December 23, 2010
Ho Ho Ho! Holiday Safety Tips for Pet Owners
Happy Holidays from Dog Tails! All year, we’ve enjoyed sharing our stories and advice with you, our fantastic audience of passionate pet owners. We hope our blog has kept your informed about and, of course, entertained by all things canine (and feline, too)!
In our last post before Christmas, we pulled together one last list of tips to keep your pets safe during the end-of-season holiday madness. Noise, food, decorations, guests, travel – these next two weeks have it all! Follow our final list of tips for 2010, and enjoy the most wonderful time of the year with your wonderful pets!
Holiday feasts are not only tempting for us, but also for our pets. Be sure to keep an eye out for unattended plates or serving dishes left within reach. Also, don’t forget to watch the trash and any drinks – your pets can get in trouble exploring these things, too!
Extra caution is needed for specific, dangerous foods containing chocolate, xylitol, bones, alcohol or grapes. (For more information on good and bad people food for pets, check out this previous blog post and the ASPCA website.) As we discussed in our Thanksgiving tips, leftover treats should be kept to a minimum and limited to foods that your pets have tried before without incident. (Nobody enjoys a Christmas trip to the Vet!)
To avoid food-related surprises altogether, purchase or prepare special holiday-themed treats (like these for dogs and these for cats). Inform your guests that table scraps are off-limits for Fido and Fluffy, and instead, have proper treats available so you can include your pet in the holiday festivities without risking any unintended consequences.
The Christmas tree is a holiday tradition for many – but it can be a nightmare for dog owners. The ASPCA reminds you to securely anchor your tree to make sure it does not fall, especially if your pet likes to play near it. If you have a real tree, keep your pet away from the tree water. It may contain fertilizers, and if it stays stagnant, it can upset your pet’s stomach and cause diarrhea.
Also, keep your pet away from the tree’s strings of lights. Some dogs are tempted to chew these cords, which can cause a serious electric shock. Check for signs of chewing each day, and do not let your pet play in the tree area if these signs appear. If you need more than a stern warning to keep your pet away from the tree, you may want to consider using an electronic indoor boundary to ensure the safety of both your pet and your tree. Indoor boundaries also work well for other indoor areas (such as the kitchen counter!). Check the Indoor Boundaries section of the DogWatch website for more information.
July 1, 2010
Doggy Paddle: Pool and Beach Safety Tips for Dogs
You have been waiting for months, and it’s finally time to dive in! Beach and pool season is upon us, and chances are you’ll be enjoying one of these cooling-off options this summer.
But remember, there’s no need to leave the dog at home! DogWatch Hidden Fences has compiled another batch of summer tips, this time focusing on water safety for dogs. While the issue of water safety for dogs is very serious, we know that with careful planning, training and attention, you and your dog can stay cool and have a blast this summer. Let’s start with the basics…
All dogs can swim, right? Not exactly. Some dogs, like Portuguese water dogs and retrievers, are terrific natural swimmers, while others, especially short and/or stout dogs like bulldogs, basset hounds, corgis and pugs, have a much harder time than others. Regardless of breed, all dogs should be gradually introduced to water rather than simply being tossed in unattended.
According to the ASPCA, swim lessons should start as early as possible, preferably when the dog is a still a puppy. Even if this is not possible, proper training is still key to ensuring that your dog is safe and reacts positively to water.
This video of Ruby the Dogue de Bordeaux learning to swim provides a great lesson plan for dogs. Dog trainers suggest that you get in the water first, and slowly encourage your dog to follow you in, one step at a time. Take your time and give the dog lots of praise and encouragement. Having a dog friend around can also help: your dog may follow her friend into the water if she sees her go in safely.
May 26, 2010
Dog Travels, Part I: Leaving on a Jetplane
There’s no denying the fact that air travel is a scary experience for some people. Remember your first flight? Did you grasp your parent’s or your partner’s hand tightly? Did you breathe faster? Did your forehead sweat, and did you fidget nervously in your seat?
Chances are that you experienced these first flight jitters (and maybe some second or third flight jitters too). Imagine, then, what your dog is feeling before his or her first flight. He or she will most likely be anxious, confused and vocal. It is your job to make sure that your dog is capable of and prepared for air travel.
DogWatch Hidden Fences wants to help. This summer, Dog Tails will offer a series of posts with pet travel tips and information. For our first installment, we’ll start big with airplane travel. We’ve broken down the preparation process into three steps: 1) Know your options, 2) Schedule a Vet Appointment and 3) Pack Wisely.