4th of July Pet Safety Tips!

 

Like many Americans, you may be planning to have a festive Fourth of July. Along with barbeques and day at the beach, no July holiday celebration would be complete without enjoying the fireworks that celebrate the birth of our nation.

 

Perhaps you are considering staying at home and planning a get-together with friends and family. Or, you may want to go check out your local professional fireworks display. While putting the finishing touches on your planned celebration, take a moment to consider your pets.

 

Unlike people, pets don’t associate the noise, flashes, and burning smell of pyrotechnics with celebrations. Pets are terrified of fireworks, and often panic at the loud whizzes and bangs they produce.

 

Because of this, the American Humane Association reports that July 5 is the busiest day of the year for animal shelters. Why? In a 2005 press release the Indiana Proactive Animal Welfare, Inc. (PAW) stated that animal shelters the day after Fourth of July are “inundated with pets that panicked at the noise of firecrackers and fled into the night, winding up lost, injured or killed.”

 

Both the American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals (ASPCA) and PAW have listed ways you can prevent your holiday celebration from turning into a tragedy. Here are 10 tips on how to keep your pet from panicking this Fourth of July weekend.

 

10. Keep your Pet Indoors at All Times!

It may seem obvious, but even if your pet is used to being outside, the resulting panic caused by fireworks or other loud noises may make them break their restraint or jump a fence in a terrified attempt to find safety.

 

9. Don’t Put Insect Repellant on Your Pet that isn’t Specifically for Pet Use

The same tip applies to applying “people” sunscreen on your pet. What isn’t toxic to humans can be toxic to animals. The ASPCA lists the poisonous effects of sunscreen on your pet as, “…drooling, vomitingdiarrhea, excessive thirst and lethargy.” DEET, a common insecticide, may cause neurological issues.

 

8. Alcoholic Drinks Poison Pets

If your pet drinks alcohol, they can become dangerously intoxicated, go into a coma, or in severe cases, die from respiratory failure. Yes, even beer is toxic; fermented hops and ethanol are poisonous to dogs and cats.

 

7. Going to a Fireworks Display? Leave Your Pet at Home

The safest place for your pet is at home, not in a crowded, unfamiliar and noisy place. The combination of too many people and loud fireworks will make your beloved pet freak out and desperately seek shelter. Locking them in the car is also not an option; your pet may suffer brain damage and heat stroke.

 

6. Have Your Pet Properly Identified

If your pet manages to break loose and become lost, without proper identification it will be that much harder to get them back. Consider fitting your pet with microchip identification, ID tags with their name and your phone number, or both. It is also a good idea to have a recent picture of your pets in case you have to put up signs.

 

5. Keep Your Pet Away from Glow Jewelry

It might look cute, but your pet could chew up and swallow the plastic adornments. The ASPCA states that while not highly toxic, “excessive drooling and gastrointestinalirritation could still result from ingestion’s, and intestinal blockage could occur from swallowing large pieces of the plastic containers.”

 

4. NEVER Use Fireworks Around Pets

While lit fireworks can pose a danger to curious pets and potentially result in severe burns and/or trauma to the face and paws, even unused fireworks can be hazardous. Some fireworks contain potentially toxic substances such as arsenic, potassium nitrate, and other heavy metals.

 

3. Don’t Give Your Pet “Table Food”

If you are having a backyard barbeque, you may be tempted to slip some snacks to your pet. But like beer and chocolate, there are other festive foods that could harm your pet. Onions, coffee, avocado, grapes & raisins, salt and yeast dough are all possible hazards for dogs and cats.

 

2. Lighter Fluid and Matches Are Harmful to Pets.

The ASPCA lists chlorates as a harmful chemical substance found in some matches that, if ingested, can cause your pet difficulty in breathing, damage blood cells or even cause kidney disease. If exposed to lighter fluid, your pet may sustain skin irritation on contact, respiratory problems if inhaled, and gastric problems if ingested.

 

1. Citronella Insect Control Products Harm Pets, Too.

Oils, candles, insect coils and other citronella-based repellents are irritating toxins to pets, according to the ASPCA. The result of inhalation can cause severe respiratory illnesses such as pneumonia, and ingestion can harm your pet’s nervous system.

 

***

The safest and best bet for celebrating this Fourth of July with your pets is to exclude them from holiday festivities, at least this time around. Instead, find a safe, secure spot in the home for your pets while you go out and enjoy the loud bangs, bright lights and spectator fun. Your pets will appreciate the quiet a lot more than you’ll enjoy the noise

Dog Grooming

Use these simple grooming tips to keep your dog beautiful and healthy

Brush Me!

Brushing your dog often is important, especially for longer haired breeds.

Even for short coated dogs brushing is important, because it helps remove the loose undercoat which can be very itchy and irritating. For short coated breeds use a curry comb or rake to bring up the loose hairs and remove them. You’ll be surprised at how much hair comes off of your dog!

Regular brushing keeps your dog's coat clean and healthy, gives you a chance to bond and lets you check her skin for cuts and bumps.

Regular brushing keeps your dog’s coat clean and healthy, gives you a chance to bond and lets you check her skin for cuts and bumps.

 

For longer haired breeds use a brush with metal bristles to untangle mats, and then smooth the coat with a fine bristled brush. Taking care of mats is very important because if left they can trap moisture next to the skin which can lead to hot spots. Brush your dog at least three times a week for a glorious coat.


Rub a Dub Dub, One Doggy in the Tub

Bathing your dog is also important, but how often depends on his lifestyle.

Is your dog outside a lot, or does he prefer the great indoors? Indoor dogs should only require a bath about once a month, unless they get into something stinky or yucky (such as dead animals or mud).

A dog who spends time outdoors will get dirty more quickly, and will require more frequent baths. Still, you should restrict bathing to once a week at the most, too much bathing will dry out your dog’s skin. After bathing try rubbing some tea tree oil into your dog’s coat, it’s a great natural deterrent to fleas and ticks.

Snip Snap
Don’t forget to clip your dog’s toenails as well. Long or jagged nails can be very painful for your pup, and can leave him vulnerable to all of the bacteria on the ground.

To familiarize your dog with nail clippers start using them when he is a puppy, and feel free to give him lots of love and treats during and after the experience. Be careful not to cut the quick, which contains blood and nerves. To avoid this simply cut away from the point where the nail turns pink, or where the nail is hollow underneath (easier to find on dogs with white nails). Also, if your dog has a jagged edge, file it down so as to make him more comfortable.

Grooming your dog at home can save you lots of money, and help you to form a closer relationship with your dog. Have fun getting beautiful!

Have a Pet-Safe Memorial Day Weekend!

Okay, who else is looking forward to a three-day-weekend? Picnicking, swimming, some serious watermelon eating—whatever your plans, be sure to keep your pets in mind!

  • Give your pet access to plenty of fresh water at all times. Even the healthiest pets can suffer from dehydration, heat stroke and sunburn if overexposed to the heat.
  • Avoid lathering your pet with any insect repellent or sunscreen not intended for the four-legged kind.
  • Keep your pet away from matches, citronella candles and lighter fluid, which if eaten can irritate the stomach, lungs and central nervous system.
  • Be cool near the pool. Don’t leave pets unsupervised around a pool, lake or high waters—not all dogs are expert swimmers!
  • Never leave your dog, cat or any other animal friend alone in a car! The inside of a car can heat up very quickly—even with a window open.
  • Be prepared! From tornadoes to floods, we’ve seen the devastation severe weather has brought to pets and their families these past few weeks. Develop an evacuation plan well ahead of time in case you’re forced from your home in an emergency.

As always, if you suspect your pet has ingested something poisonous from the picnic table, please contact your veterinarian or the ASPCA’s Animal Poison Control Center (APCC) at (888) 426-4435.

 

Have fun!

Pet Safety Memorial Day

With summer right around the corner Bark Buckle UP wants to remind people to be safe driving buckle up the whole family pets included this Memorial Day holiday weekend.

Ray LaHood, Department of Transportation announced the 2011 Click It or Ticketmobilization with a reminder to motorists about the severe risks of driving unbelted, day or night. National Highway Traffic Safety Administration statistics show 306 people died on U.S. roads during the 2009 Memorial Day period, 55 percent were unbelted.

Memorial Day weekend in a car, truck, SUV, crossover, RV and even boating, remember safety-first buckle up the whole family. It’s easy to do pet travel harness, tethers, crates and for boating wear it your PFD pets too”, stated Christina Selter “Pet Safety Lady, founder Bark Buckle UP.

“Despite all the warnings against leaving pets and children in cars, yet we still hear all too often the horror stories of dogs that suffered or even died after being left in vehicles as temperatures inside soared. Studies have shown that a healthy dog, whose normal body temperature ranges from 101 to 102.5 degrees, can withstand a body temperature of 107 to 108 degrees for only a short time before suffering brain damage or death, at even 85-degree weather, temperatures inside a car can reach 120 degrees in less then 30 minutes, even if a window is cracked,” Selter said.

FACTS:
• Wearing a seatbelt costs you nothing but NOT wearing on can cost a life
• Bark Buckle UP’s StatTracker 2009 98 percent of pets were not secured properly
• A 60-pound pet can become 3000-pound projectile, at just 35mph
• Pet travel has increased 300 percent since 2005
• Unrestrained pets delay emergency workers’ access to human occupants
• Pets escaping post-accident pose many dangers, including catching the loose pet
• Injured pets may bite first responders and rescue workers
• Pets may escape through a window or open door and cause a second accident
• Driver distraction is common when unrestrained pets are rambunctious

FACTS:
• Wearing a seatbelt costs you nothing but NOT wearing on can cost a life
• Bark Buckle UP’s StatTracker 2009 98 percent of pets were not secured properly
• A 60-pound pet can become 3000-pound projectile, at just 35mph
• Pet travel has increased 300 percent since 2005
• Unrestrained pets delay emergency workers’ access to human occupants
• Pets escaping post-accident pose many dangers, including catching the loose pet
• Injured pets may bite first responders and rescue workers
• Pets may escape through a window or open door and cause a second accident
• Driver distraction is common when unrestrained pets are rambunctious

Fountain Valley