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Five Easy Ways to Keep Your Puppy Safe at Home

If you’ve just gotten a new puppy, you’re probably head over heels in love with your pooch already! Puppies are little balls of energy that love exploring their surroundings and seeking out new experiences, which is why they are so much fun to have around. However, their natural curiosity and lust for life is also the very thing that can get puppies (and dogs of all ages for that matter) into trouble.

puppyfaces
Photo Credit: Flickr

Unfortunately, the home can be a dangerous place for puppies, which is why you need to take steps to ensure that they are safe, especially when you are not around to mind them. If you want to keep your puppy out of trouble, you need to puppy-proof your home in much the same way you would for a little child. Here’s how:

Invest in an Indestructible Dog Crate

pups-in-crates
Photo Credit: Flickr

Dog crates provide your puppy with a safe space to stay when they are sleeping or when you are out of the house, which makes them an invaluable tool in training and caring for your dog. However, many dog crates are poorly made, which means that some puppies can chew bits off them, which is obviously a choking hazard, or even break out of them, which could present any number of dangers. That is why you should purchase an indestructible dog crate, which will stand up to even the most persistent puppy’s efforts.

Check Your Plants

beagle-in-field
Photo Credit: Flickr

Many common plants are toxic and potentially poisonous to your puppy, so you should immediately check what plants you have in your home and garden to find out if they pose a risk to your dog.

Plants that are hazardous to canines include Cala lily, azalea, and Holly, but there are many more, so do your homework.

Keep Medications Out of Reach

tired-pup
Photo Credit: Flickr

Whether your dog is a young pup or an older chap, you will need to take efforts to ensure that drugs, human or pet, is always kept out of reach. It is not enough to simply leave them on a table or counter, because many dogs are ingenious at reaching these surfaces, and many can chew through a medication bottle in no time at all. So, if possible, you should keep medication locked up in a cabinet at all times. This also counts for razors, knives, cleaning supplies, etc.

Trash

pup-in-garbage
Photo Credit: Flickr

Never leave trash in an area where your dog has access. Garbage has an irresistible aroma for the average dog, and they will rip into your trash cans in no time given a chance. This could lead to them ingesting all sorts of things they should not eat and a hefty vet’s bill for you to pay.

Water

pup-on-toilet
Photo Credit: Flickr

Sinks and bathtubs filled with water, along with filled buckets and open toilet bowls are all possible puppy drowning hazards, as are the chemicals you use to clean your toilet, so be sure to keep the toilet lid down at all times, and make sure your puppy can’t access baths and sinks if they are full.

Although this post covers the basics of dog safety, there are many more things, including common health problems, you must watch out for, so if you haven’t already, ask your vet for advice, or purchase a good puppy care book to top up your knowledge.

Ways to Protect Your Dog from Winter Weather

Glen Ridge, NJ Pet Sitter

While there are plenty of indoor safety concerns to worry about, the winter brings many outdoor safety issues for your pooch. Dogs are just as susceptible to the dangers of extreme weather changes as we are.  The winter season brings its own specific dangers to our furry friends, but we can make sure they stay safe and warm with a little planning and care.

Glen Ridge, NJ Pet Sitter

Photo via Pixabay by AvidForm

Start with a Vet Visit

It’s always a good idea to have yearly wellness check-ups, and before the cold weather sets in could be a good time to be prepared for any issues.  Cold weather can make conditions, such as arthritis, worse and your vet can help you come up with a plan to keep your dog comfortable during the season.

Your vet can also assess dietary issues and make necessary changes to compensate for less exercise or dry skin problems.

Cold Weather Care

Every dog and bred has varied tolerance levels for cold weather.  Size, coat thickness, age, and current health issues all pay a part in how well your dog will handle the cold.  Certain health problems, such as diabetes, heart disease, kidney disease, and hormonal imbalances can make it hard for a dog to regulate body temperature. Assess your dog’s needs and decide if they ay need some extra layers going outside.  You can also purchase sweaters, coats, booties for dogs to help them weather the season.

Keep your dog on a leash anytime you go outside. Dogs tent to get lost easier in the winter due to the snow and ice masking some of their usual markets used for navigating their way home.

After walks, wipe your dog’s paws, legs, and belly to remove possible de-icers, salt or other chemicals that he might pick up outside.  These can be dangerous if your dog decides to clean himself and ingests the chemicals.

Your dog’s paws can take a beating in cold weather. Cracking. bleeding. and irritation on dogs’ paws are common injuries during the season.  Check them frequently for damage.  Apply a paw protectant, such as petroleum jelly before and after walks to prevent injury.

Avoid ponds and lakes where your dog could chase after something and break through the ice. That scenario could be dangerous for both dog and owner when you try to help.

Be on the lookout for signs of hypothermia: shivering, weakness, slowed heart rate, and lethargy.  if your dog exhibits these symptoms, get him inside immediately and seek medical attention if symptoms worsen.

Safety at Home in the Winter

Provide some safe options for your dog’s sleeping arrangements indoors. Dogs may move around the house and change their sleeping locations based on their need for more or less warmth.  They may lay down on a bare floor until they get chilled and then move to a comfier cushion to warm up and get comfortable for the night.

Avoid bathing your dog frequently in the winter.  Dry skin, flaking, and rashes can be made worse by bathing.  Try using a water-less shampoo option for the cold weather.

This season also tends to bring dogs in contact with more possible ingestible dangers than usual. Chocolate is a popular gift during the holidays which is actually dangerous for dogs to eat.  Be aware of it being placed in gifts under the tree where your dog can gain access to it. Holiday plants, such as poinsettias, are also toxic when ingested by dogs.

Protect your dog from coming in contact with chemically-based de-icers and antifreeze. These can be extremely harmful to pets, even in small amounts. Be sure to clean up spills immediately and keep these chemicals out of reach.

Severe weather and blizzards can bring power outages.  Remember to include your dog in emergency planning.  Have enough extra food and water for your dog to last at least five days. Don’t forget about your dog’s medications. You would want them to be comfortable and healthy while you weather a sudden storm.

Taking these steps to care for your dog will help you both enjoy the winter season in a happy and safe environment.

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Pet Holiday Safety

It’s the most wonderful time of the year–but also a dangerous time of year for your pets. While you gather with family and friends this season, remember that holiday treats and decorations can pose a great threat to our four-legged friends. It is always a good idea to have your veterinarian and the nearest emergency clinic’s information on hand and be extra cautious with pets. Here is a list of things to think twice about this holiday season.

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Tinsel & Ribbon

Curious cats may want to sneak an early peak by chewing off the ribbon on a wrapped gift, but this can present extreme danger. Flashback to Christmas Morning ‘08, manually removing tinsel from Riley’s rear end did not make for the jolliest of holidays, but it certainly warned of us of a Christmas Yet-to-Come. Kitty could have had it much worse had the ribbon obstructed any part of her digestive system, which is all the more reason to keep a ribbon free home during the holidays. Long tinsel or ribbon can seriously obstruct a pet’s digestive system if swallowed, cause infection, and can even be fatal. If you have a particularly naughty pet this year, consider skipping the ribbon.

Holiday-themed Toys

That cute little Santa Claus squeaky toy left in Sparky’s stocking doesn’t look so cute as its remnants are being removed during emergency exploratory surgery on Christmas Day (another true story!) Those adorable holiday stocking stuffers are hard to resist, but they are often made from cheap, destructible material that can be extremely harmful if swallowed. Even if Sparky made it on the Nice List this year, be sure to tell Mr. Claus to gift safe, durable toys and ALWAYS use owner supervision.

Raisins or Grapes

You may receive a healthier treat this holiday season that contains raisins or grapes (Bah humbug!) Beware that ingestion of these foods can be harmful to a pet’s kidneys and can even lead to kidney failure and death. This one is not to be messed with, especially because symptoms may not show up for days after it is too late.

Chocolate

Calories don’t count during the holidays, right? Us humans are allowed to indulge in holiday chocolate treats, but remember to keep them far out of reach from our pets. The chemical theobromine is what causes chocolate toxicity in dogs; dogs cannot metabolize this as readily as humans which allows the chemical to build up to toxic levels. Ingesting even the smallest amount of chocolate can cause stomach upset, vomit or diarrhea, and excessive panting. However, if ingested in large amounts, theobromine from chocolate can cause muscle tremors, seizures, internal bleeding, and serious heart problems. If you plan on baking for the holidays, be especially cautious with dark and baker’s chocolate, as these types can be more toxic than regular milk chocolate.  

Holiday plants

Mistletoe, Poinsettia, and Holly, Oh My! Some of the plants we bring home during the holidays can be harmful to our pets. If consumed, these holiday beauties can be toxic to a dog or cat. Pay attention to cats and holly berries–the effects of ingesting these are comparable to that of caffeine and chocolate. Pine needles can puncture intestines or irritate the esophagus if swallowed. Look out for everyone this holiday season and keep your tree area tidy and plants out of reach.

Lights and candles

If your pet can reach them, they could be a serious fire hazard if knocked over. Not exactly what they meant when they said making spirits bright. Keep electrical cords and string lights out of reach, as they can trip pets or electrocute them if chewed. Consider flameless candles or a room spray to keep your home smelling holiday fresh for the season.

How do I keep my pet safe during Halloween?

Hoboken Dog walkers, Hoboken Doggie Daycare

Halloween is a very exciting day full of festivities, but also some potential dangers for your pet. Here are a few ways to make sure your dog or cat is kept safe during Halloween.

1. No Candy

Dogs and cats should never have chocolate or candies, regardless of the day. Keeping the Halloween treats out of reach and eyesight of your pet is the best way to keep them from getting sick during this holiday.

2. Decorations

While decorating, be sure to take into consideration the potential dangers of what you are putting out to your pet. Make sure nothing that can be chewed on, like wires, are out of reach of your furry friend. Any open flames need to be secure and inaccessible, because that’s dangerous for your pet, but also for your house. No one wants a fire!

3. Costumes

Halloween costumes should be loose-fitting with as few pieces as possible. Keep it simple, and make sure your pet is able to move around with no restriction.

4. Isolation

Halloween is full of noises; knocking, doorbells, excited children. If your dog tends to be skittish, put them in a room by themselves with familiar items, like a blanket and toys, can calm them down and prevent any unwanted anxiety. If the problem is severe enough, consider boarding for the night or even the weekend.

5. Identification

Pets should have identification no matter what. On Halloween, however, having their tag and/or microchip is especially important. This will ensure that if your best friend were to escape, they have a better chance of making their way back to you.

Accidents can happen, no matter how careful you are. Make sure to have the number of your local emergency veterinarian on hand to give your pet the very best chance, and peace of mind for everyone involved.

HAPPY HOWL-O-WEEN!