Pet Safety Tips from the ASPCA
- Top Ten Cold Weather Tips
- Top ten Hot Weather Tips
- Top Ten Tips For Safe Air Travel with Your Pet
- Top Ten Tips for Safe Car Travel with your Pet
- Top Ten Safety Halloween Tips for Pet Parents
Top Ten Cold Weather Tips
Brrrr…it’s cold outside! The following guidelines will help you protect your companion animals when the mercury dips.
1. Keep your cat inside. Outdoors, felines can freeze, become lost or be stolen, injured or killed. Cats who are allowed to stray are exposed to infectious diseases, including rabies, from other cats, dogs and wildlife.
2. During the winter, outdoor cats sometimes sleep under the hoods of cars. When the motor is started, the cat can be injured or killed by the fan belt. If there are outdoor cats in your area, bang loudly on the car hood before starting the engine to give the cat a chance to escape.
3. Never let your dog off the leash on snow or ice, especially during a snowstorm—dogs can lose their scent and easily become lost. More dogs are lost during the winter than during any other season, so make sure yours always wears ID tags.
4. Thoroughly wipe off your dog's legs and stomach when he comes in out of the sleet, snow or ice. He can ingest salt, antifreeze or other potentially dangerous chemicals while licking his paws, and his paw pads may also bleed from snow or encrusted ice.
5. Never shave your dog down to the skin in winter, as a longer coat will provide more warmth. When you bathe your dog in the colder months, be sure to completely dry him before taking him out for a walk. Own a short-haired breed? Consider getting him a coat or sweater with a high collar or turtleneck with coverage from the base of the tail to the belly. For many dogs, this is regulation winter wear.
6. Never leave your dog or cat alone in a car during cold weather. A car can act as a refrigerator in the winter, holding in the cold and causing the animal to freeze to death.
7. Puppies do not tolerate the cold as well as adult dogs, and may be difficult to housebreak during the winter. If your puppy appears to be sensitive to the weather, you may opt to paper-train him inside. If your dog is sensitive to the cold due to age, illness or breed type, take him outdoors only to relieve himself.
8. Does your dog spend a lot of time engaged in outdoor activities? Increase his supply of food, particularly protein, to keep him—and his fur—in tip-top shape.
9. Like coolant, antifreeze is a lethal poison for dogs and cats. Be sure to thoroughly clean up any spills from your vehicle, and consider using products that contain propylene glycol rather than ethylene glycol. Visit the ASPCA Animal Poison Control Center more information.
10. Make sure your companion animal has a warm place to sleep, off the floor and away from all drafts. A cozy dog or cat bed with a warm blanket or pillow is perfect.
Top ten Hot Weather Tips
In summertime, the living isn’t always easy for our animal friends. Dogs and cats can suffer from the same problems that humans do, such as overheating, dehydration and even sunburn. By taking some simple precautions, you can celebrate the season and keep your pets happy and healthy.
1. A visit to the veterinarian for a spring or early summer check-up is a must; add to that a test for heartworm, if your dog isn't on year-round preventive medication. Do parasites bug your animal companions? Ask your doctor to recommend a safe, effective flea and tick control program.
2. Never leave your pet alone in a vehicle—hyperthermia can be fatal. Even with the windows open, a parked automobile can quickly become a furnace in no time. Parking in the shade offers little protection, as the sun shifts during the day.
3. Always carry a gallon thermos filled with cold, fresh water when traveling with your pet.
4. The right time for playtime is in the cool of the early morning or evening, but never after a meal or when the weather is humid.
5. Street smarts: When the temperature is very high, don’t let your dog standing on hot asphalt. His or her body can heat up quickly, and sensitive paw pads can burn. Keep walks during these times to a minimum.
6. A day at the beach is a no-no, unless you can guarantee a shaded spot and plenty of fresh water for your companion. Salty dogs should be rinsed off after a dip in the ocean.
7. Provide fresh water and plenty of shade for animals kept outdoors; a properly constructed doghouse serves best. Bring your dog or cat inside during the heat of the day to rest in a cool part of the house.
8. Be especially sensitive to older and overweight animals in hot weather. Brachycephalic or snub-nosed dogs such as bulldogs, pugs, Boston terriers, Lhasa apsos and shih tzus, as well as those with heart or lung diseases, should be kept cool in air-conditioned rooms as much as possible.
9. When walking your dog, steer clear of areas that you suspect have been sprayed with insecticides or other chemicals. And please be alert for coolant or other automotive fluid leaking from your vehicle. Animals are attracted to the sweet taste, and ingesting just a small amount can be fatal. Call your veterinarian or the ASPCA Animal Poison Control Center at (888) 426-4435 if you suspect that your animal has been poisoned.
10. Good grooming can stave off summer skin problems, especially for dogs with heavy coats. Shaving the hair to a one-inch length—never down to the skin, please, which robs Rover of protection from the sun—helps prevent overheating. Cats should be brushed often.
Bonus tip: Please make sure that there are no open, unscreened windows or doors in your home through which animals can fall or jump.
Top Ten Tips For Safe Air Travel with Your Pet
Traveling can be highly stressful, both for you and the four-legged members of your family. But with thoughtful preparation, you can ensure a safe and comfortable trip for everyone.
The ASPCA urges pet owners to think twice about flying their pets on commercial airlines, especially if they plan on checking them in as cargo. The Air Transport Association has reported that in the past, approximately 5,000 pets—or 1 percent of the companion animals are flown on commercial planes—have been injured, lost or killed during transport.
"e;Unless your animal is small enough to fit under your seat and you can bring him or her in the cabin, the ASPCA recommends pet owners to not fly their animal,"e; says Lisa Weisberg, ASPCA Senior Vice President of Government Affairs and Public Policy. If pet owners have already committed to transporting their pets on commercial airlines, the ASPCA is offering the following top ten tips for safe air travel with your pet:
1. Make an appointment with your pet's veterinarian for a check-up, and make sure all vaccinations are up-to-date. Obtain a health certificate from your veterinarian dated within 10 days of departure.
2. Make sure your pet is wearing a collar and an identification tag. Breakaway collars are best for cats. The collar should also include destination information in case your pet escapes.
3. Book a direct flight whenever possible. This will decrease the chances that your pet is left on the tarmac during extreme weather conditions or mishandled by baggage personnel.
4. Purchase a USDA-approved shipping crate that is large enough for your pet to stand, sit and turn around in comfortably. Shipping crates can be purchased from many pet supply stores and airlines.
5. Write the words "e;Live Animal"e; in letters at least one inch tall on top of and at least one side of the crate. Use arrows to prominently indicate the upright position of the crate. On the top of the crate, write the name, address and telephone number of your pet's destination point, and whether you will be accompanying him or if someone else is picking him up. Make sure that the door is securely closed, but not locked, so that airline personnel can open it in case of an emergency. Line the crate bottom with some type of bedding—shredded paper or towels— to absorb accidents.
6. Affix a current photograph of your pet to the top of the crate for identification purposes. Should your pet escape from the carrier, this could be a lifesaver. You should also carry a photograph of your pet.
7. The night before you leave, make sure you’ve frozen a small dish or tray of water for your pet. This way, it can’t spill during loading, and will melt by the time he’s thirsty. Tape a small pouch, preferably cloth, of dried food outside the crate. Airline personnel will be able to feed your pet in case he gets hungry on long-distance flights or a layover.
8. Tranquilizing your pet is generally not recommended, as it could hamper his breathing. Check with your veterinarian first.
9. Tell every airline employee you encounter, on the ground and in the air, that you are traveling with a pet in the cargo hold. This way, they’ll be ready if any additional considerations or attention is needed.
10. If the plane is delayed, or if you have any concerns about the welfare of your pet, insist that airline personnel check the animal whenever feasible. In certain situations, removing the animal from the cargo hold and deplaneing may be warranted.
Top Ten Tips for Safe Car Travel with your Pet
For some pet parents, a trip’s no fun if the four-legged members of the family can’t come. But traveling can be highly stressful, both for you and your animal companions. With thoughtful preparation, you can ensure a safe and comfortable trip for everyone.
Planning a road trip? Traveling with a pet involves more than just loading the animal in the back seat and motoring off—especially if you will be driving long distances or plan to be away for a long time. The ASPCA offers the following tips to help you prepare for a safe and smooth car trip:
1. Keep your pets safe and secure in a well-ventilated crate or carrier. There are a variety of wire mesh, hard plastic and soft-sided carriers available. Whatever you choose, make sure it’s large enough for your pet to stand, sit, lie down and turn around in. And P.S., it’s smart to get your pet used to the carrier in the comfort of your home before your trip.
2. Get your pet geared up for a long trip by taking him on a series of short drives first, gradually lengthening time spent in the car.
3. Your pet’s travel-feeding schedule should start with a light meal three to four hours prior to departure. Don’t feed your furry friend in a moving vehicle—even if it is a long drive.
4. Never leave your animal alone in a parked vehicle. On a hot day, even with the windows open, a parked automobile can become a furnace in no time, and heatstroke can develop. In cold weather, a car can act as a refrigerator, holding in the cold and causing the animal to freeze to death.
5. What in your pet’s traveling kit? In addition to travel papers, food, bowl, leash, a waste scoop, plastic bags, grooming supplies, medication and a pet first-aid kit, pack a favorite toy or pillow to give your pet a sense of familiarity.
6. Make sure your pet wears a collar with an ID tag imprinted with your home address, as well as a temporary travel tag with your cell phone, destination phone number, and any other relevant contact information. Canines should wear flat (never choke!) collars, please.
7. Don't allow your pet to ride with his head outside the window. This can subject him to inner ear damage and lung infections, and he could be injured by flying objects.
8. Traveling across state lines? Bring along your pet’s rabies vaccination record, as some states requires this proof at certain interstate crossings. While this generally isn’t a problem, it’s always smart to be on the safe side.
9. When it comes to H2O, we say BYO. Opt for bottled water or tap water stored in plastic jugs. Drinking water from an area he’s not used to could result in tummy upset for your pet.
10. If you travel frequently with your pet, you may want to invest in rubberized floor liners and waterproof seat covers, available at auto product retailers.
Top Ten Safety Halloween Tips for Pet Parents
Attention, companion animal caretakers! The ASPCA would like to call your attention to these common-sense cautions that’ll help keep your pets safe and stress-free this time of year.
1. Please don't leave your pet out in the yard on Halloween. There are plenty of stories of vicious pranksters who have teased, injured, stolen, and even killed pets on this night.
2. Keep your outdoor cats inside several days before and several days after Halloween. (P.S. It’s also our duty to remind you here that kitties are healthiest and happiest when they live inside ALL year round!)
3. No tricks, no treats: That bowlful of candy is for trick-or-treaters, not for Scruffy and Sammy. Chocolate in all forms can be very dangerous for dogs and cats, and tin foil and cellophane candy wrappers can be hazardous if swallowed. If you suspect your pet has ingested a potentially dangerous substance, please call your veterinarian or the ASPCA Animal Poison Control Center at (888) 426-4435.
4. A carved pumpkin certainly is festive, but do exercise extreme caution if you choose to add a candle. Pets can easily knock a lit pumpkin over and cause a fire. Curious kittens especially run the risk of getting burned or singed by candle flames.
5. Dress-up can be a big mess-up for some pets. Please don't put your dog or cat in a costume UNLESS you know he or she loves it (yup, a few pets are real hams!). For pets who prefer their “birthday suits,” however, wearing a costume can cause undue stress.
6. If you do dress up your pet, make sure the costume isn't annoying or unsafe. It should not constrict the animal's movement or hearing, or impede his ability to breathe or bark. Keep a look out for small, dangling, or easily chewed-off pieces on the costume that your pet could choke on.
7. Take a closer look at your pet’s costume and make sure it does not obstruct her vision in any way. Even the sweetest animals can get snappy when they can't see.
8. All but the most social dogs and cats should be kept in a separate room during peak trick-or-treat visiting hours. Too many strangers can be scary and stressful for pets.
9. When opening the door for trick-or-treaters, take care that your cat or dog doesn't dart outside.
10. IDs, please! Always make sure your dog or cat has proper identification. If for any reason your pet escapes and become lost, a collar and tags and/or a microchip increase the chances that he or she will be returned to you.
For additional Safety Information click onwww.aspca.org -"e;Copyright c 2006 The American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals. Reprinted with permission of the ASPCA. All Rights Reserved"e;.
Top 10 Pet Poisons
Medications for humans
It only takes four regular strength ibuprofen tablets to cause serious kidney problems in a 10lb dog. Just one extra strength acetaminophen pill can be deadly for a cat.
Only use flea and tick formulas made specifically for pets, follow the instructions carefully and be careful not to let your pet around any other chemicals used to kill ants, roaches or other insects.
Read the labels carefully and follow the directions exactly as written. Don’t leave the
medication where a pet can get into it or be tempted to eat it. Keep in mind that a lot
pet medications now have flavoring added to appeal to the animal.
Following is a short list of the many plants and flowers that can be poisonous to your pet: Lilies, sago palms, rhododendrons, azaleas, Kalanchoes and scheffleras. The list is so extensive it is best not to allow your pet to ingest any flowers or plant leaves.
Rat and mice poisons and traps should only be used where your pets can’t get near them.
Laundry soap, bleach, all cleaning agents and disinfectants should be stored where pets can’t come in contact with them.
The darker the chocolate, the more toxic it is. Baking chocolate is especially bad. It only takes 2 ounces to cause serious problems in a 10 lb. dog.
Antifreeze, paint thinner, pool treatments, ethylene glycol, drain cleaners, alcohols, petroleum based products, ice melting products, acids and gases should all be kept where pets can’t come in contact with them
Anything that can cause an obstruction in a pet’s airway (choking hazards) or stomach or intestines should be out of reach. Bones, tape, papers, small toy parts are just a few of the many examples. If your pet has a tendency to chew on leashes or collars, keep them out of reach when not in use.
Other Home Products
Glues, solvents, paints all need to be kept away from curious pets.
If you suspect your pet has been poisoned, call the Pet Poison Hotline or your Veterinarian immediately. The ASPCA has an animal poison control center that is available 24hr/365 days of the year. TEL:(888) 426-4435.
A $55 consultation fee may be applied to your credit card.