Seasonal Safety Tips

​Summer Safety

Summer time can bring warm, sunny days to humid and stormy nights. If your pet starts to change their behavior, there could be a storm on its way. They tend to whine or meow more, constantly pace, and hide under a bed or couch. Here are a few things you can do to make them more comfortable and feel safe during the stormy ​activity.​

​1) Set up a quiet area for your pet. It can be in a closet or in a dark room.

2) Try to keep them away from windows. Some dogs have been known to break through panes of glass in an attempt to get away from the storm.

3) Get your pets microchipped! Should they decide that those fireworks are just too loud and scary they may very well do what ever they can to get away. If they do, that microchip will get your pet home, as long as it is up to date with the most recent phone numbers and address. Shelters and vets get over run with stray animals during the storm and firework seasons.

4) If your pet is outdoors and there is inclement weather on its way, bring them inside. It will help keep them safe from lightening strikes and keep them dry.

Enjoying the great outdoors
Spending time outdoors with family, friends, and your pets can be enjoyable for all. But even during the summer month’s precaution must be taken to keep your pet healthy. The following tips will help you keep your pet safe and happy.

1) When the temperature gets as high as 80 degrees the sun can be devastating. Dogs cool down by panting and sweating through their paws. Be sure to limit the amount of time they stay outside and bring them in if they begin to pant too heavily/quickly.

2) Watch those shot nosed breeds! These dogs need special care in warm/hot weather as they can overheat quickly and die. They have to work harder to breath and when they can't get enough air to help cool them down, they can overheat quicker.

3) Watch those young puppies and older adults! They need extra care in the hot weather.

4) If your dog stays outside be sure that they have a dog house that is placed in a cool and shaded place. Even a tarp placed over the top of a dog kennel can help block the sun and heat. Dogs don't like the heat anymore than you do. Make sure that the area you picked is shaded through out the entire day.

5) Be sure they have plenty of water at all times so they can keep hydrated. Without the proper amount of water they can be prone to heat stroke. To prevent the dog from tipping over the bowls dig a hole and put a 5 gallon bucket in half way down.

6) Heat and humidity can cause dehydration and heatstroke.
    Signs of dehydration: panting, drooling, a dry mouth, gums and nose, reduced skim elasticity, reduced capillary refill time and sunken eyes.
    Signs of heatstroke: raised body temperature, heavy panting, drooling, vocalization, glazed eyes, rapid heartbeat, restlessness, excessive thirst, lethargy, fever, dizziness, vomiting, bright red tongue, and collapse.
    Dehydration and heatstroke come on quickly and cause death. Remove your dog from the heat into a cool place and pour cool (but not cold!) water on them to help cool them down. Then contact your vet right away.

7) Mosquitoes cause heartworms in dogs and cats if they are not protected. Heartworms are very hard to treat and are potentially lethal. To protect your pet from heartworms be sure to get the monthly heartworm preventative from your vet.

8) Ticks and fleas can infest your dog very quickly and if they are not eliminated they can cause dehydration and loss of weight. Ticks also carry lime disease that is not only deadly for your pet but can be transferred to you. To protect your pet from fleas and ticks ask your vet for a monthly topical medicine.

9) Dogs and cats feet are very sensitive to hot pavement.

10) Never leave your pet in a car. Ever! Even with a car parked in the shade, and the windows rolled partly down, and leaving out water, the temperature inside can reach 10 degree’s higher than the outside in just 5 minutes. This means that your car turns into an OVEN. This can cause heat stroke and even death. It’s best to leave your pet at home if you are running out to do errands. Shaving your dog during the summer months can sometimes help with keeping your pet cool. The fur on your pet will help to protect their skin against the sun. All dogs can get sunburned; especially light skinned dogs. So be sure your dog is not prone to sunburns before they get shaved.

Hiking the great outdoors

Love to go hiking? Love to bring your dog along with you? Going out camping or going for hikes can be great fun and even challenging. Some dogs enjoy a good romp through the wood trails and maybe even climbing up hills and mountain trails. But there are some safety tips that you should know about before deciding of that hike is really safe for your pet.
1) Walking your pet in the early morning or late evening will help to eliminate over heating and heat stroke.

2) Be sure to bring lots of water with you no matter where your walk takes you. Especially for the smaller dogs.

3) Humidity makes it difficult for pets to breathe as well as weigh down their coat. If it’s humid outside you may want to think about shortening the length of time you are out.

4) Be sure to do research on your dog’s breed when it comes to being outside. Some dogs have a harder time in the heat and humidity than others and are more susceptible to having breathing issues. Examples are Pugs, Boxers, Bulldogs, Boston Terriers, and Shih Tzus.

5) When taking your dog on long walks through the woods and trails, be sure to walk your dog on a leash that is no longer than 6 feet. Flexi-leads allow the dog to wander into brush and trees which not only will tangle up you and your dog but may also lead to potential dangers. It will also help to prevent them for eating things off the forest floor they shouldn’t. Some wild mushrooms are toxic to dogs.

6) Snakes are very common to be found among the brush and leaves. As you walk, keep your dog close to you and stomp your feet to keep the snakes away from you and your pet. The sound alerts them to your presence and they will usually head in the opposite direction.

​​copperhead snake

Copperhead Snake - venomous.

copperhead snake

Copperhead Snake - The heart shaped head and vertical slit eyes are indications of a venomous snake.

black snake

Black Rat Snake - non-venomous.
Eats mice, rats, and even baby copperhead snakes so they are good to have around your house and garden. 

7) There’s also plenty of wildlife in the woods and trails. Keeping your dog leashed will help prevent them from becoming entangled with squirrels, deer and even raccoons.

8) Be sure that your dog is up to date on all their required shots and that they have some sort of ID. Whether it be an ID tag or microchip, ID is the best way to get your dog home to you should he slip the collar or leash and run off into the woods.

9) Always be sure to bring poop bags with you on your hike. As annoying as it might be to pick up after your pet, leash laws and defecation laws are in effect. Even if you’re in the middle of the woods. Most parks and hiking trails have poop stations along the way for your convenience.

10) Be sure you check your dog over for ticks, fleas, and any other scratches or marks after you’ve enjoyed your hike together.

Another fun pass time is swimming in the pool or lake with your dog. Make sure your dog wears a life vest for properly for their size and also help them when they first get in. Throwing a hot dog into a cold pool can cause them to go into shock and ultimately drown. Be sure that they do not spend too much time in the pool with out assistance and constant supervision.

dogs swimming. one is in a life vest

Holiday Safety Tips

​Holidays can be a time of joy, fun, laughter, and good times. But not every member of the family will be able to partake in the festivities. There are many hazards when it comes to the holidays. Each year during the various holiday seasons, thousands of pets are seriously injured and/or become deathly ill.  As your family gathers to celebrate the upcoming holidays, keep in mind the dangers that could potentially exist for your 4-legged friends.

The following tips will help to keep your pet safe during the Fourth of July celebration.

1) Keep alcohol away from your pets. They can be poisonous and potentially lethal. Other foods such as onions, grapes, and raisins are also poisonous to your pet.

2) Sunscreen and insect repellent that you use on yourself is not safe for your pet. If you feel that your pet needs some repellent on those relentless bugs or might need some sunscreen on their noses, be sure you get products that are specifically made for pets.

3) Lighter fluid and matches should stay out of reach of your pets. Ingesting either of these is poison toward your pet and could result in difficulty breathing, and even kidney disease.

4) Don’t feed your pet anything off the dinner table. Some foods can be toxic for your pet and other foods, such as chocolate, can be lethal.

5) Though playing with glow jewelry may be fun for you and the kids never allow your pets to wear or play with it. The luminescent substance inside could result in gastrointestinal irritation and blockage if ingested.

6) Keep oil products that repel bugs out of reach of your pet.

7) Never light fireworks around your pets! Not only are they dangerous when used around your pets that could result in severe burns and trauma to the face and paws of curious pets, but it’s also potentially toxic.

8) Fireworks are no fun for pets at any time. The fireworks are terrifying to most pets and have even caused some pets to break through windows in order to run away from the noise. It also hurts their ears and could cause damage. Its best they stay home if you are headed to a park or to be kept safe in a room where the noise will be limited if you stay home.

9) Get your pets microchipped! Should they decide that those fireworks are just too loud and scary they may very well do what ever they can to get away. If they do, that microchip will get your pet home, as long as it is up to date with the most recent phone numbers and address. Shelters and vets get over run with stray animals during the storm and firework seasons.

10) When having a bonfire out back, be sure to keep your pet away from it. Coming into close proximity can cause burns from fly away pieces or burn their feet on the ashes on the ground.​

​With these tips in place you can make your summer, and holidays enjoyable for the entire family.

To get some travel and boarding safety tips, visit the Pet Travel and Boarding​ page.​