Category Archives: safety

National Pet Fire Safety Day

National Pet Fire Safety Day

As the calendar rolls by July 15, we are once again reminded of Pet Fire Safety day. This day is two-fold; 1) how we can protect our homes from fires started by pets, and 2) how we can protect our pets in case of a fire.

ABC television affiliate WIRC’s Amy Lacey interviewed Lt. Jason Elmore from Chesterfield Fire & EMS. Click the image to open a new window with the video.

WRIC Amy Lacey Pet Corner Firefighter Interview

WRIC Amy Lacey Pet Corner

Back in 2009, The American Kennel Club together with ADT Security Services established National Pet Fire Safety Day to raise awareness among pet owners of the fire hazards their cat, dog or other animal could pose at home, with the hope that many of these fires can be prevented.

The AKC and ADT offer these tips:

PREVENT YOUR PET FROM STARTING FIRES

  • Extinguish open flames – Pets are generally curious and will investigate cooking appliances, candles, or even a fire in your fireplace. Ensure your pet is not left unattended around an open flame and make sure to thoroughly extinguish any open flame before leaving your home.
  • Remove stove knobs – Be sure to remove stove knobs or protect them with covers before leaving the house. According to the National Fire Protection Association, a stove or cook top is the number one piece of equipment involved in your pet starting a fire.
  • Invest in flameless candles – These candles contain a light bulb rather than an open flame, and take the danger out of your pet knocking over a candle. Cats are notorious for starting fires when their tails turn over lit candles.
  • Beware of water bowls on wooden decks – Do not leave a glass water bowl for your pet outside on a wooden deck.  The sun’s rays when filtered through the glass and water can actually heat up and ignite the wooden deck beneath it. Choose stainless steel or ceramic bowls instead.

KEEP YOUR PETS SAFE

  • Keep Pets Near Entrances When Away From Home – Keep collars on pets and leashes at the ready in case firefighters need to rescue your pet.  When leaving pets home alone, keep them in areas or rooms near entrances where firefighters can easily find them.
  • Secure Young Pets – Especially with young puppies, keep them confined away from potential fire-starting hazards when you are away from home such as in crates or behind baby gates in secure areas.
  • Since Pets Left Alone Can’t Escape a Burning Home – Consider using monitored smoke detectors which are connected to a monitoring center so emergency responders can be contacted when you’re not home. These systems provide an added layer of protection beyond battery-operated smoke alarms.
  • Affix a Pet Alert Window Cling – Write down the number of pets inside your house and attach the static cling to a front window. This critical information saves rescuers time when locating your pets.  Make sure to update the number of pets listed.

The ASPCA offers free window clings which you can order using this link.

The National Fire Protection Association offers this free downloadable checklist to help you prepare for the need to evacuate you and your pet. This is also helpful should you need to quickly leave your home during a fire. Household Pet Evacuation Kit

Always be prepared for pet emergencies with a Pet First Aid Kit.

 

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Summer Heat Brings Reminder To Not Leave Dogs In Vehicles

Each year as the weather gets nicer and more people are taking their dogs with them on errands, we are reminded that did should not be left in vehicles as they can easily overheat and suffer physically and sometimes fatally.

Vehicles can reach dangerous interior temperatures even after a very short period of time.

Clearly, it is never they intent of a dog owner to injure it kill their pet, but accidents do happen. Several grocery chains, including Wegmans, post signs reminding customers to leave their dogs at home.

According to the American Humane Association, even with an outside temperature of 70-degrees, the inside of a vehicle can climb to 90-degrees in just ten minutes!

Prevention is the first step. Please leave your dog at home if it will be dangerous to leave them in your car if you are going somewhere dogs are not welcome.

Awareness is key to getting the message out. Share an infographic on your social media, order a brochure to share with friends or family. 

Action may be needed if you encounter an animal in a dangerous situation. Remember, not all areas have protections in place for people forcefully removing an animal from danger. The Humane Society Of The United States has this guideline: Get the identifying information for the vehicle and have the owner paged, call the local non-emergency police number and wait for them to arrive. 

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Main Graphic from ASPCA.

ASPCA Hot Vehicle Infographic

American worker holding flag

Pet Products Made In The USA

According to the website American Made Matters these are the Top Ten Reasons to Buy American. These apply not only to goods for people, but also for our pets.

  1. Promotes American Independence
  2. Provide Jobs for Future Generations
  3. Better For the Environment
  4. Our Government Cannot Control Foreign Labor Standards
  5. Boosts American Investment Opportunities
  6. Guaranteed Quality of Goods
  7. Guaranteed Safer and Fair Working Conditions
  8. Helps Reduce the Deficit
  9. Avoid Foreign Political Debates
  10. Outsourced Manufacturing Plants Rarely Return to the US

According to an NDP Group report cited by Pet Business Magazine, 80% of shoppers said that a “Made in the USA” claim is important to them to some degree, and 44 percent said it is extremely or very important.

To me this comes as no surprise, as I believe we all agree that the points above convince us that products made here are of better quality and help drive our economy. How that translates into sales is another issue, as imported products tend to cost less.

Next time you are in the pet store, or if you are searching online for a product, consider the full value of the purchase you are making. Below is a list of “Made In The USA” products featured in Pet Business magazine. Links go directly to the suppliers pages.

 

Angel Eyes Natural Tear Stain Powder

Angel Eyes is developed specifically for dogs and cats. 100% wheat corn, soy & dye free. Recommended for both shedding and non-shedding breeds. 100# of Angel Eyes ingredients are products of the USA.

Circle T by Coastal

Circle T Rustic Leather collars and leashes are a vintage, classic design that features antique brass metal hardware. Rustic collars are available in brick red, chocolate, and slate grey. The round collars are perfect for dogs with long hair or sensitive skin.

Collar Guard by Sandy’s Sleeve

17 million dogs suffer from contact allergens. Irritants like plastic, metal, leather, nylon, rubber. Treatment is as easy as slipping collar guard over your existing collar. Committed to safety and protection.

Emerald Pet Products

Fresh Smileezz Grain Free Dog Dental Chews freshen breath from the inside out with all natural mint, dill, and parsley. For minty fresh breath you can really smell. Made in the USA.

Frenchie’s Kitchen

Human Grade, gently cooked, frozen food for dogs. 100% Human grade ingredients, 100% whole food ingredients, 100% USA sourced ingredients. If dogs could cook, this is what they’d serve.

Buddy Valastro Pets: Dog Treats

Hugs Pet Products is proud to announce our new line of Buddy Valastro Dog Treats inspired by his signature bakery items. No corn, no soy, all natural ingredients, slowly baked to perfection.

Dogs Leave Paw Prints On Our Hearts

This paw-shaped garden stone is a unique gift for any dog lover. Handmade in the USA and guaranteed to last a lifetime.

Reflective Rope Leads

Featuring premium 3/8″ polyester rope with a reflective tracer, sewen leather joins, brass hardware. Folds easily for carrying & storage. 4 & 6 ft. lengths in five colors. Made in USA.

Pet ‘n Shape Ham Bone

A Pet ‘n Shape classic and ideal holiday reward for pets, our ham bones are proudly made and sourced in the USA from free-range, grass-fed beef and contain no artificial additives, colors, or preservatives.

Petmate Vari Kennel

Petmate Vari Kennel is ideal for dogs at home or on the go. Tough, durable construction with specially designed features for pet’s comfort and security. Easy-to-assemble. Wide variety of sizes.

Indus Dog Diner

Beautifully constructed hardwood diner with a modern, brushed stainless steel top. Available in two sizes and two stunning finishes – natural or walnut.

PetzLife Dental, Flea & Tick, Calming, and more

PetzLife is an animal wellness company dedicated to creating innovative, all-natural products that improve pets’ lives. All PetzLife products are human grade, and every ingredient is sourced from reputable suppliers and made in the United States.

Poochie Bowl; Ultimate Travel Dog Bowl

The Poochie Bowl enhances traveling with your dog, by eliminating the mess. You no longer need to carry additional food or water, and is 100% made in the USA.

Preppy Puppy Treats

Preppy Puppy offers over 150 different types of gourmet treats including soft filled pastries, every-day treats & birthday. Wheat, corn & soy free. Made with all human grade ingredients.

Redbarn Pet Products

Redbarn Naturals Bully Slices Dog Chews are trimmed pieces of rawhide, coated to help tempt picky eaters. Our new Vanilla flavor contains functional ingredients to support dogs’ joint health.

Sandia Pet Products

Sandia Pet Products, a U.S. manufacturer of collars, leashes, and harnesses for dogs, cats and ferrets, offers superior quality, stunning designs, great variety, fast shipping, and affordable pricing.

USA Ground Rawhide Treats

New Ground Rounds are beef-hide treats made and sourced in the USA. They’re grain-free and blended with morsels of vegetables, fruits, and more. 4-packs, 8-packs, and 2-lb. jars available.

Dog Toys With Give Back

WO Design dog toys are made in the USA, durable, floatable, interactive, BPA-free, and recyclable. Each unit sold provides 2 meals for orphaned children and widows around the world.

Tropiclean 

Tropiclean pet products are made in the USA of natural ingredients. Their packaging includes biodegradable elements and shampoos are soap-free.
Fresh Wave Pet Shampoo made in the USA natural​ ingredients

Fresh Wave

Pet shampoo, and room deodorizers. Made in the USA from natural ingredients.

Image courtesy of vectorolie at FreeDigitalPhotos.net

Peanut “Brittle” for Dogs

First, let’s be clear that did should not eat real, human, peanut brittle. There is far too much sugar, and the broken pieces are sharp and could cause internal injuries.

That doesn’t mean that our fuzzy friends can’t enjoy a peanut-y treat. Below are a few recipes for peanut brittle alternatives.

Two things to remember about dogs and peanuts are:

  1. Use unsalted peanuts and peanut butter.
  2. Read the peanut butter jar to ensure xylitol is not an ingredient as this is toxic to dogs.

Check out this list of foods safe for dogs, and read about dogs and spicy food.

Key Ingredient – Dog Peanut Brittle

Husky Haven – Doggie Peanut Brittle

The Lazy Pitbull – Peanut Butter & Apple Sauce Cookies for Dogs

Husky Haven also has a very extensive list of other dog safe recipes.

Happy #PeanutBrittleDay!

As always, if your dogs eats something you suspect to be poisonous, be sure to seek medical advise as soon as possible.

The Pet Poison Helpline is available 24 hours per day and 1-855-764-7661. 

For day to day peace of mind, consider having a Pet First Aid kit, such as this one by the AKC, available.

Are regular feeding times important for dogs?

Dogs, by nature, are creatures of habit. There are several reasons why establishing and maintaining regular feeding and toileting times is important for your dogs health.

The main reasons to keep your dog are:

  • Routine brings security for your dog
  • Preventing overeating
  • Allows you to monitor your dogs habits
  • Maintain regular digestive rhythm
  • Prevent attraction of pests and insects

As most dog parents/guardians/owners have experienced, most dogs will want to let out at the same time every morning, whether you are ready or not. Waking you from a comfortable sleep isn’t the only motivation they get, they also need the routine as a part of their daily structure. Predictability and stability reduce stress in your dog, and keep them from having nervousness, and fear which can manifest into chewing, urinating indoors or other disruptive behavior. Part of a regular routine includes feeding at the same time and in the same location, regular walks, and providing the dog with a place of their own – to escape to in times of anxiety.

This means that the home environment should be as stable as you can manage; with the same people around, similar times going outside, predictable bed and waking times, and regular meal times. Most adults have a regular waking time, so including letting the dogs out and feeding should be part of most routines. You can use a dog door to allow unmonitored entry and exit if you have a controlled environment outside, and use of an automatic feeder (that will dispense dry bulk food in measured portions at programmed times) can alleviate some of the demands of a morning routine.

The two schools of thought on feeding methods include: free feeding, where food is available to your dogs all day in unmeasured quantities, or some method of timed feedings. One practice in use is to present half of the dogs daily food portion for 15 – 20 minutes (longer if the dog is a slow eater), then removing the food until the second of the two feedings. This establishes a feeding routine. Two benefits to timed feedings are portion control and the ability to monitor consumption. Dogs that have a very large appetite may be prone to overeating. By leaving an uncontrolled portion of food available, they may continue to eat regardless of their nutritional needs.

Presenting food twice a day at regular times allows you to monitor consumption habits. A change in the speed, quantity, and intensity of consumption can indicate changes in health and the consultation of a veterinarian may need to be sought. For example, a dog who refuses food or only eats a small portion may need to change food or may need to be put on a feeding plan by a vet.

A common digestive problem with dogs is constipation. Having a regulated flow of food going through can help keep their digestive tract active and functioning. Should you notice a slow down in bowel movements, this could indicate the beginning of, or a forming blockage. The American Kennel Club gives an extensive list of common treatments for constipation on their site. It is a very comprehensive article.

As an aside, Mercola has a great article, with video, including graphics of dog poop and what the structure of each deposit can mean. They also give suggestions how you can correct your dogs diet based on their fecal outcome, and also when you should seek the advice of a professional.

Finally, leaving food unattended can attract pests and insects to the dogs dish. In urban areas, this attraction can neighbors animals, and rodents. Dry food is less prone to bacterial growth through the day, but the addition of wet food, sauces, toppings, or moistening dry food can cause a build up of bacteria that can be toxic to dogs. Ensuring food is consumed in a timely manner, so nothing remains in the bowl; and regular cleaning of food and water bowls, can eliminate unwanted attraction.

Using an automatic pet feeder, such as the PetSafe Healthy Pet Automatic Feeder can help alleviate the burden of keeping your dog on a regular schedule, help control portions provided, and -with the proper programming- only dispense the amount your dog will eat to keep their bowl empty during the day.

Check out this post for what you should be looking for in an automated feeder.

 

Sources:
Pets4Homes – Sticking To A Routine to Help Reduce Stress In Your Dog

Petfinder – How Often To Feed Your Dog

PetMD – Why Free-Feeding Is The Wrong Choice For Most Dogs

AKC – Dog ConstipationAKC – Dog Constipation

Mercola – Assessing Dog Poop

Image: Beagle On A Sofa by alex_ugalek

short hair spotted dog watching food off camera

What to look for in an automatic pet food feeder

In today’s hectic life, with people having more commitments than ever, giving the routine tasks to automation can free up valuable time. Buying an automatic pet food feeder can alleviate the daily routine of feeding your pets. No longer will you have to ask “did you feed the dog”, “will Fluffy be fed this afternoon if I am late from work?”

Listed below are key features to look for when you are shopping for an automated pet food self feeder. These will helped you make an informed decision when you compare the ever-expanding variety of these feeders.

One caution before you continue, is that these feeders can only feed dry bulk food; if you are looking to feed moist food (like you would find in cans, plastic containers, or pouches), these feeders would not provide a solution to that problem.

  • Capacity. Take a look at how much your dog or cat eats, and how many portions will be fed per day. Remember, that if you have multiple dogs or cats, you will need to adjust your calculation accordingly. You will want to ensure that the hopper or bin of the product is large enough to allow you to avoid refilling it frequently. For example, if you have a small dog who eats two cups of food per day, a machine with 24-cup capacity will give you 12 days between refills. If you have two dogs, each eating two cups of food per day, that brings you down to 6 days between fills.
  • Programming. All automated feeders will dispense food on a schedule that is either preset or user defined. Most feeders give the option to preset a schedule specific to their pets needs, and some allow up to 6 specific feeding times. Check the user manuals online to see how easy programming the machine is. Controls vary widely and can range from basic LCD displays with few buttons, to full-color displays with clearly labeled buttons. Some models are WiFi enabled allowing the user to program times using a smartphone or web interface.
  • Dispensing Quantity. Most machines have a standard size ‘portion’, for example 1/8 of a cup. You can dispense as many 1/8 cup portions as you need at each feeding time. Note, that if your pet requires less than the minimum portions size, you may end up accidentally overfeeding your pet.
  • Ease of Cleaning. Look for dishwasher safe parts, and easy disassembly. Especially in the summer or during warm months, you will want to ensure you follow the recommended cleaning schedule to prevent pests, and to keep the machine running smoothly.
  • Power Source. Does the unit you are considering come with a wall outlet, or does it require batteries? Most are designed to utilize battery power, but do not come with batteries in the box. Consider adding some to your purchase, or look into a wall outlet to avoid replacing them. The common battery life is six to eight months before they require replacement. Is there a wall outlet located close to where you will be installing the pet feeder?
  • Durability. The purpose of a timed release pet food feeder, is to ensure your pet only has access to the food at regular intervals. Food-motivated pets, larger dogs, strong cats, or smart pets of any kinds, may be able to defeat the food containment bin. When looking for a solution, think of the skill and strength level of your pet, and the construction of the feeder, to determine if you pet can obtain early access to the food.
  • Hopper size. With new sizes and formats of food pieces from all food manufacturers, can the unit you are considering dispense large pieces, food with mixed sizes, light freeze dried pieces, or all of the above
  • Connectivity. Newer options on the market can allow you to program your automated feeder from your smartphone or a web interface. Some allow you to record a voice message to your pet to alert them to feeding time. Several models have live voice and video allowing you to communicate with your pet in real time. Think of how the device will be used, and the amount of technology you are looking for.

All-in-all, there are several brands and models available to choose from, with new feeders coming to market all the time. Consider the points above to make the best decision for you and your pet.

Vacations, long weekends, late work hours, or even the stress of day-to-day life can cause pets to miss their feeding times. This can add stress to their lives, and may cause health issues, especially if your pet is on a veterinarian prescribed feeding schedule.

One of the units that meets several criteria is the PetSafe Healthy Pet Simply Feed 12-Meal Automatic Feeder. It has a large capacity with translucent walls to monitor usage, can dispense both large and small food pieces, has a default Dog and Cat setting (but allows you to program custom times), and features dishwasher safe components.



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two cute yorkie puppies laying down

Bring your pet’s prescription to this surprising place

According to the FTC’s Competition In The Pet Medications Industry 2013 report, consumers spent $7.6 billion on prescription and non-prescription medication for cats and dogs. That’s a huge amount of money that has traditionally stayed in the veterinarian’s office, however, there are now far more places to buy your pets medication, and at an increasingly lower cost.

The obvious choice is to find an online pharmacy that specializes in pet medications. You will need a valid prescription from your regular veterinarian for some of the products, but the website 1800petmeds.com claims they can save consumers up to 50% off vet office prices. Other online pharmacies include PetCareRx, and Doctors Foster and Smith.

But online pharmacies take time to validate prescriptions, you need to wait for medications to be shipped, and temperature-sensitive medications require bulky packaging.

The most surprising place that you can get your pet prescription filled is your local grocery store pharmacy!

The following grocery store chains offer pet medications in their pharmacies! Simply take your prescription to the counter (or drive-thru) and they will put together your order while you shop or run errands! They stock a good selection of medications and you get savings and immediate availability.

The following grocery stores offer pet medications in their pharmacies. This is not an exhaustive list. Be sure to ask at your local grocery store what pet medications they can compound or stock.

Hy-Vee

Wegmans

Albertsons

Kroger

Winn-Dixie

Food Lion

Meijer

Weis

Fred Meyer

Vons

Farm Fresh Supermarkets

D&W Fresh Market

A way to save even more is with a PetDrugCard. You can download it for free from www.petdrugcard.com. Simply enter your pets name to customize the card, download, text, or save the card, then present it the next time – and every time! – you buy prescription pet medications from any of 68,000 participating pharmacies. PetDrugCard has negotiated discounted pricing for many popular drugs. Check it out and take your savings even further!