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Archive for the ‘Animal Safety’ Category

It’s that time again!  To quote our good friend, Rebecca Black: “We so excited for the weekend.”  We might not actually be friends with Rebecca Black, but we do know of two very special and great events for you and your dog this weekend in our lovely city.

ASPCA Mobile Adoption Van
If you and your dog are looking for a new furry friend, or you know of someone who is, why not stop by the ASPCA Mobile Adoption Van at any of these locations this Friday or Saturday:

  • Friday, August 3, 4-7 pm: Petland Discounts, W 23rd St & 8th Ave, New York, NY
  • Saturday, August 4, 1-5 pm: Pet Health Store (indoor event), 440 Amsterdam Avenue New York, NY

For more information, check out the ASPCA website.

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Central Park Bagel Bark
This is an event that we are actually very much excited about and we think your dog will be too!  On Saturday, get you and your dog up to Great Hill in Central Park (at W 107th Street) for bagels, pastries, and coffee with other dog owners and lovers. For more information about this monthly (and free!) event, check out Central Park Paws.

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Whatever you and your dog decide on this weekend, keep it classy and cool and don’t forget about our summer safety tips for keeping your dog safe in these last weeks of summer.  From all of us at Union Square Dog Walker, happy Friday!

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It’s another week, and thus it’s time for another post about keeping your dog safe in the summer.  Last week, we talked about sunburn and paw protection.  Prior to that, we told you about the dangers of heatstroke and heat exhaustion, as well as all the reasons you shouldn’t leave your dog in your car.

This week, since many of you will likely be hitting up the beach on the Fourth of July, we are going to tell you about water safety!  Water safety encompasses everything from drinking water to swimming.

First off, if you are bringing your dog to the beach, remember the following:

  • Do not allow your dog to drink the seawater!  The salt in the water could make your dog very sick.
  • Be aware that jellyfish and other sea life aren’t just threats to people, but can also hurt your dog.  Find out about the conditions before allowing your dog to go in the water.
  • The salt and minerals in the ocean aren’t necessarily the best for your dog’s fur, so give your dog a quick rinse with clean water before heading home.

Aside from the above, it may come as a surprise to you that a lot of dogs aren’t initially comfortable with swimming or going in water.  To make this experience enjoyable, you should ease your dog into the act of swimming.  Never throw your dog in the water, be encouraging, and avoid busy/crowded/noisy areas that may induce anxiety or stress in your dog.  Additionally, it is important that when they are first learning, you support your dog’s weight until it is comfortable paddling.  You should also invest in a dog life jacket for your four-legged friend, as this will help your dog stay afloat if he/she becomes too fatigued to do so.

Finally, if you forget everything else, remember this:

Keep an eye on your dog at all times.  Every year, dogs accidentally drown when left unattended.  Make sure that your dog knows how to get out of the pool, and more importantly, make sure that you always watch your dog.

We leave you with the below video on pet CPR, which might seem absurd but is definitely worth watching if you plan on taking your dog out to the pool, beach, or lake this summer.

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One of our employee’s dogs hiding from fireworks last year. Or, trying to hide, anyway.

This is your dog afraid.

This is your dog afraid of…

…cue scary music…

…fireworks!

In all seriousness, this is one of Union Square Dog Walker’s very own dogs hiding under a piano bench to get away from the fireworks he heard last Fourth of July.With Independence Day quickly approaching, your dog’s reaction and possible fear of fireworks may not be on top of the list of things your concerned about.  Everyone knows that the real concerns involve where to go, what to eat, and what to drink.  So when Pedigree posted an article on keeping your four-legged friend content while fireworks explode outside, we knew we wanted to help spread the word.

Still trying to get away from the scary fireworks…

There are a few options for keeping your buddy happy.  First, there is the option of slowly acclimating your dog to the noise.  Pedigree recommends going onto your favorite video site (YouTube…obviously) and finding videos of fireworks to play around your dog.  With the volume turned up, stay calm and cheerful, and make the overall experience for your dog positive.  Everyone knows that treats make everything better, so perhaps some sort of indulgence for your dog will help keep the experience positive.

Okay, okay.  Fine.  You can indulge in some kind of treat as well.

The idea about keeping an overall positive attitude should carry over to when the actual fireworks occur; dogs can pick up on whether you’re nervous or scared, and if you pass on these emotions, it’s likely your dog will too.

Finally, Pedigree recommends anything that is supposed to quell anxiety, such as a Thundershirt or AnxietyWrap.

(click image for source)

We can’t say whether swaddling your dog will be beneficial, but we can’t see it doing any harm, either.  And it obviously makes for some great pictures.

Whatever you end up doing this holiday, please don’t forget about your dog’s needs!  Whether that involves swaddling your dog or playing YouTube videos on repeat for a week beforehand, take some extra time to make sure that your dog is happy.  And no matter what you choose to do, please be safe!

From all of us at Union Square Dog Walker…

Happy Fourth of July!

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Previous topics include why it’s important to never leave your dog in the car and heatstroke and heat exhaustion signs and prevention.

Today’s topic involves something that most people generally forget about when they think of keeping their dogs safe in the heat.  As you might have already guessed from the title of today’s post, we are talking about sunburn and protecting your dog’s paws.

Most people choose to wear sunscreen to prevent getting sunburn, but what about your dog?  It may seem like a crazy idea, but it’s possible for dogs to get sunburn too, especially for breeds that have shorter or lighter fur, or for dogs that have recently had their coat trimmed.

(click image for source)

Though keeping your dog in the shade can help, we still recommend getting some doggy sunscreen to put onto your dog’s nose and ears, and anywhere else that you think might be exposed.  Just keep in mind that if you put it somewhere like on your dog’s stomach, it’s likely it will just be licked off.  If you click the link we provided (or we will link it again, here), you’ll see that there are plenty of options on Amazon.com.  We’re making it easy for you (because really, we just posted the link three times), so there’s no excuse on not making this very important purchase.

Additionally, please make sure to keep an eye on your dog’s paws.  A lot of dog owners invest in boots in the winter to protect their dog’s paws from the salt and sand, and protecting your dog’s paws in the summer is just as important.  While boots aren’t really an option in the summer, you should check the sidewalks (and sand, if you’re at the beach) before going out to see how hot they are.  If the surface is too hot to touch, then it is definitely too hot for your dog to walk on.  (If you don’t believe us, try walking barefoot on hot asphalt for 10-15 minutes, and then make note of the huge blisters that literally cover the entire bottom of your foot.  Yeah, it happens, and might’ve happened to one of us.)  We recommend taking your dog out early in the morning or in the evening if the asphalt is too hot.

Finally, please check out this article on WebMD about dogs getting skin cancer and what to look out for.  And once again, don’t forget to get your dog some sunscreen!

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So we’ve already covered why it’s important to never leave your dog in the car, but with temperatures rising, we also wanted to touch upon how to keep your dog safe in the heat.

As we pointed out in the aforementioned post, dogs are far less efficient at cooling their bodies than humans are.  They release heat from their body through panting and through their paws, while we tend to use our whole body to cool off.

Over the next few weeks, we are going to do a weekly post on one cause of concern in the summer for your dog.  Some of them are less obvious, while some of them you might already be aware of, like today’s topic.

Similar to people, dogs are at risk for heatstoke or heat exhaustion, which is a result from too much exertion in the heat or dehydration.

According to this article, signs of heatstroke in your dog include the following:

Increased heart rate
Excessive panting
Increased salivation
Bright red tongue
Red or pale gums
Thick, sticky saliva
Depression
Weakness
Dizziness
Vomiting (sometimes with blood)
Diarrhea

And as heatstroke becomes more severe, your dog can suffer from seizures, a coma, cardiac arrest, and even death.

If you notice your dog is developing any of these symptoms, make sure you give it small amounts of water, move it to a cool and comfortable place, and/or give it a cool bath.  Then take your dog to the vet as soon as you can.  Even if it seems like it may be too much, it’s better to be safe than sorry.

(click image for source, which also has some great information on water safety for your dog)

At this point, you’re probably asking yourself: “What can I do, as an owner, to prevent this problem?”

There are a few obvious answers to this question, such as making sure you don’t leave your dog in the car (or hot apartment without water or a cooling system in place), allowing your dog access to water at all times, and making sure your dog has adequate shade if you tend to leave it outside a lot.

Finally, even if your dog is incredibly fit and runs with you every single day, give your dog a break and limit exercise.  If you think your dog can handle it, trying going for a run in a fur coat over the next couple of days and let us know how that turns out for you.

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So, it’s 120 degrees outside.  Is it too hot to leave your dog in the car?  Yes.

It’s now 65 degrees outside.  Is it too hot to leave your dog in the car?  Yes.

Whether you think it’s too hot or it’s relatively cool outside isn’t important when it comes to leaving your four-legged best friend in the car.  The reality is that usually, if it’s above 60 degrees outside, your dog is suffering.

Here’s why:

  • Whereas the human body generally begins cooling itself off at 70 degrees Fahrenheit, for dogs, this cooling process begins around 60 degrees.  So once the thermostat hits 60, it’s likely that your dog’s body is doing its best to cool itself off.
  • Dogs cool themselves through their paws and through panting.  We pretty much all know this already.  But still, the logistics of this have probably escaped your mind.  In order for a dog to pant/breathe, it needs to have air to breathe in.  When the dog can’t take in cool or clean air in a car or kennel, it only takes a few minutes for a dog to overheat and suffer from brain damage.
  • The temperature outside the car is not necessarily consistent with the temperature inside the car.  If you’ve ever gotten into your car with the windows closed on a hot day, then certainly you’ve realized how unbelievably hot it is inside, even compared to the high temperatures outside.  Imagine sitting inside of a car at that temperature, with no windows or air conditioning on, if only for five minutes.  Sound pleasant?  Not so much.  Now imagine doing that with a fur coat on and no efficient body-cooling system.  It’s no wonder it’s so unsafe.

These are only a few of the reasons why not to leave your dog in the car on a hot summer day.  Now that it’s starting to warm up, it certainly is nice to take your dog for rides in the car, but leaving it in there is not smart, nor is it a very considerate thing to do.

Obviously in New York, this won’t always be an issue.  Dogs love riding the subway and meeting new people (just ask Amanda about her therapy dog Sally).  But still, it’s definitely worth thinking about, and is definitely worth passing on.

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For more on this, check out the site from which I obtained this information, by clicking here.  The author, Joan Brokaw, even conducted an experiment on temperatures inside and outside of the car.

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