Tips for pet owners
- Fireworks / 4th of July
- Poisonous to pets
- Thanksgiving pet tips
- Halloween Pet tips
Scroll down to read about these subjects
KSR Pet Care takes the health and well-being of your pets to heart. Heat and pets do not go well together. Our staff is aware of the risks and signs of hyperthermia, or heat stroke. It's important to be aware of the signs and effects of heat on a dog as well as cat. If needed, our dog walker will decide upon his/her own discretion to shorten the walk (not the visit) and do playtime indoors so your pet can also sufficiently cool down under our supervision. Or, we will take a break in the middle of the visit, return inside for a couple of minutes and then return back into the heat. When it is 80 F or more it is considered too hot for animals to be outside for too long a period of time.
Panting through the tongue is a pet's way of sweating but the higher the temperature and/or humidity, the less effective panting becomes for both cats and dogs. Short-nosed breeds like pugs are especially inefficient at cooling themselves.
The below is a list of guidelines for our team and we want to share this with you as well:
- Carry a lot of water bottles in your car for yourself to stay hydrated, or sports drinks; coffee/caffeine is not recommended since it increases dehydration.
- Drink regularly to stay hydrated yourself. If you get a head ache, drink more.
- It's good to wear a hat as to avoid sun burn or worse
- Wear sun glasses
- Walking the shade is good.
- if you notice excessive panting in the dog you are walking, return a couple of minutes early as to watch the dog cool down sufficiently before leaving him/her alone.
- Always let the dog drink after the walk; if the dog is already panting upon arrival, let him drink before the walk; however, do not let him/her drink too fast or too cold water: little bits at a time and just regular tap water is fine.
- when crated and with no access to water, definitelly let the dog drink before and after the walk
- A grass surface is also better on the dog's paw pads than asphalt. Asphalt and concrete absorb heat, so alternate with grassy areas and shady side walks/asphalt
- older pets and younger ones are especially susceptible to heat stroke
- for cats and in some cases when the A/C is switched off, make sure there is a room the cat has access to and that is cool-- like basement; if not, check with the owner about the A/C and have it switched on with their permission
- No dog should be left in a car unattended,not even with the engine and A/C still left on. When you see a dog in an unattaneded car, it's our civil duty to call the authorities
SIGNS of HYPERTHERMIA:
- bright red gums and tongue; or worse, blue/gray and dry mouth (>< pink or black gums is normal)
- anxious expression
- excessive loud panting
- High Fever (104 or higher) >< normal is 101.5 - 102.4 F
- Warm, dry skin
- Rapid Heartbeat
- excessive drooling
- inbalanced, wobbling, immobile
FIRST ACTION: cool the pet down:
- Bring inside to a cool area, cool floor
- Apply rubbing alcohol to the dog's paw pads (First aid kit)
- Apply ice packs in towel to the groin area, under arms and legs (First aid kit)
- Hose down with water but not ice cold water (too cold water could have an opposite effect)
- Allow the dog to lick ice chips or drink a small amount of water
- Offer Pedialyte to restore electrolytes-- do not mix with other products other than some water
- Check temperature regularly during this process. Once the dog's temperature has stabilized at between 100 to 102 degrees, you can stop the cool-down process.
- no food or food drink
If you cannot get the pet cooled down (20-30 min) and/or you begin to see signs of advanced heatstroke (=shock, unwillingness to move, blue/gray gums, lethargy), take the dog/cat to the veterinarian.
Last, humans have a much more effecient way of cooling down but it is important to drink lots of water. Avoid coffee and caffeine. It increases dehydration. Wear sunglasses and a hat.
2. Frostbite in pets
When a dog or cat is exposed to cold temperatures its body reacts in stages;
- Your pet’s fur provides insulation just like us wearing a coat. Its hairs, when exposed to cold air undergo pilo-erection. This is like you and I getting goose bumps. The hairs “stand up erect” trapping the air in that layer. This air is warmed by the body and ads additional insulation.
- When the body’s core temperature decreases, an involuntary reflex by the skeletal muscles known as “shivering” is triggered to generate heat and warm you up. Animals like humans experience this same reaction.
- When the body is really getting cold and the animal’s life may be at risk, the body responds by vasoconstricting the peripheral tissues. This means the body is being selective in where it is sending warm blood.
- The organs are the most important to keep an animal and human alive so blood is circulating in the core of the body (heart, liver, kidney lungs,) and shuts down temporally by constricting blood vessels to the extremities until the body’s normal temperature is attained.
- By this stage if a cat or dog has not received First Aid or warmth on it’s own, frostbite will develop. Tissues that have frozen due to this response, die. Cats and dogs often experience frostbite on the tips of their ears, tails, face footpads, legs and the genitalia in male dogs.
- Frostbite can result in the loss of limbs, toes, tips of ears.
Symptoms to look for if your pet has been outdoors and you suspect it may be suffering from frostbite.
- Ice on body and limbs
- Tissues are bright red followed by pale color( vasoconstriction) to black color (death of tissue/ sloughing of skin)
- Warm the affected area rapidly with warm water using towels or warmed ice packs.
- If it is a limb or paw that is frozen, soak it only in a bath or bowl of warm water.
- Dry gently after you have the warmed the area.
- Do not rub or massage the frozen tissue
- Do not apply snow or ice
- Do not immerse your pet completely in a bath this will cause the body temperature to decrease and cause hypothermia.
When the tissues are warmed it may cause some discomfort to your pet. The same also occurs when tissues are dead.
- Wrap your pet in a blanket to prevent self-trauma and keep him or her warm.
- Seek Veterinary care. Secondary infections can sometimes result from gangrene tissues.
WHAT IS HYPOTHERMIA
Hypothermia is an abnormal lowering of the body’s temperature. This is a serious condition that can cause unconsciousness, shock and even the death of a pet. Pets that are outdoors in cold or subzero temperatures can become hypothermic.
If your pet shows signs of frostbite he or she may be also experiencing hypothermia. However do not rely on frostbite alone as an indication of hypothermia, as it can occur without the presence of frostbite.
Low body temperature (below 37,5) Take your pet’s temperature rectally! A lubricated electronic thermometer is easy to use.
- Warm your pet.
- Use blankets
- Put warm water in plastic bottles then rap in towels to prevent burns.
- Use plastic zip lock bags filled with uncooked rice that you warm in the microwave for 1-2 minutes then rap in a towel.
- Micro wave ice packs that have not been frozen and rap in a towel.
- If you use a heating pad never put the animal directly on the pad. Always use several towels. A weak animal will not be able to move and will suffer burns.
- A hair dryer on medium warm is a quick start to warm up your pet while someone else is preparing blankets and water bottles.
Monitor your pet’s rectal temperature every 10-15 minutes.
- When his or her body temperature is back to normal (38.5 C) stop warming. An over heated animal is just as dangerous.
- Seek Veterinary care even if it looks like your pet is fine after you have warmed him or her. Kidney and bladder problems are common in pets that have been exposed to cold temperatures (infections).
Tips during Fireworks- for both cats and dogs
- Please leave your pet at home when viewing the Fireworks. They do not understand what is going on and the sound and fire effects may really give them a scare for life. Worst of all, if they happen to get loose, they may be hard to retrieve in all the commotion.
- If you are trying out fireworks in your backyard, make sure you keep your pets inside and away from fire or the immediate sound effect.
- If you know your dog is scared of Thunderstorms, they may very well be scared of fireworks.
- What may help is a quiet dark inner room or covered crate, classical music, blinds/curtains closed. Do not hold your pet to console while he/she is shivering with fear: it enhances the anxiety, worsens the feeling since your pet senses your concern and picks up on that. Let your pet retreat in a quiet place and try and eliminate the outdoor sounds as much as possible.
4. Poisonous to pets
Top 10 Toxins and Poisons A. Cats & B. Dogs
1. Lilies, such as Easter, Asiatic and tiger lilies
2. Insoluble oxalate plants, such as philodendron and dieffenbachia
3. Insecticides, such as topical flea/tick treatments and insecticidal sprays or shampoos
4. Household cleaners, such as drain, window and surface cleaners
5. Human and veterinary NSAIDS, such as ibuprofen, naproxen, carprofen and meloxicam
6. Amphetamines, such as ADD/ADHD drugs like Adderall® and Concerta®
7. Mouse and rat poisons
8. Antidepressants, such as Effexor®, Cymbalta®, Wellbutrin® and Prozac®
9. Laundry detergents
10. Paints, stains and varnishes
1. Foods, such as chocolate, xylitol and grapes/raisins
2. Insecticides, such as sprays, bait stations and topical flea/tick treatment
3. Mouse and rat poisons
4. Human NSAIDS, such as ibuprofen and naproxen
5. Household cleaners, such as sprays, detergents and polishes
6. Antidepressants, such as Prozac®, Paxil®, Celexa®, and Effexor®
7. Fertilizers, including bone meal, blood meal and iron-based products
8. Acetaminophen, such as Tylenol® and cough/cold medications
9. Amphetamines, such as ADD/ADHD drugs like Adderal® and Concerta®
10. Veterinary pain relievers, specifically COX-2 inhibitors such as Rimadyl®, Deramaxx® and Previcox®
If you suspect a pet has ingested something that could be harmful, don’t hesitate to seek immediate veterinary advice. If you do not have access to a local emergency veterinary clinic, the Pet Poison Helpline is available 24 hours a day, 365 days a year. The Pet Poison Helpline can be reached at (800) 213-6680. There is a $39 charge per incident.
5. Thanksgiving pet Tips
As you gather around the table this Thanksgiving and give thanks for good food and good family and friends, don't forget the furry members of the family. Here are numerous do’s and don’ts for Thanksgiving pet safety:
–Don’t give your pets any cooked turkey bones or carcasses. Be sure to wrap them up well and secured away from where dogs can find them. If you do give them a piece of turkey, ensure that it’s well cooked, no skin, and boneless. Keep your eye on the dog as entire turkeys have been known to disappear. Cooked turkey bones are sharp, potentially dangerous, and can be lodged in their digestive system for days.
–Don’t feed your pets stuffing, cranberry sauce, gravy, rich mashed potatoes. Stuffing and other foods may have herbs, spices, onions, raisins & grapes which are toxic to dogs.
–Do keep your eye on packaging. Ensure you dispose of any turkey or other food packaging quickly and appropriately. All strings, plastic holders and bags that have a meat smell can be very attractive to a pet. Once ingested, these items can cause damage or blockage of the intestines.
–Do stuff a Kong with kibble, dog treats or add a few nibbles of cooked turkey and vegetables. Yum.
–Do guard the bread machine or if dough is rising on the counter, remove to safer ground. When raw bread dough is ingested, the animal’s body heat causes the dough to rise in his stomach where it expands. The dog max experience bloating and abdominal pain and require emergency surgery.
–Don’t leave beer, wine, and spirits within reach. Move liquid refreshments to higher ground. Dogs can become quite ill, go into a coma or die.
–Do beware of decorations and centerpieces, particularly some plants, flowers, pine cones, and needles. The latter may cause intestinal blockage.
–Do beware of chocolate candy (toxic to dogs), candy and baked goods made with Xylitol, and rich desserts which will cause stomach upsets.
–Do exercise your dog a little harder on Thanksgiving. A tired dog is a good dog especially during dinner time. Or hire your Next Best Friend for extra walks or playtime!
–Don’t make your pet be something he or she is not. If the pet is people shy or doesn’t like to be around small children, put the animal in a crate or in another room. Some dogs love attention and be with lots of people; others prefer solitude and get overexcited or nervous when there are other people inside your home.
–Do make sure that your dog is secure and cannot dart outside. Pets should always wear tags with current info and be micro-chipped.
6. Halloween Pet Tips
Halloween can be the spookiest night of the year, but keeping your pets safe doesn’t have to be tricky. The ASPCA recommends taking these simple, common sense precautions to keep your pet happy and healthy all the way to November 1.
Stash the Treats
The candy bowl is for trick-or-treaters, not Scruffy or Fluffy. Several popular Halloween treats are toxic to pets. Chocolate in all forms—especially dark or baking chocolate—can be very dangerous for cats and dogs, and sugar-free candies containing the artificial sweetener xylitol can cause serious problems in pets. If you suspect your pet has ingested something toxic, please call your veterinarian or the ASPCA Poison Control Center at (888) 426-4435 immediately.
Watch the Decorations and Keep Wires Out of Reach
While a carved jack-o-lantern certainly is festive, pets can easily knock over a lit pumpkin and start a fire. Curious kittens are especially at risk of getting burned or singed by candle flame. Popular Halloween plants such as pumpkins and decorative corn are considered relatively nontoxic, but can produce stomach discomfort in pets who nibble on them.
Be Careful with Costumes
For some pets, wearing a costume may cause undue stress. The ASPCA recommends that you don’t put your dog or cat in a costume unless you know he or she loves it. If you do dress up your pet for Halloween, make sure the costume does not limit his or her movement, sight or ability to breathe, bark or meow. Check the costume carefully for small, dangling or easily chewed-off pieces that could present a choking hazard. Ill-fitting outfits can get twisted on external objects or your pet, leading to injury.
Be sure to have your pet try on the costume before the big night. If he or she seems distressed or shows abnormal behavior, consider letting your pet wear his or her “birthday suit” or don a festive bandana instead.
Keep Pets Calm and Easily Identifiable
Halloween brings a flurry of activity with visitors arriving at the door, and too many strangers can often be scary and stressful for pets. All but the most social dogs and cats should be kept in a separate room away from the front door during peak trick-or-treating hours. While opening the door for guests, be sure that your dog or cat doesn’t dart outside. And always make sure your pet it wearing proper identification—if for any reason he or she does escape, a collar with ID tags and/or a microchip can be a lifesaver for a lost pet.