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Safety Tips for Taking Your Dog to the Beach

Besides the ocean, there are many other dangers that your dog can encounter at the beach. Being alert and attentive and following some of these rules will make your beach getaway proceed without problems! First, make sure to adhere to the beach’s specific rules as these are actually laws and you can be given a citation or fine. Some common laws include cleaning up after your dog, requiring your dog to wear a collar and ID tags and be up-to-date on vaccinations, be on a leash, and so on. Make sure to check prior to leaving to see if your beach destination is pet friendly! Just like people, dogs can only handle so much sun. Sunscreen that is safe for your dog is available at pet stores or online. Do not use a sunscreen unless it is specifically labeled safe for animal use. Make sure there is a shady spot for your dog to retreat to like an umbrella, picnic table, or tree and bring plenty of fresh, cool water and a dog bowl. Offer water refills often, making sure that the water does not get hot in the sun. Watch for signs of overheating, which can include: excessive panting or drooling, vomiting or diarrhea, collapse, and loss of consciousness. If you start to see any of these signs immediately move your dog to a cooler environment. While staying calm and speaking in a soothing voice, wrap the dog in cool, wet towels. A fan can be used to help blow air over the animal to speed up the cooling and applying isopropyl alcohol to the paw pads will facilitate cooling and should be repeated as the alcohol dries. It is important to never fully immerse your overheated pet in water as it may increase their anxiety. Hot sand is also a very real concern. Foot pad burns can occur when the sand is too hot. If a person cannot walk barefoot, their dog cannot either. While on the sand, lead the way for your dog to make sure they won’t step on anything sharp. Broken glass and shells are only two of many things that can hurt your pet’s paws. If your dog’s paw gets cut, apply pressure to the wound to ease the bleeding. If it’s severe, seek veterinary attention immediately. Once in the water, jellyfish and rocks start to potentially pose problems. If your dog gets stung by a jellyfish, douse the affected area in vinegar to ease the pain and kill off the stinging barbs before trying to remove the tentacles. If your dog does not come to you every time you call them, keep them on a leash. You can buy a long-reaching leash (20-30 feet) which will still allow you and your dog to play with a ball or Frisbee without worrying about the possibility of them running away. Pay close attention to your dog’s swimming habits. Fitness level, experience, and even breed of dog can influence how well your dog can swim. Poor swimmers and brachycephalic breeds like Bulldogs, Boston Terriers, and Boxers should probably not spend much time on the beach. When in doubt, put a life vest on your dog and keep an eye out. If your pet does go in the water, make sure to remove them if they start to drink the water. Instead offer fresh, clean water since salt water is bad for dogs and can cause gastrointestinal problems. Salt water may also cause some irritation to their skin and paws. Rinsing your dog off with fresh water before you leave or shortly after getting home will help him or her stay comfortable and happy. Lastly, and maybe most importantly, have fun!

BBQ, Pets, and Guests

Summer is officially here! It’s a great time for outdoor fun and BBQing or grilling with your pets, friends, and family. While you may know what your pet can and cannot eat, it is important to share this information with others. Don’t assume that your friends know what foods are toxic to pets. Several foods to avoid include fatty sausages (pancreatitis), chocolate from s’mores (chocolate toxicity), and wild mushrooms (mushroom toxicity can prove fatal to certain dog breeds). While the list can be very extensive, we encourage you to have a brief conversation with your friends. They will appreciate it and so will your pets!

Dogs and Heat Stroke

Enjoy your time outside this summer with your dog! Make sure that they drink often and be aware of heat stroke symptoms. If you notice any of the symptoms below, please help your dog drink and contact us ASAP. Signs of heat stroke:
  • Sluggish
  • Unresponsive
  • Disoriented
  • Gums and conjunctiva of eyes bright red
  • Panting hard
  • Vomiting
  • Collapsing
  • Seizures

Pets, Cars & Heat

Pets, Cars & Heat Brutus, Duke, Coco, Lola and Jake…sure, they’re fairly common pet names, but they’re also the names of just a few of the pets that died last year because they were left in cars on warm (and not necessarily hot) days while their owners were shopping, visiting friends or family, or running errands. What’s so tragic is that these beloved pets were simply the victims of bad judgment.Want numbers? An independent study showed that the interior temperature of vehicles parked in outside temperatures ranging from 72 to 96° F rose steadily as time increased. (And cracking the windows doesn’t help). To learn more, go to: https://www.avma.org/public/PetCare/Pages/Hot-Cars-and-Loose-Pets.aspx

National Pet Identification Week

It’s National Pet Identification Week — the perfect time to make sure you’ve taken every precaution to be reunited with your pet if he or she becomes lost. The American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals (ASPCA) recently found that only 33 percent of pet parents admitted to always having ID tags on their dogs and cats.In addition to that crucial step, pet owners should also have their furry friend microchipped. Collars with pet identification are accessible to anyone who finds your lost pet. But, tags can become hard to read, and collars can be broken or removed. Microchipping your pet is a method of permanent identification. Microchips cannot be easily misread, and the permanent identification number is tamperproof. The information about the pet and owner is usually readily retrievable.A microchip is a very tiny transponder that is encoded with a unique identification number. Before insertion, the sterile microchip is scanned in the package to confirm that the identification code of the transponder matches that shown on the label of the bar code on the package.
Credit: Web Vet

EPA Message about Fleas and Ticks

How to Protect Against Fleas and Ticks

  • Consult your veterinarian about the best way to protect your pets from fleas and ticks and whether pesticides are even needed.
  • Use a flea comb to suppress adult fleas. It will allow hair to pass through the comb’s teeth but not the fleas, removing fleas and “flea dirt.” 
    • Focus on combing those parts of the pet where most fleas gather, often the neck or tail area.
    • Put any fleas in soapy water to kill them.
For more information, go to: http://www2.epa.gov/pets/controlling-fleas-and-ticks-your-pet

Tick Removal

Tick Removal

If you find a tick attached to you or your pet's skin, there's no need to panic. There are several tick removal devices on the market, but a plain set of fine-tipped tweezers will remove a tick quite effectively.

How to remove a tick

  1. Use fine-tipped tweezers to grasp the tick as close to the skin's surface as possible.
  2. Pull upward with steady, even pressure. Don't twist or jerk the tick; this can cause the mouth-parts to break off and remain in the skin. If this happens, remove the mouth-parts with tweezers. If you are unable to remove the mouth easily with clean tweezers, leave it alone and let the skin heal.
  3. After removing the tick, thoroughly clean the bite area and your hands with rubbing alcohol, an iodine scrub, or soap and water.
For pictures, go to: http://www.cdc.gov/lyme/removal/index.html

Plants Potentially Poisonous to Pets

More than 700 plants have been identified as producing physiologically active or toxic substances in sufficient amounts to cause harmful effects in animals. Poisonous plants produce a variety of toxic substances and cause reactions ranging from mild nausea to death. Certain animal species may have a peculiar vulnerability to a potentially poisonous plant. Cats, for instance, are poisoned by any part of a lilly. Download a list of plants that are poisonous to pets (PDF) »

Presidents & Pets

Did you know that President Teddy Roosevelt was the president with the most pets? See his list of pets with their great names below: predidential pets • Guinea pigs: Admiral Dewey, Bishop Doane, Dr. Johnson, Father O’Grady, Fighting Bob Evans • Ponies: Algonquin & Fidelity • Hen: Baron Spreckle • Lizard: Bill – lizard • Manchester Terrier: Blackjack • Blue macaw: Eli Yale • Garter snake: Emily Spinach • Dogs (mixed breeds): Gem and Susan • Terriers: Jack and Peter • Bear: Jonathan Edwards • Piebald rat: Jonathan • Badger: Josiah • Pekingese: Manchu • Pig: Maude • Rabbit: Peter • Bull Terrier: Pete • Saint Bernard: Rollo • Rat Terrier: Skip • Chesapeake Bay Retriever: Sailor Boy • Cats: Tom Quartz and Slippers • Unknown names: A hyena, a barn owl & a one-legged rooster