fbpx
Articles Tagged with: Pet Safety
Watch & Share: It’s TOO HOT FOR SPOT

Leaving a pet alone inside a hot car can have dangerous consequences

To raise awareness for this HOT animal welfare issue, the Animal Rescue League of Boston and Boston Veterinary Care ask our followers and the media to share important information about the dangers of leaving pets in parked cars during the warm summer months.

Pets don’t sweat like humans do and cannot cool their bodies efficiently in hot temperatures. Even when the outside temperature is 80 degrees, the inside of a car can heat up to more than 120 degrees in just minutes – even with the windows cracked! That’s why leaving your pet inside of a hot car is the most common cause of deadly heat stroke.

In following video, “Too Hot for Spot – Dangers of Hot Cars for Pets”, ARL’s shelter animals explain the risks of leaving your pet alone inside a parked car.

Click the “play” button below to watch:

Spot a pet alone in a parked car? Follow these 3 steps:

  1. Take down the car’s make, model, and license plate number.
  2. Ask nearby store managers or security guards to make an announcement to find the dog’s owner.
  3. If the owner can’t be found, call the non-emergency number of your local police department or Animal Control Officer.

Help us spread the word about this HOT summer safety issue! Stop by ARL’s shelters in Boston and Brewster this Summer and pick up a Too Hot for Spot car magnet!  A donation is appreciated by not required.

SPECIAL THANKS to our Too Hot for Spot media sponsor Animal Hospital of Orleans and our media partners Cool 102, WBZ 1030, NECN, WEEI-FM, WEEI-AM/ESPN, and WRKO-AM.

too hot for spot


It’s Too Hot for Spot! Signs of Heat Stroke

BVC answers your FAQs about this potentially fatal condition

All Summer long, the ARL has been sharing advice during our TOO HOT FOR SPOT campaign on how to

heat stroke

Never leave your pet alone in a parked car on a warm day- even with the windows cracked. It’s just TOO HOT FOR SPOT!

keep your pet safe in the warmer months. This week, we focus on identifying the symptoms of, and how to prevent heat stroke in your pet.

When temperatures begin to rise, so do concerns about animal safety. Even when the thermometer dips below 80 degrees, the threat for heat stroke still exists. Fortunately, pet owners who take the proper precautions can greatly reduce the risks of this potentially fatal condition.

Want to learn more? Boston Veterinary Care (BVC) answers some of your most FAQs:

Q. What is heat stroke?

A. Heat stroke is a serious condition caused by your pet’s body overheating, usually as a result of prolonged exposure to or physical exertion in high temperatures. Immediate medical attention by a veterinarian is required.

Q. What makes cats and dogs susceptible to heat stroke?

A: Pets don’t sweat the way humans do, which makes them unable to cool their bodies efficiently in the heat. If their core body temperature rises too high (typically 104 degrees or higher), they run the risk of going into shock or organ failure.

Q. Which symptoms should I look for when trying to diagnose heat stroke in my pet?

A: More obvious symptoms of potential heatstroke in cats and dogs include: difficulty breathing, fever, dizziness, lack of coordination, profuse salivation, vomiting, a deep red or purple tongue, seizure, and unconsciousness. More subtle symptoms include: heavy panting, glazed eyes, a rapid heartbeat, excessive thirst, lethargy.

Q. Is there anything I can do until my pet receives medical attention?

A: While you wait for assistance, apply cool wet towels to the groin and “underarm” areas. If your pet is alert enough, try having them slowly sip cold water. Even if your pet begins to appear better or more alert, you should still make an emergency visit to your pet’s veterinarian as only they will be able to diagnose whether or not your pet is suffering from heat stroke.

Q. How can I protect my cat or dog from getting heat stroke altogether?

A: Prevention is always your best bet. On hot days, leave your pet at home in a cool humidity and temperature-regulated room and keep them hydrated with a bowl of cold water accessible at all times. If your pet must be outdoors, find a shady spot with ample air flow and limit exercise to the morning or evening hours when temperatures are at their coolest.

Finally, never leave your pet alone in a parked car—even with the air conditioner on or the windows cracked. On an 85 degree day, the temperature inside a car can rise above 100 degrees in less than 10 minutes, which is why it is the most common cause of deadly heat stroke. It’s just TOO HOT FOR SPOT!

If you suspect that your pet is suffering from heat stroke, seek immediate medical attention from a veterinarian.

For more warm weather pet safety tips, visit arlboston.org/summer-safety


How to Calm Your Dog During a Thunderstorm

Too Hot for Spot Tuesday Tip: Thunderstorm Dog Safety

If you’re like some dog owners, you’ve probably had several sleepless nights over the last week thanks to your dog’s “thunder phobia” resulting from the severe thunderstorms that have been plaguing the Northeast.

This fear can manifest in a variety of ways including – hiding, whining, scratching, slobbering, or destructive behavior – and it can get worse with age. Dogs possess special sensitivities that can make storms more terrifying. They can sense the change in air pressure, and may hear low-frequency rumblings that we, humans, can’t detect. 

07-08-14 Too Hot for Spot Tuesday- Thunderstorms Pic07-08-14 Thunderstorms PicSo, if you want to help calm your pup (and hopefully get some “shut-eye”) during the next thunderstorm, try these 5 tips:

  1. Stay with your dog if you can. Having you by his side will make him feel safer.
  2. If there are windows in the room, close the blinds or curtains, or cover the windows so the dog can’t see outside.
  3. Create a safe haven. Hiding is a natural instinct, so provide your dog with a safe indoor area, like a crate. If you have a wire crate, cover it with a light sheet. Leave the door open so your dog doesn’t feel trapped.
  4. Play calming music to drown out the thunder.
  5. Distract your dog. Try playing his favorite game and giving him treats. He might learn to associate storms with fun and play, rather than anxiety and fear.

If none of these work and your dog’s “thunder phobia” is really out of control, consult with your veterinarian.

For more summer pet safety tips visit: arlboston.org/summer-safety.

 


Winter Playtime Tips for You and Your Dog

Protect Your Pup from the Winter Weather

Winter is upon us and with it comes snow and freezing weather.  Just as people need to keep active, healthy, and—of course—warm in during these colder months, dogs need extra help as well.

To protect your pup in winter weather….

Keep your dog on leash in the snow and ice.  Dogs can easily lose their scent in the snow, so never let your dog off-leash during a snowstorm, or when there’s ice or snow on the ground.  If you’re walking near “frozen” ponds, lakes, or streams, remember ice is not always uniformly thick or stable, and your pup could fall through into frigid water if he or she is allowed to explore off-leash.

Wipe your dog’s paws AND stomach when he’s been outside in the snow or sleet. Sidewalks are often treated with rock salt, antifreeze, and other dangerous chemicals. Not only are these bad for your pet’s paws, but if ingested these chemicals are often poisonous. Make sure your pet does not lick his paws or stomach before you’ve wiped them down.

Prepare your pup for the elements. If your dog typically has a longer coat, let it grow for the winter. A longer coat provides more warmth and protection from colder temperatures. If your dog has a short coat, make sure to get him a coat or a sweater.  Just like you, he’ll enjoy the outdoors much more if he isn’t shivering.

Don’t leave your pet alone in a car during cold weather. Many dogs love a car ride to their favorite park or play area, just remember the warm temperatures inside your vehicle don’t stick around for very long once the engine is off.  As the thermometer plummets, your car can act like a refrigerator and your dog can freeze to death.

Pay attention to protein.  If your dog spends a lot of time outside, playing, running, or going for long walks, make sure he’s getting enough protein. Among other benefits, protein helps maintain a healthy coat.  And a coat in excellent condition will keep him nice and warm while he frolics in the snow!

While it’s not always easy to get excited about going outside in the freezing cold, nothing beats the winter blues like watching your dog plow through the fluffy stuff.   If your dog likes to play in the snow, go ahead and join him!

There’s probably nothing that he’d like better than to have his best friend (that’s you) play fetch in the snow or just run around with him—it’s great exercise and bonding for you both.

12-31 Wintertime Snow Play Tips_Photo

Photo: The Ski Channel

For more helpful tips about dog and cat health and behavior, visit arlboston.org/helpfultips


Halloween Safety Tips for Your Dog

Beware of Tricksters, Don’t Leave Dogs Unattended Outside

Tricks and Treats may be fun for people and some dogs, but many dogs need some extra attention and vigilance around the Halloween season. Kim Melanson, CPDT-KA, Behavior Counselor at the Animal Rescue League of Boston shares some advice.

Keep pumpkins out of your dog's reach!

Keep pumpkins out of your dog’s reach! Photo: petsolutions.com

Keep treats out of reach of your dog. Some candies, fruits, nuts and chocolate can upset your dog’s digestion. Some are even dangerous and poisonous for dogs, raisins, grapes, dark and baking chocolate and the artificial sweetener, Xylitol, to name a few. Some houses do give out coins for Halloween so watch out for coins and pennies, some dogs will ingest them.

Halloween decorations should be secure and away from pet areas. Electrical wires and cords in the house could attract dangerous chewing. If candles are used, be careful that the dog cannot knock them over or get to them. Also, some of the decorations that are noisy and scary could scare your dog, so be aware of this and keep those outside or out of sight of your dog.

Trick or Treaters coming to your house can often cause stress, over excitement and/or scare dogs. Even children they know, who are dressed up in costumes and masks, could scare a dog that is usually friendly to the neighbors. Your dog is better off secured in a crate and/or back room, to be away from the door and action. This is crucial if you have a shyer or fearful dog that normally avoids any of these things: children, loud noises, busy places, new people and new things.  Other dogs, although friendly, are very excited and may bark and jump at the door and people; they would be better off in a separate room too. Practicing training and polite greetings at the door on Halloween night is not advised, as it is too distracting and too busy for the dog and you to be able to learn.

Beware of Tricksters, unfortunately some people still like to vandalize and play dirty tricks at Halloween time. Included in these may be;  teasing, letting dogs out, throwing things, or even stealing dogs left outside.  Do not leave your dog outside unattended, especially at night, and do not allow your dog to be the front yard greeter on Halloween night.

Newly adopted dogs and puppies should be watched closely, as you might not know exactly how they will react during Halloween time. On walks before Halloween night, notice how they react to decorations:  fearful, curious or indifferent? How have they been with strangers and/or children? They should be kept secure in a separate room. It would be good if you could have someone in there with them to notice behavior and whether they are scared of all the noises and action? You can always add music and a nice chew toy or bone to their area so that they are distracted and maybe even happy during trick or treating time.

If your dog is a genuinely friendly, relaxed, confident and calm dog with familiar and unfamiliar people, things and dogs, maybe he could be included in the festivities. It’s best if he is on leash sitting while saying hello as people and children come to the door. You could even have dog treats that he gets from the Trick or Treaters for sitting and doing tricks at the door. He could walk the neighborhood with an adult; do not let a child hold your dog’s leash on Halloween, as they have much more fun if they don’t have dog care responsibility that night.

If you are sure your dog is comfortable wearing clothes or costumes dress him up if you like and take him to a dog Halloween celebration. See our tips on dressing up your dog on Halloween.

Please remember not all other dogs, children or adults like dogs; children are often scared of dogs, so be considerate and keep your dog close to you unless a person asks to greet and say hello to your dog.

 


5 Pet Friendly July 4 Tips

Keep Your Pet Safe on July 4th

Most of us love a good 4th of July fireworks display, but our pets are not so enthusiastic about the festivities of the day. In fact, animals with “noise phobias” – fear of noises and sounds like fireworks and thunderstorms – may be terrified.

Photo credit: sitmeanssit.com

Photo credit: sitmeanssit.com

To ensure that your 4th of July holiday is fun for you and your pet, here are a few tips from Dr. Martha Smith-Blackmore, the League’s Vice President of Animal Welfare:

  1. Leave your pet at home if you are planning on attending a fireworks celebration.
  2. Keep small pets indoors preferably in a room with no windows. You can turn on the TV or radio to provide some distraction
  3. Have your pet constrained on a leash or kept in a carrier if you must be outside with them.
  4. Be aware that some pets become “fearfully aggressive” due to loud noises. Protect your pets from people who are waving sparklers or setting off home fireworks.
  5. Never punish your pet for his fearful behavior, but don’t reinforce the behavior by trying to sooth your pet with ‘It’s ok’ or similar words.  Paying attention to your pet may positively reinforce the fearful behavior.

Dr. Smith-Blackmore also notes that many animal shelters report increases of “stray” animal intakes after the July 4th holiday due to the number of pets running away in an attempt to avoid the noise and excitement. “Be sure that your pet has a current ID tag and/or microchip so that you and your pet can be easily reunited in the case he or she runs off,” she advises.

If you believe any of your pets has a noise phobia, talk with your veterinarian about the best ways to keep your pet safe during the holiday.


Feline Focus: 5 Spring Cleaning Tips For Your Cat

While we humans are busily cleaning this spring, our cats are, well, doing the opposite. Spring is when cats shed, which could easily impede your cleaning efforts and cause your allergies to flare up, but with a few helpful tips you can have a clean house this spring and a happy, healthy cat! So as you’re tackling your to-do lists, consider these tips that will make spring cleaning easier on you and your cat:

1.  Coiffed Cat: A well-brushed cat will help keep the house clean and keep your allergies to a minimum. A thorough brushing 3-4 times a week goes a long way towards reducing shedding. Some grooming tools remove loose fur and dander in the undercoat. Visit Petco’s grooming section for some helpful tools.

2.  Bath time: For most cats, a bath is their worst enemy, but if your cat will allow it, try bathing your cat using a pet shampoo. For those cats who refuse a bath, consider some earth-friendly, all natural hypoallergenic cat wipes. They can be used daily and help to remove dander and maintain a healthy coat.

3.  Wash Your Cat’s Bedding: Take a look around the house and find any places that your cat frequents and wash/clean them. Pillow covers and blankets can easily be thrown in the washing machine and many cat beds will have removable covers that are washing machine safe. Remember to use a gentle, unscented detergent that won’t irritate your cat. If it’s something that can’t be put in the washing machine, then vacuum it thoroughly. Some vacuums have special pet hair attachments.

4.  Take Caution: While you’re sprucing up your place for spring don’t forget to keep the cleaning chemicals away from your pet! Almost all commercially sold cleaning products contain chemicals that are harmful to animals. Keep your vet’s emergency hotline in a prominent place, just in case. Remember to properly dispose of old cleaners and hazardous materials that may pose a danger to your cat.

5.  Allergies: Yes, pets get them too! Pay attention to any changes in your cats health of behavior – scratching, irritated eyes or runny nose may be symptoms of allergies. Cleaning can stir up mold spores or dust that can irritate their delicate respiratory system.


Howl-oween Safety Tips for Dogs

Tricks and Treats may be fun for people and some dogs, but many dogs need some extra attention and vigilance around the Halloween season. Kim Melanson, CPDT-KA, Behavior Counselor at the Center for Shelter Dogs shares some advice.

Photo Credit: Maria Uribe

Keep treats out of reach of your dog. Some candies, fruits, nuts and chocolate can upset your dog’s digestion. Some are even dangerous and poisonous for dogs, raisins, grapes, dark and baking chocolate and the artificial sweetener, Xylitol, to name a few. Some houses do give out coins for Halloween so watch out for coins and pennies, some dogs will ingest them.

Halloween decorations should be secure and away from pet areas. Electrical wires and cords in the house could attract dangerous chewing. If candles are used, be careful that the dog cannot knock them over or get to them. Also, some of the decorations that are noisy and scary could scare your dog, so be aware of this and keep those outside or out of sight of your dog.

Trick or Treaters coming to your house can often cause stress, over excitement and/or scare dogs. Even children they know, who are dressed up in costumes and masks, could scare a dog that is usually friendly to the neighbors. Your dog is better off secured in a crate and/or back room, to be away from the door and action. This is crucial if you have a shyer or fearful dog that normally avoids any of these things: children, loud noises, busy places, new people and new things.  Other dogs, although friendly, are very excited and may bark and jump at the door and people; they would be better off in a separate room too. Practicing training and polite greetings at the door on Halloween night is not advised, as it is too distracting and too busy for the dog and you to be able to learn.

Beware of Tricksters, unfortunately some people still like to vandalize and play dirty tricks at Halloween time. Included in these may be;  teasing, letting dogs out, throwing things, or even stealing dogs left outside.  Do not leave your dog outside unattended, especially at night, and do not allow your dog to be the front yard greeter on Halloween night.

Newly adopted dogs and puppies should be watched closely, as you might not know exactly how they will react during Halloween time. On walks before Halloween night, notice how they react to decorations:  fearful, curious or indifferent? How have they been with strangers and/or children? They should be kept secure in a separate room. It would be good if you could have someone in there with them to notice behavior and whether they are scared of all the noises and action? You can always add music and a nice chew toy or bone to their area so that they are distracted and maybe even happy during trick or treating time.

If your dog is a genuinely friendly, relaxed, confident and calm dog with familiar and unfamiliar people, things and dogs, maybe he could be included in the festivities. It’s best if he is on leash sitting while saying hello as people and children come to the door. You could even have dog treats that he gets from the Trick or Treaters for sitting and doing tricks at the door. He could walk the neighborhood with an adult; do not let a child hold your dog’s leash on Halloween, as they have much more fun if they don’t have dog care responsibility that night. If you are sure your dog is comfortable wearing clothes or costumes dress him up if you like and take him to a dog Halloween celebration. See our tips on dressing up your dog on Halloween.

If your dog does join in the fun, please remember not all other dogs, children or adults like dogs; children are often scared of dogs, so be considerate and keep your dog close to you unless a person asks to greet and say hello to your dog.

Have a Spooktacular Halloween!