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.
July 8, 2021 | DogGeek
A DogGeek.com exclusive by Teresa Barker
Now that the thermometer is regularly touching triple digits, it’s time to keep a close eye on our furry friends and add a few precautions to keep them from getting dehydrated. They don’t check the weather channel to be able to prepare for heat waves and get tips on hydrating up and chilling out, so it’s up to us to make sure we help them stay cool during hot spells.
1. Keep your dog in the coolest possible place.
For many people, this means inside the house with the air conditioning going. If you don’t have AC, keep all the shades drawn and fans blowing. Hardwood floors and tile floors are often much cooler than carpet for your dog to lay on.
2. Keep plenty of fresh, filtered drinking water available.
Make sure that your dog has access to water both inside and outside at all times. Keep the outdoor bowl fresh and clean by regularly washing it and adding fresh water. You can add ice cubes to the bowl, to keep it from heating up in temperature.
3. Don’t exercise during the daytime.
Walk during early morning hours or after dusk. The pavement on a hot day can burn the pads on your dog’s feet and cause them to overheat. You can verify this by taking your shoes off and walking barefoot on concrete for a few minutes midday. Ouch! Forget about frying an egg!
4. Look for signs of overheating.
Dogs don’t sweat, they pant. The only way for a dog to release heat is through panting, so watch for excessive panting, drooling, and lethargy. Lots of water, and even a cold bath, can help cool a hot dog down quickly.
5. Do more than just drink the water!
It’s a great time to use swimming as an alternative form of exercise, if your dog enjoys it. Or how about filling a wading pool with cold water and letting your dog soak it up? Keep the pool in the shade and freshen the water regularly. If your dog loves to play with the hose water, make a fun game out of it. If gently spraying your dog to cool him off, try using a squirt bottle with ice water or a wet washcloth applied to their belly.
Remember, they can’t pour themselves a nice cold glass of water, or take a cold shower on their own, so be sure to look for signs your dog is telling you he’s hot, and help your fur coat-wearing loved one stay cool during these dog days of summer!
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July 8, 2021 | DogGeek
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!
March 29, 2021 | DogGeek
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.
March 18, 2021 | DogGeek
A DogGeek.com exclusive by Teresa Barker
With 78.2 million dogs in this country (according to the 2011-2012 National Pet Owners Survey), that’s a lot of dog poop (about 10 million tons!). Waste removal is a part of every dog owner’s life, both on the go and at home, and probably not a subject that is given much thought. As dog parents, we are always checking the quality and the frequency of our dog’s poop. Now that there are so many dogs living and pooping in this country, let’s not just look at it, let’s look at what we can do with it!
All of the options below are for those who are committed to being gentle on Mother Earth, making conscious choices in everyday life, and who don’t fling dog poop over the fence into the neighbor’s yard. If this describes you, read on!
Biodegradable Poop Bags
This is a cheap and easy solution for busy dog owners. Let’s assume that you already bring your reusable shopping bags to the supermarket and avoid the plastic bags at checkout. Biodegradable poop bags come neatly rolled up, taking up way less room than used shopping bags, and break down in both active and inactive environments (like landfills). They are affordable, come in fashionable colors, and some are even scented! Not scented like poop, but nice things like blueberry or vanilla. Hey, it’s the canine equivalent to bathroom spray.
These home tools are for use in your own yard. There is a great deal of variety in popper scoopers, all of which have long handles so you don’t have to bend down to the ground. There’s even a 1-handed model which uses spring action jaws that you open and close on the handle. They vary in price, starting at around $10 and can be found at your local hardware or garden supply store.
Flushable Poop Bags
Yes, it’s true! These bags are amazing! They are safe to use with a septic or sewage system and biodegrade in water. The benefit of using flushable bags is that you get the poop into the system that was designed to remove harmful toxins and bacteria from feces. These are a little more expensive than biodegradable bags, but so cutting edge Green, how can you resist!
Dog Poop Composter Bins
Whether you use a popper scooper or the designated “dog poop shovel” to get the stuff off of your yard, the next question is likely, “Now what do I do with it?” Unfortunately, it is harmful to add to your food compost bin due to its high levels of bacteria and parasites. So, some Earth-friendly geniuses came up with dog poop composters. They are for dog poop only (cat poop, too) and use an enzyme to break down the poop, making it into compost and ready to give back to the soil. They come in various designs and colors to look like yard art or hide quietly in the corner. For those who are DIY captains, there’s plenty of websites that give you step-by-step instructions on how to make your own!
The dirty truth about dog poop is that it’s considered a pollutant. It is not a fertilizer, and actually harbors toxic bacteria and parasites, making it a health hazard for all of us when left on the ground. Cities all over the country have made it illegal to leave your dog’s waste on the ground, due to the health risks, so cleaning up after your dog has become a part of everyday life. Thanks to innovative thinkers, we have plenty of earth-friendly options for that make the clean-up job a lot less crappy!
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March 2, 2021 | DogGeek
Valentine’s day is this week and with all the human festivities, there are hidden dangers for your pets. Below are toxic items that you may give or receive on Valentine’s day to hide from your best friend.
- Chocolate – Ingestions of more than 0.1 ounces per pound of body weight of dark or semi-sweet chocolate may cause poisoning.
- Roses – Although not really poisonous, the thorns can tear through a puppies throat and stomach.
- Lillies – Sometimes given instead of roses, lillies contain a toxin that is deadly to pets
- Macadamia nuts – Poisonous to dogs but no cats.
- Xylitol – The sugar substitute can cause drop in blood sugar as well as liver damage in dogs.
Stay safe this Valentine’s day!
February 10, 2021 | DogGeek