Summer Heat and Happy Pets
While we are all enjoying the summer sun and the activities that come with it, we may sometimes forget about our furry friends' reaction to the heat. Heat exhaustion can occur in any hot or humid space, even in a poorly ventilated indoor area. At the peak of the summer season, August is one of the hottest months of the year. With this, keeping pets cool and hydrated is of the utmost importance.
Pets, especially dogs, can appear to be tough and resilient to all types of weather, never complaining; that is, never complaining verbally. Dogs have different ways of telling us that they are getting overheated. These signs include excessive drooling or panting, struggling to breathe, a heightened pulse, or mild weakness in moderate cases. More severely, confusion or fainting, seizures, bloody diarrhea, or vomiting may occur. If you notice any of these signs of heat exhaustion in your pet, it is important to address it immediately.
There are many simple, yet powerful methods of treatment for heat exhaustion. The most effective way to cool your pet's body temperature is to wrap a towel soaked in lukewarm water around them. Lukewarm water should be used in place of cold water, as it will not suddenly reduce the animal's temperature, potentially causing harm. Additional ways to cool down your pet include placing them in front of a fan or dabbing cotton balls saturated in rubbing alcohol on their paws and stomach. Rubbing alcohol is toxic to animals, however, and should be kept safely away from a pet's mouth.
After your pet has cooled down to a point of not showing symptoms, it is recommended to contact a veterinarian, who may suggest additional treatment such as IV fluids, careful monitoring of blood pressure, or medications.
There are a few simple tips to prevent your animal from getting heat exhaustion.
- First and foremost never leave your pet in a car alone. Even with the windows cracked, it is very easy for a parked vehicle to become like an oven to your pet. Taking into account that your furry companion requires exercise, it is important to walk them either in the morning or evening, when temperatures are not so hot outside. If the pavement or sidewalk is too hot to your touch, then it is also too hot for your pet's paws. If your pet simply enjoys being outside, a properly cooled, indoor space should be available for them to access. In the case that they must remain outside, a shady area out of the sunlight and plenty of water should be accessible to them.
- Shaving your pet to keep them cool is not a viable means of prevention. An animal's fur actually acts as an insulation coat for both heat and cold. Shaving your pet gets rid of this protective layer, and can even lead to your animal getting sunburns. If your pet is very fluffy, simply trimming or thinning their fur may help to relieve them of unneeded insulation. Leaving at least an inch of fur is recommended. It will also keep them more comfortable and clean in the summer months.
- If your pet is alone for extended periods of time, such as during your summer vacation, it is worth looking into boarding. Boarding facilities are well informed of the dangers of heat exhaustion and will keep your pet happy and safe from the heat while you are away.
- Pets who have shorter, flatter faces, such as pugs or Persian cats, should be monitored more closely in the heat or humidity. Their face shape causes them to have a more difficulty panting which proves ineffective in cooling off, states the AAHA. Older or overweight pets should almost always be kept indoors in the hotter months. If your animal has a heart or lung disease, they should also be more closely watched for symptoms of heat stroke and be kept properly cool at all times.
- Janet Thomas
A Safe and Fun 4th with your Furry Friends
It's the big event of the summer--the 4th of July! And with it comes picnics, outings, and gatherings with family and friends. Of course, most of us don't want to leave out our four-legged family members from the celebratory fun!
Remember that what's fun for us two-legged merrymakers, however, may not necessarily be fun for our furry friends. Your pet may well be happier staying at home and indoors rather than experiencing noisy fireworks and crowds.
If, however, you are playing host to a cookout or just feel better having your pet as your date, there are a number of measures you can take to ensure the holiday is as safe as possible for him:
- Make sure your pet's identification is up-to-date. Animals can get spooked by the bangs and booms of fireworks, and this can cause him to panic and run. Guests in your home mean no harm, but doors and gates can be inadvertently left open, and your dog may decide it's a good day for exploring the neighborhood. Be sure to have a recent photo and current tags on his collar; having your veterinarian microchip your pet offers the highest level of assurance.
- Summertime brings celebrations...and bugs. These pests are a nuisance to animals as well as humans. Arm yourself with a bug repellent, but don't forget your pet! Many heartworm medications contain mosquito-repellent qualities, but a natural topical solution can also be effective while also being safe for all those people who can't resist loving on your furry friend.
- No, Rover doesn't need those chicken bones. Keeping your pet on his healthy diet can be a challenge when there's an abundance of barbecue (and guests) around! You may be well aware of the dangers of certain foods and ingredients for your pet, but Uncle Joe may not realize that a chicken bone to a dog is actually unhealthy. Be sure to educate your guests, or if you're the guest, keep your pet close to you at food-related gatherings. Keep a pet-friendly snack in your pocket (or maybe set bowls of them around for guests who wish to be generous to your animals).
- No, Rover would not like a beer. Alcohol doesn't typically appeal to animals, but mixed drinks can sometimes include ingredients that do. Much like on humans, alcohol can have negative effects on pets. They are much smaller than their human counterparts, so it takes much less to give them a buzz. Too much can leave your pet with gastrointestinal distress, slow and shallow breathing, or even seizures and unconsciousness in extreme alcohol poisoning cases. Asks guests to put drinks out of reach, or try to serve it in closed containers. A trip to the veterinarian due to something preventable is definitely not the way to spend your day of celebration!
Be sure to check out our pet safety products, and enjoy your summer days and the sparkle of summer nights with your furry pals!
- Pequannock Feed & Pet Supply Admin
National Adopt-A-Cat Month Happening Meow!
The old saying goes that cats were worshipped in ancient Egypt and they haven't forgotten it. These regal creatures are elegant one moment and silly little clowns the next. They capture our hearts with their soft purrs, head bonks, and slow blinks. To have a cat is to truly like having a little lion living in your home.
However, many people are surprised to find how much cats reproduce. In fact, according to statistics, two cats and their kittens can produce almost a half a million cats in 7 years. Unfortunately, many never become socialized and are feral, while too many others end up in shelters waiting for their homes.
The summer months are typically the time of year that is known as "kitten season". June is considered the peak month for kitten season when most kittens are born. For this reason, June was chosen as Adopt-A-Cat month. Adopt-A-Cat month was created to showcase how many wonderful cats and kittens and help them find homes.
Choosing to adopt a cat is a celebratory occasion. Adding to your crew, whether this is your first cat or your third, should be a wonderful time, but it can often be a little stressful as everyone adjusts to the new addition.
Here are some things to consider:
- Sure, kittens are completely adorable balls of fur with boundless amounts of energy. But they take work and older cats often get overlooked. However, some people want the feeling of a lifelong attachment to their furbaby. Think about the pros of and cons of each and decide if an adult cat or kitten will best fit in with you and your lifestyle.
- If you're adopting one cat, and have no other pets at home, you might consider adopting two. Cats are often thought of as loners, but they are actually social creatures.
- Just like you baby-proof a home for a new baby, you want to make sure you cat-proof your house for your new cat. Make sure that there aren't any wires that they can chew or small items they may eat. Also be aware of any houseplants that are toxic to cats
- Everyone should be on board when it comes to adopting a new cat or kitten. After all, it's a lifelong commitment. Make sure your spouse or partner is a willing participant.
- Along those same lines, be prepared for the financial burden of your new furry companion. Think of long-term vet bills, cost of food, grooming, and supplies. Ensure you have the budget for them.
- Get all your supplies beforehand. Gather a checklist of what you will need for a new kitten or cat and have it on hand before you bring the new family member home.
- If you have other pets, consider how you will introduce them. There are ways to ease the transition when your new addition meets the cat or dog that already live there.
- Provide plenty of these scratch pads. Cats instinctively want to sharpen their claws. Give them the right way to do it by making sure you have lots of scratching posts. Don't consider declawing your cat. Declawing is a very painful and cruel act that can actually cause emotional stress for the cat.
Cats add so much to our lives. They make us laugh and they comfort us with their purrs. Those of us that have been owned by cats, can't imagine life without them. DaVinci said that "the smallest feline is a masterpiece". We could not agree more.
- Pequannock Feed & Pet Supply Admin
5 Tips For Dealing With Bullies
Aaah, a trip to the dog park. Sounds fun, right? But what if there is an ill-mannered dog who bullies and their human pack-member is clueless? Here's how to handle tricky canine social situations like a pro.
- No Bad Dogs: First of all, there are no bad dogs, just clueless human handlers. As soon as you recognize the signs that your own dog is uncomfortable (no tail wags or play bows), step in. With a firm "No" directed at the bully, along with a motion indicating it should move off, you communicate that your dog is off limits. Lead your own dog away in a calm, controlled manner.
- Identify Responsibility: Locate the owner of the bully and inform them that your dog is not interested in playing with their dog. Be polite, explaining that you would appreciate cooperation in re-directing their dog away from yours. But don't expect much. Understand that bully-dogs are often shaped by their human. It is still important, however, that they be made aware of their dog's unacceptable behavior.
- Monitor: Remain close to your pet and monitor any interest by the bully-dog. Ward off any approach before it comes too near. Guide your own dog toward other companions that are more agreeable. Sometimes simply breaking the line-of-sight between a bully-dog and the source of interest is all it takes.
- Breaking Things Up: If bullying turns full-scale scuffle, of course you want to intervene. To break things up without getting bit there are options. Try dousing involved parties with water or a loud noise distraction, like a training whistle.
- Rewards: Referring back to number 1, the "no bad dogs" rule, brings us to the final solution. Rewarding good behavior. When the bully-dog backs down and minds its own business, offer a treat. In other words, convert the bully to a friend.
Becoming the hero of the dog park is easy. Shop online for treats today.
- Pequannock Feed & Pet Supply Admin
Boarding Tips & Tricks for Your Cat
It is quite common for a pet owner to place their beloved pet in a boarding facility in order to eliminate worry over their animal's well-being while away on a trip. It is a responsible way to ensure that your animals are provided for, played with, and looked after while you are away and is most commonly an option taken by dog owners. But what about cats?
There are actually many excellent, trustworthy facilities which accommodate the needs of both owner and their cat . With the right knowledge, you will be able to locate and choose the perfect boarding facility, giving you peace of mind and your kitty companion the best experience possible.
Here are a few tips on how to find the best possible care for your cat while you are away.
- Take a Tour: It is important for your peace of mind and cat's comfort that you are able to see the area where your cat will be housed during his or her stay. If the facility declines tours, this is a major red flag as it could indicate that there are things they may not want you to see.
- Take a Deep Breath: While on your tour, note if there is a strong odor of excrement and urine. This will indicate how well the area is cleaned and how often. If the smell is anywhere from very strong to overpowering, this would not be a good environment for your pet.
- Five Star Accommodation: Always check out the space before booking your cat in. Take note of cage sizes and be sure your cat will have plenty of room to explore, not shoved into a tiny kennel for the duration of their stay.
- Required Vaccinations: Inquire if it is mandatory that all boarded cats be up to date on vaccinations and tested for diseases. This will greatly reduce the risk of your cat contracting an illness.
- Hands On: Make sure to find out how much attention will be given to your cat on a daily basis. Daily interaction will be crucial in keeping your kitty as comfortable as possible.
- No Dogs Allowed: This is a crucial tip. Ensure the facility is specific to cats and does not house dogs as well. Even if dogs are kept in an entirely separate area, their sounds and smells can cause great anxiety for a cat, especially in new surroundings.
- It's Personal: Inquire whether or not you are allowed to leave your cat some personal items such as a bed, toys, food, or litter. Being surrounded by the comforts of home can help keep your cat calm and happy as being in an unfamiliar place can be frightening to them.
- On Call: Ask for the name and number of the veterinarian who will be on standby in case of emergency. Find out how the employees will handle the situation if your cat becomes ill. If you are not satisfied with the plan of action, try another facility. It is better to be safe than sorry.
Keeping these tips in mind will help you successfully identify the best boarding option for your kitty the next time you are planning a trip.
- Janet Thomas
The Pros and Cons of Doggy Daycare
Just because you work long hours doesn't mean you can't be a pet parent. Many people think leaving their pet home alone isn't fair. While that may be true, that's a reason doggy daycares exist. While it's a good option for many, it may have a downside that some pet owners don't consider when signing their fluffy buddy up for day stays.
-Some pets can be destructive when alone, either as a form of separation anxiety or just plain boredom. They may tear up furniture, clothes, or shoes, dig through the garbage, or look for ways out of the house. Leaving your nosy pup in a daycare where people are around the clock and where they're able to socialize can relieve their gnawing tendencies.
-They're surrounded by people who are generally passionate about animals. They've devoted their career to taking care of animals just like theirs and provide care they would want for them, for you and your pet.
-Your pet can get the socialization with other animals that they wouldn't get at home.
-Not all pet care facilities can be trusted. Your pet is your baby: your pet care facility should meet the same standards of any care facility you would use for your own child. Being sure that you aren't registering your pet for somewhere overcrowded or neglectful is important. Take a tour of the daycare, inquire what food they're fed, and ask to see some pets that are current clients in their daily routine.
-While socialization is important, some dogs might develop behavioral issues that affect you at home or in your daily routine. Being around other dogs, they may try to be dominant, mark territory, or bark excessively. While this can be fixed with basic retraining, it's something to take into account.
-Just like in a kid daycare, dog daycares might experience outbreaks of illness. Fleas, ticks, and kennel cough can all be spread easily when dogs are kept so close to one another. Being sure your dog is up to date on shots and flea control is important, but not always most preventative.
Doggy daycare isn't for every dog, but for some could be the best option for day to day care. Taking these pros and cons into account when shopping around for your furry buddy's play place is ideal for a wonderful doggy daycare experience.
- Janet Thomas