Tag Archives: pet safety

Is your dog in danger of being “flipped”?

By Lindsay Pollard-Post

Do you know where your dog is right now? If the answer is “outside” and not under your watchful eye, don’t keep reading—go get your dog. A disturbing crime called “dog flipping” is on the rise, and unattended animals are the prime targets.

“Flippers” prowl neighborhoods looking for animals they can obtain for free and then sell on sites like Craigslist. Friendly, roaming dogs and cats are flippers’ favorite victims. Some animals have even been abducted right out of their guardians’ yards.

Last December, a Texas family’s 11-year-old dog, Sushi, went missing after apparently escaping through a hole in their backyard fence. Weeks later, her family spotted an ad on Craigslist featuring a dog who looked exactly like her. But after they inquired about the dog, the ad was removed.

Another Craigslist ad appeared advertising a dog who resembled Sushi. This time, Sushi’s guardian arranged a meeting with the seller to buy the dog at a store parking lot. The dog’s fur was a different color—it had apparently been dyed—but a scan of her microchip revealed that it was indeed Sushi, who had disappeared seven months earlier. Sushi was lucky—many victims of dog flipping never see their families again.

Being torn away from the people they love and sold to strangers is just one of many perils that animals face when they are left outdoors alone. Bunchers—people who abduct animals to sell to laboratories for experiments—also cruise neighborhoods, as do dogfighters looking for animals to use as “bait.”

Unsupervised dogs and cats also make easy targets for abusers. Most of the 400-plus reports of cruelty cases that PETA receives weekly involve animals who were victimized while outside unsupervised.

Last year in Colorado, a home security camera showed a man entering a backyard and spraying three small dogs with what investigators believe was pepper spray. The man returned hours later and violently swung at one of the dogs with a golf club, chased her into the house and emerged carrying a garbage bag. The dog was never seen again.

In Washington, a dog named Butterfinger died after a neighbor allegedly shot him with a pellet gun, piercing his liver and stomach and causing hemorrhaging. According to Butterfinger’s guardians, the neighbor was upset because the dog kept going onto his property.

Poison, traffic, disease, extreme weather and many other hazards claim the lives of animals who are left outdoors every year. One homeowner in Florida called PETA because her cat, who lived outdoors, died after her home was fumigated for insects.. The cat had apparently gotten trapped under the tent that was draped over the house during the fumigation and was killed by the insecticide.

It’s crucial to protect our animal companions from the many dangers lurking outside by keeping them indoors with the rest of the family and letting them out only on a leash and harness or in a fenced area under close supervision.

Spaying or neutering our animals (which we should do anyway, given the millions of cats and dogs who must be euthanized every year for lack of a good home) can make them less attractive to flippers, who often hope to breed them. Having them microchipped and fitted with collars and identification tags can also help bring them back to us if they ever go missing.

Dogs and cats are as vulnerable as toddlers in the great outdoors. No parents in their right mind would turn their 2-year-old child loose to wander the streets alone. Letting our animal companions do so is just as risky.

Don’t let the Fourth of July be a dangerous day for pets!

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Patriotic Pup #2. Jett!!!!! July 1, 2015

The July 4 holiday can be thrilling for humans, but it’s actually a dangerous time for pets — and one of the busiest days of the year in animal emergency hospitals.

Exploding firecrackers can be just as hazardous for pets as for humans, but that’s not where the danger ends. The loud noise, and even the food and family gatherings, all pose hazards to dogs, cats, birds and other pets.

It’s common for emergency animal hospitals to see 25 percent or more patients than normal on Independence Day.

The noise of fireworks – including that string of firecrackers set off by your neighbor– sometimes causes panic in pets. Scared dogs have been known to charge into glass doors or bolt outside into traffic.

Outdoor grilling is a must for many people, but some human food that gets spilled to the ground or pilfered from an unwatched picnic table can make animals sick. Foods that can upset your pet’s digestive tract include onions, garlic, avocados, grapes, raisins and chocolate.

And staying out in the sun can cause heatstroke — not just for people, but also for fur-covered members of the family.

Fortunately, a little planning and care can help your pets stay safe and comfortable as you enjoy the festivities.

Here are a few tips:

During fireworks, make sure your dogs or cats are in safe, indoor places where they cannot escape or get hurt. Turn on music or television for comforting background noise. You also can play a game with them or give them a favorite toy.

If your pets are especially nervous about fireworks you may want to buy a specially designed, snug-fitting jacket which comforts dogs by applying pressure around their bodies.

After the family barbecue, don’t treat your dogs to leftover bones from steak, ribs, chicken or other human food. The bones often splinter and may become a choking hazard.

The safest policy is to avoid giving human food to pets because so much of it can be harmful to them. If you want your pets to celebrate along with you, buy them a few extra pet treats while stocking up on your own groceries.

Don’t let your pets stay outside in the heat for long periods of time, especially if they’re not used to it. If pets do get overheated, spray them down with water that is cool or room temperature – but never ice water, which causes a decrease in blood flow to the skin and makes things even worse.

Remember, regular visits to your family veterinarian are the best way to keep your pets healthy.  But if an accident does occur over the holidays, don’t hesitate to bring your pet to an emergency veterinarian right away.

Animal Times: Winter pet safety

By Deb Young

The winter season brings many occasions to celebrate and enjoy the snowy
weather.

However, it is also a time for heightened pet safety with the introduction
of seasonal plants, foods and cold weather products.

Various forms including baking chocolate Chocolate contains caffeine-like
substances, and in some forms, a high amount of fat as well. Depending on
the amount ingested, chocolate can potentially cause vomiting, increased
thirst and urination, diarrhea, hyperactivity, elevated heart rate and
seizures – and can even be lethal in large enough doses.

Preservative for the tree may contain fertilizers, which, if ingested, can
upset the stomach. Stagnant tree water can be breeding grounds for bacteria,
which can also lead to vomiting, nausea and diarrhea.

While decorations aren’t directly toxic, ribbon and tinsel can cause
gastrointestinal blockage that can be life-threatening to pets. Ornaments
can be broken or swallowed whole.

Holly, Mistletoe, Lilies and Poinsettia can be particularly harmful to your
pet. Eating Holly could produce nausea, vomiting, diarrhea and lethargy. If
a dog or cat eats Mistletoe, gastrointestinal upset and possibly even
cardiovascular problems could result.

Pets should not be given holiday leftovers and garbage should be kept in an
area inaccessible to animals. Poultry bones can splinter and cause damage or
blockage in the gastrointestinal tract. Spicy or fatty foods can cause
stomach upset and could possibly lead to inflammation of the pancreas.
Additionally, moldy or spoiled foods could produce food poisoning, tremors
or seizures.

Ingestions of grapes and raisins have been associated with acute kidney
failure in dogs. Some dogs initially develop vomiting and begin drinking
large amounts of water, then subsequently develop diarrhea and
life-threatening kidney failure.

Antifreeze products containing ethylene glycol are highly toxic and can
produce life-threatening kidney damage, even in small amounts. For example,
just one tablespoon of 50-50 diluted antifreeze can be lethal to a 10-pound
cat, and as little as 4 ounces in a 20-pound dog could be fatal. Many
windshield washer products contain methanol, which if ingested can cause
drooling, vomiting, drunkenness and severe central nervous system
depression. Ice melt products may contain ingredients that can be very
irritating to the skin and gastrointestinal tract, and could also
potentially result in more severe effects including depression, weakness,
disorientation, low blood pressure, cardiac problems, seizures, coma and
even death depending on the type of ice melt and circumstances of exposure.

A few more things to remember:

Keep your pets warm and indoors. As always cats should stay inside. Since
cats left outdoors may stay warm in car wheel wells or under hoods, you
should awake any sleeping animals by rapping on your car hood before
starting the engine.

Trips outside should remain short during the winter months. While dogs need
outdoor exercise, lengthy walks can prove harmful especially when wind chill
is a factor.

Dogs should remain leashed and supervised when outdoors throughout the year.
However in the winter do not bring them near bodies of water even if they
appear frozen.

Shorthaired dogs and clipped breeds should be dressed in protective
clothing.

Wipe off your dog’s foot pads and stomach fur after returning from the
outdoors.

Outdoor shelters for pets should be dry, secure from wind and only large
enough for them to stand up, turn around and lie down. The shelter floor
should also be elevated from ground level and have dry bedding. A steady
water supply should be provided in plastic bowls and checked on so that it
does not freeze.

Pets that spend a greater amount of time outdoors also require more food.

Keeping the family pet safe during the holidays is simple if you plan ahead.

Eight tips for keeping pets healthy in winter

By Deb Young

Winter time can be a fun season for you and your pet. But with the snow and cold weather comes dangers as well.

1. Honk your horn or pound on the hood before starting your car on cold days. To a cat, a warm engine block can seem like a nice escape from cold winter winds.

2. Keep your pet away from antifreeze with ethylene glycol. It’s sweet and extremely lethal, even in small doses.

3. If it is colder than 20 degrees your pet should only go out for short bathroom breaks.

4. Protect your dog from road salt which can become lodged in the paw and cause a painful infection, make sure paws are free from salt after being outdoors.

5. You might think it’s silly but a sweater or coat is necessary for small dogs, old dogs, dogs with short fur or dogs with a combination of these characteristics.

6. Even outdoor cats should be given a break in winter and brought inside Day/night. Felines can freeze, become lost or stolen, injured or killed.

7. Never leave your dog or cat alone in a car during cold weather. A car can act as a refrigerator in the winter, holding in the cold and causing the animal to freeze to death.

8. Even out outdoor chained dogs should be brought inside , even in garage or heated basement.