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Showing posts with label safety. Show all posts
Showing posts with label safety. Show all posts

Friday, January 13, 2017

Winter Care Tips For Your Dog

Winter Care Tips For Your Dog
  For some of us, cold weather is regarded as a mere nuisance; for others, it’s a fun time filled with snowboarding, skiing and other winter joys; and still others will find this time of bone-chilling weather and huge piles of snow a veritable nightmare to endure.
  Whatever your viewpoint on winter, one thing remains the same for all of us with pets: it’s a time when our beloved babies need a little extra care.

1. Consider a coat.

  There are a few kinds of dogs who can benefit from a sweater or coat while outside. Dogs with short legs, like a Basset Hound or Corgi, may benefit from clothing to keep them warm, because their stature puts them in closer contact with snow. Dogs with a thin body type, like Greyhounds or Whippets, especially those with short fur, may benefit from a coat. Additionally, certain health conditions can make it difficult for affected dogs to regulate their body temperatures, so a sweater or coat for those pets couldn’t hurt.
Tips: Do Dogs Need Sweaters in Winter?

2. Go outside when the sun shines


  If your dog feels the cold, try to walk him in the late morning or early afternoon hours when temperatures are a little warmer, and avoid early morning or late evening walks. Spend time playing outdoors while it’s sunny; sunshine brings the added benefit of providing both you and your pet with vitamin D. Play fetch with toys, not sticks, which can cause choking and other injuries. So, if your dog likes to chew and chase, pack a Frisbee, ball or other safe toy and play together in the sun.

3. No More Frozen Dinners!

  Because it takes more energy to stay warm when it's cold, outdoor animals eat more during the winter. Likewise, fresh, running water is vital for maintaining your pet's health. Keep an eye on the water bowls and make sure they haven’t turned into little skating rinks for fleas . While ice pops might be a fun treat, your pet really doesn’t want to have to lick a frozen lump of ice to get his water.

4. Cozy bedding

  In addition to limiting your dog’s time outdoors on cold days, don’t let your pooch sleep on a cold floor in winter. Choosing the right bedding is vital to ensure your dog stays warm. Warm blankets can create a snug environment; raised beds can keep your dog off cold tiles or concrete, and heated pet beds can help keep the stiffness out of aging joints. Place your dog’s bed in a warm spot away from drafts, cold tile or uncarpeted floors, preferably in a favorite spot where he sleeps every day so that the area doesn’t feel unfamiliar.

5. Learn how to walk safely in winter weather.
  Walking your dog in winter doesn’t have to be miserable or unsafe, provided you take proper precautions to protect yourself and your pet from conditions like wind, snow and ice. Be sure you and your dog are both properly outfitted — that includes protecting your dog’s paws from ice and deicing agents with booties or pet-safe gels. Use a front-clip harness to discourage pulling and a solid leash as opposed to a retractable one. When you’re out walking, be sure to avoid hazards like frozen ponds and make sure your dog’s clothing stays dry. And don’t forget to wipe your dog’s paws afterward — many salts and ice-melters are toxic to pets.

  And remember, it’s important to listen to your dog. If he’s shaking, cowering or attempting to head back home, it might be too cold for him.

6. Find exercise alternatives.


  Some days, winter conditions like ice or extreme cold may prevent both you and your dog from getting outside, but that doesn’t mean he can’t get some exercise. Consider playing tug or fetch, creating your own agility course inside, or feeding a small portion of your dog's food from a food puzzle. Just remember, when you’re playing games like fetch, it’s best to do these things on a carpeted surface, rather than on hardwood floors, which can be slippery.

7. Protect your dog from heaters

  Dogs will often seek heat during cold winter weather by snuggling too close to heating sources. Avoid space heaters and install baseboard radiator covers to avoid your pet getting burned. Fireplaces also pose a major threat so please make sure you have a pet proof system to keep your heat-seeking pal out of harm’s way!

8. Moisturize

  Dry and cold weather can do a number on your pet’s skin. Help prevent dry, flaky skin by adding a skin and coat supplement to his food. Coconut and fish oils are easy foods that can help keep your pet’s skin and coat healthy. If you find your pet’s paws, ears or tail are dry or cracking, you can also apply coconut oil topically as needed.

9. Latest Fad Diet?


  Indoor animals, meanwhile, have different dietary needs. They conserve energy by sleeping more in the winter. Dogs and cats also exercise much less when they do go outside, so you may need to adjust the amount of food accordingly. After all, no one wants an overweight pet.

10. Dogs also should be kept inside if possible. 
  If kept outside, they should have a draft-free shelter large enough to stand and turn around in, yet small enough to retain body heat. Use a layer of straw or other bedding material to help insulate your pet against the cold. Different breeds of dogs have different sheltering needs. Purchase a commercially produced doghouse, or contact your local humane society for construction plans for a doghouse suitable for your climate. Please be sure to contact your veterinarian if you have questions.

11. Keep your dog hydrated

  Dogs can dehydrate just as quickly in winter as summer. Although many dogs eat snow, it’s not an adequate substitute for fresh water. If your dog spends time outdoors in your yard, make sure he has access to a water bowl, check it often and break ice that forms on top.

12. Groom your dog

  Your dog needs a clean, well-groomed coat to keep him properly insulated. This is especially important if your dog spends a lot of time outdoors. After bathing, dry your dog thoroughly, especially before allowing him outside

13. The Deadly Drink

  The worst of all the wintertime chemical spills is antifreeze, which often leaks from a car's radiator. It may taste delicious to your cats or dogs, but it is extremely deadly -- even the smallest sip can be fatal. If your pet starts acting "drunk" or begins to convulse, take him to the vet immediately. Better yet, keep all pets away from the garage and clean up any accidental spillage. You should also not let your dog wander too far during his walks. Who knows what dangers lie in your neighbors' driveways?

14. Snow removal


  Snow can be a lot of fun but also dangerous for your dog. Snow piled near fences offers your dog escape routes that even well trained dogs often can’t resist. When you clear snow in your yard, pile it away from fences to prevent your dog from climbing over. Snow and ice often accumulate on rooftops and if the sun is out or as temperatures rise, this accumulation can slide and injure your dog. If you can’t clear the snow from the roof, keep your dog away from the roof overhang to prevent injury.

15. Paw care is a must

  Just as we tend to develop foot cracks in winter, dogs can also suffer from cracked pads. If your dog has furry feet, trim the hair that grows between his pads to prevent ice buildup between the pads. Winter salt on city sidewalks can also burn your dog’s pads and is toxic, so after walks around the neighborhood, rinse or wipe your dog’s paws to remove any salt – you don’t want him licking it off. If your dog shows signs of discomfort when walking outside on frozen or salted surfaces, consider using dog booties to protect his paws

16. Salty Solution

  Do you live in an area with cold and icy winters? Then you are probably accustomed to salt on the sidewalks and roads. However, the types of salt used to melt ice and snow and keep it from refreezing are somewhat harsh on delicate paws - not to mention they corrode concrete and damage the beautiful vegetation. Protect your pet's paws, and keep him warm during walks, by outfitting him with booties.

17. Never leave your dog unattended in the car, no matter what the season

  Just as cars can get dangerously hot in summer, freezing cold temperatures are equally dangerous for your dog in winter. Leaving the car running involves additional risks, including carbon monoxide poisoning if the car is parked in a garage. Leave your dog at home when you go out to run errands.

18. Joy Ride

  Cars are particularly attractive to animals in the winter-time, especially frigid cats that love to climb up under the hood and curl up on the warm motor. This, as you can imagine, has led to many mishaps when motorists start their car … ouch! Avoid such accidents by tapping your car's hood before starting the vehicle. Sure, you may wake Kitty from her deep slumber, but she'll thank you in the long run.

19. Watch where your dog plays

  Although your dog is likely to be having a great time outdoors, take frequent indoor breaks for water and warming and don’t ever stay out too long. If you’re walking or playing in unfamiliar areas, keep your dog close. It’s easy for him to venture onto unsafe surfaces such as frozen ponds or lakes. These may be covered in snow and not easily visible.

20. Special care for seniors
  Cold weather will often aggravate existing medical conditions in dogs, particularly arthritis. It’s very important to maintain an exercise regimen with your arthritic dog, but be mindful of slippery surfaces and make sure your dog has a warm soft rest area to recuperate after activity. If you don’t already give your senior dog a natural joint supplement to lubricate the joints and ease the discomfort of arthritis, you may want to consider adding one in winter. Just like people, dogs are more susceptible to other illnesses during winter weather.


  Winter often brings colder temperatures and elements like wind, sleet and snow. But that doesn’t mean you and your dog have to hibernate until spring. Here are some things you can do to help prepare your dog for winter and keep him happy, healthy and active during the colder months.

More informations: Protect Your Dog During Winter and Cold Weather


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Wednesday, November 25, 2015

Creating a Safe Thanksgiving Dinner for Your Dog

Creating a Safe Thanksgiving Dinner for Your Dog
  For all the love and loyalty they give us throughout the year, we show gratitude to our pets by...excluding them from the Thanksgiving feast?
  As we gather our family members for a happy, full meal, we often forget that pets can benefit from this day of giving thanks. What better way to reward them for their unconditional love and companionship than by cooking up some homemade edibles? These goodies are for pet-friendly stomachs with some recipes good for humans too! Preparing a Thanksgiving dinner for dogs, it turns out, isn’t an outrageous idea.

Recipe 1: Winning ways with leftovers
  Dogs love turkey and sweet potatoes, too. Cook this meal from scratch or use up the leftovers—either way, your chow hounds will chow down with gusto!

Photo from The Healthy Dog Cookbook
Ingredients: 3 lb/1.3 kg skinless turkey pieces (light and dark meat); 1 cup (about 6 oz/175 g) oatmeal (cooked); 1 lb/450 g sweet potatoes, cubed; 2 tbsp cranberry sauce; 4 tbsp turkey gravy (optional; to reduce the fat content, omit the gravy or substitute olive oil)
  • Preheat oven to 350°F/180°C. Lightly oil a roasting pan.
  • For boneless breast or thigh, cook 30–45 minutes; boned breast or thigh, 45–60 minutes; whole turkey, 1 1/2–2 hours or until the meat juices run clear when pierced with a skewer. Let cool.
  • Remove all the bones and dice the meat into large pieces.
  • If using fresh sweet potatoes, roast with the turkey for about 25–30 minutes or until tender. Let cool, then peel and dice.
  • Meanwhile, cook the oatmeal according to package instructions.
  • Mix together the turkey meat, oatmeal, sweet potatoes, and cranberry sauce. If using gravy or oil, add it now and mix thoroughly. (If your dog is at all prone to pancreatitis or other fat-related upsets, omit the gravy.)
Recipe 2: Woof-Worthy Souffle’ 
Ingredients: 
  • 2/3 cup deboned, skinned, unseasoned cooked chicken, shredded
  • 2 eggs, lightly beaten (no milk)
  • 1/4 cup diced cooked carrots
  • 1/4 cup cooked mashed pumpkin
  • 1/4 cup cooked diced green beans
  Combine all ingredients in an oven-safe casserole dish that has been greased with a bit of olive oil. Microwave for 3 minutes or until eggs are set, or bake at 350°F for 10 minutes. Cool thoroughly, invert casserole dish onto a plate, and present with pride to your pup.


Recipe 3:Pumpkin smoothies
  While your guests sip cocktails, dogs and cats can wet their whistles with this creamy pumpkin drink that’s packed with fiber and digestion-friendly probiotics.
Ingredients: ½ c. canned pumpkin puree; ½ c. plain non-fat yogurt.
  • Place pumpkin and yogurt in a blender and blend on high until smooth.
  • Evenly pour mixture into 8 small paper cups. Either refrigerate or freeze overnight, or serve right away.

  Remembering Thanksgiving food safety is just as important as making sure everything is delicious — and this goes double for dogs! From stuffed bellies to splintering bones, furry friends should be kept safe from a whole host of hazards. To help you make sure the holiday is happy and healthy fur all, here are our top tips for tackling Thanksgiving dinner for dogs.
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Saturday, October 17, 2015

Autumn Safety Tips

Autumn Safety Tips
  Many of us love this time of year — the changing color of the leaves, brisk fall breezes, and finally a respite from the hot weather of Summer. For your dog, however, fall may be more work than fun.

Mushroom Season


  With the change of the season come certain changes in the environment. Fall and spring are mushroom seasons, which mean potential life-threatening problems to pets. Owners should watch out for umbrella-shaped mushrooms and brown mushrooms and call for help immediately when a pet ingests one. Symptoms of illness can range from vomiting to severe digestive problems to complete liver failure.

  Even with the darker mornings and nights and the worsening weather, your dog still needs regular exercise. Your dog is unlikely to get the same level of exercise and access to the outdoors that he had during the summer, but it can lead to behavioural problems if your dog does not have enough activity and mental stimulation. If your dog is getting less exercise during the week, his fitness levels will not be as high as in the summer, so don’t go crazy with his exercise at the weekends as he could experience health problems.

  The use of rodenticides increases in the fall as rodents seek shelter from the cooler temperatures by attempting to move indoors. Rodenticides are highly toxic to pets—if ingested, the results could be fatal. If you must use these products, do so with extreme caution and put them in places inaccessible to your pets. 



  Another turn of the season threat is snakes. As temperatures go down, snakes go into hibernation mode, which means they will be extra grumpy when disturbed. Pet owners who live in areas with snake-friendly conditions, such as woods, should take extra care. Fall is also hunting season, which makes the woods an extra unsafe place for taking pets out walking.

  The threat posed by the cold is a no-brainer: animals cannot withstand extreme temperatures. Pets should have warmth and shelter during the last few, cold months of the year. In addition, pets that spend a lot of time outdoors should be given more food during the cold season to help them produce energy and body heat. When ice begins to form outdoors, owners should take extra care in walking their dogs. Sharp ice edges can cut soft paws and ice sheets can cause slips and falls. The salt used to melt ice can also be tempting to lick for a dog, but some chemical deicers are toxic. Table salt or other pet-safe product can be used if driveways need to be de-iced.

  Many people choose fall as the time to change their car's engine coolant. Ethylene glycol-based coolants are highly toxic, so spills should be cleaned up immediately. Consider switching to propylene glycol-based coolants—though they aren't completely nontoxic, they are much less toxic than other engine coolants.


Holidays usually mean lots of yummy food, but make sure you don't leave any food out on the counter within reach of your dog. Watch out for foods like chocolate, grapes, and raisins. If you have a counter-surfer, now is a good time to work on that behavior.

  Keep your dog indoors on Halloween night. It may be a fun holiday for the kids, but it can end up being one traumatic evening for a dog.


  Put your kids' Halloween candy where your dog can't find it. That much chocolate could be seriously harmful to him if ingested.


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Wednesday, December 10, 2014

Christmas Dog Safety Tips

Christmas Dog Safety Tips
   Christmas is a joyous time when we celebrate with family and friends. Those of us who have dogs include them in our holiday festivities. After all, they are part of our family and we want them to enjoy the holidays as much as we do.
  During the Christmas period we need to make sure that our dogs are able to cope with the festivities and that they stay healthy and happy.
   Like small children, dogs are curious, so it is your responsibility to puppy proof your home.

Christmas Tree Tips:

1. Prior to Christmas, when you are decorating your home and wrapping gifts, be sure to use caution.
2. Secure, hide or cover electrical cords and electronics. Holiday lights and decorations usually lead to many new cords being scattered around the house. Be sure all cords are taped down or completely out of reach for your pets as they can trip on them, chew them up, or even experience an electric shock.
3. Place your Christmas tree in a corner, blocked off from your pet's wanting eyes. If this doesn't keep your dog or cat from attempting to jump onto the tree, you can place aluminum foil, a plastic drink bottle filled with knick knacks, or anything else that creates noise on the tree's bottom limbs to warn you of an impending tree disaster.
4. Dogs and Christmas Ornaments. Pick up any ornament hooks, tinsel, or ribbon that fall on the floor. Your pet could experience serious internal injuries if any of these items are ingested. If you have a dog or cat that is tempted to play with the ornaments on your tree, decorate the bottom third of the tree with non-breakable, plastic, or wooden ornaments, or decorate only the top two-thirds of your tree. Make sure that your dog has plenty of dog toys available, so they do not become bored.
5.  Do not put lights on the tree's lower branches. Not only can your pet get tangled up in the lights, they are a burning hazard. Additionally, your dog or cat may inadvertently get shocked by biting through the wire.
6.  No Feasting for the Furries . By now you know not to feed your pets chocolate and anything sweetened with xylitol, but do you know the lengths to which an enterprising fur kid will go to chomp on something yummy? Make sure to keep your pets away from the table and unattended plates of food, and be sure to secure the lids on garbage cans.
7. Don’t forget Fido. In all the excitement of Christmas, don’t forget your dog. They will need the same amount of love, attention, grooming, walks and general care as they usually do. And don’t forget that pets are a great way for humans to de-stress, so stroking the dog has benefits for both of you.
  Many of us eat more than usual at Christmas and sit around a centrally heated house. But remember to take your dog for their usual walks. Enjoy the fresh air and time together. If you have visitors, why not ask them to come too. Everyone will come home rosy cheeked and refreshed.
8.  For those buying a live Christmas trees this year, keep the area free and clear of pine needles. While they may not seem dangerous, the needles can puncture your pet's intestines if ingested.
9. That Holiday Glow . Don't leave lighted candles unattended. Pets may burn themselves or cause a fire if they knock candles over. Be sure to use appropriate candle holders, placed on a stable surface. And if you leave the room, put the candle out!
10. Careful with Cocktails . If your celebration includes adult holiday beverages, be sure to place your unattended alcoholic drinks where pets cannot get to them. If ingested, your pet could become weak, ill and may even go into a coma, possibly resulting in death from respiratory failure.

!Children!
  If your dog is not used to children, take care if younger family members are visiting over the festive season. Older dogs especially can find young children hard to tolerate. Make sure any visiting children are told how to handle a dog and make sure they always show your dog respect. Do not leave children alone with a dog, any dog, at any time.

Remember the Dogs Trust mantra "A dog is for life, not just for Christmas". Never give a pet for Christmas, ever. Similarly, it is not a good idea to bring home a new family pet during the holiday season either. It is tempting to get a new pet during the holidays when everyone is home but bear in mind that Christmas is a hectic and noisy time of year, with lots of loud bangs from Xmas Crackers and lots of strangers going in and out of the house. This would not be an ideal time for any dog to settle stress-free into a new home.
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Saturday, July 12, 2014

Summer Safety for Dogs

Summer Safety for Dogs
  The summer months can be uncomfortable—even dangerous—for pets and people. It's difficult enough simply to cope with rising temperatures, let alone thick humidity, but things really get tough in areas that are hit with the double blow of intense heat and storm-caused power outages, sometimes with tragic results.
  Summer is a terrific time to be a dog owner. It lets you run, swim, and play with your dog in nicer weather than any other time of the year. However, summer also brings unique risks to your dog's health that you should keep in mind throughout the season. 
  The warm summer months are the perfect time to take your dog with you for outdoor, family fun. But with the rising temperatures, dogs can easily get overheated in the summer, causing them to become dehydrated and sick.  Not only is it important to keep dogs safe in hot weather, it’s also important to keep them clear from hazardous chemicals and certain foods. 


1. Never, ever, EVER leave your pet in a hot car.
  It can take minutes – yes, MINUTES – for a pet to develop heat stroke and suffocate in a car.
  Temperatures in cars can rise quickly so make sure to take your dog with you when you get out of the car. If you must leave your dog in the car, be sure to leave the windows down, which will allow the air to circulate and keep your dog safe.
  Most people don’t realize how hot it gets in parked cars. On a 78 degree day, for instance, temperatures in a car can reach 90 degrees in the shade and top 160 degrees if parked directly in the sun! Your best bet is to leave your pet home on warm days. If you’re driving around with your dog or cat in the car, bring water and a water dish and take your pet with you when you leave the car.


2. Outdoor Play
  Steer clear of long walks and strenuous exercise on hot, sunny days. Avoid prolonged sun exposure. Not only is there a risk of heat stroke - dogs can get sunburns, too. Consider sunscreen for your dog. If you are planning to spend time outdoors with your dog, find a shady spot and provide plenty of fresh, cool water. Try to take leisurely walks during the cooler times of the day, like the morning or evening hours. Remember to protect your dog's feet from getting scorched by hot pavement. Sunscreen for dogs can help protect your dog as well.

3. Make sure your pet is protected from parasites like fleas, ticks, and mosquitoes.
  If not protected, your pet is at risk for heartworm, Lyme disease, Rocky Mountain spotted fever, and a host of other nasty and dangerous conditions. And don’t forget, many of these diseases can be caught by people, too!


4. Events
  It might be best to leave your dog at home when going to large outdoor festivals or parties. A large crowd can be overwhelming and it increases the chances of injury, dehydration and exhaustion. Plus, there's bound to be a lot of unhealthy or even toxic food and trash on the ground that your dog might try to eat. Also remember that fireworks and other loud noises can frighten dogs into running away or otherwise injuring themselves. If you do bring your dog to events, keep her close by and watch out for potential hazards.

5. Keep the paws in mind.
  When the sun is cooking, surfaces like asphalt or metal can get really hot! Try to keep your pet off of hot asphalt; not only can it burn paws, but it can also increase body temperature and lead to overheating. Also, it’s not a good idea to drive around with your dog in the bed of a truck – the hot metal can burn paws quickly (and they can fall out or be injured or killed in an accident). 

6. Limit exercise on hot days
  Take care when exercising your pet. Adjust intensity and duration of exercise in accordance with the temperature. On very hot days, limit exercise to early morning or evening hours, and be especially careful with pets with white-colored ears, who are more susceptible to skin cancer, and short-nosed pets, who typically have difficulty breathing. Asphalt gets very hot and can burn your pet's paws, so walk your dog on the grass if possible. Always carry water with you to keep your dog from dehydrating.

7. Bring extra water
  Bring a bowl and plenty of water to keep your dog well hydrated while away from home. Bring double the amount that you think you may need to ensure that your dog has continual access to fresh water to cool off.

8. Keep up grooming
  Make sure to keep your dog’s fur and nails trimmed during the summer months. Too much fur can make it easier for dogs to overheat, for fur to become matted, and for bugs to stake a claim in the furry confines of your dog’s coat. Keeping your dog’s nails trimmed will help limit torn nails, which can easily become infected.


9. If your dog loves to swim, give him his very own "kiddy pool."
  Dogs who love the water love it even more in the hot months and getting wet keeps them cool. Providing a small, kid-sized pool will also keep them safe.

10. Just because dogs instinctively know how to swim doesn’t mean they’re good swimmers.
  And if they jump in your swimming pool, they might not be able to get out without help and could easily drown. Make sure your dog can’t get into your swimming pool without you around. And if that’s not possible, make sure he can get out on his own.

11. Leave pets at home for firework displays
  If you’re headed out to watch the fireworks display it’s best to leave your dog at home. The loud noises mixed with the nighttime away from home can cause your dog to become disorientated.

12. Steer clear of fertilizers
  Some fertilizers and lawn care products can cause an allergic reaction in dogs. Speak with your vet about what types of lawn care products are best to use.  Always keep chemical bottles off the ground to keep dogs from accidentally ingesting them and becoming sick.


13. Believe it or not, dogs can sunburn, especially those with short or light-colored coats.
  And just like for people, sunburns can be painful for a dog and overexposure to the sun can lead to skin cancer. Talk to your veterinarian about sunscreens for your pet (don’t assume a sunscreen for people is appropriate for your dog).

14. If you can’t trust your dog 100% to come when called, keep him on a leash. Summertime means all sorts of exciting sights, scents, critters running around, and new and exciting places to explore. You never want to lose your pet because he she became distracted in an unfamiliar environment and was lost or harmed in an accident. And remember, not every dog is meant to be off-leash; some dogs just can never be fully trusted to come when called. Make sure you understand your dog’s tendencies and err on the side of being overly-cautious.

15. After a long winter, many dogs put on a few extra pounds
  Summer is the perfect time to increase his level of exercise and get in tip-top shape. A pet that maintains a healthy weight throughout his lifetime will live, on average, 2-3 years longer than an overweight pet! Just make sure not to over-exert your dog – give him or her adequate rest and if  your dog is especially overweight, make sure you ease him or her into physical activity.

  However, summer also brings unique risks to your dog's health that you should keep in mind throughout the season. These summer dangers include:
  Heat stroke occurs when your dog’s body temperature rises dangerously high. It is most common when dogs are left in a car for too long, or when they exercise in the heat. Never leave your dog in the car in hot weather, and always remember that a cracked window is not enough to cool a car. Your dog always needs access to shade outside. Muzzling interferes with a dog's ability to cool itself by panting and should be avoided.
  Sunburn. Dogs can burn in the sun just like people can. White, light-colored, and thinly coated dogs have an increased risk of sunburn. Sunburn causes pain, itching, peeling, and other problems. To prevent sunburn, apply a waterproof sunscreen formulated for babies or pets. Be sure to cover the tips of your dog’s ears and nose, the skin around its mouth, and its back.
  Burned Foot Pads. Sidewalk, patio, street, sand. and other surfaces can burn your dog’s footpads. Walk your dog in the morning and at night when outdoor surfaces are coolest. Press your hand onto surfaces for 30 seconds to test them before allowing your dog to walk on them. If it is painful for you, it will be painful for your dog.
  Dehydration. Prevent dehydration by providing your dog with unrestricted access to fresh and cool water both indoors and outside. Ice cubes and frozen chicken or beef broth encourage your dog to take in more fluids and help keep it cool. You can also feed your dog wet dog food during the summer to increase its fluid intake.

Campfires and Barbecues. Your dog may try to take burning sticks from the fire, which are hard to retrieve since they think that you are playing when you chase them. Food that is stuck to barbecues after cooking can tempt your dog to lick the barbecue and burn its tongue or mouth. Lighter fluid is a poison and should not be left where your dog can reach it. Keep your dog away from barbecues and campfires unless it is on a very short leash.

  Chemicals in the Water. It is no secret that most dogs love to swim. Swimming can be fun for you and your dog and helps prevent heat stroke. However, chlorine can irritate a dog's skin and upset its stomach. Rinse your dog with fresh water after swimming in a pool and do not let it drink more than a small amount of pool water. Standing water, such as puddles, can also be dangerous for dogs to drink due to the presence of antifreeze or other chemicals. Provide your dog with fresh water to drink whenever possible.
  Seasonal Allergies. Fleas, mold, flowers, and other potential allergens are common during summer. Allergies cause itching (and with it, excessive scratching), coughing, sneezing, discomfort, and other problems for your dog. Keep your dog away from allergy triggers when possible, especially if you know it has a particular allergy. Ask your veterinarian about whether your pet would benefit from a canine antihistamine or other medication.
  Keeping Your Dog Safe! Bottom line: keep an eye on your dog. Don't leave her unattended. It's important to always exercise common sense and proceed with caution to help keep your dog safe, regardless of the season. Summertime comes with its own set of hazards, so make sure you are familiar with the risks. Learn what warning signs mean trouble. When in doubt, call your vet right away. When all is said and done, it will be much easier for you and your dog to enjoy the summer.

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Friday, April 25, 2014

Traveling With Your Dog

Traveling With Your Dog
  Bringing your dog on vacation with you just adds to the fun and alleviates the worry of not knowing what’s happening with your dog while you’re on the road. You need to do your homework on dog travel though. Planes and cars aren’t designed with dogs in mind, and you need to know what to expect when you reach your final destination. By planning your dog travel ahead of time, you can make the vacation a truly relaxing time for you and your dog.
  The number of people who travel with their dogs is growing, and so too are the options for pets on the road. From "ruffing it" at campgrounds to enjoying fabulous four-star hotels, the time has never been better to pack up your pet and go.
  Traveling with dogs offers some challenges, but nearly all are surmountable with common sense and creativity. Here’s what you need to know when you’re on the road.

Talk With Your Vet
  While most dogs come to enjoy riding in the car, many need help getting to that stage. Just like some people, some pets get motion sickness, while in others the problem is anxiety. Some dogs vomit when experiencing motion sickness. Other pets may drool excessively, with copious amounts of saliva drenching the upholstery, or pant uncontrollably. Some pets may do all of these.
  Talk to your veterinarian about medications that can help address issues like anxiety and vomiting. For some pets – the anxious ones -- the medication may only be needed while your pet learns to become more comfortable in the car. For those pets with queasy tummies, anti-anxiety and anti-vomiting medication may always be needed when traveling. Your veterinarian can also advise you if medication is not the best option for your dog.

Safety First!
  • It’s a lot safer for everyone if your dog is securely fastened or confined during car trips. A large dog in your lap or a small one bouncing around the accelerator pedal can be distracting and dangerous—and should you have an accident, your unrestrained dog might be thrown about the cab. Popular options for safe dog travel include dog seat belts, crates and car barriers. If you use a seat belt, be sure to put your dog in the backseat. When riding in the front, dogs can be injured or even killed if you have an accident and an airbag deploys.
  • Don’t forget to microchip your dog before leaving home, and attach an ID tag with your cell phone number to his collar. If you’re traveling to multiple places during your trip and you don’t have a cell phone, you can buy inexpensive temporary ID tags to use along the way.
  • Never leave your dog in a hot or cold car unattended. Doing so isn’t just uncomfortable for your dog—it can be life threatening.
  • Identify emergency animal clinics close to locations you plan to visit during your trip. This is an especially important precaution if your dog is enjoying his golden years.
Crating your dog for travel
  It’s natural to feel bad about crating your dog. After all, you wouldn’t want to be crated. But don’t project your feelings onto your dog. They don’t mind the crate and some even feel safer in one.
  • The most important thing you can do is make sure your dog has been well exercised before he goes in the crate. If he’s burned off his excess energy, he’ll be more inclined to rest.
  • Make sure there’s nothing in the crate that can harm your dog. Leashes and loose collars are especially dangerous items that could present a strangling hazard.
  • Keep your energy positive. Don’t present the crate like it’s a prison. Show the dog the crate and open the door. Don’t shove the dog in the crate. Let him go into the crate on his own. When he’s inside and comfortable, you can close the door. Walk away with good energy and body language. If you affect a sad voice and say things like “Don’t be sad. Mommy and Daddy will be back soon,” your dog is going to think something’s wrong and get anxious.
  • Come back in 15 minutes. This will ease the dog’s separation anxiety next time you crate him. But don’t take him out of the crate. Remember that you’re not projecting that the crate is a bad thing. Just open the door and he can come out when he’s ready. See my training video on how to crate your dog for travel.
Identification
In the event that your dog gets away from you on your trip, you can increase the chances of recovery by making sure he can be properly identified:
  • Make sure your dog has a sturdy leash and collar. The collar should have identification tags with the dog's name, your name, and your home phone number, as well as proof of rabies shots.
  • Consider a permanent form of identification, such as a microchip (see AKC Reunite).
  • Bring a recent picture of your dog along with you.
Driving with your dog
   It’s usually a good idea to crate or harness your dog when riding in the car. You’ll be less distracted while driving which is safer for both of you. 

  • Get your dog used to the car by letting him sit in it with you without leaving the driveway, and then going for short rides.
  • Avoid car sickness by letting your dog travel on an empty stomach. However, make sure he has plenty of water at all times.
  • Keep the car well-ventilated. If the dog is in a crate, make sure that fresh air can flow into the crate.
  • Do not let your dog ride with his head sticking out of an open window. This can lead to eye injuries.
  • Never let your dog ride in the back of an open truck. This is extremely dangerous and can lead to severe injuries or death.
  • Stop frequently for exercise and potty breaks. Be sure to clean up after your dog.
  • Car rides are boring for everyone, so instruct your children not to tease or annoy the dog in the car.
  • Never, ever leave your dog unattended in a closed vehicle, particularly in the summer. See Summer Safety for Dogs for more information. If you must leave the car, designate a member of the family to stay with the dog.
Taking your dog on an airplane
  The first thing you need to do is check with the airline for their rules regarding pet travel. Many require a health certificate and may have other rules you haven’t thought of that you don’t want to be surprised with at the airport. Your dog will almost certainly be traveling in a crate and it will probably make everyone’s lives easier if you crate your dog before you enter the chaos of the airport.
  As with car travel, it’s smart not to start the trip on a full stomach or bladder (dogs should fast for at least 6 hours before the trip) and to make a pit stop as close to the departure time as possible. However, make sure your dog has access to water—enough to keep hydrated but not full.
  If your dog isn’t flying with you in the main cabin, don’t have a big goodbye scene. You’ll only upset your dog. If you’re calm, he’ll be calm.

By Train, Bus and Boat
  If you plan to travel by train or bus, you may be disappointed. Dogs are not permitted on Amtrak trains or on buses operated by Greyhound and other interstate bus companies. (Service dogs are permitted.) Local rail and bus companies have their own policies.
  You may fare better if you're taking a cruise. The QE2 luxury cruiser, which sails from New York to England/France, provides special lodging and free meals for your dog. However, you should check the policies of the cruise line or ship you will be traveling on before making plans to take your dog on a cruise with you.


Staying in a hotel with your dog
  As with flying, a little preemptive research is in order. Does the hotel you’re considering even allow pets? Better to find out before you arrive. Pet-welcoming hotels like Best Western will be prepared for your visit, and can even recommend parks, hikes, and other dog-friendly activities. At other hotels, the only thing fit for a dog is the Continental breakfast. It can also be embarrassing if your dog barks or howls in the new room. Don’t inadvertently encourage the barking with affection. Stay calm and assertive and take him out for some exercise to calm him.
  • Keep your dog as quiet as possible.
  • Do not leave the dog unattended. Many dogs will bark or destroy property if left alone in a strange place.
  • Ask the management where you should walk your dog, and pick up after him. Do not leave any mess behind.
  • Remember that one bad experience with a dog guest may prompt the hotel management to refuse to allow any dogs. Be considerate of others and leave your room and the grounds in good condition.
Exploring a new place
   You’re away from home and that means a lot of new sights, smells, sounds, and potential food items for your dog. Make sure you’re vigilant wherever you go about what’s around, especially in the area of things your dogs could ingest. Also, especially around the holidays, there may be a lot of lights, decorations, and snout-level treats that can be distracting or dangerous for your pooch. Keep an eye on him and the new place.

 Don’t Forget to Take Breaks
   Walk your pet well before you hit the road to give her a chance to relieve herself. Once you’re en route, schedule potty breaks at least every few hours. Offer water at these breaks, and keep your pet’s feeding schedule as close to normal as possible. If your pet is on medication for nausea or anxiety, ask your veterinarian when to give the pills – with meals, on an empty stomach, an hour before you leave and so on.
   Even if your dog knows to come when called in your own neighborhood, keep your pet on leash when traveling. Many pets get confused in new places and situations and may not be reliable off-leash, even where it’s allowed. And be responsible: Not only should you pick up after your pet but you should also prevent your pet from bothering others, whether by barking in a hotel room or running up to people who may not like dogs.
  And most important: Remember that even on a day that’s merely “warm” the temperature in a car can reach dangerous levels within minutes – well over 100°F – even if the windows are partially opened.
  Traveling with a dog has never been more popular, and never have there been so many products to help you and hotels to welcome you. Take advantage of dog-friendly America and you’ll both be happier.




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