Wednesday, May 28, 2014

Dog Bite Prevention

First thing first, ANY breed of dog will bite under the right circumstances! We see just as many Labrador Retrievers, Poodles, mixed breeds, and everything in between that deliver just as vicious of a bite as the common "dangerous breeds". Having said that we also see lots of the "dangerous breeds" that want nothing more than to wiggle at us and kiss us.

Some statistics:
  • About 4.5 million people are bitten by dogs each year.
  • 1 in 5 of those bitten require medical attention.
  • Children and senior citizens are most likely to be bitten.
  • Adult males are more likely to be bitten than adult females.
  • People with dogs in the home are more likely to be bitten.  The risk increases as the number of dogs in the household increases.

How to read a dog’s body language:
Dogs don’t just bite out of the blue- they always give some warning that they are uncomfortable with their current situation.  As the human, it is our job to learn these signs, and to not engage in activity with the dog that may make it feel threatened.  Although getting in a dogs face to give it “kissies” may seem like a friendly behavior to you, many dog’s perceive this behavior as a threat to it’s wellbeing.
The best thing you can do to avoid being bitten is to learn “doggie language”.
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Always use extreme caution when handling a dog that is in pain.  These dogs have no other way to tell us they hurt except to say “don’t touch me there!” with a bite.  If you must handle a painful or injured dog that is trying to bite you, a quick temporary muzzle can be made using a shoelace tied around the snout so the dog can’t open it’s mouth.  Be sure to remove the muzzle as soon as you are done handling the dog.  Dog’s cool themselves by panting and won’t be able to pant with a muzzle on, risking hyperthermia (over-heating).

Some things you can do that will help prevent a dog bite:
  • Have your dog spayed or neutered.
  • Never leave infants and children alone with a dog.
  • Properly train your dog from the get-go to be a good canine citizen.  If your dog shows signs of aggressive or dominant behaviors, seek professional help.
  • Avoid direct eye contact with dogs.
  • Do not try to pet a strange dog without asking permission from the owner first.  Let the dog sniff your hand and watch for acceptance before petting the dog.  If the dog shows any of the signs of anxiety in the above diagram, slowly return your hand to your side.

Wednesday, May 14, 2014

Condition Spotlight: Heat Stroke

   
 
      Heat stroke is a term commonly used for hyperthermia or elevated body temperature. Generally speaking, if a pet’s body temperature exceeds 103°F (39.4°C), it is considered abnormal or hyperthermic. Body temperatures above 106°F (41°F) without previous signs of illness are most commonly associated with exposure to excessive external or environmental heat. The critical temperature where multiple organ failure and impending death occurs is 109°F (42.7°C).
The most common cause of heat stroke or hyperthermia  is leaving a dog in a car with inadequate ventilation. The dog’s body temperature in this situation can elevate very rapidly, often within minutes.  It is important to remember that dogs cannot control their body temperature by sweating as humans do, since they only have a relatively small number of sweat glands located in their footpads. Their primary way of regulating body heat is by panting. Other common causes of heat stroke include being left in a yard without access to shade or water on a hot day, being exposed to a hair dryer for an extended period of time, and excessive or vigorous exercise during hot temperatures. Excited or excessively exercised dogs are sometimes at risk even if the environmental temperature and humidity does not appear hot. This is particularly true if they are kept in a poorly ventilated environment or dog house.
Dogs with a restricted airway such as the brachycephalic breeds (flat faced dogs such as pugs, boxers and bulldogs) are at greater risk.  In these breeds, clinical signs of heat stroke can occur when the outside temperature and humidity are only moderately elevated.
Dogs that are muzzled for any reason can be at greater risk since their ability to pant is restricted by the muzzle.
Any infection causing fever (pyrexia) can lead to hyperthermia. Seizures or severe muscle spasms can also elevate the body temperature due to the increase in muscular activity.
Hyperthermia is an immediate medical emergency. Safe, controlled reduction of body temperature is a priority. Cool water may be poured over the head, stomach, underarms and feet, or cool cloths may be applied to these areas.  Rubbing alcohol may be applied to the footpads to dilate pores and increase perspiration. Ice may be placed around the mouth and anus.
The dog’s rectal temperature should be monitored and treatment discontinued once the pet shows signs of recovery or the temperature has fallen to 103ºF (39.4ºC).
The prognosis depends on how high the body temperature elevated, how long the hyperthermia persisted and what the physical condition of the pet was prior to the heat stroke. If the body temperature did not become extremely high, most healthy pets will recover quickly if they are treated immediately. Some pets may experience permanent organ damage or may die at a later date from complications that developed secondarily to the hyperthermia. Pets that experience hyperthermia are at greater risk for subsequent heat stroke due to damage to the thermoregulatory center.
If you have any question about how quickly a car can heat up to a dangerous point, you can always experiment on yourself. It heats up much faster than most think. Running into the store for a few items could turn into an emergency. Please be aware, and be careful.

Tuesday, May 6, 2014

Chill Out!



Looks like we may actually get some hot weather this year. It's finally time to go outside and enjoy the sunlight without several layers of clothes. Lots of dogs enjoy running, playing, and sometimes just lying around in the sun. It is up to us to make sure that they stay comfortable and avoid heat exhaustion. Air conditioning is always good, but it's their summer too. Our pets want to be outside just as much as we do.
Here are a some fun ways to keep your dog cooled off without even leaving your house.

 * ALWAYS have cold water available at all times.
     
     
  
 * Provide a kid pool. 








     
                                                                 * Play with the hose.






                                                    
 * Make your own frosty paws!
                                                                                                                                                                           
                                                    
Freeze some outdoor toys in a bowl of water with some low sodium chicken broth added. This will keep them busy and cool! I can't wait to try this one.








DIY Friday: Homemade Dog Treats

June 8, 2012 | 10:10 AM | Eat & Drink | By Kara Philp

This customizable frozen treat recipe will delight your furry friends all summer. Photo by Kara Philp
Nothing compares to an ice-cold treat on a hot day, be it a frosty beverage, an old-fashioned ice cream cone or maybe even dip in the pool. The same can be said for your furry friends. Admit it, you love your pup(s) and you’re already thinking of creative ways to cool them off, especially once the temperatures hit the triple digits. So here is another idea for your arsenal.
There is a wide range of recipes for dog ice cream/popsicles/treats, so here is a relatively generic and totally customizable version that will have your BFFs going bananas (don’t just take our word for it).
Ingredients
2 ripe bananas
24 – 32 oz. plain yogurt
1 cup peanut butter
2 tablespoons honey
1/4 cup water
Preparation
1. Blend or mix all ingredients together until you have a consistent texture throughout.
2. Pour into ice cube trays, cupcake tins or any small container that will yield a treat appropriately sized for your dog.
3. Garnish (optional). Dog bones, grated cheese, fruits or veggies work great and look cute too.
4. Freeze over night and serve.
Since variety is the spice of life, here are some alternate suggestions: Add more or less water depending on the consistency you dog likes (soft vs. crunchy), substitute the water with chicken broth, substitute the yogurt with baby food (sweet potatoes and pumpkin are big hits) or use all organic ingredients if that’s your thing. Remember, the combination of ingredients doesn’t have to sound appealing for our four-legged children to love and appreciate the gesture. Enjoy.
- See more at: http://www.desertlivingtoday.com/2012/06/08/diy-friday-homemade-dog-treats/#sthash.KdZwitWX.dpuf

DIY Friday: Homemade Dog Treats

June 8, 2012 | 10:10 AM | Eat & Drink | By Kara Philp

This customizable frozen treat recipe will delight your furry friends all summer. Photo by Kara Philp
Nothing compares to an ice-cold treat on a hot day, be it a frosty beverage, an old-fashioned ice cream cone or maybe even dip in the pool. The same can be said for your furry friends. Admit it, you love your pup(s) and you’re already thinking of creative ways to cool them off, especially once the temperatures hit the triple digits. So here is another idea for your arsenal.
There is a wide range of recipes for dog ice cream/popsicles/treats, so here is a relatively generic and totally customizable version that will have your BFFs going bananas (don’t just take our word for it).
Ingredients
2 ripe bananas
24 – 32 oz. plain yogurt
1 cup peanut butter
2 tablespoons honey
1/4 cup water
Preparation
1. Blend or mix all ingredients together until you have a consistent texture throughout.
2. Pour into ice cube trays, cupcake tins or any small container that will yield a treat appropriately sized for your dog.
3. Garnish (optional). Dog bones, grated cheese, fruits or veggies work great and look cute too.
4. Freeze over night and serve.
Since variety is the spice of life, here are some alternate suggestions: Add more or less water depending on the consistency you dog likes (soft vs. crunchy), substitute the water with chicken broth, substitute the yogurt with baby food (sweet potatoes and pumpkin are big hits) or use all organic ingredients if that’s your thing. Remember, the combination of ingredients doesn’t have to sound appealing for our four-legged children to love and appreciate the gesture. Enjoy.
- See more at: http://www.desertlivingtoday.com/2012/06/08/diy-friday-homemade-dog-treats/#sthash.KdZwitWX.dpuf

DIY Friday: Homemade Dog Treats

June 8, 2012 | 10:10 AM | Eat & Drink | By Kara Philp

This customizable frozen treat recipe will delight your furry friends all summer. Photo by Kara Philp
Nothing compares to an ice-cold treat on a hot day, be it a frosty beverage, an old-fashioned ice cream cone or maybe even dip in the pool. The same can be said for your furry friends. Admit it, you love your pup(s) and you’re already thinking of creative ways to cool them off, especially once the temperatures hit the triple digits. So here is another idea for your arsenal.
There is a wide range of recipes for dog ice cream/popsicles/treats, so here is a relatively generic and totally customizable version that will have your BFFs going bananas (don’t just take our word for it).
Ingredients
2 ripe bananas
24 – 32 oz. plain yogurt
1 cup peanut butter
2 tablespoons honey
1/4 cup water
Preparation
1. Blend or mix all ingredients together until you have a consistent texture throughout.
2. Pour into ice cube trays, cupcake tins or any small container that will yield a treat appropriately sized for your dog.
3. Garnish (optional). Dog bones, grated cheese, fruits or veggies work great and look cute too.
4. Freeze over night and serve.
Since variety is the spice of life, here are some alternate suggestions: Add more or less water depending on the consistency you dog likes (soft vs. crunchy), substitute the water with chicken broth, substitute the yogurt with baby food (sweet potatoes and pumpkin are big hits) or use all organic ingredients if that’s your thing. Remember, the combination of ingredients doesn’t have to sound appealing for our four-legged children to love and appreciate the gesture. Enjoy.
- See more at: http://www.desertlivingtoday.com/2012/06/08/diy-friday-homemade-dog-treats/#sthash.KdZwitWX.dpuf