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The Heat is on: What to Do If You See a Pet in a Hot Car
Be Careful When Walking Your Dog During the Hot Summer Months
Ensure Your Pets Are Safe Around the Pool

The Heat is on: What to Do If You See a Pet in a Hot Car
When temperatures rise, pets left in hot cars is a constant issue. It’s important to know what to do if you witness an incident.

Oftentimes, a person will leave their pet in a car believing they’ll be gone for minutes. That can turn into much longer putting the pet in grave danger.

There are days that don’t seem very hot, but the inside of a car heats up fast and becomes a literal deathtrap for pets and humans, too!

According to the article, “Pets in Vehicles,” at American Veterinary Medical Association (,“The temperature inside your vehicle can rise almost 20º F in just 10 minutes. In 20 minutes, it can rise almost 30º F…and the longer you wait, the higher it goes. At 60 minutes, the temperature in your vehicle can be more than 40 degrees higher than the outside temperature. Even on a 70-degree day, that’s 110 degrees inside your vehicle!”

If you see a pet left in a hot car, here are things to do, according to the article, “What to do if you see a pet in a parked car,” at (HSUS):

• Write down the vehicle’s make, model and license plate.
• If you’re near a business, ask the manager to help find the owner. “Many people are unaware of the danger of leaving pets in hot cars and will quickly return to their vehicle once they are alerted to the situation,” the article said.
• If you can’t find the owner, call the non-emergency number for your local police or animal control.

“In several states good Samaritans can legally remove animals from cars under certain circumstances, so be sure to know the laws in your area and follow any steps required,” the HSUS article said.

Click this link to find out about the laws in your state.

Be Careful When Walking Your Dog During the Hot Summer Months
Some of the best times are had during the summer. When it gets very hot, it’s important to be careful. That also goes for your dog, especially when you take him for a walk.

Asphalt and pavement can become so hot during the summer making it dangerous to walk your dog. However, there are things you can do to ensure your dog can get out on a walk and avoid heat-related issues.

Make sure your dog doesn’t get overheated. Know the symptoms, “which include excessive panting or difficulty breathing, increased heart and respiratory rate, drooling, mild weakness, stupor or even collapse,” according to the article, “Hot Weather Safety Tips” at “Symptoms can also include seizures, bloody diarrhea and vomit along with an elevated body temperature of over 104 degrees.”

Be aware of the time of day when walking your dog. “When the temperature is very high, don’t let your dog linger on hot asphalt,” the article said. You dog’s body can heat up very fast while his paw pads can burn.

Certain dogs are more susceptible to the heat, according to the article, “7 Summer Dog Walking Tips You Should Keep in Mind” at They include older dogs, dogs with short snouts, and dogs who may have an illness.

The petMD article offers the following tips:

• Walk your dog before 9 a.m. and after 6 p.m., avoiding peak hours.
• Find that shady part of the street.
• Always bring water for you and your dog.
• Be careful of hot pavement: The sidewalk is better than the street, but grass is even better.
• Don’t go too fast.
• Enjoy a time-out in a shady spot.

When you’re ready to get moving again, get on home, get some water, and enjoy a movie and the A/C with your best friend.

Ensure Your Pets Are Safe Around the Pool
The heat’s on and that often means everyone into the pool! If you have a dog (or cat), it’s important that they are safe around the pool to prevent accidents.

It’s a myth that all dogs know how to swim, and you won’t know until your dog is introduced to the water. Find a quiet spot and teach her the basics, according to the article, “Dogs and Water Safety” at Here’s some tips:

• Work with your dog in a quiet, shallow spot.
• Keep your dog on a leash while she learns.
• Be in the water with your dog.
• Don’t force your dog to go in.
• When your dog paddles using her front legs, lift the hind legs, showing her how to float, the WebMD article said.

Ensure there is a fence around your pool, keep a sturdy cover over the pool when it’s not in use, teach your dog how to get in and out of the pool, and ensure the temperature isn’t too cold before getting in with your dog.

Other important safety measures for your pet include a life jacket that’s just for your dog, according to the article, “Create a Safe Swimming Pool for Your Pup” at

Whether your pool is salt water or chlorine, be sure your dog does not ingest too much water, which can be done by continually retrieving a ball. According to the Vetstreet article, chlorine can cause water intoxication in your dog while saltwater pools can bring about hypernatremia, which is salt intoxication.

“Rinsing off after a dip in either type of pool is recommended, but you probably don’t need to give your dog a full bath with shampoo every time he finishes swimming,” the Vetstreet article said.

Keep your pet safe around the pool, and you’ll both have fun.

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Warmer Weather, Thicker Coats: How to Groom Your Pets
Why Some Dogs are Leash Reactive and What to Do?
Introducing Baby to Your Fur Baby: The Dos and Don’ts

Warmer Weather, Thicker Coats: How to Groom Your Pets
Some people are not sure of how to groom their thick-coated pets in warmer weather. There are many things to take into consideration, including ensuring that your pet is comfortable because the heat is on its way.

Don’t Shave!

Some pet parents resort to shaving their dog or cat during the hotter months, but hold on!

“Our pets’ coats have several layers that are essential to their comfort in the heat,” according to the article, “Heat Wave Approaching! Should You Shave Your Pet?” at “Robbing your dog or cat of this natural cooling system can lead to discomfort, overheating and other serious dangers like sunburn or skin cancer.”

Stick to a shorter “summer cut” or let them shed naturally. Also remember to provide shade and water when your pet is outside with you.

“Extreme heat can pose a real threat to cats and dogs, just as it can to humans,” according to the article, “Grooming Tips for Warm Weather” at “Cats and dogs simply cannot tolerate extreme temperatures. As a responsible pet owner, it’s up to you to make sure your pet is safe during warm weather conditions.”

Ensure your pet is groomed properly when it’s warmer. The PetAssure article advises to keep your dog’s coat free of mats and dirt. Other tips include:

• Regular brushing to remove undercoat
• Frequently brush to prevent matted fur
• Clip long hair on dogs and cats
• Don’t cut hair too short; pets can get sunburn plus you don’t want to damage the coat for the winter
• Trim hair around paws and hindquarters
• Check your pet’s coat for insects
• Bathe your pet especially if he likes to play in dirt

Groom accordingly for the hotter weather, but keep it up all year long as well. Your pets will thank you.

Why Some Dogs are Leash Reactive and What to Do?
It can be very frustrating and sometimes a little scary if you have a leash-reactive dog.

According to the article, “These Dog Training Tips Can Help Your Pup Overcome Leash Reactivity,” at, “Leash-reactive dogs are triggered by stimuli in the environment, responding with over-the-top behaviors that increase stress levels for the pet parent, the dog and everyone within barking distance.”

You may think that a leashed dog who barks, growls or lunges wants to start something with the “trigger.” However, “many dogs exhibit those types of reactions in an effort to increase their distance from the triggering stimulus,” the article said.

What may seem aggressive could be anxiety or fear – it’s defensive.

Causes of leash reactivity can include:

• No socialization as a puppy
• Bad experiences on a walk

Gentle training methods can help. The purpose is “changing your dog’s perception of the stressor.”

• Use high-value treats and a “marker” (clicker or verbal word).
• Determine your dog’s “buffer zone” and don’t get too close to the trigger.
• When your dog sees the trigger, mark that moment with a click or the verbal word then give the treat.
• Continue by marking and rewarding until trigger can’t be seen.

Your dog should start to realize the “trigger” means something good will occur. If all goes well, you can start decreasing “the distance between your dog and the trigger during walks, always making sure that your dog is relaxed and still able to eat treats as you get closer,” the article said.

“In an emergency, if your dog becomes overwhelmingly worked up at the sight of an approaching dog, you can distract him by tossing treats on the ground for him to pick up until the other dog is past,” according to the article, “Help! My Dog Lunges at Other Dogs,” at

Introducing Baby to Your Fur Baby: The Dos and Don’ts
If you’re getting ready to bring home a newborn baby, be sure you do the right things if you have existing fur babies at home.

Start preparing your family pet months in advance for the new arrival.

For dogs

If your dog hasn’t been around children, she may find things upsetting. Her schedule will change as will yours. Prepare and teach her skills to interact with baby and help adjust to the new changes, according to the article, “Dogs and Babies” at

“Teaching your dog some basic obedience skills will help you manage her behavior when the baby comes,” the article said.

The article offers some tips, including:

• Four months before baby, slowly introduce your dog to new sights, sounds, smells of the baby, and associate with rewards.
• One to two months before baby arrives, start making the changes that will affect your dog’s routine.
• Be calm during the introduction. Speak to your dog calmly and in a positive manner.
• “Never force your dog to interact with your baby,” the article said.
• Seek professional advice if you see any aggressive behavior.

For cats

There are stories that cats and babies don’t mix, but they are mainly tales. However, toxoplasmosis is real, so while you are pregnant, make sure your cat is kept indoors at all times.

Prepare your cat for the newborn throughout your pregnancy, according to the article, “Prepare Your Cat for Your New Baby,” at

• Play tapes of baby noises.
• Set up nursery furniture early but set limits to where your cat can go.
• Make surfaces unwelcoming using double-sided adhesive tape.
• Place a piece of the baby’s blanket or clothing in a quiet area for your cat to investigate.

Never leave your infant alone with any companion animal. Prepare ahead for a positive transition.

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Spring Allergies in Pets and What You Can Do to Help
The Good, The Bad and The Ugly: Choosing the Right Pet Food
How to Care for Your Senior Family Pet

Spring Allergies in Pets and What You Can Do to Help
Although you might be happy that spring is approaching with some warmer weather, it also often means allergy season is not far behind. Those allergies might not just affect you, they could also affect your pet.

While human allergies usually are respiratory in nature, pet allergies typically affect the skin more often than not, such as skin irritation or inflammation, “a condition called allergic dermatitis,” according to the article, “If Your Dog is Itchy or Your Cat is Wheezy, You Need to Read This” at Healthy Pets.

Your pet’s allergies will cause itchy skin leading to excessive scratching. “As the itch-scratch cycle continues, her skin will become inflamed and tender to the touch,” the article said. “Other signs of allergic dermatitis include areas of hair loss, open sores on the skin, and scabbing.” Additionally, pets who have allergies often get ear problems, especially dogs. It is evident when the pet scratches her ears or shakes her head. An infection can bring about discharge and a bad smell as well.

The article said that other signs in pets with allergies include:
• Puffy red eyes
• Red oral tissue
• Red chin
• Red paws
• Red anus

And because allergies can easily become worse with time, seeing a veterinarian is important. “Your veterinarian may perform diagnostic tests to identify skin and ear infections and rule out diseases that mimic the symptoms of allergies,” according to the article, “It’s Spring and My Pet Itches! A Look at Seasonal Allergies” at American Veterinarian.

Treatments can vary but may include medicated shampoos and conditioners, antihistamines, antibiotics, and antifungal drugs, among others. According to the American Veterinarian article, your pet may do well to see a veterinary dermatologist.

Don’t let your pet’s allergies go without proper treatment. Seek out professional help to ensure your pet’s condition is managed properly.

The Good, The Bad and The Ugly: Choosing the Right Pet Food
It’s not uncommon these days to see articles all over the Internet about pet food recalls, essentially scaring pet parents. What food should you choose? Dry food? Wet food? Store bought? Specialty store bought? Raw food? Home-cooked food? Natural food? How do you know?

First, begin reading labels and doing your own research. According to the Petful article, “A Quick Guide to Choosing the Best Pet Food for a Long, Healthy Life,” maybe your pet has been OK on a low-quality brand, but it might not be the best choice. “Even a claim of ‘human-grade meat’ is questionable,” the article said. “For example, meat that was once deemed safe for people may have spoiled and found its way into the pet food.”

The article states that if you’re searching for a commercial dog or cat food that is healthy as a base, when looking at labels, search for “high in protein and low in fillers.” Also, try to avoid the inexpensive fillers often found in lower-quality pet food.

Typically, many supermarket and chain store pet foods are low quality. Oftentimes “animal fat” is present, which can mean a variety of negative things. “Not to mention, the chemical additives and preservatives used to process animal fats may cause chronic allergies and skin problems,” the article said. “With a super premium food, you’ll get higher-quality fats — vegetable oils rather than highly processed animal fats.”

High-quality pet foods are free from by-products, fillers, and chemical preservatives and instead have ingredients that “include unrefined, minimally processed foods such as vegetables, fruits, whole grains, healthy fats and proteins,” according to the article, “Why You Should Feed High-Quality Dog Food and Cat Food” at

While a lower-quality food may meet basic requirements, the higher quality foods are better for your pet’s health and wellness.

How to Care for Your Senior Family Pet
As your pet gets older and becomes a senior, it’s important to be aware of any of the physical and mental changes that occur. Caring for a senior pet is different than a younger one, and that can include changes in diet and exercise, and more trips to your veterinarian.

If you have a dog, keep your eyes open for anything that seems out of the ordinary, as dogs can hide health issues, according to the article, “Caring for Senior Dogs: What You Need to Know” at “Routine exams, preventive medicine and adjustments to your dog’s lifestyle can help your pooch stay healthy even as the years creep up,” the article said.

According to the article, here are some issues that may arise in your senior dog:
• Arthritis
• Cancer
• Cognitive disorders
• Intestinal problems
• Deafness
• Dental disease
• Vision problems

Just as in dogs, cats’ health requirements also change with age. “Like people, aging cats are often faced with a wide variety of age-related, life changes and basic healthy habits become even more important with passing time,” according to the article, “Caring for a Senior Cat: 7 Healthy Habits” at Pet Health Network.

The following are some things you can do for your senior feline:

• Keep senior cats indoors
• Ensure your senior cat doesn’t become overweight
• Keep up on regular veterinary visits for appropriate vaccinations to prevent infectious diseases
• Grooming and hygiene including dental cleanings
• Keep senior cats active

Just as in humans, your senior pets face a variety of age-related health changes both physically and mentally. Monitor them carefully, take note if any major changes occur, and keep your veterinarian abreast of any issues. By doing so, senior pets can continue to live healthy and happy lives.