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             At-Home, Travel, Holiday, and Summer Heat Tips    

Staycation or Vacation? Cool tips for the Summer......

from The Big Bad Woof - www.thebigbadwoof.com
Takoma Park store, delivery, or online  

Summer is here and it is great to get out of the house, but there are some things you need to know to keep your furry companions safe and chill.

The first is to be aware of how your dogs and cats are handling the temperature, and one way to tell if your pet is in distress is to check their breathing. Panting is the way they cool themselves, and if they are panting heavily that may be a sign that your pet is over heated. This is particularly important with flat-nosed breeds, as they can have a more difficult time keeping cool and are prone to heat exhaustion.
  1. Save your outdoor activities with your pets for early in the morning or late in the day when the temperatures are not extreme.
  2. Check the pavement to make sure it is not too hot for tender paws. Place the back of your hand on the surface and hold it for 5 seconds. If it is too hot for you, it is too hot for your pet's paws.
  3. Be mindful if you have animals with light or white fur - they may need specially formulated sunscreen or a Sun Tee to protect against sunburn. This is especially important with the nose, ears and tails. Alternatively, darker colored dogs may absorb heat faster than lighter toned dogs.  
  4. If you are out when it is hot, follow the feline cue and find some shade! Our local parks are great on hot days as they are typically several degrees cooler due to the tree cover and fresh air.
  5. Carry plenty of water for both you and your companion animals, or make sure water sources are available along the way.
  6. Do not under any circumstances leave your pets in the car on even moderately warm days. The temperature inside of a car rises very rapidly to up to 140 F and the consequences can be deadly.
  7. If you pet is prone to over-heating or a senior animal, keep them in a cool shaded area on especially hot days.
  8. Freeze food or treats for your animals! This is a great way to allow them to replenish and keep them occupied at the same time.
  9. Water sports are great and we know many cats who enjoy playing with water on hot days too!
Symptoms of heat exhaustion include excessive panting or labored breathing, increased heart and respiratory rate, and drooling and mild weakness according to the ASPCA. More severe symptoms can include seizures, bloody diarrhea, vomiting, and a body temperature of over 104 degrees Fahrenheit.

If you believe your dog is suffering from heat exhaustion you can use these immediate tips to cool them down.

1. Wet your animals whole body with cool (not cold) water, but be careful to keep the water away from the eyes and ears.
2. Place an ice pack on their head and do not give them aspirin, aspirin during periods of sever dehydration can make the effects worse. 
3. Rub the dogs legs to help improve circulation and avoid shock. 
4. Allow the animal to drink as much cool water as they'd like, and adding a pinch of salt will help replace lost minerals.

In other words, BE COOL!

BBW Staff Recommendations to Help Your Pet Through the Summer 

Mushers Secret - Paw Protectant for hot pavement
COOLA Pet Sunscreen for dogs and horses
Farm Dog Naturals Salvation - for dry skin and crusty nose and paws
Cycle Dog Trail Buddy Bowls - 22 ounce water bowls for hiking
OllyBottles in 600ml and 1Ltr sizes for traveling
Please don't take your pets on hot surfaces
without protecting their paws!
The boardwalk or hot pavement can cause burns.


Travel Tips & Resources 

Tips from trainer Veronica Sanchez, CABC. CPDT-KA (www.cooperativepaws.com)

Going on vacation with your dog can be a blast! It can also be inconvenient, stressful and a bad situation for all involved. Here are a few tips as you plan for the dog-days of summer!

  1. Think about whether going on vacation would be fun for your dog. Changes in location and routine are challenging for all dogs, but can bring out the worst in dogs with behavior problems. Also geriatric dogs can be stressed in new, unfamiliar locations.
  2. Maintain a routine. We travel with our crates and it helps give a sense of structure and familiarity.
  3. Music can help dogs relax, you can play music on your laptop or use portable music such as what they have at https://icalmpet.com/ to reduce pet anxiety.
  4. Take care of the basics – extra leashes, identification, medications, a copy of the vaccination record and have an address for a veterinarian on hand. We also bring a canine first aid kit when we travel.
  5. Be respectful of other’s property. We bring extra sheets to cover furniture at the house we rent and lots of clean up supplies.
  6. Be aware of leash laws and other ordinances, and respect them.

Please don't take anxious, fearful or reactive dogs
to pubic events, outdoor dining, or crowded trails. 
They won't enjoy these outings,
and it won't help them get over their fears.

 Safety Tips for July 4 Activities
        with Family & Friends

   June 30, 2014
                                             by Dr. Becker, Mercola Healty Pets

I'm sure many of you are planning to celebrate the upcoming Fourth of July weekend with family and friends at parties, picnics, barbeques, and perhaps taking in a fireworks display. But while holiday festivities are typically non-stop fun for human family members, often the same can't be said for the four-legged members of the household.

Sadly, July 5th is the busiest day of the year for animal shelters simply because so many pets panic at the sound of firecrackers, escape through an open door or window, and disappear into the night. Many turn up miles from home -- frightened, disoriented, dehydrated, and sometimes injured. Others are lost forever.

That's why each year around this time I like to remind Healthy Pets readers to consider the needs of furry family members as you plan your July 4th activities. There are a number of hazards you'll want to avoid or at least be aware of to insure the safety and health of your pet over the holiday weekend.

Top 10 July 4th Dos and Don'ts for Pet Owners
  1. DO ID your pet. In the event your pet is lost during all the confusion and commotion of holiday get-togethers, make sure he or she can be identified with an up-to-date ID collar or tag, permanent tattoo, or microchip. Even if you feel there's no way in the world your dog or cat can escape, it's better to expect the worst and hope for the best.
  2. DON'T apply human sunscreen or insect repellent to your pet. Make sure to use products designed specifically for your dog or cat, or that are vet-approved, all-natural human sunscreens. If your pet happens to ingest a sunscreen product, it can cause excessive thirst, drooling, vomiting, diarrhea, and lethargy. Insect repellents containing DEET can cause neurological problems in pets.               * The Big Bad Woof in Takoma Park carries COOLA Pet Sunscreen for dogs.
  3. DO keep party and barbeque foods out of reach of your pet. Feed your dog or cat his regular diet for the holiday, and be especially careful to secure potentially toxic people foods like chocolate, coffee, onions, grapes, raisins and bread dough. Consuming the contents of the grill grease trap is a common cause of summertime pancreatitis in dogs, so make sure to keep Fido away from the grill, in general.
  4. DON'T give your pet access to glow jewelry. If eaten, it can cause excessive drooling, GI irritation, and potentially, intestinal blockage.
  5. DO keep alcoholic drinks out of reach of your pet, and insist your guests do the same. Beer, wine and liquor can poison your dog or cat. Depending on how much is ingested, your pet can become very intoxicated, weak, depressed, and can even slip into a coma. Severe alcohol poisoning can result in death from respiratory failure.
  6. DON'T force your pet into a costume for July 4th. Unless your dog (or even less likely, your cat) loves to play dress-up, don't push the issue. Make sure anything you dress your pet in is comfortably loose and doesn't constrict movement in any way. Also remember, it's July and your pet can easily get overheated.
  7. DO keep citronella candles, oils, and insect coils out of reach of your pet. Ingestion can cause stomach irritation and potentially, central nervous system symptoms. Inhaling the oil can cause breathing difficulties and aspiration pneumonia in pets.
  8. DON'T take your dog or cat around backyard or neighborhood fireworks displays. And make sure to store personal fireworks where your pet can't get them. Pets have been known to swallow unexploded firecrackers, and it's also important to remember that an animal's fur coat is highly flammable.
  9. DO keep matches and lighter fluid out of reach. Some matches contain chlorate, which can damage blood cells, impair respiration, and cause kidney disease. Lighter fluid can irritate your pet's skin, and if ingested can cause GI upset and central nervous system depression. Inhaling lighter fluid can result in breathing difficulties and aspiration pneumonia.
  10. DON'T allow your pet outside, especially after dark. If she'll be within range of the sights and sounds of fireworks, try to secure her in a room without windows. Create a safe haven with bedding, a toy or two, and a few treats. Turn on a TV, radio or other music to help muffle the noise from outside. Leave someone at home with your pet if possible, but whatever you do, don't leave her outside alone. If she becomes frightened, even a fenced yard may not keep her safe. Dogs have been injured while making panicked attempts to escape their yard, and those that succeed can run away, be hit by a car, or stolen by a stranger.
If your pet has sound or noise phobias, the time to make a stress-reduction plan for your pet is before the event occurs, so talk to your vet about natural stress solutions you can institute (or medication you can use) before the fireworks begin, including diffusing calming essential oils, administering flower essences or calming herbs, a calming TTouch massage or body wrap (where the concept of the "thunder shirt" came from), and creating a "safe spot" in your home.
With a little advance planning, you can prevent problems for your pet over the July 4th holiday. It will be much easier for you and your family to relax and enjoy the celebrations if you're not worrying about your pet's health and safety.   
Make sure your dog is safe in the car!
The Center for Pet Safety tests
and recommends dog car harnesses.


How to Help Dogs in Hot Cars 

With warm weather upon us, please be advised on what to do if you see a pet in a hot car.

If the pet is IN DISTRESS:
- Try to locate the owner inside surrounding businesses. Ask for the store manager and explain the situation. Most have loudspeakers and can announce a tag number.
- If you cannot locate the owner, call 911 or your local animal control.

Under Maryland law: "A person may not leave a cat or dog unattended in a standing or parked motor vehicle in a manner that endangers the health or safety of the cat or dog."

Humane workers, police, fire, and emergency personnel may break into a car to save an animal in danger.

Please know that if you decide to break into the car yourself, you may face consequences for your actions, including but not limited to: damage, destruction of property and/or breaking and entering.

Please also note that many people leave pets in cars with the A/C running. The pet needs to be in distress in order for authorized persons to break the window.

*Read about Rescue Well's programs, services and resources at www.rescuewell.org.    
Your Dog's Friend runs classes and workshops all summer! You can also watch some of our workshop and training videos this summer, or contact us for advice or referrals.

Classes: https://yourdogsfriend.org/schedule-at-a-glance/

Free Workshops: https://yourdogsfriend.org/free-workshops/

Previous Workshop and Training Tip Videos: https://yourdogsfriend.org/videos/

Contact: yourdogsfriendinformation@gmail.com 

Check some of the books, toys, and other pet products we recommend on our website at https://yourdogsfriend.org/we-recommend/books-treats-products/#safety                               


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