HOT WEATHER Dogs can be affected by the heat even more than we are. Their pads can burn on concrete or parking lot asphalt. Their noses can sunburn. They can get heatstroke even when you don’t feel that hot, and heatstroke can be fatal. In hot weather, soak a bandana in ice water and put it around their neck. Don't exercise your pet when it's very hot. GET YOUR DOG TO A VET IMMEDIATELY IF YOUR DOG IS OVER-HEATED. Every summer people who walk or jog with their pet wind up in the emergency hospital with the dog in organ failure or worse.
RATTLESNAKES are prevalent in our region. Use caution when taking your dog hiking and be vigilant at home too. Don't let your dog stick their nose where you can't see what's there (under rocks, in heavy brush, etc.). If your dog gets bit by a snake, this is a medical emergency – rush to the nearest vet immediately.
SWIMMING Some dogs love to swim, some don’t. If you have a pool and don't know if your dog can swim, keep the dog away from the pool when you're not around. Never throw a dog in the pool and hope for the best. Dogs who panic in the water may always panic in the water, no matter how many times you teach them to swim to the stairs and exit calmly. If you have a boat or spend a lot of time at the pool, invest in a life vest for your dog.
FIREWORKS More dogs are lost and injured on July 4th than at any other time during the year -- and only a fraction of them are reunited with their owners. Dogs can be terrified by fireworks. Even if you think your dog is calm, assume the worst. Do whatever you can to keep them safe. If you bring your pet with you to someone else's house, don't let them run free even if seems secure, even if they've been there before. If you leave the dog home, try to confine him/her to a room that doesn't have windows. Lock windows, doors, gates. Turn on the a/c and TV to drown out some noise. My own dog went through a window right in front of me; it can happen to anyone and there is no predicting your dog when that adrenalin is pumping. You can ask your vet about prescribing a sedative to help keep the animals calm. I sedate my own dogs. It's not worth the risk of them getting out or getting hurt while trying to get out.
PARTIES Summer means vacation, bbq’s, parties and houseguests – who may not be as alert as you are to open doors and gates. Remind people to be careful so your dog can’t get out. If you having a party where the door is open a lot, put your dog where he’s safe (the bedroom, whatever). Of course always make sure the dog’s collar is secure and that ID and microchip tags are legible and securely attached. And don’t let your dog’s cute face trick guests into giving the dog fatty foods or alcohol!
TRAVEL - If you leave your dog with someone or have a housesitter, please add us to the list of emergency contacts. Last year a TTAR adopted dog got lost… and wound up in a tiny cage at an unfamiliar vet office for 2 weeks and almost wound up at the shelter while the owners were away because the house sitter didn't know know to call us to call the microchip company. We’re happy to help find housesitters, day care facilities, etc.. If you are using a person or facility for the first time, ask a lot of questions and don't be afraid to make a nuisance of yourself. Who cares if the receptionist rolls her eyes when you call twice a day to check up on your pet? Better that than coming home to find out the dog lost 8 pounds and half his hair because he was stressed and didn't eat, right?
If your dog gets out, have a plan. Always have current pictures of your dog with you in case you need to make a flyer. If the dog gets out, let us know immediately. We can send an email alert to our network of countless adopters, rescuers, friends, etc. Check shelters, vet offices, and most importantly get out there and look. Your dog will respond to your voice but may be hiding out of fear and be afraid to come out. But let's do everything we can to prevent that from happening…
Let’s have a fun, safe summer for everyone!