National Pet Fire Safety Month 2015

Did you know that approximately 1,000 dogs are killed each year in fires started by the dogs themselves? National Pet Fire Safety Month was started to bring awareness to dog owners on how to prevent dogs from starting fires or being victimized by a fire.

Tips to Prevent Your Pet from Starting a Home Fire

  • Check your smoke alarm batteries twice a year. Make sure you have working fire extinguishers in multiple areas of your home.
  • Do not leave candles or a fire in your fireplace burning if your dog is unsupervised. Electric candles have become quite popular as a safe alternative and come in a variety of colors and even scents.
  • Do not let your dog or cat chew electrical cords. Be careful of crock pots that can be tipped over while you are away from home and your pet is alone.
  • Believe it or not, many dogs and cats have managed to turn on a stove or range with their tails or ignite burners when jumping up to look for food left over on top of the stove! Consider stove top covers like the kind used to baby proof your home.

Keep Your Pets Safe in Case of a Fire

  • Write down the number of pets in your home on a pet alert sticker so that emergency personnel know of their existence in case of a fire.
  • Get together an emergency kit for your pet and leave it near an exit. The kit should include a leash or carrier, food, and any necessary medications. Also, include a current copy of your dog’s veterinary records.
  • In the chaos of a fire, your pet can get lost or run away. Make sure you have a pet identifier such as the WaggTagg.

Interestingly, according to Trupanian Pet Insurance, more pets get saved when owners don’t stay in the house trying to save them all themselves. Many times pets get out even before you do and you could be jeopardizing your own life, plus that of a fire fighter, if you run back inside.

2015 Take Your Dog To Work Day

You’ve heard of the phrase “working like a dog”. Well on June 26 you can actually celebrate “Take Your Dog To Work Day” by taking your dog to visit your office. Many companies now allow dogs everyday – according to a survey by the American Pet Products Association, about 1.4 million owners take some 2.3 million dogs to work every day. It’s no longer an oddity to walk into an office with dogs – in many work environments, it’s a reality. Why? Because research has shown that having dogs in the work place actually lowers stress, provides comic relief and increases productivity.

Pet Sitters International (PSI) started the event in 1999 to “celebrate the great companions dogs make and encourage their adoptions.”

Here’s some tips to make sure the day is as paw-sitive as possible:

  • Clear it with the higher ups. Does your company have a policy on bringing dogs to work? You might want to put out a quick memo/policy, so all employees can take advantage of the day. For instance, are there certain parts of the building where the dogs won’t be allowed? Be aware of any employees that are allergic to dogs.
  • Basic commands. Hopefully, your dog responds to basic commands like “sit”, “stay” and “kennel up”. It’s best to keep your dog leashed at all times when not gated or crated safely in your workspace to maintain control of his whereabouts. Don’t assume all dogs are obedient and friendly or that your dog won’t run.
  • Exercise your dog before you bring him or her to the office so he’s not hyper.
  • Bring your own water bowls and food bow
  • Keep a dog bed/crate in your office with toys. Bringing your dog’s bedding will help him relax and feel more at home. While it may be a good idea to bring a long a chew toy, remove them if another dog enters the vicinity so there’s no scuffles. This will also make your dog less territorial and reduce any separation anxiety.
  • Take your dog on a tour. Your dog is going to be interested in all the sights and smells of a new environment. If you are by his side, he is less likely to run off, hot on the trace of a new scent.
  • Clear your work space of any cables and cords. Many of us have computers and other technological gadgets that need to be plugged in. You don’t want your dog to use them as a chew toy!
  • Respect your colleagues work space. Believe it or not, not everyone likes dogs! Let others approach your dog, not the other way around.
  • Clean up after your dog. Even though your dog doesn’t generally have accidents, marking with numerous dogs in the office can become a problem. Have carpet cleaning and odor minimizing supplies on hand.

Bringing your best friend to work has so many benefits, and with a little preparation, it can be a wonderful way to celebrate the value of pets in the workplace.  You don’t want to get dogged by your colleagues for poor pooch etiquette!

For more tips, visit our Top 10 Tips For Taking Your Dog To Work

 

 

 

What I Appreciate About My Dogs

Although I have never had any children, I think of my dogs as my kids. Ever since I was a child, a dog has been by my side. As a dog parent, and as Father’s Day rolls around, I feel I should acknowledge what I love about my paw-sitive kids.

They:

  • Love me unconditionally
  • Don’t talk back or talk about me behind my back
  • Act well-behaved in public
  • Make me laugh
  • Cuddle on the couch and pretend they are lap dogs
  • Snore as loud as I do
  • Cheer me up when I am sick or having a bad day
  • Trust me implicitly
  • Wag their tail out of happiness when I come home
  • Smother me with licks and kisses
  • Warn me of dangers
  • Eat with gusto and could care less I am hopeless as a cook
  • Put up with my singing
  • Put up with my moods
  • Don’t judge
  • Don’t throw tantrums
  • Sleep through the night
  • Make me exercise even when I would rather be a couch potato
  • Don’t yell at me when I get too loud and start cursing when my sports team is losing

Would you same the same about your ‘kids’?

10 Lifesaving Tips For Your Dog In The Summer

IMG_3600NEWlogo_2Keeping your dog cool during the dogs days of summer isn’t always easy. Here are some tips from BarkBusters to help your dog beat the heat!

  1. Never leave a dog in a hot car. Just running into the cleaners and thinking about leaving your dog in the car? Remember that dogs can’t perspire and their only way of dispelling heat is panting and through their paws. Did you know that on a 78-degree day, the temperature inside a parked car can soar to between 100 and 120 degrees in just minutes, and on a 90-degree day, the interior temperature can reach as high as 160 degrees in less than 10 minutes. You dog can suffer brain and organ damage in only 15 minutes and possibly kill your dog shortly thereafter.
  2. Apply sunscreen. Do you know how the dermatologist is always telling you to wear sunscreen even on a cloudy day to block out the sun’s harmful rays? The same can hold true for dogs. Your dog’s light-colored coat, or lack of black pigment around his ears and eyes can be a magnet for skin cancer or even a sunburn if exposed to the sun’s ultraviolet rays. Talk to your vet about a sun block, particularly one that your dog can’t lick off. And remember that hot pavement can burn your dog’s paws!
  3. Don’t put your dog in the front seat. Although your dog may like to ride near you in the car, putting him in the front seat could be dangerous if you are in an accident and the air bags deploy. Ideally if your dog is riding in the car, he should have a harness or a seat belt. Although your dog may like sticking his head out of the window, this can cause ear and eye infections.
  4. Rinse off after swimming. Water may seem cool and refreshing to your dog, but a dirty lake or pond can cause ear mites or eye infections. Rinse your dog off, particularly to make sure no insects are sticking to his fur. Be wary of strong currents, riptides or sink holes.
  5. Always have fresh water. Make sure your dog has access to fresh water at all times. If you are going for a run carry a water bottle for you both.
  6. Keep his hair short. Consider clipping or shaving dogs with long coats (talk to your veterinarian first to see if it’s appropriate for your pet). Why? Some breeds’ long coats actually act as insulation to keep your dog cool. Shaving them in the summer could actually do more harm than good.
  7. Take him for a swim. Remember, that not all dogs know how to swim. Dogs usually fall into one of three categories: those that know how to swim, those that can be taught how to swim and those that will probably never learn to swim. For instance, water spaniels, golden retrievers, and Irish setters are natural born swimmers because of their strong limbs. Boxers, pugs, dachshunds and bulldogs often have a tough time swimming because of their short legs. Other dogs, regardless of their breed are terrified of water. Make sure your dog knows how to get in and out of a swimming pool safely before you throw him in.
  8. Time your walks. Don’t walk your dog in the heat and most humid part of the day (between 12PM and 5PM) if temperatures are soaring. This is especially true for dogs with short snouts – like the bulldog.
  9. Plant non-toxic plants. Azaleas are beautiful but are toxic to dogs. For a full list of plants that can harm your dog, click here.
  10. Lock up the insecticides and fertilizers. Keep your dog inside while you are fertilizing or spraying against insects because many of the chemicals can be hazardous to your pet.

Bark Busters wants you to have a safe and fun summer with your dog!

 

 

A Safe Trip to the Dog Park

It may seem like a great idea to take your dog to the dog park. The weather is getting better and he can play and socialize with other dogs.

What most dog owners don’t think about is  the dog park is there are some hazards lurking in a dog park  for both you and your dog, particularly if they allow the dogs to roam off leash. Here  some tips to keep both of you safe and well protected at the park.

  • Basic commands. Before you even venture to a dog park, make sure your dog responds to the command “come”. Although you can’t control what other dogs may do, it is imperative you have control of your own dog. In fact, you might want to visit the park the first time without your dog so you can familiarize yourself with the park and the dogs that play there. Make sure the park is well maintained and that dog owners clean up after their dogs. Avoid parks that are riddled with weeds, dog poop or mud pits. Keep the first few visits to the dog park short. No longer than 15 minutes. Then you can increase how long you stay as your dog gets more comfortable.
  • Closely supervise your dog. It is best not to take your eye off your dog. Try not to get distracted by talking to other dog owners, because in a split second your dog could be facing an aggressive dog. Check your dog’s body language to help you avoid any trouble before it starts. You know your dog better than anyone. Not all dogs love other dogs nor do they socialize well with other dogs.
  • Look for potential hazards. Be aware of any potential hazards that may be in the park, such as toxic chemicals, garbage or noxious plants. If the park has just been sprayed for weeds or fertilized, avoid it for at least 24 hours. Make sure your dog is up-to-date on all vaccinations and worm medication.
  • Leave small puppies at home. Puppies less than four months old aren’t fully immunized yet and are at a higher risk for contracting diseases. They are extremely vulnerable to being traumatized by another dog’s aggressive behavior. Also, many parks have separate areas for big dogs and small dogs. Many large dogs like to play rough and lunge at all dogs.
  • Let your dog off leash as soon as you enter unleashed areas. Mixing leashed and unleashed dogs can lead to a hostile situation. A leashed dog may not know if he is supposed to “fight or flight” – if he cannot take flight, he may have to fight. Also, if you keep him on his leash, he could get his leash tangled up with another dog, and one or both of them could get hurt.
  • Know when to leave. Like a good party, you have to take the cue to leave. If your dog is afraid, tired, threatened or overexcited, leave so you both don’t have a bad experience. Keep your dog’s welfare a top priority. As soon as you sense that your dog is not having fun, then it’s time to leave.  Dog parks can be a source of over-stimulation for some dogs (like sensitive or shy dogs).

And never,  ever reach in to break up fighting dogs. Squirt the dogs in the face with a water bottle or try to distract them by throwing something near them. Never intervene.

Bark Busters wants you and your dog to have a safe and happy experience.