Tips for Keeping Your Dog Calm This 4th of July

The 4th of July can be a nerve-wracking holiday for any dog.

Dogs don’t understand fireworks, so when there’s a sudden explosion in the sky accompanied by an extremely loud noise — which is made even worse by a dog’s acute sense of hearing — it’s no wonder why many dogs get scared and freak out a little. A fear of fireworks in dogs is perfectly normal, but that doesn’t make Independence Day any easier for dog owners. The good news is that there are a lot of steps you can take to make the 4th of July easier on both you and your dog, including:

#1. Keep your dog inside.

If you know your dog gets anxious around fireworks — or you’re unsure of how they’ll react — it’s a much better option to keep them inside at home until the fireworks have subsided than it is to bring your dog to the center of the action. If your dog gets frightened while you are out and about, or even in the yard, they may escape and run away. Additionally, when dogs are scared, it can cause them to act unpredictably toward other animals or people.

#2. Stay home with your dog.

We know that everyone wants to be able to go out and enjoy the fireworks, but as a dog owner, sometimes, sacrifices are required. Locking your dog in your house by themselves while fireworks are going off can freak them out quite a bit, and it can help a lot if someone stays home to comfort them. Plus, if you’re home, you can ensure that your dog doesn’t try to escape. After all, just because your dog is in your home, it doesn’t mean they can’t escape. Some dogs have even been known to jump through windows in their attempt to escape from a loud, unknown noise.

#3. Make sure your dog gets plenty of exercise.

During the daytime on the 4th of July, you’ll need to make sure that your dog gets lots and lots of exercise. If your dog is physically tired, it will help to reduce their anxiety while the fireworks are going off. Taking them on a long walk or playing a strenuous game of tug of war or fetch will help to keep your dog calm during the fireworks show.

#4. Section off a quiet, comfortable space for your dog at home.

Simply leaving your dog at home is often not good enough, especially if you can’t be there with them during the loudest part of the night. If you can create a quiet, comfortable space in your home for your dog during the fireworks (and far away from any windows), it will help to block out some of the noise that causes the anxiety and panic. Make sure your dog has plenty of toys and treats to keep them busy during the fireworks, and make sure there are no areas where they could escape if they do start to panic.

#5. Allow your dog to relieve themselves before the fireworks start.

Dogs shouldn’t be forced to hold it for longer than necessary, and you’ll want to ensure that your dog has a chance to do their business before the first firework goes off. If you take your dog outside in your yard or even on a leash during the fireworks to relieve themselves, they are at risk for escaping and fleeing the loud noise, which could lead to them getting lost or injured.

#6. Make sure the ID information is correct.

While it’s smart to take precautions to prevent your dog from running away to try to escape the loud noises from the fireworks, it’s also smart to have a plan B, just in case. If your dog does somehow get out during the fireworks show, they’ll have a much better chance of getting back home again if the information on their ID tag is up to date, so double check that the ID information is correct before the 4th gets here. In our next blog, we’ll be going over a few more things you can do to keep your dog safe and calm on the 4th of July. In the meantime, if you have questions or concerns about anxiety in dogs, or your dog is due for a veterinary visit, contact us at The Vet Set to schedule your appointment with our veterinarian.

How to Keep Your Pet Safe This Summer Part 2

The summer is a magical time in many ways, but it can also be a dangerous season for your pet.

Your pet faces many different risks in the summer, and you can learn about them when you check out our previous blog series. Although summer can be a dangerous season for pets in many different ways, there are also many things you, as a pet owner, can do to keep your pet safe and protected throughout the summer. In part one of this series, we touched on the first few steps you can take to keep your pet safe this summer. Keep reading to learn more.

#7. Protect your dog from sunburns.

A lot of people are surprised to learn that dogs can get sunburned just like people can. Some dogs are more susceptible to sunburns than other dogs, like dogs that are hairless, have thin hair or have white fur. However, no matter what breed your dog is, all dogs have areas of their bodies that are at risk for burns, like the ears and belly. The risk of sunburn is even higher if you shave your dog in the summer and expose the skin underneath it. However, you can protect against sunburns by using a sunscreen that is safe for dogs. Avoid any and all sunscreen that has zinc-oxide in it. This common ingredient in sunscreen is toxic to dogs, and because dogs like to lick the sunscreen off, it could easily get ingested.

#8. Know and watch for the signs of heat stroke.

Heat stroke is a major concern in the summer, and it can be caused by many different things, from leaving your pet in the hot car to over-exercising your pet in the middle of the hottest part of the day. Some pets are even more prone to heat stroke than others, including pets who are overweight, very young and very old, pets who have respiratory issues, and pets who haven’t been conditioned to exercise. Additionally, dog breeds that have short muzzles, like Bully breeds and pugs, have a harder time breathing in the heat and should be monitored closely. The signs of heatstroke include heavy panting, difficulty breathing, fever, lethargy, profuse salivation, lack of coordination, vomiting, a purple or deep red tongue, unconsciousness and seizure. At the first sign of a heatstroke, bring your dog to our animal hospital in Carroll Gardens.

#9. Avoid giving your pet people food.

With barbecues and picnics all summer long, many pet owners are tempted to let their furry friends in on the fun by feeding them leftovers or table scraps. However, it’s important to remember that many foods that are safe for humans are toxic for dogs and/or cats. Onions, raisins, mushrooms, grapes and chocolate are just a few of the many foods that are unsafe for pets to consume, but there are many more. Furthermore, other foods that may not be toxic for your pet could still be dangerous for them to consume. Chicken bones, for example, aren’t poisonous, but when ingested, they can splinter and puncture your pet’s digestive tract. As a general rule, it’s best to avoid giving any people food to your pets, but if you must, at least do your research to make sure it’s safe first.

#10. Take precautions when you travel.

Summer is a great time for family vacations, and if your furry friend will be traveling with you, you’ll want to make sure they are safe. Never put your dog in the back of an open pickup truck. It’s incredibly dangerous for your dog, as they could fall out or jump out easily. Even allowing your pet to hang halfway out of your car window can be dangerous, as they may jump out or could end up getting hit by something. Pets who are loose inside a car may get scared and try to jump on the driver’s lap, increasing the risk of an accident. A pet carrier is the safest place for your pet while traveling, but make sure that you take frequent breaks so that your pet can stretch their legs and do their business.

#11. Leave your dog at home on the Fourth of July.

The Fourth of July is the biggest fireworks’ holiday in the United States, and as such, it can be a terrifying experience for your dog. That’s why it’s always better to leave your dog at home for the festivities than it is to bring them along. A terrified dog can act in unpredictable ways, putting themselves as well as other at risk, and your dog will feel much more comfortable at home, where it’s hopefully at least a little quieter.

Let us help you keep your pet safe this summer.

Summer can be a risky time for our pets, but with a few precautions and a little knowledge, you can do a lot to prevent your pet from getting hurt or sick. If you have questions or concerns, or your pet needs veterinary attention, contact us at The Vet Set today.

How to Keep Your Pet Safe This Summer

With the summer, comes many risks for our pets.

The summer is finally here, and it’s time to say goodbye to those short, cold days of winter. While there’s a lot to be excited about in the summer, it’s important to know about the risks summer brings for our pets. In our last blog series, we talked about summer dangers for pets, and if you had a chance to read it, then you already know about the many things that can put your pet at risk. Luckily though, there are lots of things you can do as a pet owner to keep your pet safe. Here are just a few of them:

#1. Make sure your pet is on a heartworm preventative.

We recommend that you give your pet a heartworm preventative all year round, but if your pet isn’t currently on one, now is the time to get started. Heartworm is transmitted to dogs and cats by mosquitoes, which are most active in the summer, and the cheapest and easiest way to deal with heartworm is to prevent it. If you wait until your pet has already contracted heartworm to start being concerned about it, you’ll be faced with an expensive treatment option that is nowhere near as effective as prevention. Schedule your appointment with our animal hospital in Carroll Gardens today to get your pet started on a heartworm prevention.

#2. Be mindful about the heat when exercising your dog.

All dogs need exercise, and the summer doesn’t change that. However, in the summer, you may not be able to take your dog for a run in the middle of the day because of the heat. Dogs can get overheated quickly, and pushing your dog to exercise during the hottest part of the day is definitely a common cause. When the heat is on, take your dog for walks or runs early in the morning or later on in the evening to keep them from overheating.

#3. Make sure your dog always has water and a cool place to rest.

The summer is not the time of the year when it’s okay to leave your dog tethered to a leash outside in the full glare of the sun. Besides the fact that it is illegal in the state of New York to leave your dog tethered alone for more than three hours, it also puts their life at risk. This is another surefire way to overheat your dog, and it’s always essential that your dog has a cool place to hang out and plenty of water to drink. The same goes for leaving your dog in the car while you run errands. Contrary to what you might think, it gets much too hot in a car to leave your dog for even a short amount of time without the risk of overheating.

#4. Don’t leave your dog unsupervised around water.

Despite what a lot of people think, not every dog is going to be a natural in the water. Believe it or not, thousands of dogs die every year from drowning in backyard pools, and you should absolutely never leave your dog unsupervised in the water. For even more peace of mind, buy a life jacket for your dog to wear when you’re in the water!

#5. Be mindful of your pet’s feet when out walking.

When you’re out walking, it’s important to be mindful about the ground you’re walking on. Your pet doesn’t have shoes on like you do, and the hot asphalt underneath their feet can cause burns. When you’re walking outside, try to stay on grass and dirt during the hottest part of the day. But, as a general rule, you’re much better off walking your pet during a cooler part of the day, like in the mornings or evenings.

#6. Make sure all of your windows have screens.

If you’re home doesn’t have air conditioning, tempting a breeze into your home by opening your windows is one of the best ways to keep cool during the summer. However, it’s important to ensure that any windows you leave open have screens. Both cats and dogs could easily get out if you leave ground-level windows open, putting them at risk for getting lost, in a fight or run over by a car. And, if you live on the second floor or higher, it’s even more important to ensure that all windows have screens, as pets can fall out and get hurt or killed. Summer can be a dangerous time for pets for many reasons, but there are lots of things you can do to keep your pet safe. To learn more tips for protecting your pet this summer, please stay tuned for our next blog. And, if your pet is due for a veterinary visit, schedule your appointment with us at The Vet Set in Carroll Gardens today!

Summer Dangers All Pet Owners Need to Know About Part 2

The warm weather is the best part about the summer, but it can be a risky time of the year for your pet.

From the warm, sunny days spent reading your favorite book by the pool to the BBQs, ice cream and flip flops, there’s a lot to love about the summer. But, the warm weather that makes the summer so special also brings about a lot of dangers for your furry friend. If you haven’t already, check out our latest blog to learn about the first five summer dangers for your pet, and keep reading to learn more:

#6. Mosquitoes

There’s almost nothing more irritating than having an endlessly itchy mosquito bite. However, mosquitoes present a much bigger threat to pets than just their bite. Mosquitoes can transmit heartworm to dogs, which can be deadly. And to make matters worse, once your pet contracts heartworm, it is difficult and expensive to treat. There’s good news, however. Heartworm is incredibly easy to prevent. All you have to do is give your pet their monthly preventative medication, which you can get a prescription for from your veterinarian. Don’t get caught up in the misconception that because you live in the city or because your pet stays mostly inside that they don’t need a heartworm preventative. Mosquitoes can bite anywhere, and this preventative medication is much more affordable and effective than heartworm treatment.

#7. Allergies

When the warm weather arrives, many people deal with runny noses and itchy, watery eyes. Pets, just like people, can suffer from seasonal allergies in the summer. Signs of allergies in pets include sneezing, eyes that are red and watery, itchy paws, skin infections and ear infections. If you think your pet might be suffering from seasonal allergies, consult your veterinarian.

#8. Fleas

Just as mosquitoes, ticks and bees are more active during the warm summer months, so are fleas. Most people are aware of the fact that, when fleas bite, they make pets irritated and itchy, but did you know that fleas can carry diseases and parasites that can affect your pet and yourself? Believe it or not, fleas can carry the bubonic plague, and it can affect both cats and people. Fleas can also transmit tapeworms and hemobartonella, which is a blood parasite that can lead to severe anemia in pets. Luckily though, like mosquitoes, flea bites are incredibly easy to prevent with the right preventative medication, which you can get from your local veterinary clinic in Carroll Gardens.

#9. Dehydration

It’s important for your pet to have access to water all the time, regardless of the time of the year, but in the summer, it becomes even more essential. Pets can become severely dehydrated in the summer without their owners realizing it, and it’s essential that you learn to recognize the signs of dehydration in pets so that, if your pet does become dehydrated, you can get them the treatment they need right away. Signs of dehydration in pets include panting, loss of appetite, reduced energy levels, sunken-in eyes, dry gums and nose and loss of elasticity in skin. In cases of mild dehydration, getting your dog to drink water might be enough in the way of treatment, but if your dog is severely dehydrated, you need to take them to the veterinarian immediately.

#10. Water Dangers

Some of the best parts of summer happen in and around water, but any time you are around water with your dog, it’s imperative that you watch them closely. Many people think that all dogs are natural swimmers, but that’s simply not the case. Some dogs are not natural-born swimmers, and if your dog is one of them, there is a risk they could drown if you don’t watch them closely in the water. If you’re worried about the risks associated with your dog swimming, consider investing in a life vest for your dog. Another water danger that it’s important to be aware of is stagnant water. When you’re walking or playing with your dog in the heat of the day, they’ll probably try to get water anywhere they can get it, including stagnant ponds and water in gutters. Never allow your dog to drink stagnant water, as it often contains bacteria that can make them sick.

Let us help you keep your pet safe all summer long.

As you can see, there are many things that can put your pet in harm’s way over the summer, but a little know-how and the right preventative steps go a long way toward keeping your pet safe and sound throughout the warmest months of the year. In our next blog, we’ll be going over summer-specific safety tips for your pet, so make sure that you stay tuned. And if, in the meantime, your pet needs to see a veterinarian for any reason this summer, schedule your appointment with our team at the Vet Set in Carroll Gardens.

Summer Dangers All Pet Owners Need to Know About

Summer is here, and it brings many dangers for your pet.

There’s a reason why summer is most people’s favorite time of the year. It’s sunny, warm and the world becomes your playground, not to mention the fresh fruit, ice cream and long, lazy days by the pool. But, no matter how much you love summer, it’s important to be aware of the dangers that it can pose for your pet. Here are the biggest dangers your pet faces during the hottest months of the year:

#1. Overheating

We all get hot from time to time, but if your dog gets overheated, it can quickly turn into a life-threatening situation unless you are able to get them the treatment they need right away. Overheating can lead to heat exhaustion, heat stroke or even sudden death caused by cardiac arrhythmias. When it’s hot outside, make sure your dog has a cool place to rest, and that they have plenty of water to drink. Pay close attention to your dog to watch for signs of overheating — noisy, fast breathing, panting and disorientation. Other signs to watch out for include blue or bright red gums, convulsions, collapsing, diarrhea and vomiting. If you think your dog might be overheating, immediately wet them with cool water and then take them to your local veterinary clinic in Carroll Gardens right away. Never keep your dog in a hot car!

#2. Activities Off the Leash

With summer comes the temptation to allow your dog to be off of their leash. Whether you’re running, cycling or even swimming, it’s important to be aware of the dangers of allowing your dog to be off leash. Even if your dog is fully trained and always follows your directions, other dogs and wild animals could pose a threat to your dog. And, if your dog is like most dogs, they don’t always listen perfectly to your every command, and all it takes is your dog running off to chase one pesky squirrel to put them at risk of getting lost or run over by a car.

#3. Bee Stings

There’s no doubt about it, bee stings hurt. But, if you’re allergic to bees, bee stings are much more serious than the short-term pain and discomfort they cause. What many people don’t realize is that, just as people can be deathly allergic to bee stings, so can dogs. If you notice that your dog has suddenly yelped, and they start to rub or lick a specific area excessively, they may have a bee sting. If you’re unsure about whether your dog is allergic to bee stings, watch for signs of an allergic reaction, including swelling of the face, hives, diarrhea, vomiting, trouble breathing, pale gums, collapse and a wobbly gait. If you suspect that your dog has been stung and is having an allergic reaction, take them to your veterinarian immediately.

#4. Toxic Plants

Summer is the perfect time of the year to bring the outdoors into your home, and to fill your garden with beautiful flowers and plant life. But, if you have pets at home, it’s important to make sure that you do your homework about which plants are toxic for pets. Even some of the most beautiful plants can be poisonous for our pets. For example, lily of the valley and white oleander can cause heart arrhythmias that can be fatal in pets. Check out the ASPCA’s list of poisonous plants before deciding to bring new plants into your home or on your property. While it’s best to steer clear of these plants altogether, if you do have toxic plants in your home or garden, make sure they are out of reach of your pet.

#5. Ticks

With warmer weather comes lots of insect activity, and as the summer is the peak of breeding season for ticks, they are all too common this time of year. Ticks are nasty, and no one wants to find a tick stuck to themselves or their dog, but what’s even worse are the diseases that ticks carry and can transmit to dogs and humans. These disease include Rocky Mountain spotted fever and Lyme disease, as well as anemia, joint inflammation and problems with blood clotting. Always check yourself and your dog thoroughly every time you return from a trip outside. And, make sure you talk to your veterinarian about preventative precautions to protect your dog from ticks. There are many things that can put your pet at risk this summer, and it’s important to be aware of them so that you can take the proper steps to keep your pet safe. Make sure that you stay tuned for our next blog to learn about the other dangers your pet faces over the summer months. In the meantime, if you’re concerned about your pet’s health this summer, or your pet is due for a check-up, contact us at The Vet Set to schedule your appointment.

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