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Humane Society of Greater Dayton
Oct 26

Don't Be Scared, Keep Pets Safe this Halloween

fall safety tips

Between the costumes, decorations and flood of people in your neighborhood, Halloween can be a very scary time of year for both people and pets. Give your pets a treat by following these tricks to a safe and happy Halloween!

Identify Your Pets

Whether you are or aren’t planning to take your pets out this Halloween, please make sure all of your animals have proper identification. By having a collar, ID tags and microchip on each of your pets, you are potentially saving their life. With so much foot traffic this time of year even a housed pet can get out and without proper identification it will be more difficult for your pet to be returned to you quickly. You can stop by the Humane Society of Greater Dayton during our regular open hours and have your pets microchipped. It costs just $10 and takes just minutes to do. No appointments are required.

Choose Costumes Wisely

Although one of the safest bets for getting your pets in the Halloween spirit is by using a loosely tied bandana, many of us still enjoy dressing up our pets up in costumes. If a costume is in your pet’s future, choose one that is loose fitting and will not make it difficult for your pet to move around. If costumes are too tight or if they have too many bells and whistles, you pet could get tangled up or cause injury to him or herself while trying to get out of the outfit. Some pets really don’t like being dressed up. If your pet is one that doesn’t like costumes, don’t force them to wear something for your own amusement. This will just add stress and will leave you with a very unhappy animal.

Avoid the Candy

As much as your pets give you those puppy dog eyes or nudge you begging for treats, resist the urge to share your Halloween candy with them. Both chocolate and xylitol, a sweetener found in many candies, can be especially dangerous for your pets to eat. In addition, the sticks of lollipops or the wrappers of the candy can be choking hazards for your pet. If your pet ingests any of your candy, please call your veterinarian as soon as possible.

Be Aware of Decorations

Holiday decorations such as carved pumpkins, electrical cords, plants or decorative corn should be kept away from your pets. Not only could a swinging tail or a curious cat knock over candles or lit Jack-O-Lanterns, but they could also chew on cords or eat plants that could be harmful to them. If you have decorations like these at your house, make sure to keep them out of reach of your pets, or secure them so that pets won’t get harmed. Instead of open flames, try using battery-powered candles or other decorations that can be more pet-friendly.

Keep Them Separated

Whether you are having an indoor bash or just greeting trick-or-treaters at your door, a rush of people at your home can be stressful to your pets. Keep your pet’s anxiety level to a minimum by placing your pet in a separate room or away from where all of the foot traffic occurs. If the noises continue to bother them, consider turning on some relaxing music so it can tune out some of the other chatter that comes along with the Halloween festivities. 

Oct 4

Fall is Here! Keep Your Pets Safe

Dog in Autumn Leaves

It is hard to believe, but autumn is upon us. Each season, there are a variety of things that could place your pets in danger and we are working to show you tips and tricks to keep them happy and healthy. Here are just a few things you can do to keep your pets safe this season.

Be Mindful with Rodentcides

As rodents venture indoors to escape from the cooler temperatures of fall and winter, there is an increase of rodenticides used within homes. These rodenticides can be extremely toxic if not fatal if your pets ingest them. If you must use these items in your home, please use them responsibly and with extreme caution. Try to place them in areas that are not easily accessed by your pets.

Watch for Mushrooms

Both Spring and Fall are considered prime time for mushrooms to grow and although 99 percent of mushrooms will do nothing really to harm your pets, there is still that 1 percent that can be extremely toxic. It may be difficult to decipher which mushrooms are good and which are harmful to your pets so the best advice I can give is for your pet to avoid them all. If you spot your pet eating wild mushrooms, contact your vet immediately. You may want to also snip a sample of the mushroom and take it with you in a bag so the vet knows exactly what your pet ate.

Don’t Spill Your Coolant

This time of year, many of us choose to change our vehicle engine’s coolant. Coolants that are ethylene glycol-based can be extremely toxic to our four-legged friends. If you accidently spill any of your coolant, please clean it up immediately. You may want to also consider switching to a propylene glycol-based coolant. Although this is type is not completely nontoxic, it is far less harmful to your pets than the ethylene glycol-based coolant.

Beware of Snakes

This time of year, snakes who are preparing to hibernate can be a little grouchier than normal. This can mean bad news for your curious pet. You may want to learn more about the types of venomous snakes in your area and assess where these snakes may be located near your home. This way, you can make an effort to avoid harmful areas and keep your pets safe from any dangerous snake bites.

As temperatures cool down, you should be mindful of your pet’s needs. Take additional time to care for your pets. Make sure they have plenty of food to help them produce more body heat to fight the cooler temperatures and also make sure they have access to clean, fresh, unfrozen water. With these tips and tricks your pet will have a great fall season. Enjoy the crispness in the air and take a little time to let them play in a leaf pile or two.

Aug 30

Keep Pets Safe During Labor Day

swimming 1502563 1920

Can you believe that summer is already coming to an end? As we prepare for one of the season’s last cookouts or family gatherings, let’s make sure our pets stay safe for the holiday, too.

Keep Pets Cool

Although we are in the final stretch of summer, the temperatures continue to be rather high. Unlike humans, pets can’t cool down through sweating. Instead, they release heat through their tongues by way of panting. Just like when humans sweat, the water released through this cool down needs to be replaced. This is why it is so important to have fresh drinking water available for your pets. This is especially important following a long walk or car ride. It helps them stay cool and keeps their body temperature regulated.

If your pets are outdoors quite a bit, they need to also have a cool spot to relax and get away from the sun. A nice alternative for your pets would be a children’s plastic pool under a shade tree. They can get wet, keep their temperature low and relax in the shade. If you don’t have trees available, you will need to provide some sort of shelter for them to escape the sun and relax in a cooler place.

Watch for Sunburn

It is funny to think that pets can get sunburned, but those with light-colored skin or hair are more susceptible to the sun’s rays. In some cases, extensive exposure to the sun can even result in skin cancer. There are several sun blocks on the market now that are pet-friendly. Talk to your vet about what would work best for your pet. Make sure that when you apply sunblock, you put it on unprotected areas such as their nose and ears. Do not use sunscreen on your pets that is made for humans. If your pet ingests sunscreen, the chemicals used in these can cause drooling, vomiting, diarrhea, thirst or lethargy in your pets. Instead, use a sunscreen that specifically says on the label that it is for animal use.

Stay Safe Around Water

There is nothing better on a hot day than a dip in the pool. However, with adults, children and pets, pools can be dangerous if proper safety precautions aren’t put into place. This is especially important if you have an older pet who cannot get in and out of the pool as easily as they used to. If you don’t want your pet in the pool, place a protective fence around the water to keep them out. There are also ramps that can be used to make it easier for your pets to get in and out of the pool if they accidently fall in.

Also, if you are planning to go boating or be on the water with your dog, never leave them unsupervised. Just like in humans, dogs can get cramps while swimming, become tired or get caught by undercurrents in the water when they are too far off shore. To keep your dog safe, make sure they wear a life jacket, which is specifically designed for dogs. This can save their life in case of an emergency.

Watch What They Eat and Drink

With so many cookouts planned, it is easy for your pets to hop up and grab themselves a special treat. It is also more tempting to feed your pets a scrap or two from your plate so they feel part of the festivities. Resist these temptations. By keeping your pets away from raw foods and by feeding them their normal diet, you are helping your pet’s digestive system. Changing even one meal for your pet can give them diarrhea or severe indigestion. Plus, there are many common foods that people eat such as onions, chocolate, avocados, grapes and raisons that can be very toxic to animals.

Alcohol can also be poisonous to your pets. If it is consumed, your pet can become very intoxicated, weak, depressed or even go into a coma. In severe cases, respiratory failure can occur and may even result in death. Instead, make sure they have fresh, clean water available at all times.

Avoid the Repellent

Bugs can be a nuisance to you and your pet while enjoying the outdoors. However, don’t be tempted to apply bug or insect repellent to your pet unless it specifically says that it is pet-friendly. If your pet ingests this product, they can suffer many side effects such as drooling, vomiting, diarrhea, lethargy or excessive thirst. Also products containing DEET can lead to neurological problems in your pets. These same issues can also arise with the use of sunscreen, so please make sure anything you apply to your pet is specifically pet-friendly.

Jul 5

Beat the Heat: Keep Pets Safe

Having your pets join you for summer activities can be fun and healthy for both of you. However, it is important to understand how your pet reacts to heat and know what precautions you should take to keep your pet cool this summer.

 

Water is Your Pet’s Best Friend

Unlike humans, pets can’t cool down through sweating. Instead, they release heat through their tongues by way of panting. Just like when humans sweat, the water released through this cool down needs to be replaced. This is why it is so important to have fresh drinking water available for your pets. This is especially important following a long walk or car ride. It helps them stay cool and keeps their body temperature regulated.

Watch for Sunburn

It is funny to think that pets can get sunburned, but those with light-colored skin or hair are more susceptible to the sun’s rays. In some cases, extensive exposure to the sun can even result in skin cancer. There are several sun blocks on the market now that are pet-friendly. Talk to your vet about what would work best for your pet. Make sure that when you apply sunblock, you put it on unprotected areas such as their nose and ears.

Make Pools Safe

There is nothing better on a hot day than a dip in the pool. However, with adults, children and pets, pools can be dangerous if proper safety precautions aren’t put into place. This is especially important if you have an older pet who cannot get in and out of the pool as easily as they used to. If you don’t want your pet in the pool, place a protective fence around the water to keep them out. There are also ramps that can be used to make it easier for your pets to get in and out of the pool if they accidently fall in.

Keep Pets Out of Cars

We’ve been talking a lot about this lately, but it is so important to never leave your pet alone in a parked car. In just a matter of minutes, your pet’s health can go from good to bad as the temperature in your car rises to dangerous levels. Pets are very sensitive to heat and leaving your pets alone in a hot car not only puts them at risk for heatstroke, but could even lead to death. If you see a pet left alone in a parked car, immediately call 9-1-1. 

Provide Some Shade

If your pets are outdoors quite a bit, they need to have a cool spot to relax and get away from the sun. A nice alternative for your pets would be a children’s plastic pool under a shade tree. They can get wet, keep their temperature low and relax in the shade. If you don’t have trees available, you will need to provide some sort of shelter for them to escape the sun and relax in a cooler place.

Avoid High Noon

Exercising your pet should never be done when the sun is at its strongest. Instead choose times that are cooler for you and your pet such as early in the morning or in the late evening. Plus, be aware that hot pavement can hurt the pads of your pet’s feet. If you don’t want to walk on it barefoot then there is a good chance it is too hot for your pets.

Remember Your Feathered Friends

Birds naturally have a higher body temperature than cats or dogs so they typically fare better during the warmer months. However, an increase in their body temperature can cause heat exhaustion in your feathered friend. Make sure to keep their cages out of direct sunlight and keep fresh drinking water for them. If you want to give them a real treat, take a spray bottle and place it on the mist setting. Add some cool water and gently spray your bird. It will act as a nice way for them to cool down during summer.

Keep Small Animals Cool

Smaller animals such as rabbits and ferrets typically spend most of their time in cages. If you can’t keep your home cool enough for these pets, consider adding water to a plastic bottle and freezing it. Wrap a towel around the bottle and place it in the corner of their cage. Your smaller pets can lie close to the bottle and stay cool as the temperatures rise.


Do you have a question for Brian? E-mail him at AskBrian@hsdayton.org. Brian Weltge is the President and CEO of the Humane Society of Greater Dayton. The Humane Society is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization dedicated to building loving relationships between people and pets. Founded 116 years ago, it is the largest and most established “no-kill” animal welfare agency in the area. It focuses on pet adoptions, eliminating pet overpopulation, providing education and ensuring the humane treatment of animals. For more information about the Humane Society of Greater Dayton, call 937- 268-PETS (7387) or visit www.hsdayton.org.

Jan 1

Keep Pets Safe During Cold Weather

Dog in Snow

 

The holidays are here and winter is upon the Miami Valley. With it, also comes bitterly cold air, rain, sleet and snow. All of these weather conditions can take a toll on your pet’s skin and paws. In fact, it can cause chapped or itchy paws and flaky dry skin. As the temperatures drop, your pet is also at risk for many injuries or even death if left outdoors for long periods of time. Follow these simple tips to make sure you and your pets get through the cold winter ahead safely. 

Battle Cold Weather

Take pets inside with the exception of periods of exercise. This will protect them from the winter elements. Consider dressing your pet in a sweater or coat for outdoor activities. This will help them retain their body heat and will also prevent their skin from drying out. Whenever your pets go outdoors, you need to also protect their paws as much as possible.  Booties can help lower your pet’s exposure to painful salt crystals and other ice-melting elements. If booties aren’t an option, try rubbing petroleum jelly into the pads of your pet’s paws before you go out. This will protect your pet from salts and other chemicals. When you bring them indoors wipe off their paws with a dry towel immediately, making sure to pay attention to between their toes. 

 

Provide Proper Shelter

Although we recommend all animals stay indoors, the sad truth is many are outdoors even in the cold. If your pet must be outdoors, provide them with well-equipped shelter.You want shelter that is dry, draft-free and large enough for your pet to turn around, sit and lie down comfortably. Also, avoid placing blankets or towels in shelters when it is cold. These items absorb the wetness and actually can harm pets more than keep them warm. Instead, use straw in shelters. This helps circulate air, stays dry and adds warmth and padding to your pet.

 

Keep Pets Nourished

Did you know that in the winter months pets tend to use more energy to stay warm. Make sure to feed your pets a little more food during the winter and give them plenty of water. This will help them produce the energy they need to stay warmer and will keep them hydrated, which will help moisturize their skin.  Routinely check your pet's water dish to make certain the water is fresh and unfrozen. 

 

Bang Car Hood

Warm engines in parked cars attract cats and small wildlife, which may crawl up under the hood for warmth. To avoid injuring animals, bang on your car's hood to scare them away before starting your engine. 

 

Groom Your Pets

Animals with longer coats tend to have issues with salt crystals, snow balls or even de-icing chemicals clinging to their fur, which can dry your pet’s skin out. Keep fur trimmed to stop some of this from collecting on your pet. Don’t forget to also clip the hair between their paws. By also brushing your pet frequently, you can stimulate blood circulation, which improves your pet’s overall skin condition. You do however want to also limit the number of baths you give your pets during the winter months. Washing too often can remove the essential oils your pets need to keep their skin healthy. Your vet can recommend a good moisturizing shampoo or rinse for you to use on your pets to help their skin. 

 

Avoid Salt and Chemicals

Keep paws free of salt and other winter chemicals. The salt and chemicals used to melt snow and ice can irritate the pads of your pet's feet. Wipe the feet with a damp towel before yourpet licks them and irritates his or her mouth, too. 

 

Keep Antifreeze Out of Reach

Antifreeze is a deadly poison, but it has a sweet taste that may attract animals. Wipe up spills and store antifreeze where it cannot be accessed by pets. If your pet does ingest even the smallest bit of antifreeze, contact your veterinarian immediately or call the ASPCA’s Poison Control line at 888-426-4435.

 


Do you have a question for Brian? E-mail him at AskBrian@hsdayton.org. Brian Weltge is the President and CEO of the Humane Society of Greater Dayton. The Humane Society is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization dedicated to building loving relationships between people and pets. Founded in 1902, it is the largest and most established no-kill animal welfare agency in the area. It focuses on pet adoptions, eliminating pet overpopulation, providing education and ensuring the humane treatment of animals. For more information about the Humane Society of Greater Dayton, call 937-268-PETS (7387) or visit www.hsdayton.org.