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9 Tips To Keep Your Pet Safe on July 4th

9 Tips To Keep Your Pet Safe on July 4th

As much as we all enjoy watching the “big lights go boom” in the sky  every Fourth of July, our pets aren’t always thrilled with independence day  activities.

Courtesy of our friends over at the ASPCA, here  are some great products and tips to keep your  pets calm and safe during  the Independence day activities and prevent them from  becoming one of  the thousands of missing “July 4th doggies” that are  traumatized every  year by fireworks and other scary noises (…like Uncle Frank  at the  Karaoke machine, etc.).

1. Never leave alcoholic drinks unattended where pets can  reach them. Alcoholic beverages have the potential to  poison pets. If ingested,  the animal could become very intoxicated and  weak, severely depressed or could  go into a coma. Death from respiratory  failure is also a possibility in severe  cases.

2. Do not apply any sunscreen or insect repellent product to your pet  that is not labeled specifically for use on animals.  Ingestion of  sunscreen products can result in drooling, vomiting,  diarrhea, excessive thirst  and lethargy. The misuse of insect repellent  that contains DEET can lead to  neurological problems.

3. Always keep matches and lighter fluid out of your pets’ reach. Certain types of matches contain chlorates, which could  potentially  damage blood cells and result in difficulty breathing—or even  kidney  disease in severe cases. Lighter fluid can be irritating to skin, and if  ingested can produce gastrointestinal irritation and central nervous  system  depression. If lighter fluid is inhaled, aspiration pneumonia and  breathing  problems could develop.

4. Keep your pets on their normal diet.  Any change, even  for one meal, can give your pets severe indigestion  and diarrhea. This is  particularly true for older animals who have more  delicate digestive systems  and nutritional requirements. And keep in  mind that foods such as onions,  chocolate, coffee, avocado, grapes &  raisins, salt and yeast dough can all  be potentially toxic to companion  animals.

5. Do not put glow jewelry on your pets, or allow them to play with it. While the luminescent substance contained in these products is not highly toxic, excessive drooling and gastrointestinal irritation could still result from ingestions, and intestinal blockage could occur from swallowing large pieces of the plastic containers.

6. Keep citronella candles, insect coils and oil products out of reach. Ingestions can produce stomach irritation and possibly even central nervous system depression. If inhaled, the oils could cause aspiration pneumonia in pets.

7. Never use fireworks around pets! While exposure to lit fireworks can potentially result in severe burns and/or trauma to the face and paws of curious pets, even unused fireworks can pose a danger. Many types contain potentially toxic substances, including potassium nitrate, arsenic and other heavy metals.

8. Loud, crowded fireworks displays are no fun for pets, so please resist the urge to take them to Independence Day festivities. Instead, keep your little guys safe from the noise in a quiet, sheltered and escape-proof area at home.

9. Keep ‘em Calm: Consider calming your pet with a homeopathic calming remedy, available over the counter at most natural pet stores or the new Thundershirt, which features a gentle, constant pressure that has a dramatic calming effect for most dogs if they are anxious, fearful or over-excited. If your pet has severe anxiety with loud noises, you might consider consulting with your veterinarian for other options.

Please pass these tips on to any new pet parents you might know, to make sure they understand how to best prepare their pup or kitten for the holiday weekend and feel free to leave a comment with other tips you have found helpful. Happy Fourth!

 By Janet McCulley, Animal Planet

7 Home Remedies For Your Dog

7 Home Remedies For Your Dog


When you’re feeling under the weather, you might find that the  perfect thing  for treating what ails you is something you already have  in the kitchen. Did you know  that you can treat your ailing dog with  some simple home remedies too? Below  you will find seven great natural  remedies for making your dog happy and  healthy again.

TIP #1

Vitamin E is good for preventing those pesky age lines on your face,  and  it’s also great for your dog’s dry skin. You can give your pup a  doggy massage  by applying vitamin E oil directly to the skin, a soaking  bath with vitamin E  added to the water, or you can go all “Hollywood”  and pop your dog a pill (of  vitamin E, that is).

If you give the vitamin orally, check with your vet on the recommended dosage  for your specific dog breed.

TIP #2

Flavorless electrolyte-replacing liquids, such as sports waters or  pediatric  drinks, not only help athletes to replenish fluids, and babies  to rehydrate  after an illness, they can also supply your sick pooch’s  body with much needed  fluids after a bout of diarrhea or vomiting.

Consult your veterinarian as to the appropriate dosage amounts when giving  these types of liquids to your dog.

TIP #3

Deliciously plain yogurt is a healthy treat for your dog. Just as  with  humans, the live acidophilus in the yogurt keeps the good bacteria  in your  dog’s intestines in balance, so that bad bacteria is swiftly  knocked out. If  your dog is on antibiotics, a little yogurt will also  help keep yeast  infections at bay (a common side-effect of antibiotic  treatment). You can also  give your dog acidophilus pills — wrapping the  pills in bacon is strictly  optional.

Puppies are especially prone to yeast infections, so a little plain  yogurt  as a snack (or even dessert) can help keep things in balance;  especially useful  while the intestinal system is building immunities.

TIP #4

Chamomile tea uses the natural disinfecting effects of the chamomile  plant  to settle upset doggy tummies. It is recommended for colic, gas,  and anxiety.  It can also alleviate minor skin irritations. Just chill in  the fridge and  spray onto the affected area on the dog’s raw skin. Your  dog should feel an  immediate soothing effect as the chilled tea kills  the yeast and/or bacteria on  the skin. A warm (not hot) tea bag can also  be used for soothing infected or  irritated eyes.

TIP #5

An itchy dog can be quite an annoyance, especially as it goes around   scratching itself on any piece of furniture it can reach. Forget the   backscratcher. Finely ground oatmeal is a time-honored remedy for  irritated  skin. You can use baby oatmeal cereal or grind it yourself in a  food processor.  Stir the oatmeal into a bath of warm water and let your  dog soak in the healing  goodness. Your dog will thank you, trust us.  Dogs with skin allergies,  infections, and other diseases which cause  itchiness have been shown to gain  immediate relief with this approach,  too.

TIP #6

Dogs can be like kids at times, and as such they are bound to suffer  from  wounds and the occasional unexplained swelling. Try treating these  ailments  with Epsom salt soaks and heat packs next time. A bath  consisting of Epsom salt  and warm water can help reduce the swelling and  the healing time, especially  when combined with prescribed antibiotics  and veterinary supervision.

If soaking your dog in an Epsom salt bath twice a day for five  minutes isn’t  convenient or practical, a homemade heat pack using a  clean towel drenched in  the same warm-water solution can be applied to  wounds for the same effect.

TIP #7

Does your dog have fleas? Never fear. Before turning to the big guns,  try  some borax powder. The standard stuff at the store will work  wonders on fleas by poking holes in their crunchy insect  exoskeletons. A good way to  make sure those parasitic suckers get  annihilated is to sprinkle the  borax on your floor, and then sweep or vacuum up  the excess. The  invisible borax crystals left behind will kill the fleas and  you won’t  even have to lift a finger. It’s inexpensive and practically  non-toxic  compared to an appointment with the exterminator.

For the dog, try a simple solution of lemon water. Fleas are repelled  by  citrus, so this can work both as a flea preventive, and for making  your dog  smell clean and refreshing. A useful solution can be made by  pouring boiled  water over lemons and allowing them to steep over night.  This solution can then  be applied all over your dog’s skin using a fresh  spray bottle. And, the tried  and true Brewer’s yeast method cannot be  left out. Brewer’s yeast can be given  as part of a regular diet in  powdered form, sprinkled over the dog food, or in  tablet form, perhaps  wrapped in a small slice of bacon or cheese.

Home (or holistic) remedies aren’t just for tree huggers anymore.  It’s  important to take care of your dog from  day to day, not just when  it’s  feeling a little under the weather, and the best way to maintain  the best  health is often the most natural way. But most of all, it’ll  help keeping your “baby” from crying like a hound dog.

By Nicholas, selected from petMD

petMD is a leading online resource focused solely on the health and  well-being of pets. The site maintains the world’s largest pet health library,  written and approved by a network of trusted veterinarians. petMD was founded to  inspire pet owners to provide an ever-increasing quality of life for their pets  and to connect pet owners with pet experts and other animal lovers. For more  information, visit


Describe Your Pet in One Word…

Describe Your Pet in One Word


If you could describe your pet in one word, what would it be?

I was recently asked to describe both of my dogs in one word. “Determined” is  the word I used for Sanchez (pictured above).  I’ve actually never known a  dog who could focus so intently on something of desire and not forget about it  no matter how many distractions are present. When he was a puppy in training for Guide Dogs for the Blind, many people observed that he would  monitor a room for hours, find a missing loop hole where he could do something  forbidden, and then perform that behavior in the most creative of ways. His “down” is admirable. However, while in a “down”, he has been known to crawl  across an entire room to get a crumb on the floor. You can see the look of  determination on his face. It’s honestly quite entertaining, especially as he  looks at me as if he’s thinking, “Well, I’m still in a down.”

Gina’s word is “playful”. She is ready to play at any hour of the day or night.  Unlike Sanchez, it doesn’t occur to her that there are loop holes, because  everything is just good all the time. OK, it was really a toss-up between the  words “playful” and “happy”. She never complains about anything, and is much  more a typical Lab than Sanchez. Everything is just good all the time.

My belief is that pets are brought into our life to teach us many life lessons. It’s different for everyone and  even changes at various times in our lives. I don’t find it accidental that  Sanchez was brought into my life at the same time I was on the verge of creating  music that calms dogs. He was actually the  inspiration for it, as he was a very high energy, rambunctious puppy and was  calmed easily by the right prescription of music. His determination that he  carried in his own personality was something that I learned from and still apply  to my life today. Now that I devote my full time career to helping improve the  lives of dogs with music, his reminder to be patient, determined, and never lose  sight of my dream of helping relieve anxiety issues in millions of dogs through  sound therapy is something I carry with me daily.

Gina, on the other paw, was brought into my life at  a time when I was working way too much and needed persistent reminders to “play”. She is a constant reminder that you don’t need a reason to be happy and  it’s always a good time to play. Even during the most stressful or depressing  life events, she can have me laughing and playing with a tail wag.

I love and still need my continuing reminders from Sanchez and Gina. What is  your word for your pets? Have they helped you apply that word to your own life?

Have you tried Sound Therapy for your dogs? Through a Dog’s  Ear is the  first music clinically demonstrated to calm the canine  nervous system.

Receive a FREE DOWNLOAD from the Through a Dog’s Ear

Calm your Canine Companion Music  Series

Simply click here, enter your email address and a link to the free  download will be  delivered to your inbox for you and  your canine household  to enjoy!

By Lisa Spector

Lisa Spector is a  concert pianist, Juilliard graduate, and canine music  expert. She is Co-founder of Through  a Dog’s Ear,    the first music clinically demonstrated to calm the  canine nervous system. Their new Canine  Noise Phobia series is  a breakthrough treatment and prevention program for  canine noise  sensitivities. Lisa shares her home and her heart with her two  “career  change” Labrador Retrievers from Guide Dogs for the Blind, Sanchez and   Gina. Follow Lisa’s  blog here.

Main Photo Credit of Sanchez: Gracie Slegers

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