Archive for the ‘safety’ Category

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09 Jul 14

Summer pet safety-Heat kills ...

By Nancy E. Hassel,

Summertime, summertime, sum-sum-summertime! Summertiiimmmme!  While we are enjoying the warm weather and summer activities – our pets may not be.  One thing many people tend to forget or not even think of is pet safety and heat.

While there are many ways your pet can overheat; too much exercise in the heat of the day; squished face pets like bulldogs, pugs, Frenchies, Shihtzus who can’t breath that great to begin with – they have a hard time with the heat; and lack of access to water for your pets especially if they are outside for any length of time in this hot and humid weather.

Of course this time of year the major concern is pets left in cars.  It amazes me year after year, that I still see people on a warm day leaving the windows open a crack and leaving their very furry dogs in the car – while they go into a store. According to a study done by San Francisco University, and if you haven’t seen this video of a veterinarian sitting in a hot car which shows how quickly temps rise during a heat wave.

Why not try it yourself, without your pet of course.  Next time it is a beautiful 75 -80 degrees, go sit in your parked car crack the windows a bit and sit in there for 10 -15 minutes. Don’t cheat and drink water or put the AC on.  Now imagine yourself in a fur coat without the ability to sweat. Are you hot yet?

Sometimes people think it’s ok to run into the store for 5-minutes during the summer and leave their pets in the car.  But what if you get stuck in the store, there is a long line, problem at the register, etc., and there you are in the air-conditioned store while your pet is sweltering in the heat, causing heat exhaustion or worse death.

What to do if you see a pet left in the car during during the warm spring, summer and fall months:

  • Call Animal Control of the town the car is located in.
  • Call the police, tell them the location, make/model color of the car, give them the license plate number.
  • Stay until the authorites arrive to be sure the pet was safely evacuated from the hot car.
  • A great tip is to program the Animal Control (Animal shelter) phone #’s to the town and surrounding towns you live in, into your phone contacts so you can access them immediately.

Pet owners should also know if you are caught doing this or someone reports your car with a pet in it to the police, the police have the right to break into to your car with whatever means necessary, call animal control and have your pet seized. You may be issued a summons, arrested for animal cruelty, or more. So the next time you are running up to the supermarket on a hot day, please, please, please leave your pets at home in the AC!

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16 May 14

Pet travel tips! ...

by Nancy E. Hassel,

Traveling with your pet?

As pets are more and more accepted in hotels, stores and even dining at some restaurants, outdoors of course – we are more likely to bring them along for our travel plans, they are family after all.   Whether is it is a day trip or week-long vacation preparing is key to have a great time with your pet.

  • Websites like Fido Friendly Magazine ( and Bring Fido, ( – which also has an app for your phone), do offer information on pet friendly resorts and areas. Another useful app is Dog Park Finder for both Android and iPhones.
  • Keep in mind that while your pet might do well in a quick car trip to the park – a long distance trip will require many potty break stops, let them stretch their legs, and be sure to have your pet properly secured in a travel crate or pet seatbelt fitted to them.  Bring their own food, treats and fresh cold water, you may not be able to find the same brand pet food while in a different location.  Your pet may also get car sick, so be sure to have all natural cleaning supplies with you.
  • If you want to vacation with your pet and do doggie as well as human activities, Canine Camp Getaway offers vacations two times a year.  Run by Janice Costa a Long Island native has become very popular, you can find out more here
  • Own an American Pit Bull Terrier or Bully breed?  Research, research, research! Research if the area you are driving through or going to has any breed specific legislation (BSL).  While some laws are being over turned across the country to no longer have BSL you definitely need to make sure you know the laws as your driving – you wouldn’t want to break down in an area that outlaws Pit Bulls.
  • Need to board your pet while going away?  Many places on LI can board your cat, dogs, parrots, bunnies, etc. – but you want to research the person and company first.  If you have a bird, check out the Long Island Parrot Society’s website ( as they have pet sitters available.  For a dog, cat or small animal you can go to and there are many pet sitters listed in the member directory who offer in home boarding – In Home Pet Services in Merrick, Babylon and Bellerose all offer boarding.  Make sure anyone you leave your pet with is bonded, insured and has a stellar reputation.  Do your research!
  • On your road trip, bring one extra of everything for each pet.  An extra leash, collar with proper ID tags, current photo of your pet, food, water, medications, first aid kits, towels, blanket beds, etc.  You may think that is excessive – but what if you breakdown and are stranded for a night or two? All that pre-planning and extra packing will come in handy!
  • Map out 24-hour emergency veterinarian hospitals along your route and at your destination.  Better to be safe than sorry and at your destination – know where the local animal shelter is just in case your pet gets lost.

20 Nov 12

Doggie, Doggie are you okay? ...

by Nancy E. Hassel,

‘Doggie, Doggie are you okay?’ This mantra or ‘1-and-2-and-3-and-4-and’… may sound familiar too if you have ever taken a Pet CPR class – you know the importance of ‘Doggie, doggie are you ok,’ or the way to count when doing chest compressions on a dog that doesn’t have a heart beat.  It might sound like a scary scenario but knowing is so much better than not knowing what to do in an emergency situation with your pet or a clients pet.

Finally after two years of scheduling conflict, I was able to take Robyn Elman’s Pet CPR & First Aid class this past Saturday, November 17th at the Bidawee learning center in Wantagh.  The class was packed with pet owners, and pet professionals alike (LIPP members there too!).  While I have a lot of experience with dogs, and plenty of experience with pet first aid thanks to my Doberman Shanna who seemingly always would get a superficial cut or scrap from running around at mach 10-speed or flying through the woods chasing a bunny.  But I definitely did not know much about Pet CPR, the proper way to give dog’s chest compressions who have barrel chests vs. tapered chest dogs or anything about the breathing techniques.  I also learned a lot of additional pet first aid information.  So no matter how experienced you are as a pet owner or pet professional, you will learn a lot from this class, including saving your pets life if you had to.  I can’t implore you enough to enroll in the next class that comes your way, it is worth every penny.

Robyn observing students as they practice chest compressions

According to statistics American Animal Hospital Association, 1 in 4 pets would be saved if applying only 1 pet first aid technique in a pet emergency prior to getting the pet to a veterinarian.  That is a pretty serious statistic.  When you think about what your pets get into, what they may ingest that is not supposed to be ingested, how they can get injured just in every day life – a cut or scrap on the paw from a long walk or run, to walking on salt covered icy roads.  Wouldn’t you rather be prepared to help your pet, and be more knowledgeable about his injury when you get to the veterinarians office?

Robyn showing how to muzzle your dog

Learning how to properly muzzle your dog with a leash or piece of torn clothing is something else that was new to me.  I have sent the technique done, but never had to do it myself, and now I know what to do in case of an emergency and a pet has to be muzzled.  As Robyn said in the class, “Any dog that is already in pain or has to be moved into pain can and will bite.” Moving a dog that is injured, let’s say into your car to get to the vet, is moving a dog into pain – it is the dog’s natural instinct to protect himself so a bite can happen even if it is your own dog.  So learning how to properly muzzle a dog is vital knowledge for any dog owner.  Think about it, what if you are out on a hike with just your dog and he hurts his paw or gets injured on walk – and you are trying to help but because he is in pain, he is growling and showing his teeth.  What then do you do?  If you know how to muzzle him, you can safely muzzle him and help him by getting him to a vet without the fear or pain of getting bit by your own dog.

Robyn is the President and Founder of In Home Pet Services, Inc. (IHPS) and pet tech who has been teaching the class for years now in our area.  Not only was the class super informative, but Robyn was an excellent teacher and quite funny in many instances – so while you were learning, you might have cracked up a bit too!  At the end of the class you will get a certificate that is good for 2 years that you took and completed the class, you do have to renew every two years – as all of Robyn’s employees and franchise employees do.

To learn more about the pet first aid and cpr classes near you go to or for more information on In Home Pet Services go to

demo dogs!

Robyn intro of Pet CPR Class

Robyn helping students in the class learn the proper way to muzzle

Max demo's the muzzle, what a good boy!

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12 Apr 12

Pups take over NY Auto Show ...

by Nancy E. Hassel,

Charlotte Reed & James Bell going over the features of the Chevy Volt.

When you think of the New York International Auto Show, the first thing that comes to your mind probably
is not dogs –and is more likely what the new concept car is.  But this year on Wednesday, April 11, 2012, Chevrolet,
in celebration of National Pet Day, teamed up with pet expert Charlotte Reed to talk about safety for our pets while
traveling and versatility for pets in their vehicles.

With many pooches on hand, some even famous in the NYC area, like Cubby and Porscha from ‘Doggie Moms,’ the dogs were ready, willing and able to try out the different Chevy models and all they have to offer our pets.

Cubby (white dog) and friends check out the car!

According to a 2011 AAA/Kurgo survey, nearly six in 10 respondents said they had driven with their dog in the automobile at least once a month in the past year.  But the question is, was the dog on their lap or properly secured in a doggie seatbelt or in a crate?  At the Chevrolet National Pet Day, both Charlotte Reed and James Bell, who is GM’s Head of Consumer Affairs, took us on a tour of different vehicles had to offer what works best for our four-legged friends.

“From subcompact hatchbacks to full-size SUVs, Chevrolet vehicles today provide plenty of choices to meet the needs of owners and pets of all shapes and sizes. To avoid stress, do your homework in advance and make note of your specific pet’s needs and review safety features,” said Charlotte Reed, a pet lifestyle expert.

Here are a few tips to keep in mind for finding a pet-friendly vehicle:

Safety features. According to the 2011 AAA/Kurgo study, three out of 10 pet owners admit
to being distracted while driving. One in five admits to driving with a pet in their lap. The
Chevrolet Equinox, for example, has lane-departure warning systems, stability and traction
control and forward-collision alerts that help heighten driver alertness to possible danger.
Owners can reduce distractions by keeping pets restrained in the back seat with a dog seatbelt or in a secured pet carrier.

Hannah being with her doggie seatbelt on.

Exterior and interior features. Look for vehicles that are wide, tall and slightly square at
the back. This will make it easier to get pets and pet equipment into and out of vehicles.
Cargo room and additional cup holders are useful to stow pet food, water and accessories.
The Chevrolet Traverse crossover sport utility offers best-in-class roominess and class-
leading cargo space. It has flexible and fold-flat seating, as well as a rear cooling system

Talking OnStar capability for a Pet Emergencythat is ideal for pets on a hot summer day.

In-vehicle technology. The Chevrolet Equinox, Traverse and Tahoe SUV offer power lift-gates that make it easier for pets to access the vehicle. They also have fold-flat seats offer more space for transporting pets and crates. Additional safety and security technology such as remote unlock, vehicle location and crash-detection services from OnStar can provide
live help at a touch of a button during pet-emergency situations.

So the next road trip you take with your pet, even if it is just to the local dog park, think safety first (dog seatbelt, crate, secured pet carrier), and look for a car or sport utility that will suit you and your dog’s lifestyle.

Charlotte Reed, James Bell

Chevrolet at NY Auto Show, 2012

Testing the pet ramp

Blade, one happy pup checking out all the rides!


Hannah the model pup for the day!

Charlotte Reed & James Bell, NY Auto Show, 2012

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05 Oct 11

Dog Park Safety ...

by Nancy E. Hassel

Dog Park Safety

We are lucky to now have more and more dog runs or dog parks if you will here on Long Island.  But there are safety factors that dog owners should follow and be aware of.

Sadly and recently a small Yorkie at an off leash park was killed by a larger Lab mix.  It’s a terrible tragedy for the dog and his owner – and since I was not there to witness it, I am not jumping to conclusions – I am sure it has been a devastating time for both parties involved.  My heart really goes out to them.  What I was told is that the larger dog, that was leashed, pulled away from the person walking it and the dog ran over to the smaller dog.  Was it a vicious attack or did the big dog merely not know his size and strength over a 3 or 5lb little dog?  We can speculate – but this very sad loss is not about speculation but teaching dog owners to be more aware your surroundings and where you are brining your dog to socialize, play and take precautions while there to keep him safe.

It’s easy to get into a routine while at a dog park and letting your guard down, especially if you are there everyday and know most of the other dogs.  But if you are going to an enclosed (fenced in) dog run here are a few tips to help keep your dog safe from possible injury:

Most dog runs, the newer ones, have small dog areas and large dog areas.  It’s pretty simple if your dog is small; bring him into the small dog area.  Bringing you tiny dog into the large dog part of the dog run, can cause serious prey drive in the larger breeds and before you know it, you could have 20 large dogs chasing and cornering your tiny dog.  This is not fair to your dog who cannot defend himself, but also not fair to the large dogs as it can spark their natural prey drive.  A dog fight could break out and how are you going to get your 5lb dog away from the 50lb+ dogs?
Its common sense, those dog run rules are there for a reason.  Safety for you and for your dog.

If you want to start going to a dog park with your dog, go their first and observe the owners and their dogs, ask how the park is, etc.  Get a feel for the park before just bringing your dog there and dropping him into an environment that can be scary for some dogs.

Parking:  Parking your car and letting your dog out loose to run across the parking lot, or up the trail to the dog run is another huge safety problem.  The area for your dog to be off leash is within the fenced area.  I have seen this all too often where people get too comfortable, think they own the place and just let their dogs out of the car off leash to run all over the parking lot.  I have also seen dogs almost get hit by cars while running to the dog run.  Keep your dogs leashed until you are in the dog run.

Toys:  Some dogs that go to the dog park daily can become territorial about the location, and bringing toys into the mix is not a great idea.  Many people want to exercise and have their dog play with a ball or Frisbee, it’s understandable.  But if there is a dog there that is possessive or aggressively defends his or her toy – it’s just a dog fight waiting to happen.  Now of course this doesn’t happen every time, but why chance it?

Coffee Clutch:  The dog park is great to socialize your dog and you end socializing as well.  How often are you at a dog park and can remember the dog’s name, but maybe not necessarily the owners?  J  It’s great to meet new friends, other dog owners who are passionate about their dogs at the park, but just be sure while you’re having that coffee clutch of a conversation that you are still paying attention to your dog while in the dog run. Watching your dog to make sure he or she is behaving, not scared or nervous around the other dogs, and not developing a new ‘bad’ doggie habit she just learned from her new four legged buddy.

Acting up: If your dog is having an off day, acting up or bullying other dogs, it’s time for you to take him out of the park.  Maybe do some fun one on one training session with your dog, so while he is in the dog park, you will have better control.

Newbie: If your dog is not used to being around other dogs or your dog is a new to you dog, meaning you may have just adopted him, a dog park may not be the right location for you to start socializing your dog.  If you are not sure how he will react around other dogs, try bringing him around other dogs first so you will get a better understanding of his behavior before just letting him loose in a dog run.

Kids: Kids and the dog park, really not a good match.  I have seen kids get knocked over, go flying when a dog running at full speed and didn’t see the kid and bam! You’re kid is now screaming crying and may become fearful of dogs.  Also keep in mind often dogs are not used to kids or may not be around many kids and now you have loose dogs in a park with, well, loose kids.  May not be a good combo – it’s a dog park not a playground!

Dog owners need to take precautions to be safe at our local dog parks, know your dog, clean up after you dog, know when it’s time to leave, and pay attention to them while you are there.

You can see a list of rules for a great local dog run at Blydenburgh Park here.