Tag: pet safety tips

Flood Tips To Protect Your Pet This Spring

While the saying is “April showers bring May flowers,” sometimes those rains get here a little sooner than expected. Melting snow and ice from winter mixed with heavy spring rains make this time of year a flood risk for most. Whether its spring rains or you live in an area effected by hurricane season, you need a flood plan for you and your pet. Every time this kind of disaster strikes shelters are filled with abandoned or lost pets. Don’t let this happen to you and your pet – have an action plan!

Flood Tips For You & Your Pet

  • Evacuation Plans – Have an evacuation plan. That means both knowing how to get out and where you are going. Ensure that the “where” is pet friendly, as are your travel accommodations. This is the best way to ensure you and your pet’s safety. Expect evacuation to move slowly and be chaotic. Don’t wait till the last minute to get to safety.
  • Watch Weather Reports – Many areas will be in a flash flood watch for several days before a flood. This usually means that the ground is already saturated and heavy rains are predicted. If you stay aware of the weather reports and know how water builds around your home, you should have a good radar about when you need to take action.
  • Have An Emergency Pet Kit – Keep an emergency bag packed for your pet. This should include things like leashes, food, water, medicine, comfort items or treats, and anything else your specific pet may require. First aid kits are always a good idea too!
  • Ask Kennels About Emergency Plans – If you’re traveling out of town and have to board your pet be sure to ask about emergency plans. Good pet borders should have reasonable plans for protecting your pets in case of a natural disaster.
  • Tag Your Pet – If you and your pet do become separated speed up your reunion by making sure they have a collar with your contact information on it. Microchips are also a great idea in case they end up in a shelter.

The best plan is to have a plan and stay aware of your conditions!

Photo by Rodion Kutsaev on Unsplash

Puppy-proof Your World – Tips & Tricks

Was your new puppy a well thought out addition to your family? An incident of fate? No matter how you came to have a delightful little furry critter, what you do now that they’re home is important! Don’t set your puppy up for failure by failing to cultivate an environment they can learn and grow in. If you puppy-proof your house, you can prevent future mishaps and frustrating moments in the future. What does it mean to “puppy-proof”? Let us make offer you some great tips that will get you well on your way!

Puppy-proof Your Home!

  • Pick-up and block access to all toxic substances. Even if they aren’t in an area your puppy will frequent. It’s not unusual for these little beasts to escape or travel out of our preferred territory for them. Make sure if they do, no hazardous accidents await them!
  • Get a trashcan with a puppy proof lid. The trash may smell bad to us, but it can be super enticing for a pet. Puppy-proof your trash by adding a secure lid, or getting a sturdy one with a foot mechanism.
  • Tie up those drape cords. Don’t let your puppy get dangerously entangled in drape or blind cords. Tie these up out of reach to avoid buying new window treatments or an injured pet.
  • Keep plants out of reach. This can prevent poisoning and keeps them from digging in the pots!
  • Keep power cords out of reach. This is a must if your new puppy is a chewer (and most are). You can also make sure they have plenty of chew toys so they can get this impulse out without causing damage.
  • Ditto ^^ for shoes, throw pillows, or anything else you really care about or can be dangerous! 
  • Keep your nightstand clear. Puppy-proof your bedroom by making sure nightstands or tables they can access by jumping up on things are free from things they can break. Also make sure to keep medicines in the medicine cabinet, out of reach!
  • Keep the toilet lid down. Don’t let a bad habit start!

Got some additional tips to help puppy-proof homes? Share them with us!

photo credit: Jonathan Meddings Way too cute via photopin (license)

Patio & Pets: Potentially Poisonous Cleaners

Cats, dogs, and other pets love to be outdoors. Having your own garden and patio can give them the freedom and space to run around, while giving you the confidence that they will remain safe. While the streets may contain potentially fatal traffic, predatory animals and poisonous plants, have you thought about the safety of your own backyard?

In 2010, the Animal Poison Control Center received over 167,000 calls pertaining to pets being exposed to toxic substances. We’ve discussed the dangers of fertilizer and toxic garden plants, but the products you use to clean your garden could also be dangerous to pets.

 What to Avoid on Your Patio

The patio is a great place to socialize and enjoy the outdoors, so it’s understandable you’ll want to keep it looking clean. However, many patio cleaners contain benzalkonium chloride. This chemical is also found in many common household disinfectants, including antibacterial cleaners used on water fountains. Benzalkonium chloride can be extremely toxic to cats, leading to severe reactions and even death.

In an analysis of cases of 245 cats being poisoned by benzalkonium chloride, 126 were poisoned through ingestion alone, while many cats were also affected through contact with the skin. Therefore it is vital you check cleaning products for this chemical. Instead, consider using more natural cleaning solutions. For example, lemon, vinegar and bicarbonate of soda can be paired with a powerful pressure washer.

For decking, you may have used a varnish to protect the woodwork. However, varnish tends to be oil based which means it contains harmful solvents which can be accidentally inhaled. This is likely to irritate the intestine, causing diarrhoea. It may also cause an inflammation of the lungs leading to infection of breathing difficulties. It is essential to allow the varnish to dry completely before letting your pet near the wood decking.

 Emergency Response

Dogs and cats are curious animals, so it can be difficult to completely prevent them gaining access to harmful cleaning products. It can take over 6 hours for effects to become clear, but it is important to act quickly.

If you witness your pet coming into contact with a dangerous cleaning product, then you need to remove the product thoroughly and manually. It is not recommended that you use water. Instead use a paper towels and remember to wear protective gloves.

 During the summer, your pets will love to play in the fountain or sunbathe on the patio. It is important as a responsible owner to make sure the products you use to clean your garden and patio are pet safe. If an accident does occur, make sure you recognize the symptoms and act quickly, so that your pet can get the care and medication they need to make a full recovery.

Photo by The Poodle Gang on Unsplash

Indoor Cats vs. Outdoor Cats – Which is Right For You?

Do you have a cat or are considering getting one? Cats are unique creatures. They love human time, but mostly they like to spend time alone. They can go both indoors and outdoors, and there are benefits to both. Would you get an indoor cat or a cat that could go both in and outdoors?

Indoor Cats

Indoor cats are easy to care. Cats love lying in the sunlit window sills or curling up on your lap for a spell. Keeping your cat inside has many benefits. It protects them from getting lost or hurt and from inclement weather and fleas and ticks. Many people prefer to have their animal indoors so they don’t have to worry about them or attend to and cuts or mishaps that might happen in the great outdoors. Cats can play inside just as well as they can outside. Do you exercise? Many cats love to watch or “help” their owners during yoga sessions or other physical activity. They may interfere or get in the way, but that is because they are curious by nature and want to see what their human is up to.

Outdoor Cats

Cats can spend hours staring out windows to watch the birds and other wildlife. Many people allow their cats outside. Cats are great hunters; so if your cat is outside, don’t be surprised if they bring you a “trophy” consisting of a bird or mouse. Cats love exploring, and most will return home for food, water, and care. There are potential hazards outdoors such as traffic, other cats and dogs and getting lost. If you have a fenced or walled area, you can let your cat out on a supervised playtime. They can be safe and still enjoy romping around the yard.

Common Cats

Both indoor and outdoor cats require a certain level of care. While they are both independent, they need food, water, shelter, and love from their owner. Care is the best thing you can do for your pet. Both indoor and outdoor cats will enjoy playing with toys and things they may find outside. Both will need regular checkups at the vet and annual vaccinations to keep them healthy and safe. Try purchasing or building an outdoor cat house where they are safely confined to a fence or house but can feel the grass or watch the birds closer.

Both types have many commonalities and benefits, so which cat would you prefer?

photo credit: Robert Couse-Baker twilight zone via photopin (license)

Bio: Sarah is the author of Crazy Pet Guy. She enjoys spending time with her pets and writing about how to take care of them and raise them well.

Camping With Your Dog – Fun, Safety, & More!

Whether its spring, summer, or fall getting back into nature with your dog can be a rewarding experience. Camping is just the change of scenery we all need once in awhile! Campfires, starry nights, swimming, and new smells are a delight to man and beast. Camping can be awesome, but it’s not always as easy as just tossing a tent in the back of your vehicle and hitting the woods – especially if your bringing your dog. Our friends over at Redfin have complied “The Complete Safety Guide for Camping with Dogs”. Here are some of the highlights to get you geared up!

Camping with Fido

  • Prep your dog – Make sure your dog is up to par before taking them out. A young spritely pup will be eager to bounce about the mountains and trails but an older dog may have a hard time keeping up with you. Be sure your pet is up-to-date on vaccinations and is prepared for a potential onslaught of ticks. Your dog is going to encounter lots of aspects of nature they may not be around much at home.
  • Pack for your dog – Don’t forget to bring all the important things you may need for your dog. Make sure your first-aid kit is suitable for both your needs. Check out Redfin for a list of things to include. Leashes are still needed as well as other tether items to help keep your dog in your campsite and not out wrestling bears or snooping around other campers sites. Bring all the things that your pet needs to be comfortable and satisfied!
  • Safe Camping Practices – Keep your dog where you can see them at all times an know what to do in case of emergencies. Lots of interesting smells and new critters can lead a dog to danger quickly! Keep your human food out of their reach, and make sure you know and are following the campsite or park regulations.

Most importantly take it easy and have fun! Prep your pet for camping excursions in small steps! Maybe a night in a tent in the backyard? Then move up to something close and familiar before you hit Yosemite for a week!

photo credit: sonstroem Camp Dog via photopin (license)

Cookout Pet Safety For Your Summer Vacation

Most schools have let out for the year by now – that means summer is about to get into full swing! A favorite family and community pass time for ages have been the summer cookout. Lawn chairs, cool drinks, colorful dresses, and lots of grilling! Do you know how to keep your pet safe?

Cookout Pet Threats

  • Hot grills and fire pits – Most cats and dogs know better than to sniff around too closely to something that’s on fire, but sometimes the smell of those unattended burgers can be too much for them to bear! All reason goes out the window as they decide it’s worth the risk. Make sure someone is keeping a close eye on the food at all times!
  • Hazardous foods – While most foods found at a cookout might not kill your pet, they could cause some serious stomach upset, especially if they aren’t used to such foods. Onions and avocados are two bellyachers as well as all those preservatives and salt found in chips and hot dogs. Let guests know you’d rather they not feed your pet, or better yet, keep your pets sequestered elsewhere while the bulk of the food is going around!
  • Lawn games – Sometimes cookouts include horseshoes, volleyball, badminton, or other yard sport. An over anxious pet can easily get in the way of participants injuring both them and the guests. Chewing on abandoned lawn toys can pose a choking hazard too.
  • Candles and torches – Keep your pets away from tables with candles or tiki torches to prevent a fire hazard.
  • Strange people – Pets that aren’t used to large groups can become over excited or nervous during cookouts. Especially if there are loud noises like music or fireworks involved too. If your pet is familiar with most of the guests or easily excitable leave them at home or put them inside somewhere with some water, food, and toys of their own. DO NOT LEAVE THEM IN A CAR.

photo credit: frankieleon Dogs and Cats via photopin (license)

Chocolate, Candies, and Flowers – Keep Your Pet Safe!

Whether this Valentines Day finds you committed or single, your pet loves you unconditionally! The way they are always happy to see you, always up for snuggles, and the affectionate ways they bring you gifts or help you out with your grooming make up for not sending you chocolate once a year.  All the more reason to ensure your celebrations aren’t putting them at risk.

The Chocolate Factor and Others

  • If there is a holiday more associated with chocolate, we don’t know what it could be! You may know that chocolate can kill your dog, did you also know it’s bad for cats too? Chocolate causes abnormally high heart rates in animals. It’s super important to make sure your pet never has access to it! Since chocolate can cause cardiac arrest, make sure you know how to perform CPR!

 

  • How about those flowers delivered to your door? They look beautiful and smell great but could also be toxic to your pet! Lilies are especially toxic to cats and many other flower varieties can cause upset stomachs and vomiting. Even if the flower itself is not toxic to your pet, many floral arrangments are sprayed with chemicals to enhance their look and extend their life.
  • Sugar-free doesn’t mean pet-friendly. Xylitol is often found in sugar-free chocolate and candies (Gum too!). This ingredient is especially toxic to pets. It’s in you and your pets best interest to keep all sweets out of reach!
  • Ribbons, bows, and candles. You’ve done great making sure those chocolates are out of reach (or gone already…) but what about the box? Delicious smelling candy wrappers, bows, and ribbons can pose choking hazards for many pets, and potentially cause intestinal blockage if consumed. And how about those candles that set the mood for a romantic evening? Make sure their not where a pet can know them over!

photo credit: DaPuglet Valentine Pug via photopin (license)

Halloween Safety Tips For Your Pet

No matter what your plans are for Halloween this year, it’s time to start thinking about pet safety! Whether you throw yourself wholeheartedly into the holiday or try to avoid it all together, there are important safety considerations to make!

Halloween and your pet!

Halloween Saftey Tips

  • Pet costumes – Few pet owners can resist the urge to dress their pet up! Just because it looks cute doesn’t mean it’s safe. Keep some basic things in mind while picking a Halloween costume for them: does it have small pieces that may prove to be choking hazards? does it fit too tight causing restriction or too loose posing a tripping hazard? does it inhibit their eyesight or ability to breath? Keep the costumes cute and safe!
  • Be mindful of Trick-or-Treaters – If you’re staying in but plan on handing out candy this Halloween make sure your pet is secure. If you have an indoor pet be sure to keep them confined away from the door that you will be opening frequently to strangers. This will keep them from running out or acting aggressively toward the children. If your pet is outdoors, try to secure them away from the hustle and bustle at your front door. Unsecured pets may be prone to follow children and get lost or act protectively of your property.
  • Watch decorations and candles – Halloween decorations can often be a choking or electrocution hazard for your pets. Be mindful in how you decorate and try not to leave your pet unattended around a jack-o-lantern with candles!
  • Watch for abandoned candy – In the days prior to Halloween keep an extra close eye on your pet while out for walks or in a park. Children will often drop sweets that, if consumed, could be fatal for your pet. Be sure to mention this concern to your dog walker or pet nanny too!

photo credit: Happy Halloween! via photopin (license)

Wildlife Pet Threats – What You Need To Know

Most pets will encounter some type of wildlife during their adventures. Whether you live in a rural area or the city, wildlife encounters happen all the time! From pigeons and rats to racoons, skunks, or squirrels! Is it okay for your pet to play with wilder cousins and distant relations? Sometimes pets and wildlife can learn to be great friends but there are several precautions and scenarios you need to be aware of!

Wildlife And Your Pet

  • The City Varmints – If you live in the inner city and rarely escape closer to nature it’s likely your pets wildlife interactions will be limited. That being the case though, they are still at risk for exposure to some pretty nasty diseases, mites, and parasites from rats, roaches, or pigeons. Not to mention the poisons often put out to control such creatures.
  • The Unseen Threat – Dogs and cats may seem impervious to a lot, but they suffer from many of the same threats as us. Waterborne illnesses and parasites in the dirt are two unseen and serious threats. Most pets are fine drinking and burying their faces up in things we would never dream of, but that doesn’t mean it’s always safe! If you’re in a national park or out traveling pay attention to signs, keep your pet in areas that appear to be well travelled, and avoid letting them drink stagnant or foul smelling water.
  • The Woodland Varmints – Whether your camping or live in the country your house place is bound to be visited by a skunk, opossum, armadillo or another similar critter at some point. Make sure your pet keeps its distance! Aside from being smelly, skunks are popular carriers of rabies. While armadillos and opossums carry leprosy and lots of other diseases! Not to mention, a confrontational or overly friendly pet is likely to get bit! Did you know that skunks will kill kittens?

Wildlife love to feast on food left out for pets!

 

  • The Predators – More of a threat for campers or rural dwellers, predatory wildlife can be a big danger for pets. Coyotes, bears, mountain lions, alligators, and bobcats are all critters found across America. Don’t let your pets roam out of sight, and make sure you have an action plan should you confront one. Some suburban pets can come under attack too. Rabbit owners should always be on the look out for birds of prey!

When out hiking, always keep an eye out for wildlife warnings!

No matter where you and your pet live or choose to travel always make sure they are up to date on all their shots and preventative medicines for fleas, worms, and everything else to minimize the impact wildlife could have on them!

photo credit: Skunks Stealing Sam’s Food via photopin (license)

 

 

Car Safety Tips for Pets‏ – Keep Summer Fun & Safe!

Car rides for pets can be either an exhilarating or terrifying event. Either way, at some point or another it’s an inevitable occurrence of your pets life. Dogs are more often car companions, but cats, ferrets, or other critters take rides too! It’s easy to understand why a loving pet owner would want to take their pet with them where ever they go. Sometimes our desire to do so overrides safety for us, others, and our pets… Before you plan your next vacation, road trip, or a simple drive for errands make sure that you’re following these car safety tips for pet travel.

Car Safety Tips

  • State laws – Before you plan on taking your pet anywhere be sure that you are fully aware of all your states laws regarding pets riding in cars. Some states have very strict rules. If you’re planning a vacation that takes you into or through other states, be sure you know their laws too. Getting a ticket on vacation is no fun!
  • Plan your trip – Whether you’re traveling far or just headed to town to run errands with a pet in tow, make sure that you’ve put some thought into your trip. Map out your long distance trips by identifying rest areas or pet-friendly parks where you can stop and let your critter take care of business, stretch their legs, and get a drink. Even if your just heading to town for errands make sure you’ve got a water dish and some bottled water with you and know where you can take your pet out for a bathroom break just in case your trip takes longer than you anticipate.

Safer Car Rides With Your Pet

  • Hot Cars – Every year pets perish due to being left in hot cars. A car parked in the sun in summer can reach deadly temperatures in less time than it takes you to fill up a tank of gas. Cracked windows are great on cooler days in spring, fall, or winter, but are rarely enough in the heat of summer. If your pet can’t come in with you, it’s best to leave them at home during the peak of summer. In some states, it’s illegal to leave an animal locked in a car. Despite all the warnings though, many pet parents ignore the dangers here. If you have any doubts, we encourage you to try sitting in the car yourself in summer and see how long you can take it!
  • Windows – When your pet is in the car, you must be diligent and constantly aware of the windows. Most dogs love to reenact the iconic image with their heads out the window in the breeze! Be sure you’re aware of the dangers though! Heads outside the window can cause serious injuries due to road signs, mailboxes, and other roadside items. Be careful of windows being too low too. We’ve seen pets jump out of moving vehicles before to chase things!

Fun, but not very safe!

  • Distractions – Make sure that driving with your pet in the car doesn’t prove to be too much of a distraction. Never let your pet occupy the space immediately around you like gear shifts, the steering wheel, or gas and brake pedals. Make sure your pet isn’t big enough or positioned to obstruct your view while driving. Before taking your pet out regularly or on long trips, make sure you’ve put the effort in to “car train” your pet so they know how to behave. Car training your pet is also super handy when you have to hire a pet nanny! The better behaved your pet is, the more fun they can have in other people’s care – like trips to the park!
  • Movement injuries – Most pets in vehicles are not physically secure. This means your pet could suffer injuries should you have to come to an unexpected quick stop or swerve abruptly. There is a wide variety of pet partitions or car attachments that make traveling with your pet safer for both you and them. Shop around and see what you can find to fit your particular pet and car type!

Remember, keep summer fun by staying safe!

photo credit: I’m not thinking anything – I’m a cat via photopin (license)
photo credit: IMG_5123 via photopin (license)

 

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