October: Adopt a Shelter
Quiz: Are You Ready For A Dog?
Save a Stray
Cold Weather Suggestions
Follow these holiday tips to help your pet enjoy the holidays without illness or injury:
1. Secure garbage in bins with dog-proof lids or behind locked doors. Dogs may chew up holiday throwaways such as meat scraps, bones, paper, foil or plastic flavored with food, and even gift-wrapping and ribbon, which can absorb food flavors. Ingesting these items can result in vomiting, diarrhea or intestinal perforation or obstruction. Also do not leave paper, ribbons or yarn out after you've wrapped presents. A bored or curious pet may choke on them.
2.Read labels on products such as tree water preservatives and artificial snow and make sure they are non-toxic products.
3. Keep alcohol away from your pets. Alcohol even in small amounts can be toxic. An ounce of 20- to-40- proof alcohol can put your dog in a coma.
4.Keep all poinsettias, holly and mistletoe out of reach of your pets. They are toxic if ingested. Eating the needles of both real and artificial trees can cause intestinal blockage.
5.When decorating for the holidays place lights and ornaments in safe places. Avoid glass ornaments because they might knock them down, and be aware that your pet may eat tinsel or other decorations. Consider a smaller living or cut tree that can be put on a tabletop, making it harder for your dog to reach decorations. Secure larger trees to a wall to prevent tipping, and use a screen around the base to block access to electrical cords and gifts. Do not use edible decorations.
6.If traveling with your pet, be sure all vaccinations are current and carry your rabies certificate with you (this is the law in many states).
7. Anticipate guests arriving at your home and confine your dog to prevent him from escaping out an open door and running away.
8. Reduce your dog's stress around this busy time by maintaining your dog's feeding and exercise schedule. Set aside a special place where your dog can get away from the excitement and have a quiet time.
9. Food is the NO.1 holiday hazard for dogs. So, be sure you do NOT feed any bones especially chicken or turkey. They splinter easily and can cause choking. Do NOT feed or allow your dog to have any chocolate; it is very toxic to dogs. It can cause vomiting, diarrhea, seizures, or even death. Also, be aware that if you wrap a food product for a gift and put it under your tree that your dog can very easily get to the item, unwrap it and eat it. Ask guests not to give your dog treats from the dinner table.
10.Put away children's toys after they open them. Small toys and rubber balls are common causes of choking and intestinal blockage in dogs.
11.Display candles on high shelves, and use fireplace screens to avoid singed whiskers and painful burns.
12.Tuck cords out of reach. Bored dogs and teething pups often get electrocuted when they chew them.
Preparing Pets For Cold Weather
Without protection from the elements, dogs can develop frostbite or hypothermia -- a potentially deadly condition that may occur if their temperature drops even a few degrees. At the very least they can be cold and miserable or even have ice balls form between their toes.
With a few simple precautions you can keep your pets cozy no matter what winter throws your way -- and even save their lives should they accidentally spend too much time in the bitter cold.
1. Perhaps the most important consideration for preparing your pet for winter is nutrition. Outdoor pets in particular require more calories in the winter to generate enough energy to cope with cold. A high quality nutritionally balanced diet is adequate to meet these increased demands, therefore most pets will not require supplementation with vitamins. In addition to a good diet, fresh water should be offered several times a day.
Indoor pets may actually require less food in the winter since they tend to be less active. Play periods and walks should be continued, but geriatric dogs, short-haired dogs, and those with health problems should wear a sweater on cold days.
2. Outdoor pets also require housing during cold weather. The shelter should be elevated, insulated, wind- and watertight. The shelter should not be so large that they cannot preserve their body heat. Bedding should be kept clean and dry.
3. If you have a short-haired dog outside, consider a sweater for any long exposure to the elements.
4. Shivering is the earliest indication your dog is too cold. As hypothermia progresses, the dog becomes lethargic and weak, and its gums may turn pale or bluish.
5. Frostbite is dangerous because it normally goes unnoticed beneath fur. It affects ears, feet, tail, scrotum and mammary glands. After the initial numbness, pain and skin sloughing may occur.
6. Don't leave your dog outdoors after cold-weather exercise. Dry your dog off and bring it indoors and let it rest and get warm.
7. Antifreeze is extremely toxic. Store antifreeze where it cannot be reached by pets and/or children. If you suspect that your pet has ingested antifreeze, do not wait for symptoms...get your pet to your veterinarian immediately.
8. Another winter hazard to pets is road salt. After a snow, light or heavy, they spread salt all over the road. When you take your dog out for a walk watch out for the road salt when ever possible. If you can use the side walk that would help greatly. If not, once you get home, you should check if their paws have salt stuck in between their pads. After that you should wipe their paws, and make sure they do not lick them! (Road salt can be toxic.)
Handy Winter Equipment
1. Sweaters, rain gear, fleece wraps, snowsuits (for the big outing), coats, and doggie booties (so their paws don't get cold and get ice stuck between them).
2. Heating pads (some are microwaveable) and thermal dog beds (if they are to be used outside, be sure they are made for outside use).
3. Pet doors, so your dog can come inside if it gets too cold.
4. Water bowls with heating elements.
Leaving Dogs in Cars
Leaving your dog in the car during winter is also hazardous; the dog might freeze to death or get hypothermia.
Warm Weather Suggestions
**Too much sun can dehydrate dogs and/or make them ill**
Do not force your dog to go into the water. Salt water can irritate their paws and infect their ears. The dog might also get very hot so spray them with regular water before returning home.
Do not let your dog stick its head outside the window because dust particles may irritate its eyes and they may try to jump out of the window.
Fleas and Ticks
Dogs can pick up a lot of ticks while outdoors. A vet can recommend various sprays, oils, powers, or bath preparations.
Jogging in the heat may damage a dogs paws. If you have an elderly dog extensive jogs may be injurious or even fatal. So try taking jogs early in the morning or late at night so the pavement is not as hot.
Leaving Dogs in Cars
Leaving a dog in the car may be life threatening, even if the window is open or the car is in the shade. Temperatures can reach 160 degrees within minutes.
Make sure your dog has all his vaccination shots because warm weather brings out animals with disease like rabies and distemper.
Make sure your dogs water bowl is ALWAYS full with water. Without water your dog might receive heat exhaustion.