Podcast – Preparing for the Holidays; Halloween, Thanksgiving, Christmas, & New Years

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< Updated 18OCT20 >

< A short link for this page – http://bit.ly/WfMwHolidayPrep >

The last three months of the year are often your favorite or least favorite time of year. It is a time filled with holidays, more guests in our home than usual, frantic activity, hectic schedules, and yes, stress, and not the good kind but unpleasant distress. All of these things can affect our pets every bit as much as they affect us. In this show, Kate and Don will be discussing ways you can make this time of year less stressful for both your and your pets. We’ll address Halloween, Thanksgiving, Christmas Eve, Christmas Day, and New Year’s Eve and New Year’s Day.

You can listen to The Woof Meow Show on Z62 Retro Radio, AM620, and WKIT HD3 at 9 AM on Saturday. If you are not near a radio, listen on your computer at http://bit.ly/AM620-WZON or your smartphone or tablet with the free WZON 620 AM app. A podcast of the show is typically posted immediately after the show. You can download this show and others at http://bit.ly/WfMwPodcasts, at Don’s blog http://bit.ly/Words-Woofs-Meows and the Apple podcast app.

< Click to Listen to Podcast >

Contact Info

Don Hanson & Kate Dutra
Green Acres Kennel Shop & The Woof Meow Show
Bangor, ME
(207) 945-6841
https://www.greenacreskennel.com/
https://www.facebook.com/GreenAcresKennelShop/
https://woofmeowshow.libsyn.com/
https://www.facebook.com/WoofMeowShow/

Recommended Resources

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

 Halloween Tips for Pets and Their People – http://bit.ly/Halloween-Pets

Preparing Your Pets for the Holidayshttps://www.greenacreskennel.com/blog/2016/01/01/preparing-your-pets-for-the-holidays/

 Other Resources

Mighty Dog Graphics Halloween Postershttps://www.facebook.com/mightydoggraphics/posts/the-halloween-collection-/1328779170582929/

©18OCT20, Donald J. Hanson, All Rights Reserved
< Click for Copyright and Use Policy >

Podcast – Summer Seasonal Pet Tips (2017)

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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
<Click for Copyright and Use Policy>

Podcast – Cold Weather and Holiday Tips for Pets

< Click to Listen to Podcast>

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

< UPDATED 18OCT20 >

< Short link – http://bit.ly/Halloween-Pets >

Halloween 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 also 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 the perspective of your pet.  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

  • Sadly, black cats can become victims of violence or maybe abducted to be someone’s costume accessory this time of year. If you have a black cat, please keep them inside and safe, well in advance of and after the Halloween holiday.
  • Dressing your pet in a costume may be fun for you but is typically a very stressful experience for your pet. If your pet freezes in place or frantically tries to get out of the costume, they are trying to tell you to STOP! Other signs of distress include calming signals such as tongue flicks/nose licks, yawning, and averting eye contact. More intense signals might consist of barking, nipping, growling, and biting. Most pets would prefer to remain “au naturel” (without costume).
  • Either due to guests coming and going or trick-or-treaters seeking candy, you will likely be opening and closing your door more frequently on Halloween. Pets are likely to be frightened or very excited, which increases the possibility of your pet bolting through the door to escape. 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. Please don’t worry about your pet, missing the party. A party’s frenetic activity, especially where people are dressed oddly and acting unusually, is often frightening to our pets. A pet that bolts outdoors on Halloween may be injured or become lost.
  • 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 place them in the crate with a stuffed Kong or another favorite chew toy, far from the maddening crowd. It may also 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 the activity at the front door.
  • There is a high probability of your doorbell ringing more times on Halloween than it does during the typical month. If your dog reacts every time someone rings the doorbell, please do not get upset with your dog. It is not their fault. Many people turn their doorbell off on Halloween for this very reason. Alternatively, you can wait at the door, so the trick-or-treaters do not need to ring the bell or knock on your door.
  • Candy is prevalent at 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 a dog is present, 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, 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 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.

Posters to Help Educate Family, Friends & Neighbors

Mighty Dog Graphics has created this fantastic series of posters to help you teach family members, friends, and neighbors how to make Halloween safer and more fun for you and your pets. Click on the image below, and it will take you to the Mighty Dog Facebook page where you can print a copy for your use at home.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Recommended Resources

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

 

Preparing Your Dog for Winter & the Holidays – link coming soon

 

Podcasts from The Woof Meow Show
( http://bit.ly/WfMwPodcasts )

 

Preparing for the Holidays; Halloween, Thanksgiving, Christmas, & New Yearshttp://bit.ly/WfMwHolidayPrep

Other resources

Mighty Dog Graphics Halloween Postershttps://www.facebook.com/mightydoggraphics/posts/the-halloween-collection-/1328779170582929/

 

©18OCT20, 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

< Click to listen to the podcast>

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 11JAN21 >

< A short link for this page – http://bit.ly/ColdWeatherHolidayTips >

< To listen to a podcast from The Woof Meow Show on this topic, http://bit.ly/WfMw-Cold2021 >

WINTER IS COMING-Dulcie-Winter 07-080-51 edited-square 800x800Like it 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, ME where he has been helping people with their pets since 1995. 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). Don is a member of the Pet Professional Guild (PPG) and is committed to PPG’s Guiding Principles and the Pain-Free, Force-Free, and Fear-Free training, management, and care of all pets. Don produces and co-hosts a weekly radio show and podcast, The Woof Meow Show heard on AM620 WZON and streamed at http://www.wzonam.com/ every Saturday at 9 AM. Podcasts of the show are available at http://woofmeowshow.libsyn.com/. Don also writes about pets at his blog: www.words-woofs-meows.com.

©2021, Donald J. Hanson, All Rights Reserved < Click for Copyright and Use Policy >

URGENT! – Keep Your Pets Safe on the 4th of July-Act Today, Do NOT Delay!

If your dog gets anxious and nervous at the sound of fireworks, start planning now on how you will keep them safe and how you will minimize their anxiety. If you live in an area where others set off fireworks, have a conversation with those people now. Politely explain how distressing fireworks are to your pets. Ask them to either refrain from using fireworks or to at least keep their use to a minimum, at times you are not home. If you cannot reach an agreement, make sure you have the phone number of the local authorities on speed dial and do not hesitate to make a complaint. Talk to your veterinarian about anti-anxiety medications you may use to help your pet. Over the counter products such as Bach Rescue Remedy, ComfortZone Dog Appeasing Pheromone, endocannabinoid based products specifically for pets and certain essential oils, such as Lavender, may also be helpful.



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 micro-chipping, 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 micro-chipped or wearing a collar with a current, readable and legible ID tag.
  • If your dog is micro-chipped, 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 micro-chipped, 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.

©2018, Donald J. Hanson, All Rights Reserved < Click for Copyright and Use Policy >

Summer Pet Care Tips

< Updated 17JUN21 >

< A short link to this page – http://bit.ly/Summer-Pet-Tips >

< Listen to our most recent Woof Meow Show podcast on this topic >

< Listen to a 2021 interview on this topic from WGUY A Local Affair >

As 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 heatstroke as the temperatures rise; both can be life-threatening.

Signs of heat exhaustion 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 get your pet out of the heat immediately, and you need to contact a veterinarian as quickly as possible. 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 help 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 vehicle will reach 100 degrees in 15 minutes, and 120 degrees in 30 minutes, even with the windows open half-way. Leaving your pet in your car in the summer 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 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 car 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 out of the sun when they need to, so if they are outside, you need to check on them regularly.
  • 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 from overheating 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 if the coat is severely matted and brushing out the mats would cause the pet distress. < FMI – Should you shave your dogs this summer?http://www.dogsnaturallymagazine.com/why-you-shouldnt-shave-your-dog-in-summer/ >
  • If the sun can get to your pet’s skin, you will need to apply sunscreen regularly 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
  • 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. You should be just as concerned about the temperature of the surface you are walking on (asphalt) as the air temperature.
  • Make sure your pet does not overly exert themselves. Exercise is essential, but too much activity when it’s hot and humid contributes to dehydration and can result in heatstroke. 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 pet’s feet. Check surfaces by placing the back of your hand on the surface and hold it there for five seconds. If the temperature is too hot for you, it is too hot for your dog’s Either walk your dog on the grass or use paw wax or dog boots designed to protect their pads.
  • To keep ourselves comfortable, 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.

Posters To Remind You ( click on image to download )

 

 

 

 

 

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 your dog how to enter and exit the pool from the shallow end safely. A life vest is just as appropriate for the pool as it is for the pond, lake, or ocean.
  • Saltwater can damage a dog’s coat and skin, 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, wet fur 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 summer 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 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. Please stop by and ask us about the latest products we have in the store to combat these pesky pests. 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. Avoid products containing DEET!
  • 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.
  • Ticks have become a very serious problem in Main, and it’s no longer just Lyme disease that is a concern. Tick-borne conditions we now need to worry about include; Anaplasmosis, Babesiosis, Borrelia miyamotoi, Ehrlichiosis, Lyme (Borrelia burgdorferi), Powassan Encephalitis, and Rocky Mountain Spotted Fever. There may be other tick-borne diseases not yet detected in Maine or not yet identified by medical science. The symptoms of tick-borne diseases go well beyond the classic bullseye rash and joint pain, and can even include severe behavioral symptoms. < FMITick-borne diseases in Maine – A Physician’s Reference Manualhttps://www.maine.gov/dhhs/mecdc/infectious-disease/epi/vector-borne/documents/tick-reference-guide.pdf >. The May 25, 2018 issue of The Week notes “Ticks and mosquitoes that can be found in the woods, fields, and even cities are transmitting Lyme disease, anaplasmosis, babesiosis, Rocky Mountain spotted fever and a host of other illnesses. Reported cases of these diseases more than tripled in 2004 and 2016, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.”
    • Keeping your yard well-maintained is key to keeping your pets tick free. Keeping the grass short and keeping the pets out of the brush are recommended. At Green Acres Kennel Shop we have been using a service to treat our lawn areas every month with a safe repellent made from essential oils, and it works very well. If you would like more information, contact Don.
    • You may also wish to use products with your pets to keep them safe from ticks. You have many choices. At Green Acres Kennel Shop, we are currently recommending safe and effective products from Earth Animal in the form of collars, liquid topical and herbs your pet gets in the form of a powder or liquid. < FMIProducts We Recommend – Earth Animal Tick & Flea Controlhttp://bit.ly/PrdRec-EarthAnimalTick-Flea >.
    • You should also definitely talk to your veterinarian about preventative products if your pet is likely to be in areas where they may pick up ticks. A discussion with your veterinarian is essential if you have multiple species of pets in your home as some of the products used for tick and flea controls on one species may be harmful to others. Also, be aware that the FDA has issued warnings on some of these products. < FMI –  Animal Drug Safety Communication: FDA Alerts Pet Owners and Veterinarians About Potential for Neurologic Adverse Events Associated with Certain Flea and Tick Products https://www.fda.gov/animal-veterinary/cvm-updates/animal-drug-safety-communication-fda-alerts-pet-owners-and-veterinarians-about-potential-neurologic
  • Fleas become more of a problem, 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.
    • Products to control fleas, often from the same sources cited above for use with ticks can be very helpful. Our personal preference is for those that are the least toxic, and are least likely to harm or pets, while still being effective.
  • While rare, pets can have an allergic reaction to being stung by bees, wasps, and the like. Such a sting can be more severe for brachycephalic pets because their breathing is already compromised due to their anatomy. 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 those above, 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 pet.

Outdoor Chemicals

Lawn fertilizers, herbicides, pesticides, fungicides, insecticides, rodenticides and all sorts of 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 cannot 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 have been applied. 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 a delicious scent to some animals.

 Family & 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 sure 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 not only be alarming 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

While there are more hotels, resorts, and campgrounds that are “pet-friendly,” most do not allow you to leave the pet in your room or at your campsite unattended. That may limit where you can go and what you can do on your vacation as there are many places pets are not allowed, such as restaurants, museums, and other tourist attractions.

  • If you travel with your pet, even just to camp, make sure they are wearing ID tags or have been micro-chipped. You may want a unique ID tag just for when you travel that lists your mobile phone number or the name of the place you and your pet are staying.
  • Take your pet’s medical 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)

Products We Recommend – Earth Animal Tick & Flea Controlhttp://bit.ly/PrdRec-EarthAnimalTick-Flea

Mighty Dog Graphics – Summer Heat Hazardshttps://www.greenacreskennel.com/blog/2018/05/27/shared-facebook-post-mighty-dog-graphics-summer-heat-hazards/

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 Pets http://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/

Other On-Line Resources

Tick-borne diseases in Maine – A Physician’s Reference Manualhttps://www.maine.gov/dhhs/mecdc/infectious-disease/epi/vector-borne/documents/tick-reference-guide.pdf

Animal Drug Safety Communication: FDA Alerts Pet Owners and Veterinarians About Potential for Neurologic Adverse Events Associated with Certain Flea and Tick Products https://www.fda.gov/animal-veterinary/cvm-updates/animal-drug-safety-communication-fda-alerts-pet-owners-and-veterinarians-about-potential-neurologic

Should you shave your dogs this summer?http://www.dogsnaturallymagazine.com/why-you-shouldnt-shave-your-dog-in-summer/

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

Summer and Hot Weather Pet Care Tips 2021 – https://traffic.libsyn.com/secure/woofmeowshow/WoofMeowShow-2021-06-05-Summer_and_Hot_Weather_Pet_Care-2021.mp3

Summer and Hot Weather Pet Care Tips 2019  – http://traffic.libsyn.com/woofmeowshow/WoofMeowShow-2019-06-08-Summer_and_Hot_Weather_Pet_Care_2019.mp3

Summer and Hot Weather Pet Care Tips 2018  – https://www.greenacreskennel.com/blog/2018/05/27/podcast-summer-seasonal-pet-tips-2018/

Summer and Hot Weather Pet Care Tips 2017 – https://www.greenacreskennel.com/blog/2017/06/12/podcast-summer-seasonal-pet-tips-2017/

Summer and Hot Weather Pet Care Tips 2016http://traffic.libsyn.com/woofmeowshow/WoofMeowShow2016-06-18-Summer_Seasonal_Pet_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 July http://traffic.libsyn.com/woofmeowshow/Pet_Tip-2015-06-28-4th_of_July.mp3

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