Fourth of July
Families across America love to celebrate with fireworks. For many dogs however, fireworks can be a source of extreme fear and stress. Here are some tips to help with the stress:
• Take your dog for a long walk before the festivities start. This will allow him to potty outside before all of the noise begins and the exercise may help tire him out.
• During firework displays, keep your dog indoors in a confined and secure area with shades closed. You might also try adding some white noise with an oscillating fan.
• Turn on your television or radio with the volume up a bit for an added distraction.
• If your dog does become stressed, try to make the fireworks a cue for fun time to begin. Play a fun game with him and act a bit silly. Your fun behavior and body language can help distract him from the noise outside.
• You can try a pheromone product like Comfort Zone with D.A.P. which can help relax your dog. Plan on exposing your dog to the pheromones at least a couple of weeks ahead of time. • It’s not recommended that you take your dog to a fireworks display. However, if you do, keep him on a leash and check his collar to make sure that it’s properly fit so he won’t slip out of it.
• Make sure your dog’s collar has current identification tags on it, in case he does escape. For extra safety, make sure your pet is microchipped. July 5th is one of the busiest days of the year for local animal shelters. Dogs end up miles from home, confused, disorientated and exhausted. Having an ID tag and microchip can help expedite your reunion.
• If your dog is extremely sensitive, consider consulting your veterinarian for a mild sedative or tranquillizer to help keep your dog calm. There are also herbal remedies that are available which can sometimes help. Speak with your veterinarian about your options. By using these recommendations you can help make the holiday enjoyable for everyone.
• DAP with Comfort Zone at www.petcomfortzone.com
• Rescue Remedy at www.bachflower.com
• Premier Calming Cap at www.premier.com
For more information on the Association of Professional Dog Trainers, visit our Web site at www.apdt.com or call 1-800-PET-DOGS (738-3647) or email information@
Autumn Safety Tips
There’s nothing like the crisp, cool air and luscious foliage to get you excited for the changing seasons. Your pet, too, is probably welcoming a break from summer's hot, sticky weather. But fall is also a time of lurking dangers for our furry friends. From household poisons to cold weather hazards, there are important safety issues to consider.
Below are some tips to keep your pet happy and healthy during the autumn months.
Be Cautious of Rodenticides and Cold Weather Poisons
The use of rat and mouse poisons increase in the fall as rodents seek shelter from the cooler temperatures by attempting to move indoors. Rodenticides are highly toxic to pets and, if ingested, the results could be fatal. If you must use these products, please do so with extreme caution and put them in places inaccessible to your pets.
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.
Keep School Supplies Out of Paws’ Reach
Fall is back-to-school time, and those of you with young children know that means stocking up on items like glue sticks, pencils and magic markers. Although these items are considered low toxicity to pets, gastrointestinal upset and blockages can occur if ingested. Be sure your children keep their school supplies out of your pet’s reach.
Steer Clear of Mushrooms
Fall and spring are mushroom seasons. While 99% of mushrooms have little or no toxicity, the 1% that are highly toxic can cause life-threatening problems in pets. Since most toxic mushrooms are difficult to distinguish from nontoxic ones, the best way to prevent pets from ingesting these poisonous plants is to keep them away from areas where any mushrooms are growing. Please visit our Poisonous Plants page for more information.Contact your veterinarian or the ASPCA Animal Poison Control Center at (888) 426-4435 immediately if you witness your pet eating a wild mushroom.
Watch Out for Wildlife
Autumn is the season when snakes are preparing for hibernation, increasing the possibility of bites to those unlucky pets who find themselves in the wrong place at the wrong time. Pet parents should know what kinds of venomous snakes may be lurking in their environment—and where those snakes are most likely to be found—so pets can be kept out of those areas.
Winter Safety Tips
Frostbite begins when the dog’s body gets cold. The body automatically pulls blood from the extremities to the center of the body to stay warm. The dog’s ears, paws or tail can get so cold that ice crystals can form in the tissue and damage it. The tricky thing to remember about frostbite is that it’s not immediately obvious. Watch for signs of pale or grey skin; the skin may also turn hard and cold. As frostbitten areas warm, they can be extremely painful. Severely frostbitten skin will eventually turn black and slough off.
A second serious winter weather concern is hypothermia. This occurs when a dog spends too much time in the cold, gets wet in cold temperatures or when dogs with poor health or circulation are exposed to cold. In mild cases, the dog will shiver; ears and feet may grow cold. As hypothermia progresses, she may show signs of depression, lethargy, and weakness. As the condition worsens, her muscles will stiffen, her heart and breathing rates slow down, and she will not respond to stimuli. Severe hypothermia is life threatening.