Category Archives: Pet Tips

Hallow Pet Safety Tips

Halloween Safety Tips for our Four-Legged Friends!

Halloween Pet Safety Tips 2016

Halloween has become increasingly popular over the past few years, especially for pet owners. According to the Halloween Spending Survey, an annual report released by the National Retail Federation (NRF), it was predicted that 20 million pet owners would spend $350 million on their pets during the 2015 Halloween festivities. As the pet industry continues to grow each year, there’s no doubt that this year’s pet costume statistics will surpass these numbers.

Although Halloween seems to be a ‘spooktacular’ time for all, it’s important to remember that it can also be a frightful and dangerous occasion for our pets. Let’s be mindful of a few pet hazards present during the Halloween season and make sure to follow these safety tips for our four-legged friends!

  • A tired dog is a good dog! Give your pup a nice long walk before the trick-or-treaters start their visits. With all the commotion at the front door, it’s best to put pets in a secure, relaxing, safe zone. Keeping Fido or Fluffy in a crate or closed off separate room is a smart idea. Provide them with their favorite bed, toys, and access to food and water bowl.
  • Decorate with your pet in mind. Keep candlelit jack-o-lanterns out of reach of your curious pet. This festive decoration can be a real fire hazard if flipped or knocked over. Consider using flameless candles instead. Always secure electrical cords out of reach as well. If chewed, your beloved pet can suffer cuts, burns and even a life threatening shock.
  • The candy bowl is NOT for Scruffy or Fluffy. Bags full of candy and chocolaty treats can be extremely tempting for our fur-friends. It’s important to keep that Halloween candy stash in a safe place, far out of paws reach. Explain to everyone in your home (including kids) how dangerous candy is for pets. Instead, spoil your pooch with a goody that will keep him or her happy and occupied, like a SmartBones® dog chew! This NO Rawhide chew is highly digestible, low fat and 100% delicious! Learn more at: Smartbones.com.
  • Ghosts, ghouls and goblins can cause doorbell anxiety! Strangers dressed in costumes and the constant ringing of the doorbell may be scary to even the friendliest of pets. Fear, anxiety and unusual activities and visitors can all pose threats to our pets during this holiday. The AKC Calming Coat is a must-have product this Halloween for nervous pets. Similar to swaddling a baby, the Calming Coat will keep Fido in a relaxed state of mind during the festivities. Learn more at: MyCalmingCoat.com.
  • Be sure to trick-or-TAG. The front door is a high traffic area during the trick-or-treating hours. It’s crucial to have your pet properly identified with an up-to-date ID tag should they get loose from you or your home. Twigo Pet ID Tags can be instantly personalized and are completely silent, ideal for those who dislike jingling noise. These tags are fun, stylish and will make the perfect costume accessory while keeping your pet safe during Halloween this year! Learn more at: Twigotags.com.
  • Let Fido Trick-or-Treat in style. If you plan to take your pet trick-or-treating with the family or to the local Halloween parade, be sure to keep him or her leashed at all times. A fun way to include your pup is to strap on A Pet with Paws Doggie Backpack before hitting the streets. This stylish, eco-friendly backpack will make a fabulous fashion statement this Halloween and will give Fido the opportunity to carry his own poop bags. In addition, this backpack is the perfect spot for your pup to store his very own treat collection too! Learn more at: APetwithPaws.com.
  • Only dress your pet up if they are safe and comfortable! Did you know 1 in 5 millennials will dress their pets in costumes this year? If your furry friend doesn’t mind dressing up, make sure that you select a costume that doesn’t restrict his normal movements, breathing or vision. Costumes that interfere with these things can cause ligament or joint injuries, and animals are more likely to bite if their vision is impaired.

BH Pet Gear recently launched a line consisting of 7 terrifyingly cute costumes for canines this 2016 Halloween season. These safe, comfortable and adorable costumes include: Devil, Wonderdog, Shark, Monkey, Pumpkin, Elephant and Troll. Whether your pup is a mischievous devil or a playful wild monkey, there’s a costume to fit every dog’s personality. Learn more at: bhpetgear.com.

By staying mindful of these precautions and following some simple pet safety tips, you and your pet-loving family will be sure to have a tail wagging good time this Halloween!

Tips for a Pet Safe Fourth of July Celebration

Tips for a Pet-Safe Fourth of July Celebration!

Tips for a Pet Safe Fourth of July Celebration

New York, NY –The Fourth of July fireworks and holiday celebrations may be fun and exciting for you, but the deafening noises and rowdy gatherings of Independence Day can scare the daylights out of your dog or cat. Every year hundreds of pets throughout the country are lost or injured during this occasion. It’s important to plan ahead and to stay mindful of our fur-friends throughout the festivities. Be sure to follow this list of precautions to protect your pet this holiday weekend so that everyone in your family can enjoy a fun, safe and stress-free Fourth of July!

Even though you’re indulging, resist the urge to indulge your pet! As you prepare for the BBQ, keep animal companions away from the grill, charcoal and lighter fluid. Your pet will most likely gobble up anything you share with him but remember foods like onions, salt, avocados and chocolate are fatally toxic to dogs and cats. It’s important we avoid giving into those pleading eyes, and inform friends and family to do so as well.

Dogs love bones, right? Throwing leftover bones to the dog may seem natural, however bones can be very dangerous for pets. They might choke on them, or suffer a grave injury if the bone should splinter and become lodged in, or even puncture the digestive tract. This can be extremely painful and require surgery.

Be sure to secure trash bags or have a pet-proof covered container ready for throwing bones into. Beer and alcohol are poisonous to pets as well. Making sure that alcoholic beverages are stored and placed in an area inaccessible to pets can help prevent accidental ingestion.

The Fourth of July holiday weekend is a great time for celebrating, but for family pets it can be an extremely stressful affair. During the 4th, there is a 30% increase in runaway pets due to anxiety and noise caused by fireworks. It’s crucial to keep our pets inside, safe and sound during all of the festivities.

Making sure they have access to their crate or “safe place” is a must. Do your best to avoid the noise by closing windows, playing music or turning on the TV. Our pets take cues from our actions; so going about your normal routine and staying calm is important.

Calm Coat for dogs with anxietyProducts like the AKC Calming Coat for dogs, and Calm Cat for cats are easy and cost effective solutions in treating pets who suffer from anxiety. These coats are designed to apply constant pressure on an animal’s torso, which provides a calming effect for most pets. With the holiday excitement in the air, new guests visiting the home, and the terrifying sound of fireworks; wrapping your pet in a Calming Coat or Calm Cat will help tremendously during the 4th of July weekend.

 

Pet RemedyAnother great item to use for this holiday is Pet Remedy, which has been naturally tackling stress and anxiety in animals with their unique calming product line. Available as a plug-in diffuser or as a de-stress and calming spray; Pet Remedy works like magic thanks to its high quality blend of herbal essences, valerian, sweet basil, sage and vetiver. Before this year’s Fourth festivities begin, spray Pet Remedy on your pet’s living environment or plug-in the diffuser in their “safe place” room to help keep them in a calm state of mind.

Many families plan vacations during this time, which often include trips to the ocean, lake, pond, pool or riding on a boat. It’s a common misconception that all canines instinctively know how to dog paddle in the water. In fact, one in 1,000 dogs drown each year. Not all dogs are expert swimmers so we must stay alert and monitor our four-legged friends around large bodies of water at all times.

AKC Pet Flotation Life VestWhether out on a boat or hanging by the pool, your pup should have a life preserver on – no exceptions! The AKC Floatation Vest is a great solution for keeping Fido safe during water activities. This vest has quick release buckles, and, most importantly, a large nylon handle on the top of the vest to make it easier to snatch your dog out of the water.

It’s also important to protect our pets from the sun with products specifically designed for your dog or cat. Human sunscreen and insect repellent is a no go. Also provide a shady, cool place for them to rest, along with plenty of fresh water for hydration!

Do you know what day is historically one of the busiest days of the year in animal shelters all across the US? It’s July 5th! Whether the neighborhood teens are throwing firecrackers on your street or your entire community is enjoying the big fireworks display, your pet can become frantic and run away, trying to find a safe haven.

More pets go missing around the Fourth of July than any other time of year, and noisy fireworks are to blame. According to the ASPCA, the National Council on Pet Population Study and Policy estimates that fewer than 2% of cats and only 15-20% of dogs entering shelters are ever reunited with their families. These are sad and tragic statistics, which is why pet identification is crucial, especially during holidays when pets are at greater risk. All of your pets should have collars, ID tags and microchips, even indoor-only cats.


Twigo Tags are perfect for both the Fourth of July and everyday use. These unique tags are simple, affordable, silent (no jingle noise) and instantly personalizable. All that is needed is a ballpoint pen to simply write, boil in water, and then slip onto our pet’s collar. Twigo is a great option for pet families planning to travel for the holiday since owners can easily create a new tag with updated lodging and contact information in a blink of an eye!

Twigo tags

Pre-Fourth preparation and staying aware during the celebration can save a lot of hassle and heartache for pet families everywhere. Consider engaging Fido or Fluffy with a special toy or long-lasting chew during the party or noisy fireworks. Also, keep in mind exercise helps relieve stress, so schedule walks or playtime before the festivities begin. By following these helpful tips and precautions, both you and your four-legged friend will be sure to have a happy, safe and stress-free Fourth of July holiday!

Pet Expert, Dana Humphrey - Tips on apartment hunting and living with a dog

Apartment Living With a Dog

Pet Expert, Dana Humphrey - Tips on apartment hunting and living with a dog
Pet Expert, Dana Humphrey, gives us a few tips on apartment living with a dog. Many pet owners live in cities where it is crowded and can only afford an apartment to make ends meet. Dana will give you advice on what to do in order for you and your pet to have a happy and healthy life in small spaces and some great money saving tips.

Pet Traveling Tips with Dana Humphrey

Pet Traveling Tips with Don’t Be Cruel on Good Morning Connecticut

Pet Traveling Tips with Dana Humphrey

This past weekend Don’t’ Be Cruel spokesdogs, Pip and Shea, were dog models for a special pet traveling tips segment on Good Morning Connecticut. Pet expert, Dana Humphrey, advised pet owners how to help ease pet traveling with various helpful products like the Sturdibags, Calm Coat and the Critter Zone Air Purifier. In addition, she spoke about preventing Lyme disease from fleas and ticks.

Dog at Doctor

The Pros and Cons of Pet Health Insurance

Pet insurance is something I have contemplated through out the years.  I have had my amazing 13-year-old pit bull since he was 8 weeks old and never got him on a pet insurance plan.  I’ve since lost track on how much I have spent on vet bills (for him and my other pets who came along after him but have now passed).  I recently adopted a new dog and still have opted out on getting pet health insurance. I am neither rich nor poor, so yes it can get expensive – but I knew that when I decided to take responsibility of another living being’s life.

Don’t get me wrong – any surgery or illness that came any of my pets’ ways, I have dished out whatever it cost to get them well again.  Maybe I should have gotten the insurance in the first place, but the following cons outweighed the pros in my opinion.   If you are wondering whether or not to get pet insurance for your pet, take a look at the pros and cons here…

PROS

Saves you money in emergencies…

The best benefit to pet health insurance is if your pet is hit with a large, expensive health problem. All it takes is one emergency, such a being accidentally poisoned or a caner diagnosis, to rack up thousands of dollars in vet bills. Trust me, I’ve been through it all – with out pet insurance!

Routine check-ups and care…

Plans that cover routine care, such as yearly shots and physicals, and medications are sometimes a better deal.

Age…

The younger your pet, the cheaper the insurance will be.  However, it’s when our beloved pets grow old is most likely when they will need coverage most.

CONS

The plan may cost more than it’s worth…

Pet health insurance is a business. It assumes that more money will be paid in insurance premiums than will be paid out for benefits. This means that most likely you’ll pay more in the long run, especially if your pet lives a long and healthy life with few to no problems. It is up to you whether you take that risk or not.

Limitations and restrictions…

Just like human health insurance, pet insurance plans have limitations.  Some of them are – not covering pre-existing conditions, hereditary defects, or older animals.

Out-of-pocket costs…

Most pet insurance plans requires have you pay costs upfront and then file a claim to get reimbursed.

Some companies set age limits…

Pet insurance may sound good when your pet is young, but some companies have reduced coverage or won’t even cover your pet as they become a senior.

Here are some questions you should ask when considering pet health insurance:

  • “Can I choose my own vet or do they have to be part of your in-plan network?”
  • “Do you cover:”
  • Genetic conditions (hereditary/congenital)?
  • Alternative therapies (chiropractic, acupuncture, hydrotherapy, etc.)?
  • Pre-existing conditions?
  • Breeding, whelping, pregnancy?
  • Prescription drugs or food?
  • “How is reimbursement calculated?” (Actual vet bill vs. average rate for service)
  • “Can I customize my plan such as choosing my own deductible or adding/removing benefits?”
  • “Are there policy payout limits? If so, what are they and are they based on per incident, annual, or lifetime basis?”
  • “Do you exclude dogs that are fed raw food diets from your coverage?”
  • “Are there any multi-pet rates, military discounts or any other offers available?”

Source: BarfWorld

Summer Safety Tips for Pets

In my house we consider our pets as our children. When it comes to their safety and well being, my husband and I make sure we do everything we can. Here are some very helpful and crucial tips for your pets when it comes to the sweltering summer months.

Basic Summer Safety Tips

1. Do not apply any sunscreen or insect repellent product to your pet that is not labeled specifically for use on animals. Ingestion of sunscreen products can result in drooling, vomiting, diarrhea, excessive thirst and lethargy. The misuse of insect repellent that contains DEET can lead to neurological problems.

2. Always keep matches and lighter fluid out of your pets’ reach. Certain types of matches contain chlorates, which could potentially damage blood cells and result in difficulty breathing— or even kidney disease in severe cases. Lighter fluid can be irritating to skin, and if ingested can produce gastrointestinal irritation and central nervous system depression. If lighter fluid is inhaled, aspiration pneumonia and breathing problems could develop.

3. Keep citronella candles, insect coils and oil products out of reach. Ingestions can produce stomach irritation and possibly even central nervous system depression. If inhaled, the oils could cause aspiration pneumonia in pets. Never use fireworks around pets! While exposure to lit fireworks can potentially result in severe burns and/or trauma to the face and paws of curious pets, even unused fireworks can pose a danger. Many types contain potentially toxic substances, including potassium nitrate, arsenic and other heavy metals.

TIPS FOR DOGS

Heat Hazards
Heatstroke and death can occur within minutes in warm temperatures.Don't Be Cruel - Alex

1. If your dog is outside on a hot day, make sure he has a shady spot to rest in. Doghouses are not good shelter during the summer as they can trap heat. You may want to fill a child’s wading pool with fresh water for your dog to cool off in.

2. Also, NEVER leave your dog in a closed vehicle on a hot day. The temperature inside a car can rise to over 100 degrees in a matter of minutes.

3. Always provide plenty of cool, fresh water. 4. Avoid strenuous exercise on extremely hot days. Take walks in the early mornings or evenings, when the sun’s heat is less intense. 5. Try to avoid prolonged exposure to hot asphalt or sand, which can burn your dog’s paws. 6. Dogs that are brachycephalic (short-faced), such as Bulldogs, Boxers, Japanese Chins,and Pekingese, have an especially hard time in the heat because they do not pant as efficiently as longer-faced dogs. Keep your brachycephalic dog inside with air- conditioning.

Beach Tips
Dogs, especially those with short hair, white fur, and pink skin, can sunburn. Limit your dog’s exposure during the day and apply pet sunblock to his ears and nose 30 minutes before going outside.

1. Check with a lifeguard for daily water conditions. Dogs are easy targets for sea lice and jellyfish.

2. Running on the sand is strenuous exercise. A dog that is out of shape can easily pull a tendon or ligament, so keep a check on your dog’s activity.

3. Do not let your dog drink seawater; the salt will make him sick. 4. Salt and other minerals in ocean water can damage your dog’s coat, so rinse him off at the end of the day.

Water Safety
Most dogs enjoy swimming, but some cannot swim, and others may hate the water. Be conscious of your dog’s preferences and skills before trying to make him swim.

1. Never throw your dog into the water.

2. If your dog begins to paddle with his front legs, lift his hind legs and help him float. He should quickly catch on and keep his back end up.

3. Don’t let your dog overdo it; swimming is very hard work and he may tire quickly.

4. If swimming at the ocean, be careful of strong tides.

5. Never leave your dog unattended in water.

Heatstroke
Heatstroke can be the serious and often fatal result of a dog’s prolonged exposure to excessive heat. Below are the signs of heatstroke and the actions you should take if your dog is overcome.

Early Stages:

1. Heavy panting.

2. Rapid breathing.

3. Excessive drooling.

4. Bright red gums and tongue.

5. Standing 4-square, posting or spreading out in an attempt to maintain balance.

Advanced Stages:

1. White or blue gums.

2. Lethargy, unwillingness to move.

3. Uncontrollable urination or defecation.

4. Labored, noisy breathing.

5. Shock.

If your dog begins to exhibit signs of heatstroke, you should immediately try to cool the dog down:

1. Apply rubbing alcohol to the dog’s paw pads.

2. Apply ice packs to the groin area.

3. Hose down with water.

4. Allow the dog to lick ice chips or drink a small amount of water.

5. Offer Pedialyte to restore electrolytes.

Check your dog’s temperature regularly during this process. Once the dog’s temperature has stabilized at between 100 to 102 degrees, you can stop the cool-down process. If you cannot get the dog cooled down and you begin to see signs of advanced heatstroke, take the dog to the veterinarian immediately.

Grooming
Keeping your pet well groomed will help her hair do what it was designed to do: protect her from the sun and insulate her from the heat. If your pet has extremely thick hair or a lot of mats and tangles, their fur may trap too much heat, so you may want to cut/trim their fur.

Anti-Freeze Hazard
Hot weather may tempt your pet to drink from puddles in the street, which can contain antifreeze and other chemicals. Antifreeze has a sweet taste that animals like, but it’s extremely toxic. When you’re walking your pet, make sure she doesn’t sneak a drink from the street.

TIPS FOR CATS

How to Help Your Cat Avoid Heatstroke
Don't Be Cruel - ChewiYou can help your cat survive extremely hot weather by keeping him indoors in a cool interior room. Rubbing him down with a damp towel will help; so will immersing his feet in a tub of cool water. Wrapping a cold compress under the cat’s neck will also help cool him off. Early symptoms of heat stroke and the accompanying dehydration are: panting, anxiety, possibly demonstrated by pacing, increased heartbeat, respiratory distress or hyperventilation (breeds with flat noses may exhibit this earlier because of compromised airways) dark red gums, lethargy, and/or increased internal body temperature . Your cat’s internal temperature should be between 100.5° and 101.5° F. A temperature of 104° or more is a definite warning sign. Here’s how to take your cat’s temperature.

Provide Fresh Cool Water
Make sure your cat has several bowls of cool water available. However, cats affected by external heat may refuse to drink water, making the problem of dehydration worse, so you may want to “force” water by using an eyedropper or syringe. Be careful not to shoot the water down his throat as it can enter his lungs and/or cause choking. Just dribble a drop or two at a time in the corner of his mouth, which will help hydrate him and draw his interest to drinking on his own. If your cat exhibits any of the signs above that lead you to think he is suffering heat exhaustion, cool him down as quickly as possible by immersing him in cool water, and then wrapping him with wet towels. Then get him to the veterinarian immediately. This is a serious, potentially fatal condition.

Sunburn
White cats, or cats with white ears and faces, are particularly susceptible to sunburn. Over a period of time, repeated exposure to the sun can cause squamous cell carcinoma, a cancer found most often on the tips of the ears and nose. Early signs are a sore that does not heal, or that bleeds. White cats should be kept out of direct sun as much as possible, and if they must be in the sun, you can help them prevent sunburn by using a sunscreen on their ears and noses. Your veterinarian can recommend one which will not be harmful if ingested.

Check out CPR & other life saving tips for your pets HERE

Disclaimer: Patricia Dean is not a veterinarian, just an animal lover. This article is meant only to share some important tips to keep your pets safe during the summer. If you have any questions or concerns always contact you veterinarian. There is no such thing as a stupid question and better safe than sorry!

Sources: About.com, AKG.org