Tag: Animal Welfare
Teaching Good Holiday Doggie Manners
With the holiday season upon us, many pet parents are planning to gather friends and family for fun festive parties. Keep in mind that although you might be ready to ‘Deck the Halls’, your four-legged friend may not be. Jingle Bells, Figgy Pudding and Tannenbaum create the perfect recipe for misbehavior. The family pooch probably isn’t accustomed to lots of guests and merriment so they might be tempted to act out, if you’re not prepared. So, if you’re stressing about how to manage Fido so he doesn’t steal from the table, raid the trash, beg, jump, and whine, then ‘Rest, Ye Merry Gentlemen (and Ladies)’; Santa isn’t the only one with a list this year.
Check out the following simple ways to help ensure your dog is on his best behavior and is the pawfect host this holiday season.
- Tire Him Out
A tired dog is a good dog. In all the preparation for your holiday party, it’s easy to forget how important it is to exercise your dog. Remember, a bored and restless pooch can get ‘bad to the bone’. Make it a high priority to take your dog out for a long walk or run him around in the yard. With all the preparation and attention to detail you’re doing to make your party perfect, having a wound up dog with pent up energy could mess up the whole works. The day of your party (before the guests arrive) exercise your dog so he can get it all out of his system. Dogs that are taken for regular walks, runs or hikes won’t need to release pent-up energy by chewing, begging or barking. This means he’ll be better behaved and more relaxed, so you can be, too.
- Keep Him Occupied
Be sure that you have an ample supply of your dogs’ favorite toys, treats, or bones – that you KNOW will keep him busy. Toys that stimulate your dog mentally will not only keep him occupied but the mental stimulation will help tire him out. If your dog is a Kong lover, try stuffing a Kong or two with peanut butter and them putting in the freezer – this will keep your pooch busy for a while! Food dispensing toys are also excellent options.
- Practice Good Behaviors
It’s never too late to reinforce and practice good behaviors. Start your dog on a refresher course of the basic commands (sit, lay down, stay, wait, leave it, etc.) today! As always, make sure you have high reward treats on hand. Also, be prepared on the day of your party or gathering with a good supply of those high reward treats so that you can continue to reward your dog for his good behavior.
- Have a Back-Up Plan
Even the most well behaved dogs can forget their manners with all of the excitement and distractions of holiday festivities so it’s important to have a plan B. If your pooch just can’t curb his enthusiasm, place him in his crate, behind a baby gate, or perhaps on a tether. If you do have to separate your pooch, give him something really special to keep him occupied. If your dog normally gets hard biscuits in a Kong, stuffing it instead with a mixture of high-quality dog food and some mashed sweet potatoes will be especially exciting.
- Assign Doggie Duty
In the hustle and bustle of the day, it’s important that your holiday pooch is attended to appropriately. Recruit and assign a family member or friend to help you keep on eye on your little four-legged host. They can help keep him in line, curtail any overly generous food-giving guests, and take your dog out for potty breaks and little walks.
So, don’t worry. With a little preparation and practice and a lot of consistency, your dog’s good manners will so impress your guests (and Santa, too), that you both are sure to earn your spot on the “GOOD LIST” this holiday season.
TripsWithPets.com is the #1 online resource for pet travel. It was named BEST pet travel site by Consumer Reports! TripsWithPets.com offers resources to ensure pets are welcome, happy, and safe when traveling. The website features a directory of pet friendly hotels & accommodations across the U.S. and Canada, airline & car rental pet policies, dog friendly beaches, search by route, pet travel tips, pet travel supplies, along with other pet travel resources.
We board so many dogs and although they all have smelly ‘dog breath’ some have dental disease that can make you almost pass out! Here is some helpful information for you on your dogs dental care!
Bad breath in pets, particularly dogs, is often joked about, but it is not a laughing matter. Dental disease affects up to 80% of pets over the age of three, and just like humans, there can be serious consequences of poor dental health.
How many teeth do dogs and cats have, anyway?
Dogs start out with 28 deciduous (baby) teeth, cats start out with 26 deciduous teeth. By six months of age, these baby teeth fall out and are replaced by permanent teeth, 42 in the dog and 30 in the cat.
Will I find the deciduous teeth, and what happens when they don’t fall out on their own?
You may or may not find the teeth as they fall out. As dogs play and chew on toys, you might see a tooth. Likewise, as a cat grooms, you may find a tooth in the fur. If the deciduous teeth don’t fall out and the permanent teeth erupt under them, this can lead to problems, such as increased tartar formation, malocclusion problems, and gingival (gum) irritation.
When should dental care start with my pet?
The earlier the better. With the help of your Veterinarian, be on the lookout for retained deciduous teeth and malocclusion (bad bite) problems. Your Veterinarian can teach you how to care for your pet’s teeth and gums early on.
How can I tell if my pet has dental problem?
Bad breath is often a first indicator of dental disease. Gently lift the lips and check for tartar, inflamed gums, or missing/broken teeth. Cats may exhibit increased drooling. Both cats and dogs can exhibit reluctance to eat or play with toys, “chattering” of the teeth when trying to eat, lethargy, bleeding gums, eroded teeth, and failing to groom (cats). Dental disease progresses in stages — if caught early, you can prevent further damage and save as many teeth as possible.
How is the rest of the body affected by bad teeth?
Infected gums and teeth aren’t just a problem in the mouth — the heart, kidneys, intestinal tract, and joints may also be infected. The tartar and any infected areas of the mouth contain a multitude of bacteria than can ‘seed’ to other parts of the body. With regular dental care, you can prevent some of these more serious side effects.
Where should I start?
With a new puppy or kitten, talk to your Veterinarian at the vaccination appointments on how to initiate a good dental care program at home. Most Veterinarians are happy to provide brushing lessons, and many carry brushes and toothpaste specifically for dogs and cats. (NOTE: do not use human toothpaste on your pet!)
If your pet is an adult over 3 years of age, it would be wise to schedule a dental check up with your Veterinarian. If a dental cleaning is necessary, it is advisable to do pre-anesthesia blood work to make sure your pet does not have any underlying problems.
My pet needs a dental cleaning — what is involved with that?
As mentioned above, pre-dental blood work is recommended. This is a check on the overall health of the pet to make sure that liver, kidneys, and blood counts are within normal ranges and to reduce any risks possible prior to the anesthesia. Many pets with bad teeth will be put on an antibiotic a few days prior to the dental to calm the infection and reduce possibility of complications.
Your pet will be fasted from the evening before for the anesthesia. The dental itself is similar to a human dental cleaning – tartar removal, checking for cavities, gingival (gum) pockets, loose teeth, any growths on the gums or palate, removal of diseased teeth, and finally, polishing. The polishing is to smooth the tooth after tartar removal, as the tartar pits the tooth. A smooth tooth will not encourage tartar formation as easily as a roughened tooth. Click here for a photo essay on a dental cleaning in a cat.
With good dental care, your pet can enjoy a long and healthy life.
Source Vet Medicine
Source: Worldwide Traveler
To find out whether your pet can travel with you in the cabin or in the hold, call your airline or travel agent before booking your flight. Generally speaking, only cats and dogs are accepted on regular flights. Do research in advance and shop around: every company has its own rules. Transporting animals by air is subject to various laws that can vary considerably from one country to another. In some cases, you may have to change your transporter, destination or dates to travel with Fido or Fluffy.
Check with your airline. For example, Air France and Swissair accept dogs and cats in the cabin, whereas Air Canada requires that any animal, except recognized trained service animals, travel in the cargo hold.
- only cats and dogs under 6 kg (container included) for Air France / under 8 kg for Swissair. USAirways accepts caged birds.
- guide dogs, regardless of their weight
- the animal must travel in a specific container that must respect very specific standards,
- the container must be sufficiently ventilated and allow the animal to stand up and turn around,
- in no event must the animal leave its container during the flight.
- the animal must be clean, healthy, not dangerous, no odor.
- not pregnant.
- must not disturb passengers.
- The container may not exceed a combined length, width and height of 115 cm.
- The container must remain stowed away under your seat for the duration of the entire flight
- the carrier is considered a baggage item.
in order for the animal to travel peacefully, it is recommended that passengers administer, after consultation with a vet, a product to prevent the animal suffering from air sickness or any negative reaction during the flight,
To avoid any unpleasant surprises, find out in advance about the rules in effect in the countries of origin and arrival (e.g., vaccinations, quarantine).
For further information and to find out about costs, contact the reservations department.
In order for your pet to travel on the same flight with you, you must make the request in advance when you make your own reservation with the airline. Keep in mind that ventilated temperature-controlled cargo holds are available only on certain aircraft.
Annual holiday blackout dates
Due to increased passenger and cargo loads, some airlines (such as Air Canada) are not able to transport pets during:
- Christmas holidays
Clients wishing to travel with pets must book flights that fall outside this embargo period.
Additional winter restrictions
On some airlines, the temperature and pressure in the hold are practically the same as in the cabin (Air France, Swissair). From November 1 through March 31, and at any other time when the temperature is 0° C and below, pets are not accepted on some aircraft (Air Canada) since the hold is not heated and the temperature can fall to 2° C.
Obviously there’s a difference between a Labrador and a toy poodle. Dogs and cats under 4.5 kg (10 lb.) are not accepted on some aircraft in the winter.
Check with your airline. For instance, in the US, because of the extreme heat and USDA regulations, airports in the folliowing cities do not accept pets in the baggage compartment between June 20 and September 28: Atlanta (ATL), Fort Lauderdale (FLL), Houston (IAH) Las Vegas (LAS), Miami (MIA), Orlando (MCO) and Phoenix (PHX).
Making a request to travel with your pet
- Pets for which reservations have not been made in advance will not be accepted at the airport.
- You must provide details to the reservations department regarding the dimensions of the cage, as well as the weight and breed of your pet when you call.
- A pet and kennel with a combined weight of less than 70 lbs (32.5 kg) is accepted for travel in the baggage compartment provided the owner is flying on the same flight.
- A passenger may not travel with more than two animals.
- Two pets travelling in one kennel are counted as two pets regardless of combined weight.
- A passenger may not travel with an animal being transported for commercial purposes.
- Submit your request up to 30, and not less than 7, days before the date of your travel. The number of animals is limited by the type of aircraft, so you may have to change your reservation in order to travel with your pet.
Choosing the right carrier
To ensure your pet carrier is suitable for travel and secure for your pet, we recommend that you check in advance with the airline and ask your veterinarian for advice so that your pet can travel comfortably and safely.
Pet carriers must meet the following conditions in order to be accepted for travel
- Only hard-sided kennels are accepted as checked baggage. The majority of carriers are made of hard plastic with holes for ventilation. No part of the animal is allowed to protrude from the carrier. As a result, wire carriers are not permitted. All carriers must be secure and leakproof. Collapsible kennels are not accepted.
- International regulations state that the pet carrier must be big enough to allow the animal to stand, turn around and lie down comfortably.
- Animals over 31 lbs (14 kg) must have their own separate kennel. A maximum of 2 dogs not weighing more than 31 lbs (14 kg) each may travel together in same kennel.
- Any wheels must be removed from pet carriers prior to check-in.
Since airlines assume no responsibility for the care or feeding of pets while in transit, it is most important that you prepare both the cage and the animal ahead of time.
- Feed your pet four to six hours prior to departure, as a full stomach may cause discomfort during travel.
- Give your pet water right up to the time of travel. Be sure to empty the dish at check-In, otherwise spillage during the flight will give your pet a wet and uncomfortable ride. Leave the dish in the kennel so that airline agents can provide water in the event of an extended wait before, between or after the flight.
- Tranquilizers and other medications are not recommended. Consult your veterinarian.
- Cover the bottom of the kennel with absorbent material such as a blanket.
- Do not lock the kennel door as Air Canada personnel may need to access your pet in the event of an emergency.
Many countries place restrictions on the entry of animals. It is imperative that you comply with all restrictions, and are in possession of all documents required by the destination country. Be certain to obtain information on the particular requirements on your countries of departure and arrival. Failure to do so can lead to refused entry, or lengthy quarantines.
All animals are inspected by government veterinary officials upon landing. You may be required to pay for veterinary inspection fees. Local veterinary health certificates obtained from animal clinics are not sufficient to clear government veterinary inspections. In order to obtain these additional documents, such as government approved health certificates, you should contact the consulate or embassy of each destination country.
It is best to take out insurance since most airlines do not assume responsibility in case of loss, delay, injury, illness or death of an animal, whether a pet or not, that they accept to transport.
Animals not permitted to travel
Category 1 and 2 dogs, as defined by the Ministry of Agriculture and Fishing, are not permitted to travel in the cabin, in the hold, or as cargo:
- Category 1 > dogs
So-called attack dogs which do not belong to a breed but are similar in physical appearance to the following breeds: Staffordshire terrier (pitbulls), Mastiff (Boerbulls) and Tosa.
- Category 2 > dogs
So-called guard or defense dogs, including the following breeds: American Staffordshire terrier, Rottweiler, Tosa and dogs with physical characteristics similar to the Rottweiler breed.
The Washington Convention
Implemented in 1973, the Washington Convention restricts or forbids international trade in animal and plant species that are threatened with extinction. It is now in force in 150 countries.
For example, the Convention forbids international commerce of some animal species (gorillas, elephants, deep sea turtles) and carefully regulates trade in others (chimpanzees, parakeets, boa constrictors). For those animals that can be transported, you must obtain a CITES (Convention on International Trade of Endangered Species) permit.
Source: Worldwide Traveler
Source – Pet Finder
October is Adopt-A-Shelter-Dog Month and there are more dogs in need than ever. Check out the articles here for great information on adopting a dog, a dog adoption checklist, tips for the first thirty days of dog adoption and more!
But what if you can’t adopt? Here are some easy ways you can still help:
- Donate your Facebook status. Just paste this message into the “What’s on your mind?” box at the top of your page: “October is Adopt-A-Shelter-Dog Month. Save a life: Adopt a dog! http://www.petfinder.com”
- Tweet, retweet and repeat the following (or your own brilliant message): “October is Adopt-A-Shelter-Dog Month. Save a life: Adopt a dog! http://www.petfinder.com #savedogs”
- Contact your local shelter or rescue group (you can search for groups near you here) and ask if they have a donation wish list or other flyer they’d like to you to post around your office or neighborhood. They may be holding special events for Adopt-A-Shelter-Dog Month which you can help promote.
- Share an adoptable dog or a Petfinder dog-adoption Happy Tail on your blog, Facebook or Twitter (hashtag #savedogs) page each day of the month.
- Sign up as a foster parent or shelter volunteer then tell your friends how great it is. Contact your local shelter or rescue group, or register in our volunteer database.
- Add a Petfinder widget or banner to your Web site or blog.
- Write an op-ed about the importance of pet adoption for your local paper.
- Contact your local shelter or rescue group and offer to photograph their adoptable pets and upload the pics to Petfinder.
- Donate to your local shelter or rescue group or to the Petfinder.com Foundation in honor of Adopt-A-Shelter-Dog Month.
- Pass on an understanding of the importance of pet adoption to the next generation. Talk to your kids, nieces, nephews, grandchildren and other up-and-comers about animal shelters and why Adopt-A-Shelter-Dog Month, and pet adoption in general, is important.
For more information – Adopt-A-Shelter-Dog
This amazing article is from Science Daily – we have so many coyotes in our neighborhood in New Westminster I found this article very interesting.
Coyotes living in cities don’t ever stray from their mates, and stay with each other till death do them part, according to this new study:
The finding sheds light on why the North American cousin of the dog and wolf, which is originally native to deserts and plains, is thriving today in urban areas.
Scientists with Ohio State University who genetically sampled 236 coyotes in the Chicago area over a six-year period found no evidence of polygamy — of the animals having more than one mate — nor of one mate ever leaving another while the other was still alive.
This was even though the coyotes exist in high population densities and have plenty of food to eat, which are conditions that often lead other dog family members, such as some fox species, to stray from their normal monogamy.
To cat around, as it were.
“I was surprised we didn’t find any cheating going on,” said study co-author Stan Gehrt, a wildlife ecologist with Ohio State’s School of Environment and Natural Resources. “Even with all the opportunities for the coyotes to philander, they really don’t.
“In contrast to studies of other presumably monogamous species that were later found to be cheating, such as arctic foxes and mountain bluebirds, we found incredible loyalty to partners in the study population.”
The study appears in a recent issue of The Journal of Mammalogy.
The loyalty of coyotes to their mates may be a key to their success in urban areas, according to Gehrt.
Not only does a female coyote have the natural ability to produce large litters of young during times of abundance, such as when living in food-rich cities, she has a faithful partner to help raise them all.
“If the female were to try to raise those large litters by herself, she wouldn’t be able to do it,” said Gehrt, who holds appointments with the university’s Ohio Agricultural Research and Development Center and Ohio State University Extension. “But the male spends just as much time helping to raise those pups as the female does.”
Unlike the males of polygamous species, a male coyote “knows that every one of those pups is his offspring” and has a clear genetic stake in helping them survive, Gehrt said.
The research was done in Cook, Kane, DuPage and McHenry counties in northeast Illinois. All are in greater Chicago, which is home to about 9 million people and is the third-largest metropolitan area in the U.S.
It’s also home to an estimated 1,000 to 2,000 coyotes. Gehrt has previously said he “couldn’t find an area in Chicago where there weren’t coyotes.”
“You’ve got lots of coyotes in this landscape,” said senior author Cecilia Hennessy, who conducted the study as a master’s degree advisee of Gehrt and is now a doctoral student at Purdue University in Indiana. “You’ve got territories that abut each other. And coyotes can make long-distance forays. So you’d think, based on previous investigations of dog behavior, that cheating would be likely.
“But to find nothing, absolutely nothing, no evidence whatsoever of anything that wasn’t monogamy, I was very surprised by that,” she said.
The finding came through a wider study of Chicago-area coyotes that Gehrt has led since 2000. As the largest study ever on urban coyotes, it’s a long-term effort to understand the animals’ population ecology, how they adapt to urban life and how to reduce their conflicts with people.
“A powerful part of the new paper is that we have long-term field work, behavior observations, to accompany Cecilia’s genetic work,” Gehrt said. “So many genetic studies only analyze samples but know very little about their subjects, whereas we follow these individuals nearly every day and often to the completion of their lives. It’s a nice mesh of lab and field work.”
The scientists used live traps — either padded foothold traps or non-choking neck snares — to catch the coyotes for the study, although pups were simply dug from their dens and held by hand. Small blood and tissue samples were taken from all the animals. The adults, which were anesthetized, also were fitted with radio-collars for tracking their movements and ranges. Afterward, all the coyotes were released where they were caught.
Later, Hennessy, who previously was a plant genetics technician and biology major at the University of Cincinnati, used genetic techniques in the lab to test the animals’ DNA and determine their family trees.
Coyotes maintain monogamy through long-term pair bonding, a term meaning an animal stays with the same mate for more than one breeding season, and sometimes for many.
A male coyote, for his part, practices diligent mate guarding — keeping other males away from the female.
During estrus, which is the time when the female can become pregnant, the pair “will spend all their time together — running, finding food, marking their territory. They’ll always be right at each other’s side.”
“We’ve been able to follow some of these alpha pairs through time, and we’ve had some of them stay together for up to 10 years,” Gehrt said. “They separate only upon the death of one of the individuals, so they truly adhere to that philosophy, ‘Till death do us part,’ ” Hennessy said.
Funding was provided by the Cook County Animal and Rabies Control and by the Cook County Forest Preserve District, and by the Max McGraw Wildlife Foundation.
Source Science Daily
For pet parents looking for pet travelaccommodations that don’t just advertise as “pet-friendly” but have made the leap to “pet-loving”, sniff no further. There are plenty of 5-paw travel accommodations to choose from.
We recently completed a survey of over 200 pet traveling parents and found that pet friendly hotels & accommodations that provide the following top 5 pet-loving amenities desired by pet travelers and their pampered pets, win their business every time.
1. Welcome Gift
Accommodations that create a great first impression do so by demonstrating their “pet loving” commitment by delivering first class comfort to their guest’s loyal companions. From packaged pet treats (in a paper bag with a pretty bow and personalized tag), to a portable water bowl and chewy ball toy, they offer every four-legged friend their very own welcome gift and watch them wiggle and squirm with delight. They understand that it’s the gesture, more than the content or the gift bag that matters. Pet parents appreciate little tokens that welcome their pets as valued guests.
Want to find out what premier pet friendly accommodations include in their pet welcome gift? Check out the Kimpton Hotels and you’ll get dog-gone excited!
2. Pet Bed
Traveling can be taxing. Routines are disrupted, new sights and sounds and experiences can exhaust even the hardiest of travelers. Packing is often an issue, too, with little room left over to haul pet bedding and sleeping paraphernalia. Pet lovers look for accommodations that provide clean, well-kept pet bedding to help their four-legged friends drift off to sleep in comfort.
Westin Hotels provide a perfect example of pet pampering by offering dogs designer beds with luxury bedding that includes over-sized pillows. Their stylish dog beds fit the decorum perfectly, matching the design of the human-size beds precisely.
3. Designated Pet Walking/Potty Area
Providing a designated pet walking/potty area complete with poop bags and garbage receptacles are a must-have for pet travelers. It’s important that this area be clearly marked and as separate from normal traffic areas, as possible. Fenced in areas are particularly appealing to pet owners as they can keep their pet confined, and safe, while allowing for exercise.
Clean, well-lit and safe are what pet travelers are looking for in outdoor accommodations when they travel with their pets. Check out Candlewood Suites and their PAW program (pets are welcome) – they do a great job with this!
4. Concierge Services
Like their human companions, dogs and cats want to see the sights on their vacation, too. Pet friendly accommodations that sniff out the favorite local pet friendly attractions and services ahead of time score big with the jet-setting pet crowd. Pet parents look for hotels & accommodations that truly care about pet guests by providing them with what the need to have a happy and safe stay. They want a concierge who is local and knows the area well, and is devoted to making sure their pets have a 5-star vacation experience.
A couple pet friendly hotel chains that provide pet guests with such services include Affinia Hotels and Aloft Hotels.
5. On-Site Pet Services
Most accommodations don’t allow guests to keep pets in-room unattended, as even the most well behaved may act out when in a strange place. However, on the occasion people guests need to go somewhere without their pet, they are looking for the convenience of on-site pet services that include feeding, refilling water bowls, walking dogs around the immediate vicinity, changing litter, administering meds and providing affection, as needed. Some pet friendly hotels go so far as to offer pet massages and basic grooming!
Loews Hotels do a phenominal job in this department! Their pet friendly services include: gourmet room service menus for cats and dogs, prepared by award-winning Master Chef, specialized bedding, leashes, collars, litter boxes (and litter), pooper scoopers, dog-walking routes, pet placemats, water bowls, treats, doggie poop bags, rawhide bones, catnip and scratch poles, pet walking and pet sitting services.
Today’s savvy pet friendly hotels & accommodations keep in tune to the pet traveler’s wants and needs and cater to both pet parents and their precious pooches and kitties by providing pet pampering services that leave both pets and owners begging for more.
Whether you’re planning a move with your pet, planning a getaway to a pet friendly hotel, or just taking Spot or Fluffy with you to run errands around town, making sure they are properly secured in your vehicle is essential.
One of the best ways to ensure that your precious pet stays safe in your vehicle is to have him travel in a pet travel carrier… also known as travel kennel and crate. However, before you do, it’s important to know the right way to do this. You must be sure to properly familiarize your dog or cat with the carrier before you set out on your road trip. The time it takes to do this depends on your pet.
It’s best to start your dog or cat out at an early age. It generally takes longer for your pet to become comfortable in a travel carrier as they get older. The first step is to choose the proper carrier. When shopping for a travel carrier, be sure it has proper ventilation and sturdy construction. In addition, the carrier should have a secure latch so that your pet cannot escape. As far as size, the carrier should be large enough for your pet to stand up, turn around, and lie down comfortably. The price of a pet carrier varies depending upon the size, whether it’s hard sided or soft sided, and the brand. The starting price is generally around $20.
To familiarize your pet with the carrier, open the door of the carrier and place it in your home. Place your pet’s bedding, some favorite toys, and maybe some treats of his until your pet feels comfortable. Again, this may take a little time so be patient and don’t rush him.
When you are confident that your pet feels comfortable in the carrier, you can then place the carrier in the car. Start off by taking short rides and gradually build up to longer rides. Gauge the stress level of your pet and don’t push it. Short rides can be up and down the driveway if need be.
Ensure that your pet travel is safe. Pet travel carriers are a great option to ensure the well being of your pet when traveling by car. Just remember to start the familiarization process early if you have upcoming travel plans. Safe travels!
By Cesar Millan
With record temperatures around the country, it is important to keep your dogs in mind when it comes to keeping cool. Here are Cesar’s Top 10 Tips for beating the summer heat!
1.) Exercise your dog early in the morning or late at night.
Since these are the cooler parts of the day, this will make the walk more comfortable for both you and your dog. I’m a believer in vigorous exercise for healthy dogs, but this is the time of year to back off on exercise intensity.
2.) Use doggie boots.
You can find these at your local pet supply store. If you can’t walk your dog during the early and later hours of the day, this is a good way of protecting him. Heat rises from the ground, especially on surfaces like cement and asphalt, and dogs absorb and release heat through their feet. Just like boots prevent the dog from absorbing the cold in the winter, they also isolate heat.
3.) Watch for signs of dehydration.
Dogs can’t sweat. They cool off by panting, so an overheated dog will drool excessively. It will become lethargic, its eyes will be bloodshot, and it may appear a little pale. If you lift its skin, it will take longer than usual for the skin to fall back into place.
4.) Keep your dog hydrated!
Different dogs have different needs when battling the heat. Keep in mind that darker coats absorb more heat than lighter coats. Also, overweight dogs are at higher risk for dehydration. Carry a bottle of water when going on a walk with your dog. Better yet have your dog carry it for you in a backpack or a vest! The water in the bottles will keep the dog cooler and also give the dog a sense of purpose.
5.) Find innovative ways to cool your dog.
Don’t have air conditioning? No problem! Find a spot in the shade and set up a kiddie pool. Lay down a wet towel for your dog to lie on. Or simply set up a fan in front of a pan of ice. At the Dog Psychology Center, we have sprinklers that spray the dogs with a gentle mist of water.
6.) Dogs cool from the bottom up.
Make sure to spray the paws and stomach, not just the top of the dog, when spraying it with water. A wet towel does more good on the bottom of your dog than when laid on the top of its coat.
7.) Let your dog dig!
Your dog may resort to finding his own way to avoid the heat. Dog in nature dig their dens not out of frustration but to find food, hide, give birth–or keep cool! If it’s possible, locate a shady area where it’s okay for your dog to dig.
8.) Let your dog check the weather.
Dogs don’t have the Weather Channel, so they don’t know why they are being denied a long walk for the day. Allow your dog to step outside and feel for itself that it is too hot, too wet, or too cold to go on a long walk. Instinctually, the dog will understand that it has to shorten its walk, or simply come back inside where it’s safe.
9.) Never leave your dog in a parked car.
The car retains more heat than an open area, even if it is in the shade. Plus, a dog may get overexcited in the car due to passersby or panic from claustrophobia, making dehydration more likely. On longer trips, make sure you have water for the dog and keep the AC running.
10.) Use hot weather as an excuse to swim more often!
The best activity you can do in summertime or hot weather is swimming. Instead of walking the dog, take the dog on a swim! If you hold on and allow your dog to take you around the pool, it becomes a powerful bonding experience for the two of you, similar to the walk.
Summer is here – kind of. If you live on the west coast it still feels like winter but still the temperatures are changing and it is important to remember to keep your pets safe for when the heat does come.
The following are a few tips to remember to keep fido safe.
Have a wonderful summer!
Most people are aware that leaving a pet in a locked car on a 100F degree day would be dangerous. However, it is the seemingly mild days of spring (and fall) that pose great danger, too. Driving around, parking, and leaving your pet in the car for “just a minute” can be deadly. Cars heat up fast — even with the windows cracked. Check out these sources for additional temperature information:
void Heat Stroke – How to Help
Order the “Don’t Leave Me in Here — It’s Hot!” flyers, posters, and other educational materials from My Dog Is Cool web site to put on cars that have pets in them to alert the owners. (Note: if you see pets or children in cars on warm days, please take action and call the police or fire department – time is critical.)
Signs of heat stroke include (but are not limited to): body temperatures of 104-110F degrees, excessive panting, dark or bright red tongue and gums, staggering, stupor, seizures, bloody diarrhea or vomiting, coma, death. Brachycephalic breeds (the short-nosed breeds, such as Bulldogs and Pugs), large heavy-coated breeds, and those dogs with heart or respiratory problems are more at risk for heat stroke.
If you suspect heat stroke in your pet, seek veterinary attention immediately! Use cool water, not ice water, to cool your pet. (Very cold water will cause constriction of the blood vessels and impede cooling.) Do not aid cooling below 103 F degrees – some animals can actually get HYPOthermic, too cold. Offer ice cubes for the animal to lick on until you can reach your veterinarian.
Just because your animal is cooled and “appears” OK, do NOT assume everything is fine. Internal organs such as liver, kidneys, brain, etc., are definitely affected by the body temperature elevation, and blood tests and veterinary examination are needed to assess this. There is also a complex blood problem, called DIC (Disseminated Intravascular Coagulation) that can be a secondary complication to heat stroke that can be fatal.
Learn more: Tips to prevent heatstroke in your pet
Jogging is also dangerous this time of year. So your dog jogs everyday with you and is in excellent shape – why alter the routine? As the weather warms, humans alter the type and amount of clothing worn, and we sweat more. Dogs are still jogging in their winter coat (or a slightly lighter version) and can only cool themselves by panting and a small amount of sweating through the foot pads. Not enough! Many dogs, especially the ‘athletes’ will keep running, no matter what, to stay up with their owner. Change the routine to early morning or late evening to prevent heatstroke.
Consider your pet’s housing. If they are kept outdoors, do they have shade and fresh water access at all times? I have treated one case of heat stroke in a dog that did indeed have shade and water while tethered under a deck, but had gotten the chain stuck around a stake in the middle of the yard — no water or shade for hours. If you live in a warm climate, it is a good idea to hose down the dog before work, at lunch or whenever you can to provide extra cooling (if you dog is not overheated in the first place).
Not all dogs are excellent swimmers by nature. Especially if Fido has underlying health problems, such as heart disease or obesity to contend with. Consider protecting your pet just as your human family — with a life preserver. If your pet is knocked off of the boat (perhaps getting injured in the process), or is tired/cold from choppy water or sudden storm, a life jacket could be what saves your pet’s life.
Learn more: Pet Life Jackets – Just Another Accessory or a Necessity?
Antifreeze actually a year-round hazard. With the warmer temperatures of summer, cars over heat and may leak antifreeze. (This is the bright green liquid found oozing from that car with the engine fan on.) Also, people change their antifreeze and may spill or leave unused antifreeze out where pets can access it. Antifreeze tastes sweet and is inviting to pets (and children). It is also extremely toxic in very small amounts.
Call your veterinarian (or physician) immediately if any ingestion is suspected. A safe alternative to Ethylene Glycol antifreeze is available, it is called propylene glycol, and while it does cost a small amount more than ‘regular’ antifreeze, it is worth the piece of mind.
Finally, if you are traveling outside of your normal Veterinarian’s locale, it is wise to check out the Veterinary clinics/hospitals in the area that you are visiting, before the need arises. It is better to be prepared for an emergency and not have one happen than to panic in an emergency situation, wasting valuable time.
Amongst pets, dogs are the most frequent travelers. They account for over 85% of pet travelers. Trips to the beach, family vacations, traveling to pet friendly accommodations…no matter what the adventure, most dogs love car rides and can’t wait to hop in and hit the open road. Cats on the other hand – not so much. Most cat’s car travel takes place when they are going back and forth to the vet (no wonder they don’t like the car). However, many cat parents are faced with a big dilemma when they have to move – particularly if the move is a long distance. They are stressed at the thought of putting terrified Fluffy in the car – traveling for hours on end. In addition, a growing number of cat parents would like to include their cat in their daily travels.
We’ve come up with some tips to help make your cat’s car travel experience a better one…for both of you!
1. Pet Carrier Training: Always use a pet travel carrier for your cat when traveling in a car. The carrier should be large enough for your cat to stand up, turn around, and lie down comfortably. Be sure the carrier has proper ventilation. Get him used to their carrier in your house. Place his bedding, some toys, or maybe some catnip or kibble in the carrier and keep the carrier door open. Let your cat go in and out of the carrier at their leisure. Do this until your cat feels comfortable.
2. Familiarity is Comfort: Cats are highly sensitive to the environment and their territory so you want to help to make the car part of their territory. Place a towel or blanket with your cat’s scent on the car seat. Put your cat in the car with you and close the doors. Let your cat explore your car, rub around and spread their scent. Do this a few times a day for a couple minutes and gradually increase the time.
3. Positive Reinforcement: Once your cat is calm in the car, start feeding him in the car for at least a week. If play or catnip motivate him more than food, then let your cat indulge in that while in the car. Again, associating the car with all things good will help make your cat a better traveler.
4. Introduce Carrier in Car: Gradually your cat will begin to accept the car as his territory. When he’s at this point, it’s time to introduce the travel carrier into the car (so be sure you are simultaneously crate training him). Put your cat in the carrier and place the carrier in the back seat or cargo area of your vehicle. Be sure the carrier is secure and away from airbags. Turn on the engine and that’s it. Don’t drive anywhere. Let your cat get used to the noise of the engine and the vibration. Do this at least 3 times a day until your cat gets used to it. Reward your cat as soon as he is let out of his carrier.
5. Short Rides: Once your cat is used to the car and engine, it’s time to move. Back up to the end of the driveway and drive up it again. Do this a few times then take your cat out of the car and into the house. Reward him with play time and treats once you let him out of his crate. When you feel your cat is ready, extend your trip and drive around the block. Slowly, increase the length and duration of your car rides. Again, the key is to do this very gradually and reward your cat after each step. Your cat will let you know if he’s not comfortable with the speed of his “car training.”
6. Calm Energy: Throughout the entire process, it’s important for you to be calm. Pets sense your energy. So, when you’re hyped up and stressed, they will be too.
7. Potty Breaks: If you’re traveling a long distance, you’ll need to consider the issue of potty breaks for your cat. Some cat parents have harness trained their cat. This allows them to walk their cats at rest areas along the way. Otherwise, it is recommended that you keep your drive time down to 8 hours at most. At that point allow your cat to have a potty break at your night’s destination. You know your cat best, so this time could vary.
Whether it’s including your cat while running errands around town or a move across country with your cat, making them happy in the car is essential. Helping your cat become more comfortable traveling in a car definitely takes some time and a lot of patience. Stick with it and take your time…remember, it’s a gradual process that should not be rushed. Safe and happy travels with your cat!
For more information, visit www.tripswithpetscom.