Podcast – Summer Seasonal Pet Tips (2017)

<Click to listen to podcast>

Kate and Don discuss a variety of pet tips directly related to summer and the increasing temperature. They start off the show discussing how the heat and the sun can adversely affect our pets and how to keep your pet cool. They discuss what to consider when leaving your dog in the car during the summer months and why shaving a dogs fur to keep them cool is usually a bad idea. Then they switch to water safety, followed by talking about how to deal with bug bites, stings, ticks, heartworm, fleas, and seasonal allergies like those caused by tree and grass pollens. Then they move to chemicals like lawn fertilizers, herbicides, pesticides, fungicides, insecticides, rodenticides and all sorts of other “…cides” that are routinely used in our environment to kill something we do not like. Natural products, like Cedarcide, a safe product for tick control are also discussed. Next, they discuss the gatherings of friends and family that occur in the summer and how that may negatively affect your pet. Lastly, they talk about the pros and cons of traveling and vacationing with pets including steps you can take to make the experience more fun than exasperating.

For more information on these topics, check out Don’s blog (www.words-woofs-meows) and the post entitled Summer Pet Care Tips – http://www.greenacreskennel.com/blog/2015/06/07/summer-pet-care-tips/

You can hear The Woof Meow Show on The Pulse AM620, WZON, and WKIT HD3 at 9 AM on Saturday. If you are not near a radio, listen on your computer at http://www.wzonthepulse.com or your smartphone or tablet with the free WZON 620 AM app. A podcast of the show is typically posted immediately after the show and can be downloaded at www.woofmeowshow.com and the Apple iTunes store.

<Click to listen to podcast>

 

©2017, Donald J. Hanson, All Rights Reserved
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Podcast – Cold Weather and Holiday Tips for Pets

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05nov16-cold_weather_and_holiday_tips_for_petr_pets-400x400In this episode of The Woof Meow Show from November 5th, 2016 Kate and Don provide some tips on keeping your pet and you safe and happy this winter. The days are getting shorter, the temperature is decreasing, and the joy and chaos of holiday festivities are upon us. This can be a tough time of year for our pets so tune in and learn how you can help.

< Click to Listen to Podcast>

 

Recommended Resources

Articles on Don’s Blog (http://www.words-woofs-meows.com)

 

Seasonal Issues – Cold Weather and Holiday Tips for Petshttp://www.greenacreskennel.com/blog/2015/11/23/seasonal-issues-cold-weather-and-holiday-tips-for-pets/

 

©05NOV16, Donald J. Hanson, All Rights Reserved <Click for Copyright and Use Policy>

Halloween Tips for Pets and Their People

halloween-tips-for-pets-and-people-canstockphoto12289416-800x800Halloween is that time of year when many children and even some adults like to dress up in costumes that make them look different and often scary. They may even take on the stilted walk or the pseudo-terrifying vocalizations of the character they are portraying.

Now think about Halloween and all of the shenanigans it entails from your pets perspective.  Was your dog ever socialized/habituated to anything remotely like Halloween? Is it likely that they will find groups of people behaving weirdly and trying to scare one another a pleasant experience? You already know that the answer to both questions, for most pets, is a resounding “No!” Do your pets a favor this Halloween and keep them inside and safe.

You and your children also want to be cautious when out trick-or-treating as you may encounter dogs that will find you frightening which may cause them to bark and growl at you.

Tips for You and Your Pets

  • Black cats, due to the mythology about them and Halloween, should be kept inside and safe, well in advance of and after the Halloween holiday. Sadly, black cats can become victims of violence or may be abducted to be someone’s costume accessory.
  • Dressing your pet in a costume may be fun for you but may be a very stressful experience for your pet. If you dog freezes in place, or frantically tries to get out of the costume, or exhibits any calming signals (tongue flicks, yawns, ), your dog would probably prefer to remain “au naturel” (without costume).
  • Secure your pet in a part of your home where they will be behind a closed door and away from the commotion of a party or the trick-or-treaters coming to your door. Pets could easily bolt through an open door if they are frightened and are often injured if left outdoors by Halloween pranksters. The frenetic activity of a party, especially where people are dressed oddly and acting unusually is often frightening to our pets.
  • If you are having people over for Halloween, make sure everyone at the party knows that they are to respect your pets and just “let them be.” If your dog enjoys their crate, you may even want to crate them with a stuffed Kong or another favorite chew toy, far from the maddening crowd. It may even be helpful to play some soothing music or leave the radio on in the room with your pets to help mask the sounds of your party and activity at the front door.
  • If your dog is reactive to your door bell either disconnect it or be waiting at the door, so the trick-or-treaters do not need to ring the bell or knock on your door.
  • Candy is prevalent at Halloween, and anything containing chocolate or the artificial sweeter Xylitol can be very toxic to your pets, Make sure to keep all candy out of reach of your pets.
  • If you are taking your children trick-or-treating, I’d strongly encourage you to leave your dog at home as described above. They will be far happier.

Tips for Parents and Kids

  • When trick-or-treating, avoid houses if you can hear a dog barking behind the door, if you can see a dog at the door or windows or if you see a dog tied in the yard or barking from behind a fence.
  • Never approach any dog, even if you know him. He may not recognize you in your costume.
  • If a homeowner opens their door and you see a dog there, just stay still and wait for the dog owner to put their dog away. You can tell them that you do not want to interact with their dog. Do not move towards the person or the dog, wait for them to come to you and give you their treat and then wait for them to close the door before you turn away and leave.
  • If a dog runs at you while out trick-or-treating, just stand still and “Be A Tree” (hold your hands folded in front of you with your eyes looking at your feet). The dog will probably just sniff you and move on. Wait for the dog’s owner or another adult to come and get the dog before you turn away. If no adult is around, wait for the dog to go away.
  • It is best to ignore other people’s dogs on Halloween if you encounter them while out walking. The dog may be anxious about all the people and the costumes they are wearing. Even if you know the dog, he may not recognize you in your costume.

 

©20OCT16, Donald J. Hanson, All Rights Reserved <Click for Copyright and Use Policy>

Podcast – Summer Seasonal Pet Tips (2016)

<Click to listen to podcast>

18JUN16-Summer Seasonal Pet Tips 400x400In this podcast from June 18th, Kate and Don discuss a variety of pet tips directly related to summer and the increasing temperature. They start off the show discussing how the heat and sun can adversely affect our pets. Then they switch to water safety, followed by talking about how to deal with bug bites, stings, parasites, and seasonal allergies like those caused by tree and grass pollens. Then they move to chemicals like lawn fertilizers, herbicides, pesticides, fungicides, insecticides, rodenticides and all sorts of other “…cides” that are routinely used in our environment to kill something we do not like. Next, they discuss the pros and cons of traveling and vacationing with pets including steps you can take to make the experience more fun than exasperating. Finally, they talk about the gatherings of people that occur in the summer and how that may negatively affect your pet.

For more information on these topics, checkout the post entitled Summer Pet Care Tips – http://www.greenacreskennel.com/blog/2015/06/07/summer-pet-care-tips/

You can hear The Woof Meow Show on The Pulse AM620, WZON, and WKIT HD3 at 9 AM every Saturday. If you are not near a radio, listen on your computer at http://www.wzonthepulse.com or your smartphone or tablet with the free WZON 620 AM app. A podcast of the show is typically posted immediately after the show, and can be downloaded at www.woofmeowshow.com and the Apple iTunes store.

<Click to listen to podcast>

 

©2016, Donald J. Hanson, All Rights Reserved <Click for Copyright and Use Policy>

Podcast – Worms, Fleas, and Ticks, Oh My!-Parasites & Your Pets with Dr. Dave Cloutier – Veazie Veterinary Clinic

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23APR16-Worms-Fleas-Ticks 400x400It is that time of year when we invite Dr. Dave Cloutier on to the show to chat with us about the latest in parasite prevention for our pets. We start off discussing intestinal worms and heart worm, followed by ticks and then fleas. All of these parasites can threaten our pet’s health and our own as well. Dr. Cloutier provides guidance on how to monitor your pet’s health and how to safely and effectively prevent these parasites. We also address the importance of discussing any and all such preventatives that you use with your veterinarian as many of these products should not be used together and while a product may be safe for a dog, it may be very harmful to a cat.

< Click to listen to the podcast>

You can hear The Woof Meow Show on The Pulse AM620, WZON, and WKIT HD3 at 12 Noon on Saturday. If you’re not near a radio, listen on your computer at http://www.wzonthepulse.com or your smartphone or tablet with the free WZON 620 AM app. A podcast of the show is typically posted immediately after the show, and can be downloaded at www.woofmeowshow.com and the Apple iTunes store.

 

Recommended Resources

Articles on Don’s Blog (http://www.words-woofs-meows.com)

Pet Health and Wellness – External Parasites – Ticks and Fleas – http://www.greenacreskennel.com/blog/2014/05/03/pet-health-and-wellness-external-parasites-ticks-and-fleas/

Pet Health and Wellness – Internal Parasites – Wormshttp://www.greenacreskennel.com/blog/2014/04/24/pet-health-and-wellness-internal-parasites-worms/

Podcasts from The Woof Meow Show (http://www.woofmeowshow.com)

Worms, Fleas,  and Ticks, Oh My!-Parasites & Your Pets with Dr. Dave Cloutier – Veazie Veterinary Clinic – http://traffic.libsyn.com/woofmeowshow/WoofMeowShow2016-04-23-Worms_Fleas_Ticks_Oh_My-Parasites_and_Your_Pets_Dave_Cloutier.mp3

 Ick! A Tick! -with Dr. Dave Cloutier from Veazie Veterinary Clinic – http://traffic.libsyn.com/woofmeowshow/WoofMeowShow-2015-06-13-Ick_Ticks_w_Dr_Dave_Cloutier.mp3

External Parasites – Ticks and Fleas with Dr. Dave Cloutier from the Veazie Veterinary Clinic – http://traffic.libsyn.com/woofmeowshow/WoofMeowShow-2014-05-03-External_ParasitesFleas-Ticks-w_Dave_Cloutier.mp3

Internal Parasites – Worms with Dr. Dave Cloutier from the Veazie Veterinary Clinic – http://traffic.libsyn.com/woofmeowshow/WoofMeowShow-2014-04-26-Internal_ParasitesWorms-w_Dave_Cloutier.mp3

©2016, Donald J. Hanson, All Rights Reserved <Click for Copyright and Use Policy>

Preparing Your Pets for the Holidays

< A version of this article was published in the November 2016 issue of Downeast Dog News>

November and December can be a joyous, yet also a chaotic and hectic time of the year. We can look forward to several major holidays, each of which can mean more activities at school for the kids, and an increased probability of guests in our home. To prepare for those activities, we may also find it necessary to spend more time away from home attending school concerts, company parties, and family gatherings. Some people thrive on a flurry of activity and some long for a calmer time of year. Our pets, especially dogs, and cats typically are more likely to be fans of predictability and routine.  Here are a few tips to make the coming frenzy less stressful for your pets.

Do not forget your pet(s)

  • As you get busy with the holidays, please do not forget your pet. Make sure to allocate time for them, as they miss you when you are not home as much as usual. You might also find that spending time with them helps you to relax from all of the holiday madness.

Family Gatherings

  • Put your dog in his crate with a bone or favorite chew toy, at least during the most hectic times – when guests are arriving and leaving as well as when meals are being prepared and served. If your cats are not fond of large numbers of people, or people they do not know, set them up in a room where they can be alone. Make sure your guests know that they are to leave your pet alone in this situation.
  • Assign one adult to be in charge of each of the dogs, to watch for signs of stress and to protect the dog from unwanted attention from children. At the same time, assign one adult to supervise each baby or toddler, with no other tasks assigned to them. Make sure that ALL interactions between pets and children are supervised by an adult.
  • Not every dog likes every person – ALWAYS let your pet decide if they want to meet someone new.
  • If you are quite certain, your pet will not enjoy the increased activity due to the event, or if you are more relaxed knowing your pet is in a safe, pleasant environment, consider boarding your pet the day and night of the event.

 

Special considerations for the holidays

  • Pets do not make good holiday gifts, especially if the person receiving the gift is not aware of it. If you want to get a pet related gift for someone get them a book on selecting a pet, or a leash or toy for the pet to come.
  • Many holiday plants such as holly, mistletoe and poinsettias are poisonous to pets. Make sure they are someplace where your pet cannot get to them.
  • Be cautious about where you leave holiday gifts, especially those with food inside. A misplaced box of chocolates can kill a dog.
  • Candy and other holiday treats sweetened with Xylitol can also be fatal when pets ingest them.
  • Keep lights and fragile ornaments off the lower branches of your holiday tree where your pet can get to them.
  • Make sure all electrical cords for holiday lights and decorations are located where your pet will not become entangled in them or attempt to chew on them.
  • Avoid using edible ornaments on your tree.
  • Tinsel can be very attractive to dogs and cats and can also be fatal if ingested.

.

Have a safe and joyous holiday season!

________________________________________________________________________
Don Hanson is the co-owner of the Green Acres Kennel Shop (greenacreskennel.com) in Bangor. He is a Bach Foundation Registered Animal Practitioner (BFRAP), Certified Dog Behavior Consultant (CDBC), Associate Certified Cat Behavior Consultant (ACCBC) and a Certified Professional Dog Trainer (CPDT-KA). He produces and co- hosts a weekly radio show and podcast, The Woof Meow Show heard on The Pulse AM620 WZON and streamed at http://www.wzonradio.com/ every Saturday at 9 AM. A list of upcoming shows and podcasts of past shows can be found at www.woofmeowshow.com. Don also writes about pets at his blog: www.words-woofs-meows.com.

©01NOV16, Donald J. Hanson, All Rights Reserved <Click for Copyright and Use Policy>

Seasonal Issues – Cold Weather and Holiday Tips for Pets

<A version of this article was published in The Maine Edge on November 18, 2015>

Updated 9NOV17

<To listen to a podcast from The Woof Meow Show on this topic, click here>

WINTER IS COMING-Dulcie-Winter 07-080-51 edited-square 800x800Like or not, winter is here, and we need to consider how this change in seasons affects our pets.

Dealing with the Cold, Snow and Ice

  • Once the temperature drops below 20 degrees, it’s time to bring your pet indoors. When they are out, make sure they are not exposed to the cold for extended periods of time. Be aware that the wind chill affects your pet just like it affects you.
  • Shorter haired dogs or dog’s acclimated to warmer climates may need a coat to stay comfortable when it gets cold outside.
  • When your dog is outdoors, make sure they have access to adequate shelter at all times. Dog houses should be positioned or designed such that the wind does not blow through the door into the house.
  • If your pet is outdoors, make sure they always have access to fresh water. If the temperature drops below freezing, you will need a heater for their water bowl. Snow is not an acceptable substitute!
  • When your pet is indoors, make sure they have a warm, dry spot that is away from drafts. Tile floors and uncarpeted areas may become cold and uncomfortable.
  • If you have a long-haired pet, make sure you keep them groomed and free of mats and tangles. While long hair will act as an insulator, it loses its insulating properties when it becomes matted.
  • If your pet has long hair on its feet or in between their pads, you may want to have your groomer cut that hair short, so it does not accumulate snow when your pet is outdoors.
  • If your pet is out in the cold a great deal, you may want to increase the amount you feed them, as they will be expending additional calories to stay warm.
  • If your pet gets wet in the rain or snow, dry them off with a towel when they come back inside.
  • If your pet has been walking on areas that have been treated with salt or any deicer, wipe their feet and pads with a damp cloth. You may want to consider using one of the pet safe products for melting ice.
  • Leaving your pet in a car can be just as problematic in the winter time as it is in the summer. If you leave the motor running, always leave a window partially open in case you have an exhaust leak.
  • Be careful if your pet has access to frozen ponds or streams. They can slip and[ File # csp15483120, License # 3214320 ] Licensed through http://www.canstockphoto.com in accordance with the End User License Agreement (http://www.canstockphoto.com/legal.php) (c) Can Stock Photo Inc. / stefan11fall in, or the ice can break and they can fall in.
  • Crusty snow and ice can have sharp edges that can cut the skin and pads of some of the thinner skinned breeds.

Other Seasonal Hazards

  • Antifreeze, which often collects on driveways and roadways, is highly poisonous. Although it smells and tastes good to your pet, it can be lethal.
  • Be very careful of supplemental heating sources, especially those with a flame. Fireplaces and portable heaters can severely burn your pet. Make sure all fireplaces have screens and keep portable heaters out of reach.
  • Make sure your wood is stacked securely so that your pet cannot cause it to fall over.
  • Be aware that cats often will crawl into an engine compartment of a vehicle to keep warm. Slap your hood before starting your car in the morning.
  • Like people, pets seem to be more susceptible to illnesses in the winter. Do take your pet to a veterinarian if you see any suspicious symptoms.
  • Don’t use over-the-counter medications on your dog without first consulting with your veterinarian.

Dealing with the Holidays

puppy chewing ornamentNovember and December are filled with wonderful opportunities for us to gather with family and friends. These gatherings can be a hectic, intimidating time for our pets. Dogs and cats do not always enjoy meeting new people or the frenetic activity that often comes with any holiday gathering.

  • While many of us enjoy the holidays, they can also be very stressful. Your pets can feel this stress as well, especially if they are not used to the frantic activity and houseful of guests that often accompany the holidays. Make sure your pet has a quiet, comfortable hideaway if they choose to abstain from holiday festivities. Sometimes boarding your pet can make the holiday more enjoyable for them, you and your guests.
  • Pets do not make good holiday gifts, especially if the person receiving the gift is not aware of it. If you want to get a pet related gift for someone get them a book on selecting a pet, or a leash or toy for the pet to come.
  • Many holiday plants such as holly, mistletoe and poinsettias are poisonous to pets. Make sure they are someplace where your pet cannot get to them.
  • Be cautious about where you leave holiday gifts, especially those with food inside. A misplaced box of chocolates can kill a dog.
  • Candy and other holiday treats sweetened with Xylitol can also be fatal when pets ingest them.
  • Keep lights and fragile ornaments off the lower branches of your holiday tree where your pet can get to them.
  • Make sure all electrical cords for holiday lights and decorations are located Kitten w-ornamentwhere your pet will not become entangled in them or attempt to chew on them.
  • Avoid using edible ornaments on your tree.
  • Tinsel can be very attractive to dogs and cats and can also be fatal if ingested.

 

 

______________________________________________________________________________
Don Hanson is the co-owner of the Green Acres Kennel Shop (greenacreskennel.com) in Bangor. He is a Bach Foundation Registered Animal Practitioner (BFRAP), Certified Dog Behavior Consultant (CDBC), Associate Certified Cat Behavior Consultant (ACCBC) and a Certified Professional Dog Trainer (CPDT-KA). He produces and co- hosts a weekly radio show and podcast, The Woof Meow Show heard on The Pulse AM620 WZON and streamed at http://www.wzonradio.com/ every Saturday at 9 AM. A list of upcoming shows and podcasts of past shows can be found at www.woofmeowshow.com. Don also writes about pets at his blog: www.words-woofs-meows.com.

©2015, Donald J. Hanson, All Rights Reserved <Click for Copyright and Use Policy>

URGENT! – Keep Your Dog Safe! More dogs are lost on the 4th of July than any day of the year!


According to the American Humane Association:

  • 10 million pets get lost every year. This is more than the population of New York City.
  • Of the dogs entering shelters, approximately 35% are adopted, 31% are euthanized and 26% are returned to their owner.
  • Without proper ID or microchipping, 90% of lost pets never return home.
  • A third of pets will get lost in their lifetime.
  • An estimated 2 million pets are stolen each year.

To prevent your dog from becoming lost on the 4th of July:4th of July Dogs Lost 400x400

  • Keep your dog on leash unless they are inside or in a fenced yard.
  • If you have guests in your home, make sure everyone is careful so as not to accidentally let the dog out.
  • Do NOT take your dog to the fireworks. They are not going to enjoy the experience and may become frightened and run off.
  • If you choose to use fireworks at your home or camp, or if you have neighbors that do so, make sure that your dog is inside, preferably in a room where they will not hear or see the fireworks.

To give your pet the best chance of being returned to you:

  • Please make sure that your dog is either microchipped or wearing a collar with a current, readable and legible ID tag.
  • If your dog is microchipped, make sure that the chip registry has your current contact information.
  • Keep a current photo of your pet that you can use on a “Lost Pet” poster if your pet goes missing. Make sure it’s a good photo that clearly shows any identifying characteristics of your dog.
  • Maintain a list of phone numbers for your local animal control organization, police department, animal shelter(s), and pet related businesses so that you can notify them if your pet is lost and ask them to put up the “Lost Pet” poster that you create.
  • If your dog is microchipped, contact the chip registry if they go missing. Many registries will help disseminate information about your missing dog on social media to aid in recovery.
  • If you live in Maine, contact Maine Lost Dog Recovery via their FaceBook page (https://www.facebook.com/MaineLostDogRecovery) as they can be very helpful in assisting you in getting the word out about your lost dog.
  • If you are traveling with your pet, provide your pet with a temporary ID tag that provides local contact information for wherever you are staying.

Summer Pet Care Tips

This post was last updated on 11JUN17.

<To listen to our most recent podcast on this topic, click here>

Summer 1200x797As summer approaches, not only do the temperatures rise, but we also tend to spend more time outside enjoying the beautiful weather.  With the warm weather come some potential dangers and several things that need to be considered if we are to keep our pets safe and healthy. With a few simple precautions, summer can be a time of great fun for both you and your pets. So simply, take the time to plan ahead and have a great summer!

The Heat & Sun

Our pets, especially the young, elderly and overweight, are at increased risk for dehydration and heat stroke as the temperatures increase; both can be life threatening. Signs of heat exhaustion and heat stroke include:

  • rapid breathing
  • heavy panting
  • excessive salivation
  • fatigue
  • unsteadiness and staggering
  • muscle tremors
  • glazed eyes
  • a fast pulse

Signs of even more dangerous heat stroke include:

  • high body temperature
  • vomiting & diarrhea
  • a deep red or purple tongue and gums
  • collapse

If you observe these symptoms in your pet you need to immediately get your pet out of the heat and you need to contact a veterinarian. You can use cool water (not cold!) to cool down your pet, as you transport them to your veterinarian. Do NOT place an overheated pet in cold water. Misting them with cool water and placing wet towels on their neck, chest and limbs will aid in cooling during transport. Offer them ice chips but do NOT force them to drink.

If your pet experiences heat related distress, they need to be seen by your veterinarian, even if they seem to be okay, to rule out any unseen damage.

Things you can do to prevent heat related injuries are:

  • If you leave a pet in the car you need to check on them every few minutes – No Exceptions!When the temperature outside is 80 degrees, the temperature inside your car will reach 100 degrees in 15 minutes, and 120 degrees in 30 minutes, even with the windows open half-way. This can be fatal!
  • Once the outside temperature reaches 70, if your pet doesn’t need to go with you, the best place for them is probably at home.
  • Do not rely on the vehicle’s air conditioning, or if you do, you must continue to check on your pet every few minutes to ensure that the vehicle and AC are still running.
  • Make sure your pet always has access to fresh cool water, and if outside, shade. Be aware that not all dogs will move into the shade when they need to, so if they are outside you need to check on them on a regular basis.
  • Keep your pet well groomed, and if they have a long or dense coat and undercoat make sure you keep it mat free. Your pet’s guard hair, or outer coat, actually acts as an insulator which keeps them cool in the summer and warm in the winter. We generally do not recommend shaving down an animal with a double coat unless there is a medical reason or the coat has become too severely matted.
  • If the sun can get to your pet’s skin, you will need to apply sunscreen on a regular basis or keep them out of the sun, to avoid sunburn.
  • Brachycephalic pets (those with short noses like Pugs and Persians) often have a more difficult time breathing in hot, humid weather because of their squashed noses, and are even more susceptible to heat related problems.
  • When you go for walks or enjoy other outdoor activities with your pets, make sure you bring along enough fresh cool water for them. Also, it helps to plan these activities for early morning or late evening when the temperatures are a bit cooler.
  • Make sure you pet does not overly exert themselves. Exercise is important, but too much activity when it’s hot and humid contributes to dehydration and can result in heat stroke. Like some people, not all pets know when to stop and rest.
  • Avoid walking your pet on asphalt. Asphalt absorbs heat and can become hot enough to burn the pads on your pets feet.
  • To keep ourselves cool, we often to keep windows open during the summer months. Make sure screens are secure so that your pet cannot escape or accidentally fall out of a window.

Water Safety

The summer months also bring more opportunities to play in the water for both people and pets. While it brings much joy, water also is a source of concern. Some things to consider:

  • Many dogs enjoy swimming, but some dogs don’t swim well and even the best swimmers can get tired. Life jackets for dogs can save lives.
  • If you have a pool, your dog needs to be supervised whenever they have access to the pool. You should take the time to train them how to safely enter and exit the pool from the shallow end.
  • Salt water can damage a dog’s coat, so after any ocean dips take the time to hose them down with fresh water.
  • Don’t let your pet stay wet! For some dogs, staying wet can lead to skin irritations, otherwise known as “hot spots.” These can be a source of discomfort and infection for your pet.

Bug Bites, Parasites and Pollen

Insects also enjoy the nice weather and if they are a pest to us they may be a pest to your dog and cat as well.

  • Black Flies, Maine’s own special nemesis, seem to love to feast on the tender underbellies of both dogs and cats. While some pets are oblivious, some react the same way we do, itching, scratching, and the equivalent of pet cursing. There are several insect repellents that are safe to use on pets that will help keep black fly and mosquito bites to a minimum. We sell and prefer Cedarcide Original, Cedarcide TickShield Extra Strength, and U-Tick-Me-Off. Before using an insect repellent for humans on your pet, read the label. Many products for humans, even kids, may not be safe for pets.
  • During the summer months our pets are at risk of getting heartworm from a mosquito bite. This parasitic worm is more of a threat to dogs, but even in cats it can be fatal. Discuss heartworm testing and prevention with your pet’s veterinarian at their annual exam.
  • Fleas become more of a problem in the summer months, particularly towards the end of summer. These small insects like to live, feed and breed on our pets. Feeding involves a bite to get a blood meal which causes the classic itch response we see in many pets. Some pets are more allergic to flea bites and just a couple of fleas can make their lives miserable; severe infestations can even cause anemia. The most effective and safest flea preventative products will be available from your veterinarian. These products are safe when used properly. Unfortunately, they are often unintentionally misused causing serious illness and even death in some pets. Talk to your veterinarian so you can make the best choice.
  • Ticks are becoming more and more of a problem in Maine. Because they can carry Lyme disease, as well as other tick-borne diseases, you should talk to your veterinarian about preventative products if your pet is likely to be in areas where they may pick up ticks. Just like with flea products, your veterinarian will be able to help you pick the best option for your pet. If you are looking for a product to use in your home, or yard, or on your dog as a repellent, check out Cedarcide Original and Cedarcide TickShield Extra Strength.
  • While rare, pets can have an allergic reaction to being stung by bees, wasps and the like. This can be more serious for brachycephalic pets because their breathing is already less than optimal. If you suspect such a reaction you need to get your pet to a veterinarian immediately.
  • Tree and grass pollens make my eyes water, nose run, and if the lawn has just been mowed, I itch all over. Some pets can also experience seasonal allergies. In addition to the aforementioned, another common manifestation of seasonal allergies is the continual licking and chewing of feet. If you see these symptoms, talk to your veterinarian and they can assist you in finding relief for your dog.

Outdoor Chemicals

Lawn fertilizers, herbicides, pesticides, fungicides, insecticides, rodenticides and all sorts or other “…cides” are used routinely in our environment to kill something we don’t like. These poisons can all be toxic to our pets and since our animals can’t read little lawn signs or product labels, we need to watch out for them. Read product labels and keep your pet away from areas where these products are used. Remember – our pets aren’t wearing gloves or shoes but run around naked and then clean themselves by licking, increasing their exposure to these products.

While we usually think of mulch as pretty innocuous, cocoa mulch can be deadly if ingested and has an appetizing scent to some animals.

Holiday Gatherings

Summer is also a time for family gatherings, celebrations, and vacations. Depending on your pet’s temperament, these can range from good times to scary events. These simple rules will help you keep your pet safe during the festivities.

  • Put your dog in his crate with a bone or favorite chew toy, at least during the most hectic times – when guests are arriving and leaving as well as when meals are being prepared and served. Make sure your guests know that they are to leave your pet alone in this situation.
  • Assign one adult to be in charge of each of the dogs, to watch for signs of stress and to protect the dog from unwanted attention from children. At the same time, assign one adult to supervise each baby or toddler, with no other tasks assigned to them. Make sure that ALL interactions between pets and children are supervised by an adult.
  • Not every dog likes every person – ALWAYS let your dog decide if they want to meet someone new.
  • If you are quite certain your pet will not enjoy the increased activity due to the event, or if you will be more relaxed knowing your pet is in a safe, pleasant environment, consider boarding your pet the day and night of the event.
  • Fireworks, with their loud booms and bright flashes of light can be very frightening to pets. If they’re right in your backyard or your neighbor’s backyard they can be not only be frightening but can pose a danger to our pets. Keep your pets inside during any personal firework activity. If you go someplace to see the fireworks I would advise you to leave your pet at home in a safe quiet location. They’ll be glad you did.

Vacations & Traveling with Your Pet

  • If you travel with your pet, even just to camp, make sure they are wearing ID tags or have been micro-chipped.
  • Take your pet’s shot records with you as well as contact information for your regular veterinarian. If you are more than an hour’s drive from your veterinarian, make sure you have phone numbers of other veterinarians in the area where you are staying.
  • If you go hiking or camping with your pet, plan ahead. Make sure you have sufficient water and snacks for both of you, a first aid kit, as well as poop bags. Have your dog on a leash – it’s the law in Maine and is intended to keep your pet and others safe. If your dog is frightened by something and runs off, you might not get him back. Lastly, have a plan in mind for getting your dog to safety if they become sick or injured on the hike. If you are alone, weigh 115lbs and your dog weighs 120lbs, could you carry them to safety 5 miles away?

Recommended Resources

Articles on Don’s Blog (http://www.words-woofs-meows.com)

Canine Behavior – Dogs, Summer and Behavioral Issueshttp://www.greenacreskennel.com/blog/2015/06/01/canine-behavior-dogs-summer-and-behavioral-issues/

Traveling – Do you take the dog along or leave him with someone?http://www.greenacreskennel.com/blog/2016/04/11/traveling-do-you-take-the-dog-along-or-leave-him-with-someone/

Pet Care Services – Please Be Cautious When Choosing Who Cares For Your Petshttp://www.greenacreskennel.com/blog/2016/04/11/pet-care-services-please-be-cautious-when-choosing-who-cares-for-your-pets/

Pets, Who Cares for Them When You Are Away?http://www.greenacreskennel.com/blog/2015/09/01/pets-who-cares-for-them-when-you-are-away/

Ticks! & New Products to Keep Them Awayhttp://www.greenacreskennel.com/blog/2017/05/28/ticks-new-products-to-keep-them-away/

Podcasts from The Woof Meow Show (http://www.woofmeowshow.com)

Summer and Hot Weather Pet Care Tips 2017http://traffic.libsyn.com/woofmeowshow/WoofMeowShow-2017_06_10-Seasonal_Pet_Tips_Summer_and_Hot_Weather.mp3

Summer and Hot Weather Pet Care Tips 2016http://traffic.libsyn.com/woofmeowshow/WoofMeowShow2016-06-18-Summer_Seasonal_Pet_Tips.mp3

Summer and Hot Weather Pet Care Tips 2015http://traffic.libsyn.com/woofmeowshow/WoofMeowShow-2015-06-06-Summer_Hot_Weather_Pet_Care_Tips-2015.mp3

Summer and Hot Weather Pet Care Tips 2014http://traffic.libsyn.com/woofmeowshow/WoofMeowShow-2014-06-14-Summer_Hot_Weather_Pet_Tips.mp3

Summer and Hot Weather Pet Care Tips 2013http://traffic.libsyn.com/woofmeowshow/WoofMeowShow-2013-06-08-Summer_and_Hot_Weather_Tips.mp3

Pet Tip – Summer Heat and Pets in Carshttp://traffic.libsyn.com/woofmeowshow/Pets-Cars-Summer.mp3

Pet Tip – Pets and Summer Heat, Water, Shade, Asphalt & Exercisehttp://traffic.libsyn.com/woofmeowshow/Cool_Water-Shade-Asphalt_and_Exercise.mp3

Pet Tip – Summer Heat – Exercise and Windowshttp://traffic.libsyn.com/woofmeowshow/Heat_and_Exercise.mp3

Pet Tip – Summer Heat and Groominghttp://traffic.libsyn.com/woofmeowshow/Heat_and_Grooming.mp3

Pet Tip – Summer Water Safety for Petshttp://traffic.libsyn.com/woofmeowshow/Water_Safety.mp3

Pet Tip – Summer Family Gatheringshttp://traffic.libsyn.com/woofmeowshow/Pet_Tip-2014-05-18-2014-05-24-Summer_Family_Gatherings.mp3

Pet Tip – Get Ready for the 4th of Julyhttp://traffic.libsyn.com/woofmeowshow/Pet_Tip-2014-06-29-2014-07-05-4th_of_July.mp3

Pet Tip – Pets and the 4th of Julyhttp://traffic.libsyn.com/woofmeowshow/Pet_Tip-2015-06-28-4th_of_July.mp3

©2015, Donald J. Hanson, All Rights Reserved <Click for Copyright and Use Policy>

Canine Behavior – Dogs, Summer and Behavioral Issues

<A version of this article was published in the June 2015 issue of the Down East Dog News>

I know, I promised this column would continue my series on pet-friendly pet care, focusing on fear-free visits to the veterinarian. I’m still researching that topic so instead I’ve decided to talk about dogs, summer and behavioral issues that often crop up this time of year.

Getting A New Puppy

Tikken on Don's Lap
Tikken on Don’s Lap

Summer is often a great time to add a puppy to the family. I know I find dealing with housetraining and those frequent trips outside much more enjoyable in the summer than the dead of winter. Additionally, due to vacation time and little or no school activities, a family often has more time to socialize, train and play with a new puppy in the summer.

Socializing and habituating your puppy to many different people and different types of people, different places and things is extremely important if you want a well-adjusted adult dog. This is often easier to accomplish in the summer due to better weather, increased free time and the fact that more people are out and about. A puppy’s critical socialization period goes from 8 weeks to 16 weeks of age. If you choose to get a puppy in the summer you want to make sure you will be at home and available to actively socialize your pup during this period. In other words, it would be a bad time to take a vacation.

Socialization is not difficult but should be actively planned so that you are making sure it is a positive experience for your puppy. For example, exposure to lots of new people in a controlled setting is good; taking your puppy to a parade, street festival, or large family gathering would likely be overwhelming and would not be a good idea. For more information on socialization, checkout the article entitled Socialization & Habituation at our website (greenacreskennel.com) in the articles section under the category dog behavior and training.

Another important lesson for a puppy to learn any time of the year is how to be alone. Dogs are social animals and most enjoy regular, predictable social contact. If that social contact is not available it can result in separation anxiety. This is often more likely to be a problem for puppies that join families during the summer as family members are home during more hours during the summer months than they may be at other times of the year. From day one you need to be leaving your puppy alone for some period of time every day. For tips on that, check out my article titled Alone Training at our website (greenacreskennel.com) in the articles section under the category dog behavior and training.

A puppy headstart class is one of the most important training classes for any new dog, no matter how many dogs you have had in the past. Summer time is a great time to enroll your puppy in their first class.  The best time to start is when your puppy is 8 to 10 weeks of age.

Getting A New Dog

Summer can also be a good time to get a new adult dog simply because you will

Muppy's First Day with Us
Muppy’s First Day with Us

have more time to help your new family member to settle in to your home and your family’s routine. Just like with a puppy, you may need to do some preliminary housetraining and you will also want to make sure you teach this new dog how to be alone as well; especially if your family routine will change at the end of the summer.

All dogs benefit from training classes, even older dogs. Often dogs end up at a shelter or rescue because they have had little or no training. If you get a dog during the summer, try to schedule your vacation around their training classes so you don’t miss classes because you will be away.

Training classes are often outdoors in the summer, weather permitting, which gets you an opportunity to work more on outside types of behaviors like walking nicely on leash and coming when called.

Not all rescue dogs will be ready for a training class when you first bring them home. If you have a dog that is rather unsettled or anxious around people and/or other dogs, a group training class could be counter-productive. Two years ago when we adopted Muppy, in May, my wife and I elected to not start here in a group class until fall, after she become more acclimated to the busy hub-bub of our lives. However, if you defer starting a class until fall I would not wait until then to talk to a professional trainer to get some tips on helping your dog settle in.

Family Gatherings

Family and Dog at Beachcanstockphoto5015887Summer is a time for friends and family get-togethers, whether it is for holidays like the Fourth of July, events like family reunions or weddings or just because. Depending on your pet’s temperament, these can range from good times to scary events. These simple rules will help you keep your pet safe during the festivities.

  • Put your dog in his crate with a bone or favorite chew toy, at least during the most hectic times – when guests are arriving and leaving as well as when meals are being prepared and served. Make sure your guests know that they are to leave your pet alone in this situation.
  • Assign one adult to be in charge of each of the dogs, to watch for signs of stress and to protect the dog from unwanted attention from children. At the same time, assign one adult to supervise each baby or toddler, with no other tasks assigned to them. Make sure that ALL interactions between pets and children are supervised by an adult.
  • Not every dog likes every person – ALWAYS let your dog decide if they want to meet someone new.
  • If you are quite certain your pet will not enjoy the increased activity due to the event, or if you will be more relaxed knowing your pet is in a safe, pleasant environment, consider boarding your pet the day and night of the event.

Fireworks and the Fourth of July

Fireworks, with their loud booms and bright flashes of light can be very frightening to pets. If they’re right in your backyard or your neighbor’s backyard they can be not only be frightening but can pose a danger to our pets. Keep your pets inside during any personal firework activity. If you go someplace to see the fireworks I would advise you to leave your pet at home in a safe quiet location. They’ll be glad you did.

Last year I received more phone calls and emails from people concerned about their pet’s reaction to fireworks than ever before. I suspect most would prefer the legislature repeal the law that made the sale of fireworks legal or that municipalities would take a more vigorous approach to enacting ordinances regulating their use and then aggressively enforcing those laws. If the use of fireworks is irritating you and your pets call your selectmen and complain – even if it’s midnight or 1AM.

 

Next month I’ll wrap up this series with a discussion of what veterinary clinics are doing to make your pet’s visit to the vet fear-free.

______________________________________________________________________________
Don Hanson is the co-owner of the Green Acres Kennel Shop (greenacreskennel.com) in Bangor. He is a Bach Foundation Registered Animal Practitioner (BFRAP), Certified Dog Behavior Consultant (CDBC), Associate Certified Cat Behavior Consultant (ACCBC) and a Certified Professional Dog Trainer (CPDT-KA). He produces and co- hosts a weekly radio show and podcast, The Woof Meow Show heard on The Pulse AM620 WZON and streamed at http://www.wzonradio.com/ every Saturday at 9 AM. A list of upcoming shows and podcasts of past shows can be found at www.woofmeowshow.com. Don also writes about pets at his blog: www.words-woofs-meows.com.

©2015, Donald J. Hanson, All Rights Reserved <Click for Copyright and Use Policy>