Keeping Warm in Winter
Despite their “fur” coats, domesticated animals like cats and dogs depend on humans for protection from elements such as freezing temperatures. Here are some quick tips to ensure a warm and toasty winter season.
Limit your pet’s time outside only for bathroom breaks if it is too cold.
Provide outdoor pets with a dry, warm secure shelter out of the wind such as a garage or insulated pet house.
Even dogs that normally spend most of their time outside need good shelter in cold weather, even if it is only a garage.
Keep your pet away from antifreeze. Poisoning takes only a couple of licks. Antifreeze may lurk in your garage on your driveway so clean up spills immediately. Pet Safe antifreeze is available for purchase at most stores.
De-icing chemicals can be hazardous to pets. The salt and other chemicals used to melt snow and ice can irritate the pads of your pet's feet. Pet-safe ice melt is now available at most stores. Also, be sure to wipe your pet’s feet every time after being on sidewalks.
Cats and kittens often nap on warm car engines and hoods. If your car was recently used, knock on the hood or honk the car horn before starting the engine.
Winterize your dog house
The dog house floor should be raised a few inches off the ground and covered with cedar shavings or straw.
The dog house should be turned to face away from the wind, and the doorway should be covered with a flap of heavy waterproof fabric or heavy plastic.
Heated water dishes help keep warm from freezing and are available at your local pet store.
Fourth of July
Although the Fourth of July is a fun holiday for people, it can be a nightmare for pets. While most people enjoy the sights and sounds of fireworks, animals don't understand the commotion and can be frightened by the startling, disruptive noises.
When threatened by an unfamiliar experience, such as loud noises, even the calmest most obedient animal is apt to flee or act out of character. Cats may hide when frightened and dogs may try to escape by jumping the fence or digging a hole. Some animals may even experience nausea when confronted with an extremely frightening experience.
Wayside Waifs offers these tips to pet owners:
- Don't take your pet with you to firework displays.
- Prepare a quiet, secure place for pets to spend the evening where they feel safe.
- Make sure the room is secure and remove any objects that might injure your pet should he/she become startled by the loud noise.
- Don't leave your pets alone in parked vehicles. Even with the windows open, a parked car can quickly become a furnace. While the temperature outside may reach up to 80 degrees, the temperature inside your car could reach 120 degrees. This type of overheating can be fatal.
- Always make sure your pet has current identification, including collar I.D. tags, licenses and/or microchip I.D. In case your pet gets out of the house, this simple procedure will help avoid the possible heartache of losing your animal.
- The Fourth of July should be a pleasurable experience for everyone, including your pet, and with the right precautions your Independence Day memories will not be marred by the loss or injury of your pet.
Beat The Heat
In summertime, the living isn’t always easy for our animal friends. Dogs and cats can suffer from the same problems that humans do, such as overheating, dehydration and even sunburn. By taking some simple precautions, you can celebrate the season and keep your pets happy and healthy.
On days when the heat index reaches the upper 90s to 100 degrees, keep the four-legged family members inside, with only bathroom breaks to go outside.
Be especially sensitive to older and overweight animals in hot weather. Snub-nosed dogs such as bulldogs, pugs, Boston terriers, Lhasa apsos and shih tzus, as well as those with heart and lung diseases, should be kept cool in air-conditioned rooms as much as possible.
Good grooming can stave off summer skin problems, especially for dogs with heavy coats. Shaving the hair to a one-inch length—never down to the skin, please, which robs Rover of protection from the sun—helps prevent overheating. Cats should be brushed often.
Never leave your pet alone in a vehicle—heat exhaustion can be fatal. Even with the windows open, a parked automobile can quickly become a furnace in no time.
The right time for playtime is in the cool of the early morning or evening, but never after a meal or when the weather is humid.
Street smarts: When the temperature is very high, don’t let your dog stand on hot asphalt. His or her body can heat up quickly, and sensitive paw pads can burn. Keep walks during these times to a minimum.
Do not apply any sunscreen or insect repellent product to your pet that is not labeled specifically for use on animals. Ingestion of sunscreen products can result in drooling, diarrhea, excessive thirst and lethargy. The misuse of insect repellent that contains DEET can lead to neurological problems.
Halloween can be one of the spookiest times of the year for pets. Even the calmest dogs and cats can be frightened by the costumes and excitement of "trick-or-treaters." Disturbed by the noise and commotion of this holiday, pets may wander away from home or even become the subject of Halloween pranks.
Keep your companion animal safe and sound over this spooky holiday with these helpful Halloween tips:
- Keep your pets indoors in a safe area away from noise and commotion, and ideally away from the door when trick-or-treaters arrive. Strange people in even stranger clothes can frighten some pets. This will also help ensure your companion animal doesn't head for the great outdoors as soon as you open the door for visitors.
- Make sure your pet is wearing current I.D. tags. Lost pets with proper identification are much more likely to be returned to their owners.
- Halloween treats are for people - not pets. Chocolate can be toxic for many animals and candy wrappers, lollipop sticks, etc. may be very hazardous if swallowed.
- Keep pumpkins out of reach of curious noses and paws. Pets may knock over a lit pumpkin and cause a fire.
- Despite how much fun it is for people, many pets don't enjoy getting dressed up for Halloween. If you do dress your pet, be sure that the costume doesn't interfere with the animal's ability to breath, see, hear or move.