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Monthly Archives: June 2016

Dog on the Loose? Don’t Chase Them!

Even the most well-behaved dog can lose their minds when they unexpectedly get out of the house or the yard. The freedom! The smells! What’s that over there? Oooh – let’s go check that out! Who’s that yelling at me? Can’t they see I’m busy doing important dog stuff? Hooray, we’re going to play chase! Bet you can’t catch me!

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While some dogs will get joyously distracted by the adventure of escaping the house or the yard, others will become frightened and skittish. However, both situations can make them reluctant to obey your command to “Come!”. Here’s what to do if your dog gets loose and won’t come when you call:

 

1/ Don’t chase! It’s instinct for you to chase them, and it’s instinct for them to run – they may perceive it as a game or worse, a threat to their safety and they’ll run away faster.

2/ Stop, drop and lie down or curl into a ball. While it sounds silly, dogs find this behavior to be very strange. Their curiosity will usually get the better of them. On the ground or curled into a ball, you no longer pose a threat, so they will often come back to see what you’re doing. Don’t react – let them sniff you. Once they’re close enough, you can pet them and grab their collar.

3/ Run away! Most dogs love a good chase. By running away from them, they’ll often decide it’s a game or that you’re just acting weird, so they’ll begin chasing you or simply come over to check you out. That’s your chance to stop, drop, and get them under control.

4/ Sit down with your back or side facing the dog. Wait for it. Yep – pups think this behavior is totally weird, so they will eventually get curious enough to approach you. Since you’re not facing him, you’re no longer threatening, so he’s more likely to come and see what you’re doing.

5/ Go for a ride! Open the car door and ask, “Wanna go for a ride?” Most dogs associate the car with good things, so they’ll forget they’re playing hard to get, and jump in. Gotcha!

6/ If all else fails, break out the treats. Bribery can usually get you everywhere. While it’s not great to reinforce bad behavior, it’s more important to get them safely back home. Grab a handful of their favorite treats, and sit down or curl up. You can make a trail up to the door or gate if necessary, so they’ll get their tail back home.

Five Summer Safety Tips for Pets

shutterstock_415734517It’s the most dangerous time of years for pets – the Arizona heat can be deadly. Here are our top five tips to help keep your pet safe, cool and healthy this summer:

1/ Never leave your pet in the car. EVER. Some people never learn and pets are the ones who pay the price, which is why this message bears repeating often. Leaving your dog or cat in the car alone – even if it’s just for a few minutes – can result in tragedy. The temperature inside the car rises rapidly to life-threatening levels, so play it safe and leave them at home when you’re running errands.

2/ Protect the paws. The pavement gets hot very quickly, so remember, your pet’s paws can burn. Pick up a set of paw protectors to help keep tender paws safe from the Arizona heat. Remember, concrete holds heat for several hours, so early morning or evening walks are best.

3/ Teach your pet water safety. Don’t assume your dog is a good swimmer or won’t go into the pool. The pool can be just as tempting for pets as it is for humans! If your dog jumps into the pool or falls in while you’re away from home, they might not be able to get out on their own. If you can’t block their access to the pool, take time to work with them in the water. As they swim, use your body and hands to direct them to swim the steps or a shallow area where they can safely get out or wait for help. Plenty of praise and encouragement can help reinforce this safety lesson and one day, it could save their life!

4/ Make sure your pet has plenty of fresh water and a shady place to shelter from the sun. Better yet, keep them indoors during the daytime and give them regular supervised potty breaks.

5/ Dogs can sunburn, too. Dogs (and cats) can burn in the sun – especially if they have a light skin and coat, and like people, they can get skin cancer. Ask your vet about a pet safe sunscreen to help protect them from harmful rays.

 

Ten Tips for Pet Appreciation Week

Pets are awesome and National Pet Appreciation Week offers us a chance to take a moment to show our furry (and sometimes not so furry) friends just how much we love them. Here are some ideas for celebrating all things pets:

1/ Throw a pet party! Ask your people friends to bring their pets along with donations for your local shelter – dog and cat food, blankets, toys, cat litter, treats and cash donations are always needed and very appreciated. Not sure what they need? Give them a call and ask.

2/ Give some extra time and love to your pet. Spend some quality time petting and playing with your dog or cat – they’ll love the attention and you’ll feel great, too!

3/ Take a trip to the local dog park. It’s a wonderful spot where your dog can romp and play off leash alongside other dogs. Dog parks are great for socialization – for people and pooches alike. Bring plenty of fresh water for you and your pet. Be sure to keep a close eye on play, and remember to pick up your pet’s waste.

4/ Take a walk around the neighborhood. Getting outside for a walk is good for you and your dog. Be careful of the heat – if the pavement is too hot, your pet’s paws can burn. Pick up a set of paw protectors to help keep tender paws safe from the Arizona heat. Remember, the pavement holds heat for several hours, so early mornings or evenings are best.

5/ Make pupsicles! Dogs love ice cream too, so why not make a frozen treat just for them? There are hundreds of recipes for homemade dog treats just a Google search away, so look for recipes with pet-friendly ingredients like peanut butter, banana, chicken, plain yogurt or applesauce. You can even get creative and make up your own using your pet’s favorite flavors. Mix, freeze and serve.

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6/ Buy a kiddy pool for your pooch to play in. Many dogs love water – and if you want to keep them cool on hot summer days, a play pool is perfect. Fill it with a few inches of fresh water or for a special treat, dump in a big bag of ice. Don’t forget the towels!

7/ Play laser cats! Cats (and many dogs) love chasing lasers (point the dot on the ground only!). They’re a great way to stimulate and get your cat alert and active – with lots of laughter for you guaranteed. 

8/ Buy or grow some cat grass or catnip. Most cats adore nibbling on cat grass, which may add trace minerals and nutrients to their diets, help their digestion and may help them pass hairballs. Unlike catnip, cat grass doesn’t have a hallucinogenic effect. Both varieties are safe for your cat, so buy or plant a patch and let them enjoy.

9/ Take a trip to doggy day care or a dog spa. Doggy day care or a “spa day” can be a treat for your friendly pup – they get a chance to hang out, and play with other dogs while under supervision. For an extra special day, have them bathed or groomed before you pick them up.

10/ Make sure that your pet’s tags are up to date. If they ever get lost, they’ll have the proper identification and a microchip that can help them find their way home quickly.

Planning Ahead for an Emergency Situation

Emergencies are some of life’s more difficult surprises – and we never know when they may strike. Some emergencies may require you leave your home for an extended period of time. That’s why being prepared for several types of emergencies is so important – it’s better to be ready than left scrambling to get family and pets to safety.

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Here are some tips for potential emergencies:

1/ Display a pet alert sticker in a front window or on the door to your home where it is easily visible. In the case of a fire or other emergency, it will let emergency service personnel know the number and type of pets in residence. The ASPCA offers a free Pet Safety Packet. Order yours here: https://secure.aspca.org/form/free-pet-safety-pack

2/ Have a designated safe haven at a friend or relative’s home where you and your pets can stay. In the case of an evacuation, remember – if it’s not safe for you, then it’s not safe for your pets. It’s also a good idea to have a list with the names and numbers for your veterinarian, preferred kennels in case you need to board your pets temporarily, as well as local animal shelters that may be able to provide emergency shelter or foster care.

3/ Designate short- and long-term caregivers. While it’s never fun to imagine a situation where an accident, sudden illness or death may leave your pet alone, it’s always a possibility. Choose a trusted friend, neighbor or relative who lives nearby and give them an extra set of keys. If the worst should happen, they’ll be able to reach your pets and provide temporary or long-term care for them.

4/ Put together an emergency travel kit. In case of an evacuation, be sure to have an emergency travel kit stowed near an exit or in the garage. Be sure to include leashes, food and water, pet bowls, first aid kit, medications, medical and microchip records and recent photos of your pets in case you get separated.

5/ Always bring pets indoors at the first sign or warning of a storm or disaster. Pets can become frightened, disoriented or wander away from home in a crisis. Keep them close by in case you need to evacuate.