Posts Tagged ‘pet tips’
It’s holiday time, and, as it’s said “Tis the season to be jolly.” However, there is no reason that we cannot be jolly and introspective at the same time. We can reflect upon the blessings that are ours and rejoice in them. There is no better time to love, appreciate and embrace your animal companions. Most likely, there is no one in your life who is as devoted to you and who loves you as truly and unconditionally as your pet.
In spite of the many social, religious and professional obligations we may have this time of year, it is also a time for reflection, compassion, kindness, peace, good will and generosity, It is also time to pause and contemplate the special people and experiences in our lives. Certainly, for those of us who share our lives with our wonderful animal companions, we can think about the many ways our lives have been transformed and enriched by their presence.
Their innocence and vulnerability; the purity of their hearts and spirits; their spontaneity and ability to live “in the moment”; their empathy and support; their playfulness; and affection; the joy they find in the most meager of games or attention; their stoicism and innate wisdom; their intuitive appreciation of and attunement to nature – all are gifts they bring to us. These gifts help us to revisit our own childhood innocence, playfulness and vulnerability. They also help us to rejoice in the simple beauty of Creation.
Our animal companions remind us of a simpler, quieter time when life was far less technologically complex, the world of nature was more deeply appreciated, and the world as whole at least seemed to be less dangerous and complicated. Our animal companions respond to life as it is – not as it was or as it “should” or will be. They offer a treasure drove of lessons about the purposefulness, significance and interconnectedness of every living creature.
Simply petting your animal companion can feel soothing, comforting. and healing. Embracing (hugging or snuggling with him) can also feel warm, tender and rewarding. This holiday season, find time to appreciate, be grateful for and celebrate your furry child and all he represents. His gifts are simultaneously both simple and monumental…
Dog Behavior Specialist,Dr. Diane Pomerance
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To prevent a trip to the vet ER and to keep you pet safe, healthy and Happy during Thanks- giving, simply say “No” to the following:
1). Turkey, duck, goose, pork, ham or beef bones
2). Stuffing made with onions
3). Rich gravy
4). Fatty scraps
5). Egg nag
6). Alcoholic beverages
7). Garlic mashed potatoes
11). Grapes or raisins
12). Aluminum foil or candy wrappers
13). Candy or ice cream
14) Lit candles, glass ornaments or other table decorations such as toothpicks or skewers that your pet can get hold of and ingest
15). Coffee or hot chocolate, rum or brandy “toddies”, etc.
16). Decorative plants like poinsettias or Xmas trees with pine needles
17). Herbs such as sage, rosemary or thyme
Have a safe and happy Thanksgiving! Stick to your pet’s dietary and exercise routine as much as possible. You are not doing him a favor by giving him rich or unusual treats with which he is not familiar!
Each of us has been adversely affected in some way or another by the seemingly endless troubled economy. Jobs have become more scarce, and for many simply not available. For many families, income has decreased significantly. Thus, many of us are spending less and carefully budgeting our finances to accommodate our own and our family’s most vital, immediate, and significant needs – food and shelter. How does a family pet fit into this equation?
As a Grief Recovery Specialist, I come into contact with a great number of people from all walks of life that dearly love their pets and regard them as family members. Most of the people I counsel are mourning the loss of a beloved animal companion and are seeking help coping with and recovering from their grief. It is only within the past few years that I have counseled an ever-expanding number of people suffering from financial hardship and deep emotional stress and who are wondering how they can afford to keep their pet.
I personally regard pet “guardianship” as a lifetime commitment. Once you have made the decision to incorporate a pet into your life, he is to be loved and treated as a family member or child. He is not to be discarded during times of emotional or financial duress. You would not “surrender” your human child to a welfare organization – why consider disposing of a beloved animal companion – particularly one who is older and is likely to be euthanized if owner-surrendered to an animal shelter or welfare organization? I think it is important to plan ahead to the best of your abilities. The unconditional love and loyalty of an animal companion can actually sustain and lift your spirits during difficult times. Don’t add to the emotional stress you are experiencing over finances by giving up your pet – the one who loves you no matter what!
I have some suggestions that may help you to be able to keep your pet.
1). Do not be afraid or embarrassed to let friends, family members, neighbors, co-workers, fellow church or synagogue members, other members of the community know of your circumstances and ask for help.
2). Contact both local and national animal welfare and rescue organizations and ask them if they know of low-cost veterinarians, food pantries for pets (many rescue organizations receive help and donations from stores such as Wal-Mart, Target, PetSmart, Petco or dog and cat food manufacturers) and offer pet food to those who need it. Check with local pet product stores and see if they will sell you pet food from torn, damaged or extra pet food bags or cans
3). Discuss your situation with your veterinarian and seek health care for your pet that is truly essential and critical to your pet’s health and well-being.
4). Ask your vet for a viable and affordable payment plan. If your vet is unwilling to provide a reasonable payment plan, seek referrals from animal welfare or rescue organizations for reputable, low cost veterinarians.
5). Limit or curtail spending on unnecessary toys or accessories for your pet. Often a pet’s favorite toy is a tennis ball, Frisbee or cardboard box – something extremely inexpensive and simple.
6). Rather than paying for pet grooming, groom your pet yourself. If you are unable or unwilling to do this, contact a local animal shelter or rescue organization and find out if a volunteer can provide this service for a reduced fee.
7). Scale down whenever it is possible. Rather than hiring a pet sitter or taking your pet to doggie/kitty day care, ask animal loving friends, neighbors and/or family members to do the job.
8). Check with your local Meals on Wheels to find out if pet food is available through this organization.
9). Keep your pet safe and healthy by providing him with clean water, nutritious food and exercise so that he is less likely to become sick. In cold and hot weather, keep him primarily indoors.
10). Keep on keeping on, and take it one day at a time. Although it may involve some intricate financial juggling on your part, do your best to obtain help and advice from as many resources as you can.
There are many people who love their pets and organizations that care for and support our animal companions. They may be willing to assist you. Try not to become discouraged. Persevere! Locate and contact as many potential resources as you can. Most importantly, don’t give up your best friend.
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Throughout the years, my husband and I have rescued and adopted many older and senior dogs ranging in age from 4 to nearly 11 years old. Each has come with a different life experience. Some have been family pets; others were used as a means of guarding or protecting his family or family’s property; some have been dearly loved friends and companions; others have received little love, attention or affection. Many have been neglected, abandoned or abused through no fault of their own. These older dogs have lost their homes for various reasons: divorce or separation of his parents; the death or severe illness of his guardian, change in work schedule, the necessity of moving to a place where a dog is not permitted (i.e. nursing home or assisted living facility, and so on). There are many reasons dogs are surrendered to a shelter – it is a fallacy that these animals are in someway inferior or have health or behavioral problems. Each of the older dogs we have adopted has brought us great joy and deeply enriched our lives. There are many important reasons to adopt an older or senior dog:
1). You can save the life of a deserving animal in need of a loving home, and feel good about yourself. Older dogs are usually not considered as “adorable” or adoptable as puppies or young dogs. Puppies generally have a much better chance of being adopted than older dogs. Therefore, older dogs are much more likely to be euthanized than younger dogs. The joy and fulfillment of rescuing an older dog and providing it with quality of life are unparalleled.
2). You can experience the appreciation, gratitude, devotion and patience of an older dog which are deeply rewarding. She somehow “knows” and understands that she has been saved, and becomes a grateful, loyal and loving friend, companion and family member.
3). Older dogs tend to be calmer, are often obedience trained and socialized and require less supervision or monitoring than younger dogs. They may even form a deeper bond with you than a young dog.
4). When you adopt a senior dog, you know what you’re getting. When you adopt a puppy, you can never be sure of how large he will get or what he will actually end up looking like. When you adopt an older dog, his size and weight, personality, behavior, likes and dislikes are immediately apparent. – all of which make it easier to select the right dog for you and your lifestyle.
5). An adult dog is past the puppy-chewing phase. This phase can last from eight weeks to two years of age or even longer, This is when the dog is “exploring” virtually everything around him and can be a time of destruction of furniture, carpets, art work and other valuable possessions.
6). Adult dogs are better able to concentrate or focus and actually may be much easier to train than a puppy. The bonding that takes place during the training of an older dog is powerful and even deeper perhaps than that developed with a puppy. Adult dogs possess a maturity and range of experience that young dogs simply do not have.
7). Most adult dogs are already socialized. Puppies must be taught basically everything about life, while older dogs have generally already shared and learned from their relationships with other pets, people and children.
8). The first year of expenditures on an adult dog is typically much less than on a puppy that requires all sorts of vaccinations and examinations as well as obedience training. A healthy adult dog does not usually require the frequent visits to the vet that a puppy does.
9). Adult dogs are typically less active than a puppy. Of course, they require walks and playtime but don’t require high maintenance activity, a lot of exercise, walking and running and playtime. An older dog is much more content to share quality time with you and simply enjoying your attention and companionship.
10). Adult dogs are just as handsome and beautiful as puppies in their own way. They can make you feel young again and bring joy, fun and pleasure to your life!
An older or senior dog can make a wonderful addition to your life and family. By adopting an older dog, you can learn much about life and the aging process - in so many ways comparable to our own. You can teach your children respect and compassion for our older friends and family members.
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If you are not familiar with the world of animal rescue, then you may not be familiar with the concept of “fostering” or temporarily caring for an animal in order to save its life and provide rehabilitation, medical care and socialization skills for it so that it will be more adoptable and suitable for what will hopefully be his new role as someone else’s pet or animal companion. I personally have never fostered a pet - there is no doubt in my mind that I do not have the personality or skills that would enable me to be a good foster parent. I am certain that I would have flunked the class in providing care for an animal on a temporary basis until it finds its permanent or “forever” home. Instead, I have chosen to save, rescue, rehabilitate and then adopt my animal companions knowing that I do not have the skill, stamina or fortitude to know and love an animal and then give it away (relinquish it) to someone else. In my opinion, it is a very special person, indeed, who has the knowledge of animals as well as the ability, compassion and selflessness required to care for a pet in need, to provide it with love and training, a temporary family life, and then ultimately “give” it away to someone who will share the rest of his or her life with it.
Without those generous, kind-hearted and compassionate people willing to foster an animal, many rescue or animal welfare organizations would find it virtually impossible to save and adopt out as many animals as they do. Often, an animal is simply too young, fragile or ill to make it on its own and requires someone to administer special care, training, food or medications until it becomes strong and independent enough to be designated as adoptable for a family which hasn’t the special skills money or patience to care for a puppy or kitten or older dog with special needs. Medium to large, adolescent untrained dogs are also excellent candidates for foster care. The foster parent takes on the role and responsibility of nursing an animal into health and overall well being and easing the transition from shelter to home. Also a part of the work of a foster parent is socialization and temperament evaluation. Generally, the foster parent(s) work in conjunction with a rescue group or animal welfare organization, which pay for any extensive medical care, surgery or treatment, required for the animal. However, frequently foster families donate the cost of food, toys and accessories and other expenses.
Often, foster homes provide a wonderful transition for dogs or cats that have been neglected, abandoned or abused and ended up at animal shelters with very little hope for a future home. Foster parents provide a stable and loving environment and help socialize and obedience train the animals in their temporary custody. The learn about the animals physical and emotional needs and can provide potential adopters with profiles of the animal’s personality and characteristics as well as whether they get along well with children, other pets, etc. In addition, the foster family must understand that there is no defined time limit to the time the animal will spend with them. No one can guarantee that an animal will be adopted within a certain time frame, even though one can be cautiously optimistic. I have known people who have fostered animals for a few weeks, months and even years until the “perfect” adopter comes along.
A foster volunteer ideally has some general experience with dogs and should be familiar with basic dog care and training. The foster has an opportunity to correct the behaviors or bad habits, which may be responsible for the animal being surrendered to a shelter. The responsibilities of a foster parent may include basic training: including housetraining (VERY important!), walking on a leash, learning to sit, stay, come, go down and obeying your commands. Other responsibilities may involve administering medical care (dispensing medication and providing an appropriate diet) and taking the dog to the vet,. Providing him with interaction, playtime and exercise are very important components to the dogs’ emotional and physical development. Once the dog has been nursed back to health after he has been evaluated and trained and deemed adoptable, it is time to begin the search for the best possible home for the animal.
Fostering a dog or cat may seem like a difficult and challenging task. For many of us who love animals, it is a seemingly impossible mission. We simply become too attached to our new addition to let him go. However, the rewards of saving a life and finding it a loving home are indescribable. Everyone involved in the process truly benefits!
It’s hard to believe that the summer is nearly over, that fall is rapidly approaching and that our kids will soon be back in school. Well, if you’re thinking about taking a deep sigh of relief because you think that fleas and ticks will fade out of the scene like the hot summer sun, think twice. Although many people regard fleas and ticks as a summertime threat to their pets, these pests actually pose a year round hazard. Fighting fleas and ticks is no longer a seasonal battle. It requires year round attention and prevention.
Did you know that there are over 2,000 species of fleas and that they can transmit a vast array of diseases, most significantly tapeworms? Fleas are small wingless, bloodsucking insects that have legs adapted for jumping. Ticks are large fleas that are dark to light gray in color and attach themselves to animals or to humans (yeeech!). They are disease carriers that attach firmly to flesh and suck their host’s blood. They are more closely related to spiders and have 8 legs.
Exposure to fleas and ticks commonly occurs in the woods or open fields or even in urban parks where there is an overgrowth of shrubs and undergrowth of weeds. If you are planning to take Rover for a hike in the woods, make sure he is protected by flea and tick preventive that is easily applied or ingested. Actually, your pet should be on a preventative flea/tick medication all year long. Consult with a veterinarian as to which type and brand are best suited to your pet’s needs, size, health, breed and lifestyle.
Symptoms of flea manifestation are excessive itching, biting and chewing especially at the rear tail or the inside or outside of the thighs. Intense scratching can cause redness and irritation and inflammation a well as red bumps, skin lesions and ulcers. To determine if your pet has fleas, look for them crawling through your dog’s fur – they are 2-8 mm long, a mahogany brown color and have three pairs of legs.
Symptoms of ticks on your pet may include: lethargy, fever, nausea, dizziness, diarrhea lameness or even bleeding. . Ehrlichiosis is one of the diseases caused by ticks. Lyme disease as well as Rocky Mountain spotted fever, Anaplasmosis and Babesiosis are other tick-born diseases. Most tick-born diseases take several hours to transmit to the host. It is fairly easy to spot a tick on your animal. It may look like a red/brown ball or pea. Wood ticks and brown dog ticks are good examples of ticks that can be troublesome for dogs.
If your dog may be exposed to fleas or tick, act preventively. Shampoo/bathe him with a medicated flea and tick shampoo. Obtain a flea and tick collar from your vet. Put your pet on flea-tick medication in accordance with your vet’s recommendations – this usually involves a monthly topical application or pill to be ingested. Implement a flea/tick prevention program that treats not just your dog but also the environment in which he lives. Make sure his bedding is clean, well maintained and free of dirt and pests. Take your dog for regular visits to the vet. Keep your garden well-manicured (no weeds or overgrown shrubs). Consult with your vet about chemicals and safe, appropriate and on-going preventive medications and treatments. Ideally, tick and flea prevention will become a part of your regular dog care and maintenance schedule!
Every dog deserves a healthy diet and balanced nutritional program. What is the best food for your dog? This will depend upon your pet’s age, size, overall health, activity level, ancestry, breed characteristics and weight. An exam followed by a detailed consultation with your veterinarian will help you to determine the best (healthiest) food plan for your dog. Does your pet have any health issues that may require or benefit from a specialized diet? Is he overweight? Does he have digestive problems? Does he have kidney, liver or heart disease? Does he suffer from osteoarthritis or hip dysplasia? If so, he may have nutritional needs that may not only keep her healthy but alive!
As you may surmise, a healthy diet is in and of itself not enough to keep your pet happy and healthy. He may require medication and/or vitamins or supplements. He requires plenty of good, clean, fresh water. He also requires exercise, playtime, and interaction. He will also need to be obedience trained and socialized so that he will be a happy, healthy, loved and well behaved member and representative of your family.
So what is the best food for your dog? Actually, it is the fresh food you buy at the grocery store for yourself and other family members. Fresh chicken, turkey, beef and fish are as good for your pets as they are for you! Don’t confuse these fresh foods (which benefit many living creatures) with such people “food” as table scraps, ice cream, cookies, candies, pizza, hot dogs, French Fries, barbecued ribs etc.) Fresh food can include yogurt, cottage cheese, oatmeal, eggs and brown rice- even fruit such as apple or orange slices, bits of banana or veggies such as carrots or green beans.
Keep in mind that up until the 1930’s when cereal and grain manufacturers bean to seek to make a profit out of their inferior or rejected grains and cereals (those deemed of insufficient quality for humans), dogs were fed real meat and vegetables and a little homemade bread – a diet on which they thrived. Much of the dog kibble (which is processed and artificial) as we know it today was created for the benefit and profit of the cereal and grain industries and pet food industries. It allowed them to make money out of “inferior” products. Many of the canned meat and meat byproducts sold as dog food have existed almost entirely for the profitability of meat and pet food corporations.
I highly suggest that you as consumer and pet guardian carefully examine the ingredients of all packaged and canned pet foods. Do they contain chemicals, artificial flavorings and ingredients? Do they contain corn, wheat, soybeans, artificial flavorings which can prove dangerous to your pet – chemicals- any of which can contribute to your pet’s chronic digestive problems such as vomiting, gassiness, diarrhea or loose stools? These ingredients can also result in other health-related problems including skin and also behavioral issues. There are plenty of wonderful pet foods (dry and wet). available in the market. It is up to you and your vet to determine which are of greatest benefit and value to your particular pet.
Many pet food manufacturers create healthy, natural, fresh and nutritional products. It is important for us to find out which are the most beneficial and those that are least nutritionally beneficial for our canine companions. The heartbreaking and massive pet food recalls that occurred several years ago remind us that we must do our homework and conduct our own research as to which diets and foods are healthiest for our pets. We cannot simply accept the “information” provided through heartwarming television or radio commercials or magazine ads informing us that certain pet foods will improve the health and in increase the longevity of our pets’ lives. We really have to pay attention and think for ourselves!
Like our human children, and us our pets deserve wholesome, nutritious, fresh and healthy foods. They are vulnerable and depend upon us to find it and feed it to them. As their caregivers, we owe it to them to pay attention not only to their dietary needs, but also to their nutritional requirements, medical, physical and weight management needs. After all, we do exercise “dominion” – meaning care of and responsibility for the needs and well being of our animal companions.
In light of the fact that obesity is assuming alarming and epidemic proportions not only for humans but for our canine friends, it is important to address the issue of proper nutrition for our furry friends before serious health issues arise as a result of poor nutrition and inadequate exercise. Beyond nutrition, the importance of regular exercise for human and canine cannot be overemphasized.
However well-intentioned we may be in providing the best care for our animal companions, it is always advisable to conduct our own research as well as consult with a reputable, well-respected and knowledgeable veterinarian as to the “best” nutritional program for your particular pets. Just like human beings, each pet is unique and requires individual care pertaining to his or her size, weight, breed characteristics, heritage and ancestry, overall health and well being and personality, exercise regimen, etc.
Each pet requires consistent and on-going veterinary care – including regular visits to the vet (not just in an emergency or crisis situation). They require spay/neuter as well as physical examinations and their vaccinations. As they are examined, it is important for you (as your pet’s caregiver) to describe your pet’s physical condition, problems or any health issues that you may have observed. Does your pet limp? Pant? Breathe heavily? Have digestive problems? Walk with difficulty or hesitation? Have difficulty breathing? Tire easily even though not old? Your vet will more than likely be happy to address and suggest a proper nutritional and exercise program that will increase your pet’s longevity and improve his health and quality of life. He/she will take into consideration the age and lifestyle of your dog and help determine the diet best suited for your dog’s health and happiness.
It would be easy to believe that there is one superior pet food or diet that would fulfill all of your pet’s nutritional needs. Unfortunately, that is not the case. As is with the case of people. no one particular diet suits all pets. Your individual pet’s needs must be carefully considered in light of your pet’s age, background and overall health and well being.
Overall, your pet needs certain vitamin and nutrition, and a food that will be easily and well digested without any health consequences. Your pet may not need but generally will enjoy a varied diet – just as you do. Think in terms of your own health and enjoyment of healthy meals. Your pet should be fed a diet specially formulated for his age, breed, size and health history. For example, if he has kidney failure, there are appropriate diets that can help him therapeutically to limit the pain of his disease and prolong the quality of his life.
There is also danger in feeding your pet the “wrong” diet. It is important to give your pet a breed and age appropriate diet and also a special one designed for a dog that is pregnant, anemic or allergic or one who has kidney or liver failure, heart disease or other significant health issues. Therapeutic dies generally contain higher quality ingredients and have tighter quality control. Because they are intended for pets with special health issues, these diets are available through veterinary health professionals and should be administered under veterinary care.
If your pet is overweight, consult with your veterinarian as your pet’s obesity can be responsible for a number of health problems including heart disease, diabetes, arthritis, liver and kidney disease, endocrine and intestinal problems, cancer, etc. Certain diets, typically those higher in fiber and lower in fat, can help keep obesity in check. Generally, diet and exercise are the keys to helping your pet maintain a healthy and well balanced diet and healthy lifestyle.
Is Your Dog Overweight?
You may have suspected it, but a visit to the veterinarian with your dogs confirms the fact that your beautiful canine is overweight. Actually, you shouldn’t be too surprised as obesity in our pets, just as obesity in humans has reached epic proportions. You have done your best to feed your dog a healthy and nutritious diet, yet; somehow, you have provided her with more than the daily intake of calories she requires. You may have provided too little activity or exercise. You may have given her extra treats as “rewards” for good behavior or simply to make her happy. Any which way, it is time to deal with the inevitable – placing your dog on a healthy diet, exercise regimen and nutritional program. Proper nutrition will enhance your dog’s longevity as well as her quality of life.
Obesity is the most common nutritional problems veterinarians encounter in dogs and cats today. Being overweight can result in a wide variety of serious health problems for your pet, including heart disease, urinary problems, arthritis, cancer, endocrine issues and cancer. Overweight dogs are at higher risk in surgery, more prone to injury and experience greater stress on their hearts, livers, kidneys and joints. Excess weight can worsen respiratory problems and exacerbate osteoarthritis. Excess weight can lead to diabetes mellitus and generally diminish the overall quality of your pet’s life. Obesity can also decrease your pet’s life expectancy. Obesity is an issue that necessitates serious thought and consideration as well as change in your pet’s lifestyle.
The lives of our pets are generally shorter than our own. Therefore, if we are hoping for our pet to live a long, happy and healthy life, it is imperative that we provide our pets with a healthy lifestyle, sound nutritional program and a regular exercise regimen. It is as important for our pets to eat healthily and exercise frequently as it is for us as human beings. Once we have made the decision to adopt a pet, the animal is ours to care for until its death. We are the one and only caregiver of our vulnerable and trusting canine or feline friend, companion and beloved family member. Our pet’s life is completely dependent upon us. We are responsible for her overall care, health and well being.
To assess whether Fido really is “fat”, note the following:
Have your pet examined by your veterinarian. Consult with him or her to determine what weight loss regimen is most effective and beneficial for her.
If your vet puts Fido on a diet, do your best to adhere to the requirements of this health plan:
Limit the amount of food and snacks he gets;
Cut back the amount of kibble in his food bowl;
Feed healthy snacks if you “must” give him any at all: choose green beans, carrots or other low-calorie vegetables, unbuttered popcorn, organic or apple slices, etc. as per the advice of your vet;
Watch the fat content of the food you are purchasing & look for a diet with similar ingredients but fewer calories;
Watch the fat content in the food you buy’
Check the supplements you use for value & caloric quantity;
Keep Fido away from the dining table at meal time so that there is no temptation to your pet to beg or for you & your kids to give him unhealthy, fattening snacks.
Exercise your pet gradually and with the advice/consultation of your vet. Short sessions of low or moderate activity are a great way to begin this program i.e. a walk around the block, a regular obedience class or obedience routine are good ways to begin your pet’s exercise regimen.
Obesity affects approximately 25 percent of the U.S. canine population. Make certain that your dog is not a member of this population. Keep him healthily fed and exercised. Take no chances with your best friend’s health. Give him your love and a healthy dose of nutritional well-being and daily exercise.
I love July 4th – and everything it represents – freedom and independence as well as summer fun, joy and carefree sunny days. However, as a pet parent, I dread this holiday more than any other. My dogs are terrified of thunder and lightning and - especially
fireworks -which seem to occur in our neighborhood every year in greater numbers and with increasing frequency and intensity- not only on the Fourth of July but also during the days preceding and following the holiday.
The gunshots fired in the air, the sound of the fireworks going off – scare my dogs so much that they shake, shiver and become disoriented or destructive. They simply do not know how to respond to the cacophony of scary, inexplicable loud noises and displays of light. Their instinct is to either seek protection at home or to run away. Animal shelters across the country are accustomed to receiving “July 4th” dogs – who, in the frenzy and commotion of the holiday have run away or escaped.
My husband and I have learned through the years to keep them safe, calm and indoors and soothingly accompanied by a non-violent, easy to listen to program on television or classical music on the radio. We never take our dogs to see firework displays as they become very nervous, anxious and fearful.
To keep your pet safe on the 4th of July:
1). Do not take your pets to fireworks displays. The noise and commotion can be frightening and intimidating for them.
2). Do not leave your pets in your backyard or outside during fireworks displays that are audible or visible from where you live. Do not ever leave them outside unattended if they are within hearing range of fireworks.
3). Keep your pets safe, secure and comfortable in a room or place they really like and to which they are accustomed.
4). Keep the TV or radio on for them.
5). Make sure your pet is wearing proper identification tags so that if they do, by chance, get out, they are easily returned.
6). If you know your pet has anxiety or is disturbed by loud noises like thunder, talk to your veterinarian in advance of the 4th of July to see if there are medications available to help your pet through survive the holiday calmly and safely.
7). Never use fireworks around pets. Do not leave matches or candles around them either. Your pet could easily knock them over and start a fire.
8). Never leave your pet unattended in a car during a fireworks ceremony as he can get extremely frightened, overheated, agitated and/or destructive and even find a way to escape from the vehicle.
9). Don’t leave alcoholic beverages where your pets can get them or to them.
10). Maintain your pet’s normal diet on the holiday weekend. Do not give him any rich foods, cookies or cakes or barbecued foods that have fat or bones (i.e. ribs or chicken) that could upset his stomach.
11). Keep your pet out of the heat during the day as well as the nighttime.
12). Keep your pet cool, safe, calm and comfortable.
Enjoy and celebrate the holiday! Don’t neglect or forget about your furry friend’s physical and emotional health and well being!
Dr. Diane Pomerance