Dog Alerts

Cold Weather Pet Safety

ID-10034507Keeping your dog safe during winter weather takes some common sense and preparation. The American Veterinary Medical Association (AVMA) has several excellent tips for pet owners in the article, "Cold Weather Pet Safety."

Among the tips shared by the AVMA are the following:

Know the limits:  Just like people, pets’ cold tolerance can vary from pet to pet based on their coat, body fat stores, activity level, and health. Be aware of your pet’s tolerance for cold weather, and adjust accordingly. You will probably need to shorten your dog’s walks in very cold weather to protect you both from weather-associated health risks. Arthritic and elderly pets may have more difficulty walking on snow and ice and may be more prone to slipping and falling.

Check the paws: Check your dog’s paws frequently for signs of cold-weather injury or damage, such as cracked paw pads or bleeding. During a walk, a sudden lameness may be due to an injury or may be due to ice accumulation between his/her toes. You may be able to reduce the chance of iceball accumulation by clipping the hair between your dog’s toes.

Provide shelter: We don’t recommend keeping any pet outside for long periods of time, but if you are unable to keep your dog inside during cold weather, provide him/her with a warm, solid shelter against wind. Make sure that they have unlimited access to fresh, non-frozen water (by changing the water frequently or using a pet-safe, heated water bowl). The floor of the shelter should be off of the ground (to minimize heat loss into the ground) and the bedding should be thick, dry and changed regularly to provide a warm, dry environment. The door to the shelter should be positioned away from prevailing winds. Space heaters and heat lamps should be avoided because of the risk of burns or fire. Heated pet mats should also be used with caution because they are still capable of causing burns.

Read all the tips in this helpful article here: https://www.avma.org/public/PetCare/Pages/Cold-weather-pet-safety.aspx

Image: Photostock, FreeDigitalPhotos.net

 


Dog Bite Prevention Week: May 15 - 21

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This is National Dog Bite Prevention Week, and it's a good time to make sure you and your family are practicing safety when it comes to your dog and others. Believe it or not, more than 4,500,000 people in the United States are bitten by dogs in a year.

We are providing an interesting, informative infographic about dog bites and dog bite prevention, courtesy of UltimateHomeLife.com

You can see it here: http://ultimatehomelife.com/dog-bite-prevention-week-2016-may-15-may-21/

 


ReTail Scene: Lost Dog? There's an App for That

ID-10080879Microchips and ID tags are the best way to prevent your dog from getting lost. If you do lose your dog, follow these helpful tips provided by the ASPCA. Be sure to report your missing pet to your local animal shelter as well.

Not surprisingly, another way to track down your dog is by using your smartphone and a specialized app. Here are some of the apps available to help you:

ASPCA
The ASPCA's mobile app offers you the ability to receive a personalized missing pet recovery kit, including step-by-step instructions on how to search for a lost animal in a variety of circumstances. You can also build a lost pet digital flyer that can be shared instantly on your social media channels. The app covers additional emergency situations.

Finding Rover
Finding Rover uses facial recognition technology to scan your dog's face and keep the information on file. If your dog is lost, Finding Rover notifies a large network of organizations and members who snap a photo using the app to see if there's a match.

iPet Alert
Think of iPet Alert as an Amber Alert for dogs. With iPet Alert, you can instantly alert others when your dog goes missing. A message is sent to local area vets and iPet Alert members to be on the lookout for your missing pet. 

PetRescuers
With the PetRescuers app by HomeAgain, you can help keep a lookout for lost pets in your area and recently found ones who have been reunited with their families. You can further expand your search beyond posting signs in your neighborhood by sharing lost pet alerts via Facebook, Twitter and email with ease. As a PetRescuer you will have access to articles and resources as well.

Pedigree Found
Pedigree Found is a real-time app currently available in New Zealand, but its availability may be expanded. You take a picture of your dog and then, if your dog goes missing, you use Pedigree Found to send out a free alert to Found members and people in your area using Google's ad network.

Tagg
Tagg is not just an app, it integrates with a GPS pet tracker that attaches to your dog's collar so you can keep track of your dog. Tagg allows you to define your dog's home base and tells you if your dog wanders off, and it can pinpoint a dog's location anywhere in the U.S.

Image: Africa, www.freedigitalphotos.net


Alert: Update on Canine Influenza Virus

ALERT
In late June, Carolina Mountain Dog reported on the relatively new "dog flu" known as Canine Influenza Virus (CIV). You can read the post here.

We have just received an alert from R.E.A.C.H., the emergency animal hospital in Asheville, that they have recently seen an increase in cases of CIV.

According to R.E.A.C.H., "Two patients have been tested and confirmed to have canine influenza. The flu vaccine may not be effective against this new and different strain. Signs of respiratory disease include coughing, sneezing, runny nose and eyes, fever and sluggishness. If your dog exhibits these signs, contact your regular vet or our hospital immediately. To protect your pet, don't let him or her interact with other dogs who are not his housemates.  For the time being, keep your dogs at home."

R.E.A.C.H. is open 24 hours a day. For more information, call R.E.A.C.H. at (828) 665-4399.


Dogs and Hot Cars

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Some dog owners STILL don't get it -- leaving a dog in a car when it's hot outside is a recipe for tragedy.

Here's what the ASPCA says about dogs and hot cars:

"As summer heats up, it’s tempting to bring your pet with you on car rides around town. Sadly, many people believe that cracking a window is enough to keep their dogs cool in the car while they make a quick pit stop—but they couldn’t be more wrong. When it’s 80 degrees outside, your car will be a staggering 114 degrees in less than 30 minutes.

Worse still, dogs can’t cool themselves down as easily as people, and once they overheat, they can suffer extensive organ damage or die. That’s why leaving an animal alone in a car is more than just a bad idea, it’s a form of animal cruelty."

Never leave your dog in a hot car -- and if you see a dog in a hot car, do something about it. The ASPCA's infographic on the subject has some helpful advice. You can download it below.

Download ASPCA-hot-cars-infographic

Please note: If you see a dog in a car, tell someone immediately! In North Carolina, any firefighter, rescue personnel or law enforcement who has probable cause to believe that an animal is confined in a motor vehicle under conditions that are likely to cause suffering, injury, or death to the animal due to heat, cold, lack of adequate ventilation, or under other endangering conditions, may enter the motor vehicle by any reasonable means under the circumstances after making a reasonable effort to locate the owner or other person responsible for the animal.


Puppies from Asheville Humane Compete in National "Puppy Bowl" on Feb. 1

Screen Shot 2015-01-08 at 10.13.55 AMThree puppies from Asheville Humane Society have been selected to be starting players in the nationally televised Animal Planet's Puppy Bowl!

The Puppy Bowl returns for its 11th consecutive year with an all-star, all-adorable cast that's ready to mix it up on the grand gridiron of Animal Planet Stadium. Puppy Bowl XI brings viewers a lovable lineup that's itching to play in a winning combination of terrier tackles, touchdowns, puppy penalties, fumbles and Fido first downs.

This year's big game is sure to be a tail-wagger. From barking beagles and spunky spaniels to everything in between, you'll see the cutest players taking the field on the most action-packed Sunday of the year. Plus, back for another year is the popular BISSELL Kitten Halftime Show, guaranteed to bring the house down! And, sideline reporter "Meep the Bird" will return to tweet live updates throughout the game. Follow @MeepTheBird on game day for the latest news, puppy penalties and behind-the-scenes moments from inside the stadium.

The Puppy Bowl airs before the Super Bowl on Sunday, February 1 from 3-5 pm. Watch as Asheville's own furry celebrities take the field!


5 Halloween Safety Tips for Pet Owners

Screen Shot 2014-09-30 at 11.13.10 AM1. Lock Candy Away
Kids love to stash candy in their rooms, but a dog’s keen sense of smell will lead him to even the most cleverly hidden treasure. Contact a veterinary professional right away if your pet does get into Halloween candy, especially if it contains chocolate or is sugar-free and contains xylitol.

2. Ditto the Glow Sticks
Glow sticks are used to help keep kids safe while they are out in the dark. Pets (especially cats) find these glow sticks to be a lot of fun and often puncture them. While most of the sticks are labeled as non-toxic, they do have an extremely bitter taste and pets who bite into them may begin drooling and racing around the house. A little treat or sip of milk will usually stop the taste reaction.

3. Have Pets Identified and Visible
There are a lot of extra people on the streets at Halloween, and that combined with strange costumes can spook pets and cause them to bolt. If you take your pet out after dark, make sure he or she wears a reflective collar and is securely leashed. And make sure your pet has proper identification on the collar.

4. Keep Pets Calm
Even pets who are kept indoors may experience intense anxiety over the large number of strangely dressed visitors. Keeping your pet away from trick-or-treaters may do the trick, but if you think more will be needed be sure and speak with your vet well in advance about options to help calm your pet.

5. Check Those Costumes
Costumes can be fun for the whole family. However, if you are planning on dressing up your best bud, ensure that the costume fits well and isn’t going to slip and tangle the pet or cause a choking hazard if chewed on. And never leave a costumed pet unattended.

These tips were provided by the ASPCA Poison Control Center


R.E.A.C.H. Sponsors Pet Halloween Photo Contest

UnnamedR.E.A.C.H. (the Regional Emergency Animal Care Hospital) and Asheville Veterinary Specialists are sponsoring a Pet Halloween Photo Contest.

According to R.E.A.C.H.:

"We would like you all to send us your Pet's Halloween Photos! We will have a vote and 1st place will get a $50 gift card to Wicked Weed, 2nd place will get a $20 gift card to the Hop, and 3rd will get a $10 gift card to High Five coffee shop!

"Please submit your photos by October 24th by either posting them on our Facebook page or emailing pr@reachvet.com. Voting will begin immediately so the sooner they are in the more votes you'll get and the winner will be announced October 31st!"

Image courtesy of R.E.A.C.H.


Holiday Safety Tips for Dog and Cat Owners

What-to-do-if-your-pet-is-poisonedCourtesy of the ASPCA, here are some tips to protect your dog or cat around holiday time.

Wrapped Presents
Gifts are a surprising source of toxicities during the holidays. If you are going to wrap any food (especially chocolate), dog treats, or dog toys, keep the items in a safe place and well out of your pet’s reach until they are ready to be opened. Pets have a keen sense of smell and will often unwrap presents early and eat all of the contents.

Snow Globes
Some snow globes contain ethylene glycol, a highly toxic substance to all pets. If a snow globe is broken, either by a person or a pet, the sweet smell can attract a pet to lick it up, leading to a potentially fatal intoxication. Snow globes should be kept out of reach of pets.

Holiday Food
Pets are often not shy about taking food that is left sitting out on counters or tables. Pets should be kept away from food preparation areas or places where food will be left out. A few of the more concerning common food exposures during the holidays are chocolate, bread dough, fruitcake and alcohol.

Medication
There are often a large number of visitors during the holiday season, and pets often get into medications that friends or family have brought with them. These exposures can be prevented with a little advance planning. People who are not used to having pets in the house can often be unaware of how curious they can be. Pets will often investigate suitcases and can get into pill vials or weekly pill minders. It is safer to have the visitors put their medication in a closed cabinet that is not accessible to pets. Be sure that when they take their medications that they do so behind a closed door, such as the bathroom, so that a dropped pill can be found before the pet has a chance to eat it. A prewritten list of the names, milligram strength, and number of pills that visitors have brought is very useful in an emergency situation as well.

Salt
Ice melt, homemade play dough, and salt-dough ornaments (even when dry) can all be a tempting salty treat for pets, but can cause life-threatening imbalances in the electrolytes.

Pet owners should, of course, contact their local veterinary professional or theASPCA's  Animal Poison Control Center if their pets get into any of these substances.

Image: ASPCA.org


DOGTV Launches Nationwide

DogTV mobileDOGTV, the first television network channel exclusively for dogs, has launched nationwide. Also available is 24/7 streaming on mobile devices.

DOGTV provides television for dogs as a 24/7 digital TV channel with dog friendly programming scientifically developed to provide the right company for dogs when left alone. Through years of research with some of the world’s top pet experts, special content was created to meet specific attributes of a dog’s sense of vision and hearing and supports their natural behavior patterns. The result: a confident, happy dog, who's less likely to develop stress, separation anxiety or other related problems.

DOGTV is recognized by the Humane Society of the United States (HSUS), and uses concepts widely supported by leading pet organizations as a valuable product that contributes to the enrichment and quality of dogs' lives. Packages begin at $10 per month or $70 for 12 months.

Visit http://dogtv.com/ for further information.

 


The Best Way for Your Dog to Ride in the Car with You

By Stacey Brecher for Exceptional Canine

The Best Way for Your Dog to Ride in the Car with You

Ready to hit the road with your dog? Before you put the car into drive, it’s important to make sure that your dog is safe. Some options for properly restraining your dog while in the car are in a crate, a harness or a seat belt.

Using a Crate

If you decide to keep your dog in a crate for the duration of the car ride, and your vehicle has enough room to stow it, the crate should be large enough for your dog to lie down or stand up and turn around. Bill Rabenberg, owner/trainer at Red Iron Kennels of Manor, Texas explains: “You must also ensure the crate is not so large that the dog can easily be tossed around inside,” he said. “It’s helpful to include a soft crate-bed to provide padding for the dog to lie on, but torn newspapers or cedar shavings also provide a soft spot for animals still learning to ride without getting carsick, and these make cleaning up a snap.”

Keeping your dog in a crate stops your pet from moving around the vehicle while it’s in motion, and also prevents him and you from injury during a sudden stop or accident.

Where to Let Them Ride

The safest place for your dog is in the back seat of the car. You can easily install a harness or dog seat belt to keep your pet from climbing into the front seat. “Some pets are difficult to manage when nervous, and may suddenly climb onto the driver's lap, interfere with driving or jump down below the driver’s legs, obstructing his ability to reach the gas and brake pedals and possibly causing an accident,” Rabenberg says. 

Another reason to keep your pet in the back seat is the danger from the force of a deployed airbag.

Dealing With Fear and Car Sickness

Many dogs are afraid of riding in the car or are apt to get carsick, but there are steps you can take to teach your dog that car rides are fun. Rabenberg suggests allowing the dog to sit in the car in the back seat while you sit in the front seat until he relaxes and then you can pet or reward him. After trying this for a few days, you can turn on the car but not drive anywhere. “After several successful attempts on several days, go for a short drive, just around the block,” Rabenberg says. “When you arrive home, take some time to pet and talk to your pet before getting out of the car, so he knows his reward comes with remaining in the vehicle, not rushing to get out. Repeat this several days in a row, then slowly expand your trips, making them a few blocks longer, and finally take him to a fun location, gradually increasing the distances.”

Allowing your dog to feel more comfortable in a moving car will lower his stress level and prevent accidents in the car.

Dogs enjoy the feel of a breeze coming from the car windows on their faces, too, so feel free to leave the window open, as long as your dog is properly restrained. If not, keep the windows closed to prevent him from falling or jumping out.

Your dog may be unhappy at first, but with a little time and patience he will soon become used to the restraint and look forward to your next car ride adventure. 

Stacey Brecher is an editor at Woman’s World magazine, and a contributor to Animal Fair magazine. Stacey's blogs have previously appeared on Exceptional Canine.


Keep Your Dog Warm in the Winter

By Rachel Morris for Exceptional Canine

Keep Your Dog Warm in the Winter

When the weather outside gets frightful, it's a must to make sure your dog stays safe and warm. Your pet is unlikely to whine about the wind chill, so it’s up to you to keep an eye on the conditions and decide when it’s time to come inside and warm up. Use these tips to help keep your dog toasty on the coldest days.

Pay attention to the mercury Down coats, chunky scarves, wooly hats and thick gloves make it easy to forget what the temperature actually reads, but remember that your dog is only sporting what nature gave him, and for many dogs it’s not always enough. “Dogs who have a second layer of hair, such as Huskies and Newfoundlands, can withstand cold conditions, but most breeds don’t have this additional layer of insulation,” says Douglas Aspros, DVM, President of the American Veterinary Medical Association. If your dog lacks this additional warmth, Aspros says to be careful when the temp dips below 20 degrees Fahrenheit. If it’s a wet or exceptionally windy day, consider shortening your daily walk, or skipping it altogether and only venturing outdoors for bathroom breaks.

Size up your dog Smaller breeds have a higher surface area to body mass ratio compared to their larger dog park pals, which means they radiate heater faster. If your pup is on the petite side, a dog jacket can help provide protection from the wind and cold. Older dogs with arthritis—whether large or small—should be watched carefully too, since the cold can aggravate the condition and make their joints even stiffer. Bottom line: Pay attention to your pet.  If she’s reluctant to go outside on a winter day, it’s probably a sign that she’s not ready to handle the weather.

Feed wisely If your pet’s outdoor time isn’t cut short during the winter, he’ll need more energy to stay warm, so talk to your veterinarian about upping how much food you give him. However, most dogs tend to spend more time indoors during the winter. Be careful not to overfeed your dog if he gets less exercise during the colder months to ensure that he is at a healthy weight come springtime.

Watch the ground Dog booties don’t just look adorable; they can also be a big help on frozen surfaces. While they won’t do much to keep your dog’s paws warm, they will protect him from irritants such as sharp crusty snow and ice that can cut up his pads. If you choose not to purchase booties for your dog, Aspros recommends attempting to avoid these icy areas during your walks and checking your dog’s paws after he comes inside to make sure they aren’t injured. And don’t worry about him getting cold feet: Thanks to their unique circulation system, dogs’ paws are naturally equipped to handle frigid temperatures, according to a 2012 study in the journal Veterinary Dermatology.

Sleep soundly Your dog will probably scout out a warm spot to curl up indoors, whether it’s in front of the fireplace or in a sunny patch on the floor, but be sure that his bed is also located somewhere away from drafts. If you have hardwood or tile floors, consider throwing an extra blanket on there to give him more protection from the chilly surface. And when in doubt, an extra snuggle session will warm you both up, no mater how frosty it is outside.

Rachel Morris is a freelance writer based in Brooklyn, NY, and fervent photographer of her 1-year-old dog, Ridge.


Holiday Safety Tips for Your Pets

Dog santa hatHere's some great advice on ways to keep your pets safe during the holidays from Asheville Humane Society.


Of course you want to include your furry companions in the holiday festivities, but as you celebrate this holiday season, try to keep your pet's eating and exercise habits as close to their normal routine as possible. And be sure to steer them clear of the following unhealthy treats, toxic plants and dangerous decorations.

O Christmas Tree

Securely anchor your Christmas tree so it doesn't tip and fall, causing possible injury to your pet. This will also prevent the tree water-which may contain fertilizers that can cause stomach upset-from spilling. Stagnant tree water is a breeding ground for bacteria and your pet could end up with nausea or diarrhea should he imbibe.

No Feasting for the Furries

By now you know not to feed your pets chocolate and anything sweetened with xylitol, but do you know the lengths to which an enterprising fur kid will go to chomp on something yummy? Make sure to keep your pets away from the table and unattended plates of food, and be sure to secure the lids on garbage cans.

Toy Joy

Looking to stuff your pet's stockings? Choose gifts that are safe.

* Dogs have been known to tear their toys apart and swallowing the pieces, which  can then become lodged in the esophagus, stomach or intestines. Stick with chew toys that are basically indestructible, Kongs that can be stuffed with healthy foods or chew treats that are designed to be safely digestible.
* Long, stringy things are a feline's dream, but the most risky toys for cats involve ribbon, yarn and loose little parts that can get stuck in the intestines, often necessitating surgery. Surprise kitty with a new ball that's too big to swallow, a stuffed catnip toy or the interactive cat dancer-and tons of play sessions together.

Forget the Mistletoe & Holly

Holly, when ingested, can cause pets to suffer nausea, vomiting and diarrhea. Mistletoe can cause gastrointestinal upset and cardiovascular problems. And many varieties of lilies, can cause kidney failure in cats if ingested. Opt for just-as-jolly artificial plants made from silk or plastic, or choose a pet-safe bouquet.

Leave the Leftovers

Fatty, spicy and no-no human foods, as well as bones, should not be fed to your furry friends. Pets can join the festivities in other fun ways that won't lead to costly medical bills.

That Holiday Glow

Don't leave lighted candles unattended. Pets may burn themselves or cause a fire if they knock candles over. Be sure to use appropriate candle holders, placed on a stable surface. And if you leave the room, put the candle out!

Wired Up

Keep wires, batteries and glass or plastic ornaments out of paws' reach. A wire can deliver a potentially lethal electrical shock and a punctured battery can cause burns to the mouth and esophagus, while shards of breakable ornaments can damage your pet's mouth.

House Rules

If your animal-loving guests would like to give your pets a little extra attention and exercise while you're busy tending to the party, ask them to feel free to start a nice play or petting session.

Put the Meds Away

Make sure all of your medications are locked behind secure doors, and be sure to tell your guests to keep their meds zipped up and packed away, too.

Careful with Cocktails

If your celebration includes adult holiday beverages, be sure to place your unattended alcoholic drinks where pets cannot get to them. If ingested, your pet could become weak, ill and may even go into a coma, possibly resulting in death from respiratory failure.

A Room of Their Own

Give your pet his own quiet space to retreat to-complete with fresh water and a place to snuggle. Shy pups and cats might want to hide out under a piece of furniture, in their carrying case or in a separate room away from the hubbub.

New Year's Noise

As you count down to the new year, please keep in mind that strings of thrown confetti can get lodged in a cat's intestines, if ingested, perhaps necessitating surgery. Noisy poppers can terrify pets and cause possible damage to sensitive ears.

Image courtesy of imagery majestic / FreeDigitalPhotos.net


Help Animals During Superstorm Sandy's Aftermath

Hsus photoThe Humane Society of the United States' Animal Rescue Team is assisting animals and people in the wake of Hurricane Sandy's destruction, and is prepared for ongoing disaster relief after this historic storm.

The HSUS can't help animals in disaster-affected areas without assistance. The organization needs help to make its preparedness, rescue, and relief work possible.

Please consider making a donation to the HSUS Disaster Relief Fund today. Your support ensures that the HSUS team can continue to answer the call during times of disaster wherever and whenever animals need them.

Your gift will be used exclusively for HSUS relief work to help animals during this and other disasters.

Thank you.

Photo: Humane Society of the United States


Why You Should Microchip Your Dog

ScreenHunter_02 Jun. 12 14.11If you lose your dog, you will have many anxious moments until it is found. You have a much better chance of your dog being found if he or she has been microchipped.

Having a microchip inserted into your pet is a safe, painless procedure. A microchip is a tiny device that carries a unique ID number. Most animal shelters and animal control organizations have microchip scanners that can read this number and connect it back to the pet owner. It is standard procedure to scan an animal for a microchip when it has no other identification.

Even if your dog has a collar and identification tag, a microchip is advisable. This is because it is easy for dogs to slip out of collars when they run off. Dogs can get their collars caught in branches and on fences, for example. Once the collar is gone, there is little hope the dog can be identified without a microchip. Nearly 60 percent of the animals that come through the Buncombe County Animal Shelter are strays. Imagine how much easier it would be to get these animals back to their owners if they were microchipped.

Your vet can microchip your dog or cat. If you are a Buncombe County resident, you can have your pet microchipped at the shelter at a reasonable cost. You can also obtain a FREE collar and pet ID tag through the rest of 2012. Call (828) 250-6430 for details.

Here's a handy tip: Be sure to keep your microchip information up to date. If you move or change your phone number, notify the microchip company. If you have your dog's microchip number (you can find this on adoption paperwork or on a microchip tag) but you aren't sure of the company, just go to http://petmicrochiplookup.org/ and enter the number.