Winter Safety Tips

Yep, winter is here. As with any change of seasons, it brings a different set of dangers for our pets.

Vehicle Safety

Watch for antifreeze leaks. Its sweet taste attracts dogs and cats, very poisonous, and the bright green color is a DEAD giveaway. It cleans up easily with soap and water.

Outdoor cats looking for warmth frequently sleep on car engines. Banging loudly on the hood before starting your engine should rouse them.

Leaving your pet in your car while you shop at the mall is like leaving them in a refrigerator. The car retains the cold and your pet could suffer from hypothermia. A great way to gauge the interior temperature of your vehicle is with a temperature window cling. Easily sourced on Amazon. On the flip side, you do not want to leave them in the car with the engine idling. A couple of years back,  a Long Island, NY man went into a Cool Beans for a cup of coffee and left his car running. His dog knocked the gearshift into drive and proceeded to go for a ride. He ended up IN the business next door. Fortunately, there were no injuries.

The Great Outdoors

Animals that spend a lot of time outside need more food. In particular, a higher protein diet is required.

The very young and the very old have little tolerance for the cold weather. Provide them with outerwear for both body and feet.

According to the ASPCA, more dogs are lost during snowstorms than at any other time. They can lose their scent, become disoriented and lost. Remember, a well-identified dog has a greater chance of returning home.

Use pet safe ice melt. When that is not possible, or you are unsure of what is being used; wash their feet BEFORE they get a chance to lick them.

Indoors

Insects will be coming into our homes for the winter. Watch for spider and insect bites and familiarize yourself with the signs of anaphylactic shock. Insect traps are baited with something tasty, so keep them out of your pet's reach.

The Holiday Season is in full swing.

Decorations

The most common holiday plant is the poinsettia. It is toxic. Keep it out of reach of your pets. Both Pet Poison Helpline (www.petpoisonhelpline.com) and the ASPCA (www.aspca.org) has a database of toxic plants and phone apps.

Chewing on electrical cords can cause cardiac arrest. Tripping on electrical cords can cause broken body parts and sudden blunt force trauma. (OK, maybe more of an issue for me.) Dogs chasing after something have been known to be dragging a Christmas tree behind them after a cord was snagged on a paw.

Glass ornaments pose a problem for those pets that confuse them with tennis balls.

Garland and tinsel is a particular problem for cats. Remember; never pull it out of your cat, as there may be an ornament hook at the other end.

Pine water is poisonous to pets. Fertilizers and pesticides will leach out into the water bowl.

Holiday Food and Drinks

Alcoholic beverages can cause intoxication, coma and death.

Coffee, tea and other caffeine products contain theobromine. It is toxic and affects the cardio and nervous systems.

Ham, fat trimmings and turkey skin can cause pancreatitis.

Cooked bones can cause intestinal obstruction and lacerations of the digestive system.

Stuffings may contain sage, onions, mushrooms and raisins.

Too many sweets can cause obesity and diabetes. Artificial sugars cause a fatal drop in blood sugar, especially xylitol.

Holiday snack trays may contain macadamia nuts and grapes.

Chocolate contains theobromine.

A list of the most common people foods that cause problems for pets is found at both Pet Poison Helpline and the ASPCA’s website.

 PRO TIP: Broccoli can cause digestive upset and VERY gassy pets. You may want to keep that to a minimum unless you want your guests running for cover. Of course, if your guests have overstayed their welcome, then broccoli is the way to go.

You also want to provide your pets with a quiet place during the holiday parties. Even small gatherings can be stressful for them.

Cold Injuries

Cold injuries are caused by extreme or prolonged exposure to low temperatures. The most common areas affected are the tail, ears, paws and scrotum. A snout to tail assessment is always a good idea after coming in from the outdoors. Check for ice and salt in the pads and for any signs of frostbite or hypothermia.

The skin can become swollen, red and very painful. In later stages, it can become hard and pale. Additional signs of frostbite and hypothermia include shivering, slow or shallow breathing, lethargy, decreased heart rate and gums either pale or bluish in color.

If you suspect frostbite or hypothermia, you should first make sure the pet is out of the cold. DO NOT RUB THE AFFECTED AREA. The frozen ice crystals in the skin can lacerate the skin cells. Contact your vet for rewarming instructions. This is very important so that you can prevent further pain, stave off infection and minimize the possible tissue damage.

I hope everyone has a wonderful and safe holiday season.

 

©Mary Oquendo Spirited Dog Productions www.SpiritedDog.com www.PawsitivedEd.com

SDP-Logo-Small


Halloween Safety - It's That Time of the Year Again

It's that time of year again.

The sooner the kids come and relieve me of the candy in the house, the happier I will be. While I am more concerned with my candy consumption, there are real dangers for your pets.

Provide a safe place for your pet away from the door. It can be very confusing for them. The constant ringing of the doorbell, all the strange looking people, along with the screaming for candy, can be confusing and scary to your pet. Under these circumstances, your frightened pet may pose a bite risk.

Make sure that your pet is identified with readable tags and update your microchip company with current information. Many pets escape out the ever opening front door. Shelters see an increase in their numbers during Halloween.

Veterinarians and Animal Poison Control also see an increase in the number of pets as a result of poisoning and intestinal obstructions because the pet helped themselves to the Halloween candy you left within their reach. Most Halloween candy contains chocolate, artificial sugars, and wrappers.

Pets can knock over the lit candles in pumpkins causing a fire, chew on strung lights, choke on small ghoulish decorations, and poison themselves with fake blood and glowsticks.

If you must put a costume on your pet, remove all chocking hazards. In adition, watch for discomfort and blocked vision.

If you must take them trick or treating, put flashing LED's or lighted collars so cars can see them too. Look for signs of stress and exhaustion. They are not nearly as excited as the children are to go door to door. Halloween is my favorite time of year. I do not want to ruin my holiday because my pet was injured, lost, or caused injury to another.

Written by Mary Oquendo, www.SpiritedDog.com


New England Grooming Show And GEAF

New England Grooming Show Is This Weekend!

 

The Groomers Emergency Assistance Fund (501(3) c IRS registered non-profit) is still receiving applications for those affected by the hurricanes and wildfires. We have given out over $10,000 so far in monetary donations. Plus thousands in products and equipment. 

We could not do this without your help and that of the generous vendors.

But we can only help to the tune of what is in our coffers. 

Help Us Help You

You never know when tragedy could strike your area. 

We have lots going on at the New England Show in Sturbridge, MA.

  1. Have lunch with Ellen Ehrlich on Ellen. Ellen possesses a vast knowledge of information in almost any category for groomers. One on one time with Ellen is invaluable. You must be present at the drawing to win Lunch On Ellen.
  2. We have gift baskets to raffle with some pretty awesome stuff. 
  3. Spirit is ready and willing to share his kisses at the Kissing Booth. He prefers cash. IMG_5345

Come visit us at the GEAF booth to learn more about how we help groomers in need. 

 

* PS We take cash or make a donation at www.PayPal.me/GEAF.