How Seasonal Changes Can Affect Your Pets

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Seasonal Changes Affect Our Pets

Seasonal changes such as amount of daylight and temperature have been known to trigger significant hormonal changes in animals, and can altering metabolism that may influence the amount of food intake. When temperatures rise, animals become less active and need less energy, just as when temperature falls animals tend to need more energy. As the temperatures begin to rise or fall, it is important to consider how seasonal changes will affect our loved ones. Outdoor animals are even more susceptible to weather changes and they can easily become the victims of improper shelter, lack of fresh water, anti-freeze poisoning, and even heat stroke.

Some Pet Tips For Seasonal Changes

Overheating Pets need lots of water during the Spring and especially Summer months. To help them stay cool, you could throw some ice cubes into their water dish and keep it filled with fresh cool water. Make sure they have shaded areas to rest, and bringing them in the house from time to time will help tremendously. You could also drape a damp cloth over your pets neck and head to keep them cool if they will allow it. It is important to remember to never leave your animal in your car as temperatures rise rapidly during the Spring and Summer months, even if you have the windows open. As the weather begins to cool, it is very important to consider how seasonal changes affect our pets.

Seasonal Changes: Know the Rules

Outdoor animals can become the victims of improper shelter, lack of fresh water, anti-freeze poisoning, frostbite, and possibly hypothermia. Adding insulation to doghouses is a huge help, and making sure beds are up from the ground, especially cold concrete can make all the difference in your pets comfort. It is important to inspect paws regularly for damage like cracked pads, snow, and ice damage to paws. You should also position protective screens around areas like fireplaces that can be enjoyable, yet dangerous to our pets. Keep temperatures fairly level throughout the house as animals are more sensitive to changes than we are. Use sweaters, hats, and paw pads if your pet will allow it, they can make a massive difference in your pets comfort during the cold winter season. You might even want to consider using heated beds for your loved ones.

Pet Separation Anxiety

pet seperation anxietyIt isn’t just children who suffer from the back to school blues—pets can suffer too. After a long, fun summer, an empty house can be a difficult adjustment for pets. Pet Sitters International advises pet owners to become familiar with the signs of pet separation anxiety and how it can be treated.Continue Reading

Easter Holiday Pet Safety Tips

 

Easter Holiday Pet Safety Tips

Learn pet safety tips for Easter. Animal expert, Diana L. Guerrero shares Easter pet safety hints and alternative gifts for Easter. Animal clinics and veterinary hospitals see increased visits during the spring holidays. Animal behaviorist and animal book author, Diana L. Guerrero shares tips to avoid endangering animals during Easter and other spring holiday celebrations.

Animal Expert Pet Safety Tips For 
Easter Celebrations

Pet precautions should be taken during the spring celebrations like Easter according to animal behaviorist, Diana L. Guerrero. “Pets, like kids, love to get into forbidden goodies. Unfortunately, raiding pets getting into the chocolate supply can face needless suffering-or death,” she said.

According to Guerrero, each spring animal clinics and veterinary hospitals see an increase in visits during the springtime holidays. Easter poses the greatest hazards to critters living with chocolate lovers.

“Chocolate is toxic to animals and can be fatal because it contains a caffeine derivative (theobromine) and pets cannot fully metabolize chocolate. If enough is ingested it can create complications or kill an animal.” Guerrero said.

Symptoms from chocolate ingestion include hyperactivity, tremors, racing heartbeat, and seizures. Damage to the liver can also occur and is not so obvious. Guerrero also said, “It is risky to leave boxes of candy out anywhere in the house. As little as four ounces is enough to kill a ten pound dog or cat.”

Some flowers and plants can be toxic and Guerrero encourages pet owners to check with their veterinarians for a complete list for dogs, cats, or birds. Be sure to keep baskets and gifts of flowers and potted plants out of reach of your critters.

“Animals love to explore with their mouths and make playthings out of everything so expect the worst and keep those lovely gifts and treats out of reach.” Guerrero suggests. “Other hazards can include alcoholic beverages and wrapping items. Cellophane, ribbons, balloons, and other festive wrappings or decorations can be ingested and cause complications or death. Alcohol, often left out in glasses during celebrations, is another toxic item for pets and should not be given to any critter.”

During Easter and May Day celebrations make sure you have special chew treats to occupy pets during egg hunts and other related activities. Also take care to note where all those tidbits are hidden so that the pets don’t find them at a later date and get sick.

Guerrero said, “In the past, holiday promotions included giving live chicks, ducks and bunnies. Thousands of these animals died from lack of proper care and stress. Giving a live pet during any holiday is inhumane.”

Guerrero stressed that better efforts teach children about responsible pet ownership or about being animal caretakers. More appropriate efforts included the gift of a stuffed animal and an adoption certificate, or an Easter basket with novelty items.

She said, “Many zoos, farms, and shelters allow you to sponsor the care of an animal. These efforts help creatures of all types and teach responsible stewardship. You can also sponsor wildlife habitat. Certificates or books for animal lovers can be included in your baskets ”

Guerrero is the author of one such book. “What Animals Can Teach Us about Spirituality: Inspiring Lessons of Wild and Tame Creatures” (SkyLight Paths Publishing) is being included in local baskets for animal lovers and spiritual seekers. The text contains stories of wild and domestic animal behavior and analogies of how animals spark personal and spiritual growth for humans.

If you still insist on giving a live critter, remember that Easter babies require special care, feeding and temperatures. Ducks and chicks can carry salmonella and are not ideal pets since 
children can break their bones or cause other injuries by accident, other pets may maim or kill them, and they are not as amiable to attention. Guerrero lamented, “Most Easter pets die in a few days or end up at animal service agencies where they are destroyed because they cannot be placed.”

Bunnies are cute when young but can live long lives. Unless trained, many rabbits do not like being confined and cuddled. They can bite or inflict pain to youngster by struggling and kicking with their hind legs. Rabbits can also be destructive and messy. These lagomorphs are at risk from dogs and cats, and many kids exhibit allergies to these animals.

April Is Pet First Aid Awareness Month

April Is Pet First Aid Awareness Month

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Monday, April 02, 2012 — April is Pet First Aid Awareness Month and a great opportunity for pet owners to brush up on tips from the American Red Cross to keep their animals safe and healthy as we head into spring and summer.

HEAT STROKE Heat stroke is one of the most common problems pets face in the warmer weather when they are not yet used to the warm temperatures. Pet owners should remember that the inside of a car can quickly reach 120 degrees in warm weather and should not leave their animals in the car, even during short trips. This can quickly lead to heat stroke. The signs of heat stroke include:

  • Heavy panting and being unable to calm down, even when lying down.
  • The pet’s gums may be brick red, they may have a fast pulse rate, or they may not be able to get up.

If someone suspects their pet has heat stroke, they should take the pet’s temperature rectally. If the temperature is above 105 degrees Fahrenheit, they should cool the animal down. The easiest way to do this is by using the water hose. Stop cooling the animal when the temperature reaches 103 degrees. Bring the pet to the veterinarian immediately as heat stroke can lead to severe organ dysfunction and damage.

OTHER HAZARDS Open doors and windows can be hazardous to a pet. The animal may try to get outside, increasing the risk of falling from windows or being hit by a vehicle. Some plants and flowers can be hazardous. For instance, many lilies are very poisonous to cats. Visit the ASPCA Poison Control web site to find out which plants and flowers are poisonous to animals. If someone thinks their animal is ill or may have ingested a poisonous substance, they should contact their veterinarian.

PET FIRST AID Courses are available at many Red Cross chapters on how to care for your pet. The Red Cross has also developed Dog First Aid and Cat First Aid Guides with DVDs that teach basic responsibilities like spaying/neutering and giving medications, to performing CPR and preparing for disasters. Visit Redcross.org/training or call 1-800 RED CROSS to see when classes are available. The Guides are available through the Red Cross Store.

HOW TO KEEP YOUR PET HEALTHY Pet owners can follow these important steps to help keep their pet healthy:

  • Give pets plenty of exercise.
  • Make sure they have plenty of fresh, cool water.
  • Make sure they get regular yearly checkups with their veterinarian, and are up to date on vaccines, especially rabies.
  • Get pets spayed or neutered.
  • Keep dogs on leashes outside – another animal may be too much temptation
  • Know how to perform CPR and provide basic first aid until veterinary care is available

EMERGENCIES AND YOUR PET Don’t forget to include pets in planning for emergencies in your home or neighborhood:

  • Make plans to take your pets with you if you have to evacuate.
  • Most Red Cross shelters cannot accept pets because of health and safety concerns and other considerations. Know which friends, relatives, hotels, boarding facilities will accept pets in an emergency.
  • Assemble an easy-to-carry kit with emergency supplies for pets:

◦                      Leashes, harnesses and/or carriers

◦                      Food, drinking water, bowls, manual can opener

◦                      Medications and copies of medical records

◦                      Current photos of the pets

Pet First Aid Awareness Month is a great time for people to learn how to protect their pet and keep them healthy. More information on how to keep pets in good health are located on the Red Cross Pets and Disaster Safety Checklist.

When It Comes to Stopping Animal Cruelty, It’s Good to Be Nosy

Signs of Animal Cruelty

  • Animals that shrink or cower from contact
  • Animals left exposed in severe weather
  • Emaciation
  • Limping
  • Untreated wounds
  • Missing hair or fur
  • Dirty or confined quarters
  • Strong odors and lack of sanitation
  • Chained and infrequently exercised animals

Recognizing Cruelty and Taking Action
Hitting defenseless animals, keeping them chained without exercise or leaving them exposed in severe weather all count as abuse. Mistreating animals can (and often does) escalate into domestic assault. Studies have shown a link between violence toward animals and violence toward spouses, children and elders. If you witness an animal in imminent danger, dial 911. Police will respond. You can choose to remain anonymous, or by identifying yourself, you can help in future prosecution.

When It Comes to Stopping Animal Cruelty, It’s Good to Be Nosy

Hoarding occurs when someone possesses multiple animals without providing adequate food, care and sanitation. Hoarders often fail to understand the consequences of their actions and may exhibit signs of mental illness. Reporting hoarding can be a first step toward getting that individual into new or additional treatment. Call your local animal control officer or police department. Those agencies have the power to remove the animals or take corrective action, and they’ll involve social services if necessary.

Neglect is the most common form of cruelty, and it’s on the rise. As more Americans struggle with financial difficulty, many pets are put at risk of starvation, abandonment and death. The horses that Lynn observed in Vermont were victimized, in part, because of their owner’s financial situation.

Neglected animals may belong to neighbors you’ve known for years. They may try to hide the neglect due to embarrassment. You can try intervening yourself, or if you’re concerned about your neighbor’s reaction, many states and locations have set up tip lines and email addresses allowing you to call, text or email an anonymous report.

What Happens After You Report?
Most animal control officers view seizure and criminal charges as a last resort. Generally, officials or volunteers will attempt to educate the owner and provide that person with alternatives. If charges are brought, animal cruelty can range from a misdemeanor to a felony in certain cases.

Unfortunately, most states don’t have the resources to investigate and prosecute all incidents fully. You may have to follow up on your original complaint to make sure action was taken. Email your state legislators, and let them know that animal cruelty is a serious issue. It’s going to take persistent action to strengthen ordinances, laws and enforcement.

Nonprofit and volunteer organizations are on the front lines and under financial pressure as more and more animals arrive in their care. Look for rescue societies, shelters and community resources in your area, and volunteer or donate. Many nonprofit groups coordinate with authorities on cruelty issues. You may be able to report incidents through them.

Lynn is still keeping an eye on those horses. When people like you and Lynn stay observant and have the courage to act, it can make a huge difference (and nobody is going to call you nosy).

For more reading and local resources, visit the following URLs: www.aspca.org/ andwww.humanesociety.org/.

Be Prepared to Act

  • Call 911 if you’re an eyewitness to abusive behavior.
  • Familiarize yourself with animal cruelty statutes in your state. An associated URL is www.aspca.org/Fight-Animal-Cruelty/Advocacy-Center/state-animal-cruelty-laws.aspx.
  • Contact your town administrative offices or local law enforcement to determine your appropriate point of contact for animal cruelty complaints.
  • Decide if you feel comfortable talking to an owner if you suspect neglect.
  • Contact your animal control officer to report suspected abuse, neglect or hoarding.
  • Search for local tip lines to call, text or email incidents anonymously.
  • Report online videos or images of animal abuse to your FBI branch office. An associated URL is www.fbi.gov/contact-us/field/field-offices.
  • Support local shelters, rescue and rehabilitation groups, and community organizations.
  • Contact your legislators, and tell them to support strong animal welfare laws and enforcement.