogs causing vomiting, diarrhea, muscle tremors, hyperactivity and seizures.
- Aloe – Can cause vomiting, depression, diarrhea, anorexia and tremors
- Azalea – May cause vomiting, diarrhea, weekness, and other issues.
Stay safe this spring and for more information about toxins in plants, visit the ASPCA.