Category: “Safety”

Water Fun vs Water Danger for Dogs

Water Fun vs Water Danger for Dogs
dog underwater after a ball

Photos of dogs underwater are captivating. These two are by award winning photographer Seth Casteel. As much fun as some dogs have in water though, be aware of a some specific dangers too.

Water Danger #1 – Drowning

Yes, most dogs instinctively know how to swim. But like humans, they can jump in and forget their limitations, especially if they have health issues. They can get overly tired, swim out too far into the deep end after a long day of playing ball and literally not have the energy to swim back. Could be a pool, or worse yet, a lake or ocean. As with children, always keep an eye on your dog whenever you’re around water.

Water Danger #2 – Water Intoxication

Dogs can ingest too much water after repeatedly diving into a pool, river, lake or ocean. They start off having so much fun cooling off and frolicking underneath the water but sometimes literally drink in massive amounts of water. Water intoxication is serious and can even cause death. Get your dog to the vet immediately if you notice staggering and vomiting. They can even ingest too much water after playing for long periods of time in a lawn sprinkler! So again, as with a child, watch out for them.

Water Danger #3 – Water Contamination

Bacteria, algae, parasites and chemicals of various sorts are always present in some amount in lakes, oceans and even swimming pools. If your dog has a compromised immune system from a recent illness or disease, it could be especially dangerous. Dogs inhale as well as ingest the whatever is in the water. Swallowing even a minute amount of blue-green algae, for example, can kill a dog. If the lake looks greenish blue or red, keep your furry loved one out of the water. Parasites in the water can cause intestinal problems too – some minor, others major.

Water Danger #4 – Ocean Critters like Jellyfish

Like humans, jellyfish stings hurt dogs too! Without even swimming out into the ocean, your dog can step on a washed-up jellyfish while strolling along the beach with you. It’s always a good idea to take a first aid kit along to the beach that can be used for both humans and pets. Things to include: rubber gloves (so your fingers aren’t stung when pulling off the jellyfish stingers), rubbing alcohol to pour on the tentacles, and baking soda to make a paste and place on the wound.

Bottom Line – Be Aware and Prepared

Just as you would for a toddler, be aware of the water – it’s quality and how your dog is feeling. Panting too much? Break time! Signs of water intoxication or sickness, find the nearest vet.

Dogs Die Within Minutes Left Inside Hot Cars

Dogs Die Within Minutes Left Inside Hot Cars

YOU, of course, know better than to leave your precious furry family member alone in car while you “run into the store for a minute”. Unfortunately, though, others often do and it doesn’t take long for the dog to overheat, dehydrate or even die.

If the outside temperature is 85, it will be over 100 within ten minutes even with the windows down. On a cloudy 72 degree day, the temperature inside a car can reach 90 degrees within just ten minutes even with the windows partially down.

It’s not only inhumane to leave a dog inside a hot car, in California it’s also illegal – Penal Code 597.7. The owner can be fined up to $500 if the dog’s health is jeopardized or dies. Officers also have the right to break into the car, even if it means breaking car window, to rescue the dog.
What should you do if you see a dog left inside a car?

First, write down the make, model, color and license number of the vehicle and then visit nearby businesses and see if you can locate the owner to tell them of the dog’s distress.

If you’re unable to find the owner, call 911 and give them the location and vehicle information.

If possible, stay nearby until the officer arrives.

5 Pet-Conscious Tips For Valentine’s Day

5 Pet-Conscious Tips For Valentine’s Day

Does your heart melt whenever you look into the soft, imploring eyes of the one you love? Does it skip a beat at the sound of your sweetheart’s voice as you walk in the door at the end of a long day? Do you pause in the middle of the day to sigh, thinking of your honey’s warm, wet nose, and furry ears?

It’s love, and we know it — dogs and cats make the best Valentine’s ever. There’s no need to get them chocolates, and they have no use for flowers. In fact, these gifts are actually dangerous for them. But do you know why?

Here are five great tips that help will keep your pets safe this Valentine’s Day.

Melts in Your Mouth, Not in Theirs. Everyone knows that chocolate causes abnormally high heart rhythms in dogs, among other problems. But not everyone is aware that baking chocolate is especially toxic. While an M&M or two may not do any harm, a dog or cat that snatches a large chunk of baking chocolate from the counter may end up in the ER. It is essential to keep all chocolates out of your pet’s reach. Yes, even that last raspberry-filled nugget from the assorted box of chocolates no one ever seems to want to eat.

Skip the Candygram. Sugar-free candies and gums often contain large amounts of xylitol, a sweetener that is toxic to pets, especially dogs. If ingested, it may cause vomiting, loss of coordination, seizures, and in severe cases, liver failure.

Restart the Heart. If your dog or cat should ingest large amounts of chocolate, gum, or candy, it may go into cardiac arrest. Be prepared by learning the proper methods for artificial respiration and cardiopulmonary respiration (CPR), both of which can be found in our emergency section.

A Rose is Just a Rose. But then again, it can also be a something that hurts your pets. The aroma from your floral arrangement may be too enticing for your dog or cat, and it only takes a nibble to cause a severe reaction. Even small amounts may lead to cases of upset stomachs or vomiting, particularly if the plant or flower is toxic. Be extremely careful if your arrangement contains lilies, as these lovely flowers are fatally poisonous to cats.

To Give or Not to Give. Are you planning to gift a loved one a new puppy or kitten for Valentine’s Day? You may want to reconsider. Mull it over and do your homework — animals are not disposable, nor can they easily be repackaged, regifted, or returned if the recipient is not pleased.

New Year’s Resolutions for Pets

New Year’s Resolutions for Pets

Your pets depend on you for making their new year safer and more comfortable.  Here are some things you can do to ensure 2015 is the best year ever for them:

Be sure your pet is current on vaccinations. This will prevent illness and the spread of illness and keep your pet healthy. It’s also required by law.

Be sure your pet has proper identification should he get lost. A collar with a tag including your name, address and phone number, as well as an alternate phone number. You should also have current rabies tags on your animals.

Consider having your pet microchipped. This is a simple, non-surgical procedure that will ensure your pet’s return if it winds up in an animal shelter.

If you haven’t already, get your pet spayed or neutered. This will prevent pet overpopulation and reduce the chances for cancer in both males and females, as well as eliminate your pet’s urge to roam and mark.

If your dog has behavioral problems, now is the time to sign up for Pet University.

If your dog is not on heartworm preventive, make sure to have him tested for heartworms and begin the monthly preventive.

8 Reminders to Keep Your Dog Safe and Healthy in the Heat

8 Reminders to Keep Your Dog Safe and Healthy in the Heat

Summer is here, our pets are depending on us to take care of them.

  1. Never, ever leave your dog in the car
  2. Make sure your dog has unlimited access to fresh water
  3. Make sure your dog has access to shade when outside
  4. Take walks during the cooler hours of the day
  5. When walking, try to stay off of hot surfaces (like asphalt) because it can burn your dog’s paws
  6. If you think it’s hot outside, it’s even hotter for your pet – make sure your pet has a means of cooling off
  7. Keep your dog free of external parasites (fleas, ticks) and heartworms – consult your veterinarian about the best product for your pet
  8. Consider clipping or shaving dogs with long coats (talk to your veterinarian first to see if it’s appropriate for your pet), and apply sunscreen to your dog’s skin if she or he has a thin coat

Travel Tips for Pets

Travel Tips for Pets

By Air – Many airlines will not ship animals during summer months due to dangers caused by hot weather. Some will only allow dogs to fly in the early morning or in the evening. Check with your airlines for specific rules.

If you do ship a dog, put icepacks or an ice blanket in the dog’s crate. (Two-liter soft drink bottles filled with water and frozen work well.) Provide a container of fresh water, as well as a container of frozen water that will thaw over the course of the trip.

By Car – Keep your dog cool in the car by putting icepacks in his crate. Make sure the crate is well ventilated.

Put a sunshade on your car windows.

Bring along fresh water and a bowl, and a tarp or tent so you can set up a shady spot when you stop. Keep a spray bottle filled with water to spritz on your dog to cool him down.

By RV – A dog’s safety should not depend on the air conditioning and generator systems in an RV or motor home. These devices can malfunction, with tragic results.

If you leave your dog in an RV with the generator running, check it often or have a neighbor monitor it. Some manufacturers have devices that will notify you if the generator should malfunction.

Never leave an RV or motor home completely shut up, even if the generator and AC are running. Crack a window or door or run the exhaust fan.