Archive for Pet Safety
During the summer months in the valley, temperatures can be lethal for humans as well as our pets. While outside with your dog, please be mindful of the signs of heat exhaustion, which could lead to a potentially fatal heat stroke.
Heat Exhaustion Signs in Dogs
1. Heavy panting – The first sign of heat exhaustion is heavy panting. Since dogs are incapable of sweating, their only way to cool their internal temperature is through panting.
2. Pay close attention to certain breeds – Certain breeds with heavy coats (such as Shelties or Chow Chows) and other breeds with short snouts making it harder for them to breath (such as Boxers and Pugs) are much more susceptible to heat exhaustion and should be watched closely while in hot temperatures.
3. Weakness – Dogs may experience weakness in extreme heat.
4. Disorientation – You may notice that your dog is unaware of his/her surroundings while experiencing heat exhaustion.
5. Vomiting – This may also occur during heat exhaustion.
Heat Stroke Signs in Dogs
1. Heavy panting – This is also the first sign of heat stroke.
2. Disorientation – Another characteristic of heat stroke.
3. Diarrhea – This often occurs in the event of a heat stroke.
4. Seizures and/or coma – Another very serious symptom of heat stroke.
It is very important to spot the signs of heat exhaustion early before a heat stroke occurs, as heat strokes are often times fatal. Pet owners who observe serious signs of heat stroke or heat exhaustion should seek help from a veterinarian immediately. In the mean time, there are some things that can be done to cool down a dog displaying signs of heat exhaustion:
1. Provide plenty of water
2. Keep the pet in a cool resting place
3. Place a cool, wet towel around the dog’s neck
4. Ice packs may be placed on the dog’s arm pit area or neck area
Some very simple steps can be taken to avoid the serious effects of heat stroke and heat exhaustion in pets.
1. Avoid taking your dog out during the middle of the day in the hot summer months.
2. Walk dogs only during the morning and evening hours when the temperature is cooler.
3. Provide plenty of fresh water at all times.
4. Never leave your pet outside, tied up, unattended, or in a vehicle during the summer months.
In-Home Pet Care, Dog Walking
The beautiful spring weather may inspire you to enjoy the outdoors with your pets while working on the yard or garden. However, your pets may be in danger from hazardous contact with weed killers, insecticides, and poisonous plants.
Experts at the ASPCA Animal Poison Control Center (APCC) offer some tips on what to look out for while gardening:
Insecticides – Always store insecticides in a safe area, out of your pets’ reach. APCC warns specifically, “The most dangerous forms of pesticides include snail bait with metaldehyde, fly bait with methomyl, systemic insecticides with the ingredients disyston or disulfoton, mole or gopher bait with zinc phosphide and most forms of rat poisons.”
Fertilizer – If ingested in large amounts, your pet could get very sick. Keep fertilizer out of your pets’ reach.
Toxic Plants – Some of the most common toxic plants include: sago palm, rhododendron, and azalea. For a full list of toxic yet common plants, please visit the ASPCA website.
In-Home Pet Care, Dog Walking
Scottsdale Pet Owner Concerned About Cat Diseases
One of my clients in Scottsdale, Arizona who is a cat-lover, asked me if there are any diseases that could be transferred from cats to humans? In my experience, I had never seen this happen, but I thought I should do a little research on the topic and share it. Turns out that it is possible for diseases to be carried from cats to humans (also known as zoonotic diseases), although it is rare. People with lower immune systems, such as: the elderly, infants, women who are pregnant, individuals going through chemotherapy or with AIDS are the most susceptible. The only way to contract a disease from an infected cat is to come in direct contact with bodily fluids, excrement, or fleas / ticks/ parasites.
- Maintain good hygiene in your home such as washing hands regularly
- Take your cat to the vet for a yearly check-up, vaccinations, and/or whenever he is sick
- Continue to use safe flea and tick control
- Avoid letting your cat lick your face or any dishware / utensils that you use
- Regularly dispose of waste from the litter box
- Clean litter boxes with hot water and detergent weekly
- Cover your children’s sand boxes whenever they are not in use
- Keep your cat indoors only
- See a doctor if a cat bite appears to be infected
Maintaining proper hygiene in the home is the best way to prevent the transfer of diseases from cats to humans, and to ensure a happier, healthier home for your cat.
In-Home Pet Care, Dog Walking
A Scottsdale client recently told me a story of how his indoor / outdoor cat came home with scratches and bite marks after spending the night outside. His cat really enjoyed the freedom and stimulation of being outdoors, but after several dangerous encounters, this client decided to keep his kitty indoors.
Many veterinarians agree that indoor cats live longer due to lower incidents of illness, accidents, and stress. For a happier, healthier pet, consider keeping your cat indoors.
Here are 10 reasons to keep your cat safely indoors:
- Cat Parasites – Fleas, tapeworms, hookworms, and other parasites live outside.
- Accidents – Car accidents are a common cause of injury and death for outdoor cats.
- Feline Infection & Disease – Contact with other animals carrying infections and diseases such as: rabies, leukemia virus, and cat AIDS.
- Poisoning – Ingestion or exposure of toxic chemicals and plants could occur.
- Cat Fights – Fights with other animals such as: cats, dogs, raccoons, and skunks.
- Cat Allergies – Some cats may develop allergy symptoms if outdoors for extended periods of time.
- Early Detection – If kept indoors, you may quickly notice any changes in your pet’s health and behavior, in order to treat illnesses earlier.
- Reduce Stress – The stable environment that only a pet owner can provide while indoors, results in less stress for your beloved cats.
- Cleaner Home – By reducing your cats’ exposure to the outdoors, you are ridding your home of possibly harmful elements such as: dirt, disease, and bacteria.
- Longer, Happier Life – The facts are simple. By reducing the exposure to risks and stresses of the outdoors, you are providing a longer and happier life for your cat.
Making the decision to keep your cat indoors for safety and health reasons is a very personal choice – for you and your cat. In Scottsdale, we have coyotes, feral cats and homeless dogs, raccoons and other hungry animals roaming about – not to mention the occasional rattlesnake! Give us a call at TLC Pet Sitter for tips and advice for keeping your cat safe.
In-Home Care for Cats, Dogs, & All Pets
Pet First Aid Supplies You’ll Want to Keep at Home
While pet sitting for a client in Scottsdale, AZ, I realized that 2 of the dogs had been in a fight while I was away. One dog had a cut on her eye lid, while the other dog had some minor scratches and bites to the face. Fortunately, it was nothing too serious, but it reminded me of the importance of having a pet first aid kit in the home. Here is a great check list for starting your own pet first aid kit. It could save your pet’s life!
1. Important phone numbers and medical records including: your veterinarian, your local animal hospital, and Animal Poison Control Center: 888-4ANI-HELP (888-426-4435)- there may be a fee for this call
2. Leash, board or blanket to use as a stretcher, and kennel to transport your pet
3. Digital thermometer- the temperature must be taken rectally rather than orally
4. Eye dropper or syringe without needle for oral treatments and flushing wounds
5. Gauze which can be used for wrapping wounds or muzzling- don’t use a muzzle if your pet is vomiting
6. Bandages or clean cloth, and adhesive tape for bandages – do not use adhesive bandages like Band-Aid on your pet
7. Milk of Magnesia
8. Activated charcoal for poison absorption
9. Hydrogen peroxide (3%) to induce vomiting – always talk to your vet or Animal Poison Control first before inducing vomiting
Dog Walking, Pet Sitting
Our pets are so very dear to us. We care for their every waking moment, and for many pet owners, our pets are our children.
Like most children, pets often get into things they shouldn’t. This curiosity, however, can be life-threatening. Poisonous hazards are all over the average home. The way we childproof our homes for our human members we should also pet-proof them for our animal family members.
The experts at North Shore Animal League America want to help keep your pets safe by sharing some helpful advice on how to protect your pets from a plethora of poisonous hazards.
Medications and Vitamins:
As you would for your children, you should keep all medications – human and animal – out of your pet’s reach. Plastic bottles and child-resistant caps can easily be chewed off, so it’s best not to leave them lying around. Vitamins – especially those containing iron –can be extremely hazardous and even deadly – especially to cats.
Cleaning supplies such as disinfectants and bleaches, personal hygiene products, potpourri, insectisides, rodenticides and just about every household cleaner can be toxic if ingested. Also remember that even if your pet rubs up against them and licks their coat, they can still fall victim to these poisons.
While we love to keep our property at its best, there may be even more reasons to “go green.” Some of the products that make are gardens grow can be deadly to our pets. Keep these harmful chemicals far away from your pets: herbicides, fertilizer, anti-freeze, pool chemicals, paint and even paint chips. Just about every outdoor chemicals can be toxic if ingested. Rule of thumb – if it’s a chemical, keep it away from your pets. Not only could they ingest them, they can also get chemical burns on their bodies.
There are many foods that are harmful to our pets. They range from dangerous to deadly, so be sure to keep them away from all of the following: avocados, chocolate, garlic, gum, grapes, onions, raisins and certain mushrooms.
Plants and Flowers:
Certain common household and outdoor plants can be extremely hazardous to your pets. Many can cause gastrointestinal upset if ingested and some can even be deadly. Here are just a handful of plants and flowers you should keep your pets away from: lily, ferns, hyacinth, iris, tulips and especially Easter lily, tiger lily, lily of the valley and morning glory.
If You Think Your Pet Has Ingested Poison:
•Call your vet immediately and follow his directions.
•Watch your pet closely for any signs or symptoms of illness.
•Try to identify the ingested substance. Look around to see if anything has been chewed or if there is any evidence lying around. Look in your pet’s mouth for any residue of if your pet has vomited, look to see if there is any identifiable substance in it.
•Collect any evidence you find and seal it in a plastic bag or container for possible identification.
•NEVER induce vomiting yourself unless instructed by your veterinarian.
Prevention is the key to avoiding a toxic situation. However, should your pet ingest something toxic, call your veterinarian immediately. Always keep the number to your vet and a poison control hotline in quick and easy reach.
Vacation Visits and Overnight Pet Sitting
Although some of my clients in the Scottsdale area are going away for the Thanksgiving Holiday, many are staying home to celebrate with their furry family members. I thought I would offer everyone a few safety tips for their pets to have a happy and healthy Thanksgiving holiday.
- If you feed your pet turkey, make sure it’s fully cooked and deboned. Undercooked turkey is full of salmonella and the bones pose a choking hazard.
- Keep your pets away from herbs used for cooking your Thanksgiving dinner. They contain essential oils which can cause indigestion and central nervous system depression, especially with cats.
- Avoid feeding your pet undercooked bread, as it may rise in their stomach and cause serious problems such as: vomiting, pain, bloating, and may even lead to emergency surgery.
- Keep your pets away from the uncooked cake batter as it contains raw eggs, which carry salmonella and could cause food poisoning.
- Curb your pet’s portions to a few small bites. Overindulging in rich foods could cause upset stomach, diarrhea, or even a serious condition called pancreatitis.
- Keep your pets happy and entertained with pet-safe treats, or fill their Kongs with a few small pieces of turkey and sweet potato or green beans this Thanksgiving.
In-Home Pet Care for All Pets
Just a few weeks ago, there was a huge explosion at an industrial complex next to a neighborhood in Gilbert, AZ. Black smoke billowed from the area and enveloped the neighborhood. Little was known about the hazardous chemicals that may have been housed at this facility and parts of the neighborhood were being evacuated. I had reason to worry because I was pet sitting for a family that lived in this neighborhood. The fire was contained in the hours to follow and people returned to their homes. However, the incident made me realize that every family should have an emergency plan for evacuation which includes their pets.
- Keep your pet carriers, emergency pet food and medicine supply, leashes, tags, and important pet information such as: immunizations, photos of your pets, and vet contact information in one convenient location. Be sure to keep all papers enclosed in a waterproof bag.
- Gather a list of local emergency shelters that allow pets, hotels that allow pets, friends and family contacts, and evacuation routes. Keep this information enclosed in a waterproof bag, stored in a convenient location.
- Notify your pet sitter of the location of these items whenever you plan to go out of town.
- Designate a pet guardian such as a friend or family member to provide long term care for your pets in the event of an emergency. Make sure your pet sitter has your pet guardian’s address and contact information.
- Post a notice by your front door which informs emergency personnel of the number and type of pets living within the home.
Dog Care, Walking, & Pet Sitting
Locked out? Call your pet sitter
What to do when you’re locked out of your home and don’t want to face astronomical locksmith charges in Scottsdale, AZ – call your pet sitter, they usually have a key!
This Scottsdale family came through the ordeal of finding themselves locked out of their home smiling when they remembered that their TLC Pet Sitter had a key.
Benefits of leaving a key with TLC Pet Sitters
- TLC Scottsdale Pet Sitters are insured & bonded
- Keeping a key on file with their trusted TLC Pet Sitter saved them a lot of time and money.
- Not all locksmiths are trustworthy. TLC can refer you to several trusted vendors to meet any of your home or pet care needs. (Imagine if your air conditioner went out while you were on vacation! We can refer trusted professionals that you can depend on to take care of the matter before you return home).
- TLC has a key coding system that ensures that only a TLC Pet Sitter knows which key belongs to your home. This maintains your safety and privacy.
Dog Care, Walking & Pet Sitting
Keeping your dog, cat or other pet safe this 4th of July
Pet owners in Scottsdale, Chandler & Gilbert Arizona are coming upon one of the most distressing days of the year for many pets – the Fourth of July with all of the fireworks displays and the usual number of people who just enjoy hearing things go bang. Unfortunately most pets don’t like the Big Bang Theory or the noise that goes with it.
Many dogs shiver with fear, run from room to room or turn in endless circles as fireworks continue to explode. There is little to do to comfort our pets in this time of extreme stress as the fear of fireworks and explosions lies deep in the DNA. Pets who have been abused, may have additional trauma associated with fireworks explosions.
Here are some pet safety tips from around the web world on how to protect and comfort your pets during the 4th of July:
- Do not bring your pets to the local field to watch the fireworks with you, as this is the reason why so many pets go missing. They hear the noises, you are distracted, and the next thing you know, they are gone.
- Keep them inside. A fence or run isn’t enough. If dogs can bolt, they will. And don’t assume inside is safe either. An Associated Press article on the subject noted that a dog was so frightened it jumped through a plate glass window!
- Turn on the TV or music. Put the volume as loud enough to muffle any fireworks noises, but it doesn’t have to be blasting! If you have a CD player, definitely check out Through A Dog’s Ear — the Adopt-a-Pet.com staff uses this for their anxious dogs and they really help!
- Keep your pet away from citronella candles, matches, and lighter fluid. If they ingest these products it could cause gastrointestinal irritation and possibly central nervous depression. In addition, do not use sunscreen or insect repellent on your pet that is not specifically labeled for use on animals
- Update Identification – The biggest risk of all this 4th of July is that pets will get loose and become lost. Even if a pet is secured inside, the sound of fireworks can cause them to panic – sometimes even breaking through glass windows. Make sure your pets are micro-chipped and wearing identification tags. Call to confirm that the pet’s veterinarian and the microchip company have your current address and phone numbers.
A shout out to my colleague Shannon’s Pet Sitting in NW Chicago!
Please keep your pet’s safety and well-being in mind this 4th of July holiday. I hope you and your pets enjoy the Gilbert, Scottsdale or Chandle3r 4th of July festivities this year! – Dogs Love Parades more than Fireworks!