Archive for the ‘pet first aid’ Category

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14 Jun 11

by Robyn Elman, In Home Pet Services, Inc.

Pet Sitter Summer Safety Tips

Pet Sitters and dog walkers typically enjoy the warmer weather that spring and summer bring, and this is especially true this year, after a harsh, cold, snowy winter that seemed like it would never end. New York is definitely a place with extreme temperatures on either side of the mercury, and this spring has already seen temperatures reaching above 95 degrees.

On these extreme days with high heat and humidity, it’s important to make some changes in your pet’s daily routine with your pet sitter. For example, if you’re high energy dog usually gets an hour walk or run at the dog park, consider splitting the visit between inside and outside time, allowing your pet, and walker, to cool down from the heat. Keep a doggie water bottle next to the leash for your walker to take with them on the walk, and feel free to leave a bottle for the human as well.

Consider leaving the air conditioner on for your pet during the day, which your sitter will also surely enjoy after being in the heat all day. It’s also important to leave instructions on how to use an air conditioner in your house or apartment, and what settings you prefer. You should leave it up to your sitter’s discretion if the air needs to be left on for your pet.

If you are leaving for vacation, keep an eye on the expected weather for the day. Just because it’s a nice cool morning, doesn’t mean you can leave your pets outside until the sitter comes for the next visit. (Also note that NYS law requires any pet left outside to have proper shelter, fresh water and in some areas cannot be tied up for more than 3 hours at a time). Several years ago, on a particularly humid day, I was informed that the client left her dogs (English & French Bulldogs) in an outside enclosure, and I would find them there when I arrived for the first visit of a pet sitting that I was doing for the week. When I arrived, I was horrified to see that one the English bulldogs lying down, not moving, and upon closer examination not breathing either. He had died from heatstroke. This case was also the impetus for me becoming a Pet First Aid & CPR instructor so I could help teach people how to prevent death and injury to their pets. After all, preventable accidents are the leading cause of death in pre-senior dogs and cats, and this was certainly one of those cases.

If you hire a sitter to care for your dog on the 4th of July, let them know how your pet may react to the loud noises, or where they may be hiding in the house. Limit the amount of time they stay outside, and allow your sitter to turn the radio or television on for your pet if they feel it will help. Keep a leash handy also if the dog is normally just let in the yard by your sitter – leashing the dog during a time of year that fireworks may be occurring nearby is a safety precaution. Some dogs can be so terrified they will find anyway to get out of the yard and run for cover – simply having the sitter leash the dog and “walk” him in the yard will really help the dog from bolting.

Keeping your pet sitter in mind, as well as your pet, can make for a happy, healthy, and safer summer for all. Enjoy the season!

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26 May 11

by Nancy E. Hassel, LIPetPlace.com

Breath of Fresh Air

While many of our volunteer fire companies on Long Island have been struggling to keep our animal friends safe, they are unable to purchase pet oxygen masks and as a result animals from dogs to cats are being put in serious danger, with many dying from the effects of smoke asphyxiation.  Pets in Suffolk County will now be breathing easier, and so will some of our local fire departments all because of the efforts of two teenage boys in Dix Hills and their partnership with Canine Fence.    Matthew and Marc Klinger, 15 and 13, co-founders of the Paws4Air foundation wanted to change that.  They started Paws4Air when they found out that their fire department did not carry pet oxygen masks on any of their fire trucks. Fire departments cannot use their money to buy these masks, because they can only purchase equipment that is used to help humans. They quickly used their birthday money to purchase the sets needed for their fire department. “Our goal is to equip every first response truck in Suffolk County with the much needed pet oxygen masks.” said Matthew and Marc.

Paws4Air created pet oxygen awareness bands that they sell to raise funds and awareness. Bands can be purchased from their website www.paws4air.org . They have had great help in selling the bands to students in their school district, Half Hollow Hills from the Animal Friends and Advocates Clubs at both the high schools, East and West, and the Leaders Club at West Hollow Middle School.

With their good fortune to partner up with Canine Fence, Paws4Air will be able to obtain their goal much faster!  Canine Fence have generously pledged to donate 50 Project Breathe O2 pet masks to help in the effort to equip every first response fire truck in Suffolk County, Long Island. As well as match one set for every one set purchased through fundraising by Paws 4Air. With the donations from Canine Fence and the sales of awareness bands, Paws4Air were able to give the fire companies in Commack, East Northport, and Elwood pet oxygen masks. In the next few weeks, many more fire departments in the Suffolk county area will be getting their sets!

Thanks to the efforts of two young men, and their charitable organization Paws4Air along with the contributions of Canine Fence® steps are being taken in the right direction.

Photo (left to right) Maryflorence Brennan (Canine Fence), Kieran Keane (Commack Fire Department), Marc Klinger (Paws4Air), Matthew Klinger (Paws4Air)

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21 Apr 11

by Robyn Elman,  In Home Pet Services, Inc.

April is Pet First Aid Awareness Month

Would you know what to do if you pet was choking? What if your pet ate an onion, or worse, got hit by a car? According to the American Animal Hospital Association, 1 out of every 4 more pets would have survived if only one pet first aid technique was applied prior to them receiving emergency veterinary care. Every person that owns a pet or works with pets, especially pet professionals, should be trained in the lifesaving skills of Pet First Aid and CPR. April is Pet First Aid Awareness Month and if there is not a pet first aid or CPR class near offered near you, here are important life saving tips that any pet owner should know:

1. Remember than many foods are poisonous to our pets. When cooking for a family get together, stress the importance to your guests to not feed your pet table food – no matter how cute they are or how much they beg! Common foods such as onions, grapes, raisins, chocolate and even some sugarless items (xylitol) are toxic to our pets.

2. As spring and summer approach and warm up the temperature, never leave your pet in a car unattended. On a 78 degree day, all cars can become deadly within 15 minutes – even with the windows open.

3. Put together a pet first aid kit and keep one in your house and one in the car with you when you travel. Some common items to keep in your kit should include: sterile gauze and bandages; triple antibiotic ointment; hydrogen peroxide, (in pre-measured doses of 1tbsp for every 15lbs in a dropper bottle), in case you need to induce vomiting; scissors; tweezers; and an emergency muzzle.

4. An injured pet that is in pain, or going to be moved while in pain, can and will bite; for your safety muzzle the pet before moving or treating it – but be sure never to muzzle any pet who it vomiting or having breathing problems.

5. If your pet is having a seizure, never place anything in their mouths, and reduce external stimuli like shutting off the lights, radio and TV.

6. Keep your pet up to date on their checkups and vaccinations. Cats should have a checkup once a year and senior pets every 6 months.

7. Take a pet first aid and CPR class by a certified Pet Tech. This can be life saving for your pet and teach you how to address a simple wound that could happen out on a walk with your pet.

8. Know the numbers of the nearest Animal Emergency Hospitals in your area along with pet poison control numbers. Have them programmed into your cell phone and place them on your frig.

9. Stay Calm. Your pets will pick up on your excited state.

10. Don’t let your pets drink out of streams or any water that you wouldn’t drink out of. Always carry fresh bottled water for them wherever you are taking them.

For more information on the next Pet CPR & First Aid Class offered on Long Island click here.

Robyn Elman, President, In Home Pet Services, Inc. teaching a recent Pet CPR & First Aid class.

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16 Apr 11

by Susan Chamberlain of 14KaratParrot

Traveling or Moving, with pet birds?

Planning to travel with your bird? Whether it’s a vacation or relocation, the trip can be a positive experience for both of you. My first long-distance move with a carload of parrots was a revelation. In spite of my insecurities (Would the birds eat? Would they be traumatized?), my flock traveled extremely well. I had even believed the Amazons would be stressed to the point of silence during the trip. At the first bridge plaza they proved me wrong and gave the toll collector an earful. Four moves and 15 years later, the “green gang” is still thriving.

Okay, you’ve got the travel cage or carrier, cover, portable T-stand and first aid kit. Now it’s time to think about food and water. Tailor my “Top Ten” list to you specific needs:

#1. Resist the urge to share “fast food”, or even restaurant food with your birds! Sure, that burger you got at the drive-through is delicious, but it may be contaminated with enough e-coli to make your bird desperately ill. Tasty tacos, embellished with cheese and salsa may be loaded with enough sodium to cause salt toxicity. You’re miles from a familiar veterinarian. What now? Tempt your pet with tasty avian snacks at meal stops instead.

#2. Bring along a supply of bottled water for your bird to drink. Water supplies along your route may be ’safe’ to drink, but may upset the system of a possibly stressed bird. You’ll rarely know in advance if the water along your route is well water or reservoir supplied. If you plan to use commercially bottled water, get your bird accustomed to it before your departure date. Alternatively, you can boil, then bottle your regular drinking water in clean jugs or smaller water bottles for use along the way. Once at your destination, you can gradually introduce your bird to the local water. I’ve done this by mixing increasing quantities of local water with water brought from home.

Portable water filters are available at variety and home improvement stores. Consider taking one of these along if you’ll be on an extended trip.

Did you know? You can kill bacteria by boiling water, but a filter is required to remove heavy metals and
other paniculate matter.

#3. Substitute juicy produce for water while in motion. Most birds drink little, if any water while actually in transit, or the water provided may be spilled. Spillage can be reduced somewhat by using a drinking water bottle, mounted to the travel cage or carrier, but do be aware that birds or the motion of a vehicle can cause these to drain as well. To provide necessary hydration, install a dish of juicy fruit and vegetables inside the travel home. This is especially important when your bird is traveling separately, perhaps in the cargo hold of an airplane.

When traveling by car, offer your pet water from a cup or dish at rest stops…inside your securely closed vehicle, of course! My budgies weren’t inclined to drink or eat produce on our trip, so I misted them with water from a spray bottle several times throughout the day. They preened the moisture from their feathers and licked it from the cage bars. A large, wet lettuce leaf, clipped to the cage bars got their attention on the second day of our journey.

#4. Pack a sufficient supply of seed and pellets in non-breakable containers. Those with screw-on tops are best, as they will not pop off if the container is dropped. Place containers where they will not be subjected to direct sunlight streaming through car windows.

#5. Store perishable food, fruit and vegetables in containers inside a cooler. I seal ice cubes inside resealable plastic bags so the food doesn’t end up under water at day’s end. (I don’t use re-freezable ‘blue ice’ on long trips because after it melts, it’s just excess baggage.) Replenish the ice at the hotel when you stop for the night.

#6. Allow plenty of time for your trip. Check into your motel early in the evening so your bird will have time to settle down, eat and spend a little tune out of its cage. Some birds, like my Senegal parrots, will refuse to eat a morsel of food while inside a car, so it’s important to schedule overnight stops on long trips.

#7. Feed fresh food sparingly before departure. Go easy on the eggs and table food, as a bird with a tendency toward motion sickness may vomit the contents of the full crop. When traveling, I like to awaken early, prepare my birds’ breakfast and allow them tune to eat while I shower and re-pack the car.

You may further reduce the risk of carsickness by covering carriers or cages with a white or light colored cloth while in transit. Birds will be able to perceive daylight, but will not be subjected to the sights of the road. Take your pet on several short drives prior to departing on a long trip so you can observe its reaction. Consult your avian veterinarian for specific advice regarding motion sickness.

#8. One dish filled with seed/pellets and another stocked with fruit and vegetables is all most birds require while on the road. My Amazons followed their regular eating patterns on the road: breakfast at the motel in the morning, then toward dusk, I’d hear the crunching of seed and pellets from the back seat of the car.

#9. Use a mess-containment device to reduce cage fall-out and spillage in your car and in hotels. I use the Mess Catcherfrom Pet Butler (call 800-452-9340 for local retailer or visit www.petbutler.com). a lightweight, clear tray type container for my Amazon’s travel cages, and the wrap-around Birdcage Barrier from Birdbrains™ (888-779-4999 for info) for the smaller birds’ cages. Both are available in a variety of sizes and come in handy at home and away.

#10. Remove hanging toys, treats, swings and other accessories from cages and carriers while traveling. Install dishes securely. Allow your bird to spend time in and on its travel home well before your departure date. Offer a favorite treat or two so your pet will associate the temporary home with something pleasant. My Amazons are still so attached to their travel cages that they insist on spending some time in them every day!

Bon voyage!

TRAVEL SUPPLIES

Bird Food

Supply of bird’s regular food, seed, pellets and treats.

Fresh food, packed in containers inside cooler.

Supplies

Box or carrier for bird food and supplies

Cooler

Re-closeable plastic bags for ice cubes

Sharp knife for cutting fruit & veggies Plastic spoons Small cutting board Vegetable washing solution Anti-microbial soap Unbreakable food containers Bottled water

Electrolyte replacement beverage for birds that suffer from stress while traveling (Pedialyte™ or similar product; consult your avian vet for specific advice)

Portable water filter

Extra dishes for stands or travel cages

Mess containment device for cage or portable stand

Paper towels

Immersion heater or ‘hot pot’ to heat water or baby food.

Thermometer, if you’re feeding baby birds

Small trash bags

Hand-held vacuum

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14 Dec 10

by Nancy E. Hassel, LIPetPlace.com

Dog training for Winter safety

Here on Long Island we are so lucky to be surrounded by water, have many lakes, ponds streams and natural areas to enjoy with our pets. Recently after reading a story in Newsday about a Shirley man who’s 2 off leash Husky’s ran after some geese over the thin ice of a pond and fell through. In an effort to save his dogs the owner also fell through into the cold water. The owner admitted it wasn’t too smart, not thinking the ice was too thin or the cold water too deep and found himself in, well, deep water. Thankfully this story has a happy ending where a neighbor happened to hear the man yelling for help and the man and his dogs were all rescued and are all okay. But it made me think, how many people teach their dogs not to go on the ice? It’s not something you think about every day, especially if you get adopt a puppy or dog in the spring, summer or fall. It made me think back to how I taught my first dog, and dog I currently own to be safe near ice.

When I got my first dog as an adult, a young female puppy Doberman in the late summer of 1995, I did a lot of training with her in many different places. One place more than others, happened to be a park with wooded trails, streams and a lake. That first winter, the then 8-month old puppy was very curious about the strange frozen occurrence that the lake had become. While wanting to show her the ice, I also didn’t want her to think it was safe to walk out onto. So without taking a dog training course on winter safety and going on my instincts, I let her sniff the ice, put a front paw or two on it, but never ever let her walk out onto the ice. Using various commands, “off” if she ventured more than one paw onto the ice, or “stay” to keep her by me, or using “eh ah” if she tried to step on it. Of course this was all done while she was on a leash and giving her verbal praise as a reward. I also let her step on a frozen part right near the edge that I knew would break apart, you know those couple inches of water at the edge that freeze but can still be cracked pretty easily – showing her that it would break. Doing this repeatedly throughout the winter months, trained her not to ever step out onto the ice. Each winter after that I would do a refresher near the first frozen body of water we came upon. I was lucky to have one ridiculously smart dog, who learned quickly and seemed to understand the danger. She was also trained to heel, so when in the presence of ducks, geese or any other wildlife she would not chase an animal. Of course a dog being a dog, she still had instincts to want to chase but having her trained on a verbal recall, helped in having to worry if she did get off leash near ice. I did all these same winter training rituals with my current dog, and he too learned quickly, and it didn’t hurt that he was scared of the ice to begin with. (He also learned by watching her not go on the ice.)

You also have to keep in mind what breed of dog you have too. If your dog was specifically bred for hunting, chasing out birds or is a water dog, you still want to teach your dog winter safety training. Just because your have a Chesapeake Bay Retriever doesn’t mean it can get out of a dangerous situation like falling through ice in a middle of a lake.

Winter can be a lot of fun for us and our dogs, but teaching a dog to stay, come on command and never letting your dog off leash near thin or thick ice, are vital to keeping our dogs safe – and ourselves for that matter. Now that the weather is getting cold enough for ice to begin to form across many of our lakes, ponds, and bays – think about training your dog with winter safety in mind. If you are not sure how to do this properly, consult a dog trainer and ask them for a winter safety training session or two.

Another thing a pet owner should know, whether your pet is a dog or a cat is pet first aid and CPR – especially if your pet falls through ice. We are fortunate to have a local certified Pet Tech, Robyn Elman that teaches a class in pet first aid and CPR, including what to do if your pet gets frostbite and hypothermia. The vital information taught in the class has already saved the lives of a few pets of past class participants. These pet owners who knew what to do in an emergency situation, all thanks to the information they learned in Robyn’s class. To find out more information on the upcoming January 22, 2011 class click here.  Interested parties should sign up soon, as this course fills up fast and is offered about every six weeks.

This dog should be leashed!