Friday, May 14, 2010

Spring And Summer Pet Safety Tips!

Yep, it's that time of year again. The flowers are blooming and the sun is shining.
Simple tips to keep your pets safe this summer!
  • Hydrate. You and your pets need lots of water to stay hydrated. If you work long hours you might want to consider an automatic waterer to make sure your pets will never run out of fresh water on a hot summer day. My dogs always like to eat ice cubes when it's hot out. You can pour low sodium chicken broth into an ice cube tray and make flavored ice cubes for your dogs to suck on outside.       I have also seen pet owners fill up an empty 2-liter bottle with water and freeze it then leave it in their rabbit or guinea pig cage on a hot summer day to ensure a way for their furry friend to stay cool.
  • Watch out for antifreeze. Hot weather may tempt your pet to drink from puddles of water in the street, that may contain antifreeze and other harmful chemicals. Antifreeze is sweet tasting and extremely toxic. When you’re walking your pet, make sure he/she doesn’t sneak a drink from the street. Antifreeze poisoning is a very painful heartbreaking and unnecessary cause of death. When changing or refilling your antifreeze always water down any tiny little spill, always think of the other animals in the neighborhood that might wander into your driveway or yard. If you live next to an automotive repair place you should be extra cautious.
  • Heat Stroke and overheating: Animals should not be left outside on an overly hot day. Plan ahead for these days. Elderly,young, ill and overweight dogs have a harder time regulating their body temperature. Dogs with snub noses have a hard time staying cool because they can't pant effeciently. If you must leave your pet in your backyard during a hot day keep a close eye on them. If you are away ask a friend or a neighbor to check on them. Also consider a local pet sitter to check on them daily while you are away. Click here to find a local Pet Sitter near you. 
  • Don't leave pets in parked cars for any period of time.  On a warm day, even with the windows cracked, the temperature in a car can reach 120° in literally a matter of minutes. Every summer, animals left in parked cars suffer brain damage and die from heatstroke. If your dogs are like mine and beg to go for rides in the car, only take them in the early hours or late evening when temperatures are cooler. In some states it's just to hot all summer to ride in cars. Use your best judgement.
  • Only use flea and tick treatments recommended by your veterinarian. Some treatments are very toxic.
  • Never let your dogs ride in the back of a pick up truck without a campershell. Many animals die every year from falling or jumping out of the back into oncoming traffic. Flying debris can also hurt your pet. Put them in the cab or in a crate for safety.

  • Pets and pools can be a disaster. Always supervise your pets and kids around any pool. Create a safe enclosed barrier
  • It's best not to take your pets to large crowded events. The loud noises, crowds, stress and heat can be stressfull and dangerous for your pets.
  • The Fourth Of July will be here before you know it! Leave your pet inside with the stereo/Tv on to block out loud noises and to keep them from running away out of fear. Alot of elderly dogs stress out from the loud noises on the 4th of July. If you have an older dog or stressed out dog you might want to check with your vet for a mild tranquilizer for the evening. Make sure your pet is supervised.
  • Always keep an ID tag on your pet. If they tend to knock their metal or plastic tag off. Take a permanent marker and write right on the collar your pets name and phone number.
  • Hiking or Backpacking with your dogs can be great fun. Don't forget to bring. Water, leash, snacks, food if it's going to be a long trip, ID and don't forget to make sure your pet has had his/her rabies vacination. Watch for poisonous plants, wild animals and in some places "traps" off the main trails. Bring a first aid kit, towel and a plastic grocery sack for easy clean up. Always be aware of your surroundings listening for other hikers and wildlife. Respect Mother Earth and keep her clean. If you pack in pack it out. But most of all have a fun and safe summer!

These are just a few safety tips.
It is always a good idea to practice
your first aid skills and learn what
to do in case of an emergency,
including possible

Written by: Carol Lawrence

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