Mar 18 2015

Cats in Conflict: Feline Social Behavior

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The first step with any behavioral issue is to take your cat to the veterinarian for a full evaluation.  Cats are very stoic animals and will hide illness and injury.  Sometimes our only clue that something is physically wrong is a behavioral symptom.  Many behavioral modification programs can begin in conjunction with or shortly after your trip to the veterinarian.

Cats are socially selective creatures, which means that they do not need each other to survive but they will choose to socialize with each other.  Cats are individuals with personalities and because of this they will get along with certain cats and not others.

Most people miss the subtle way cats communicate with each other and only start to notice problems when a fight occurs.  Often times there are other signs that things are getting tense between your cats.  One of the other signs is not using the litter box.  Cats have elaborate ways to share territory and disruptions to their agreements can disturb the delicate balance.  When these problems arise it is important to address them as soon as possible.  The more fighting that occurs the more difficult it will be to resolve.  Cat do not “just work things out” once they get into a pattern of fighting.  This process will take time and commitment to resolve and you may need the help of a behavior specialist.  Pay close attention to all your cats’ behaviors and document your findings.  Be patient as each cat will progress at their own pace.  Use the following information to help you evaluate the situation.

Territory and access to resources

Territory is one of the most important things in your cat’s life.  Territory aggression can occur when a new cat is brought into the home, when a cat reaches social maturity (usually around the age of 2 or 3), when one cat comes home from the vet or if the cats view their resources as insufficient to share.   The behaviors you might see include chasing, swatting, hitting or ambushing.  You might also notices one cat sits directly in the path of the litter box or food bowl or waits outside the litter box to attack as the other cat tries to leave the area.  Other signs your cats might be having territory disagreements would be having stare downs, posturing and moving slowly while starting, blocking access to food and water, finding alternate locations to urinate or defecate, marking the perimeter of the home or major walkways(face rubbing, scratching or spraying), or one cat always leaves a room when another walks into the room.  Many of these signals go unnoticed so as the owner you may have to play detective.

Redirected aggression

Redirected aggression happens when your cat is frustrated that it cannot attack something and he will turn and attack the closest cat (or human) he can.  A neighbor cat visiting your yard, for example, could make your cat upset about his territory being invaded.  Since he cannot get out and attack the stranger in the yard he will take that energy and anger out on his housemate.  Cats will also redirect onto humans or anything moving (like a housemate) if they haven’t had enough play time.  There is also the potential for a redirection if your cat is suddenly startled and attacks the closest thing to him out of fear.

Defensive aggression

When a cat feels that he cannot escape from an attack he will choose to either freeze or fight.  The defensive cat will hiss, growl or scream to keep the attacker away.  He will fall to the ground, show his teeth, pull his ears and whiskers back and get his paws in the air ready for protection.  What can happen in multi-cat homes is a cycle of behaviors.  We often will not know the original incident that starts the cycle so it may take some investigation.  When one cat is attacked over a territory dispute or is a victim of a redirected attack (and therefore confused why she was attacked) she will be wary of the other cat and will often run away from him.  As she runs, his desire to chase her becomes even stronger.  Pretty soon the cycle of running and chasing has been established even without a precipitating event.

Separate the cats and follow the same instructions in the article on Introducing a New Cat.    Modify the environment.  Do not punish cats any cat that is involved; this will may lead to further aggression between cats and fear or aggression towards you.  See a veterinarian for a full examination on both cats and treat any injuries to prevent infection. In severe cases, talk with your veterinarian about supplementing your behavior plan with medication.  NEVER medicate your cat with consulting a veterinarian.  Many over the counter and prescription medications are harmful or even fatal to cats.

If after trying these suggestions you are still experiencing undesirable behaviors in your cat, SUBMIT QUESTIONS by clicking the link under Ask A Trainer on the Behavior and Training page of our website.

 

 


Mar 6 2015

Managing Your Kitten’s Rough Play

Abner

The first step with any behavioral issue is to take your cat to the veterinarian for a full evaluation.  Cats are very stoic animals and will hide illness and injury.  Sometimes our only clue that something is physically wrong is a behavioral symptom.  Many behavioral modification programs can begin in conjunction with or shortly after your trip to the veterinarian.

Kittens love to play but kittens also NEED to play!  Kittens use play to explore the world, learn social skills and practice hunting.  Chasing, pouncing, biting and kicking are all normal ways that cats and kittens play with objects and with each other.  For a young kitten up to a few years old, you ideally should have 3 to 4 scheduled play sessions a day.

Typically, kittens adopted in pairs or who have had adequate time with their siblings will learn appropriately to not bite and to retract their claws to keep from hurting their playmates.  They will learn stalking and hunting behaviors by playing with toys.  You should be using interactive toys to play with your kitten several times a day and you should be leaving smaller toys laying around for them to explore while you are away.  The most popular interactive toys are wand toys with a long string that ends in a feather, mouse or another toy.  You should also consider purchasing interactive feeders for your kitten to bat around and receive a portion of her daily kibble or treats throughout the day.

You should be the one setting rules and boundaries for your kitten.  Make sure everyone in the house is aware of the kitten’s rules and inform guests as well.  One of your rules should be that the kitten is NEVER allowed to play with hands, feet or any other human body part.  Allowing this behavior will lead to injuries and aggressive behavior towards humans.  It is a very important lesson for your kitten to learn when it is appropriate to play and what things are appropriate to use as toys.

It is not uncommon for a kitten or young cat to test the boundary of acceptable vs unacceptable playing.  As a parent, your job is to clearly enforce that line and redirect the kitten’s play to an acceptable target.  For example, if your kitten has previously been encouraged to bite and kick human hands you will need to redirect that need onto a soft toy that is about the same size as your kitten.

Scheduled play times are very important.  You should be initiating play with your kitten several times a day, ideally BEFORE your kitten decides to pounce on you to get you to play.  It might be helpful to keep track of your kitten’s favorite times to play and schedule your play session 20 to 30 minutes before that time.   A natural schedule for a cat would be to play, eat, groom and then sleep.  Use this pattern to your benefit especially if your kitten wakes you up at night wanting to play.

Encourage your kitten to play by dragging a toy along the floor for her to pounce on or throw a toy across the room for her to chase.  Keep things interesting by changing the toys you use each day and putting away the interactive wand toys when you are finished playing.  Provide small toys, ping pong balls and plush toys to wrestle with when you are away.  When you are using the interactive wand toys, mimic the movements for live prey to encourage hunting behaviors.

Discourage your kitten from inappropriately playing by withdrawing your attention.  If your kitten starts playing too roughly stop the play session.  Say “ouch” in a high pitched voice and leave the room if your kitten bites or scratches you.  The kitten will quickly learn what behaviors make you end the play session.  She may continue to test how rough she can play so be consistent in which behaviors cause the games to end and which behaviors cause you to leave the room completely.  Be sure to reengage your kitten in a play session after a short break.

Do not attempt to tap, flick or hit your kitten.  Any form of physical punishment will lead to fear and further aggression from your kitten.  Even picking her to move her to a time out room could be reinforcing her behavior.  That is why YOU should be the one to leave the area.  Be sure to clean all wounds thoroughly and consult a doctor for severe bites.

 

If after trying these suggestions you are still experiencing undesirable behaviors in your cat, SUBMIT QUESTIONS by clicking the link under Ask A Trainer on the Behavior and Training page of our website.

 


Dec 4 2014

“Old Dogs Can Learn New Tricks”: Chatting with Gabby Munoz, Canine Behavior Manager at Wayside Waifs

While I met with Gabby Muñoz the other day, two tiny Chihuahuas explored the office, having just been surrendered by their owners the day before. Gabby pointed out that they were curious and friendly, but nervous. Their ears were set back, and they were a little shaky.

Some dogs who come to Wayside Waifs are more than a little nervous. Abandonment, abuse, or neglect may leave them not knowing how to interact with humans or other animals. They may guard their food or overreact to unfamiliar stimuli, or shy away from contact altogether. Wayside Waifs hired Gabby as an expert to help the more troubled dogs trust again, behave more appropriately and become good pets.

All of Gabby’s work is based on scientific research, in keeping with her academic background. She earned her Masters in Biology with a Zoology concentration from Western Illinois University. She has also always been a “dog person,” and is the owner of two rescue cocker spaniels now.

Gabby told me about a Wayside alum named Frank, a yellow lab/Shepherd mix. His owners had used physical dominance and punishment to try to control him. In response, he had become aggressive, to the point that many shelters might have given up on him.

The staff started Frank’s rehabilitation simply by showering him with treats and positive reinforcement and then ignoring him when he wasn’t behaving. Positive reinforcement works much better than punishment in changing anybody’s behavior. After lots of work with Gabby and the other patient humans at Wayside Waifs, Frank’s behavior had turned around. He was ready to find a forever home, and he went home with a retired man in a successful adoption match.

Because I didn’t associate Labrador retrievers with fighting behavior, I asked Gabby if certain breeds are more aggressive than others. She told me that breeding did bring out certain personality traits, but that a dog’s experience plays a large part as well. Many American pit bull terriers, for instance, can be excellent pets. Wayside Waifs carefully assesses the behavior of all dogs that come to the shelter.

I had read before that owners need to assert their dominance as the “leader of the pack”- something I probably don’t do with my two rescue terriers. Gabby explained that this idea came from studying wolf behavior. But although dogs are related to wolves, they’ve evolved to behave quite differently. She said that they best owner-dog relationships are, like any relationship, based on “co-respect.”

Gabby assured me that my dogs could definitely learn more from obedience classes at Wayside Waifs, even though I’ve had them for a while. The shelter actually offers three levels of classes: one for puppies, one for dogs and an advanced course to help dogs obey even in the presence of distractions.

Although any dog can learn a lot, Gabby said, their basic temperament will not change. A shy dog can learn to interact with others, but may never be the life of the party. A boisterous pup can learn to calm down, but may never be a couch potato.

Dogs have their own personalities and quirks, just like people do, and they deserve to be loved for who they are. After all, they love us for who we are. And isn’t that what we all want?

-Stacey Donovan
Contributing Writer


Nov 24 2014

Your How-to for an “All-wags” Holiday Season

Give thanks and be safe!

With Thanksgiving just hours away, there is bound to be lots of cooking, eating and undoubtedly begging. But as the responsible pet owner that you are, think twice before giving your furry family member that turkey leg. What may seem like a harmless way to say thanks to your favorite companion, has all the ingredients for a visit to the pet emergency room. And that is something that nobody wants!

Keep it “all wags” at the holiday season with these helpful tips:

Dog-friendly Treats

Whether you want to get crafty and make your dog some paw-approved holiday treats or just want to say thanks  the old-fashioned way, practice caution as you indulge your pooch. An extra scoop of food or treat goes a long way in your dog’s book. A word of advice, though: don’t go to your dinner plate when you want to show some extra love. Stick with treats that you know are safe, avoiding common holiday offenders like cooked bones, chocolate, candy, and fat trimmings.

Skip the Mistletoe

If you are anything like us, you probably get plenty of sloppy, wet kisses on the face. That said, skip the mistletoe this year. With your pets’ cardiovascular and gastrointestinal health on the line, its worth it. The only cardiovascular irregularity you need in your household is your heart melting when your furry family members shower you in affection.

Lights, Tree, Tree Stand

Before everyone gathers around the tree, make sure you have considered a couple of things:

  1. Does your dog have a chewing problem or does your cat think stringed lights are a play toy? If so, consider foregoing them this year.
  2. Do you have a stable – and we mean cat-launching-at-the-tree or dogs-rough housing-in-the-pine-needles – stable tree stand?

If you have assessed these important decorating factors, then hang those ornaments already. Oh, and that brings us to one last consideration: ornaments. What makes for pretty decorations often makes for breakable and dangerous messes, so consider waiting to hang what the dad in the Christmas Carol would call the “Frag-gee-lee” ornaments until your pets are comfortable around the tree.

The holiday season is a busy time of the year, but just make sure you don’t neglect your furry friends’ safety needs as things get hectic.

-Contributing Writer Libby Hastert

 

 


Oct 24 2014

Halloween Pet Safety

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Halloween is just around the corner, which means it is time to talk pet safety. Whether you and your fur babies are gearing up for a full fledged trick-or-treat session in the neighborhood or you are spending the night inside, passing out candy, you need to take some precautions. In our first Halloween blog, we’ll discuss safety measures you need to make as you prepare for trick-or-treaters at home.

Important Safety Tips: Halloween Edition

1. Decorations – For many, Halloween is the unofficial start of the holiday season. This means that for the months ahead, there will be lots of decorations in and around the house. The key? Just make sure you keep you furry friend’s safety in mind as you string lights, carve pumpkins, and display baskets of maze. The main thing you will want to consider is making sure your dog or cat cannot chew on any exposed wires, pumpkins, or other potentially harmful decorations.

2. Candy – It wouldn’t be Halloween season without a big bowl of candy by the front door. And while it may sound redundant, dogs and “people food” don’t go well together. More specifically, chocolate. While dogs’ sensitivity to this delicious treat varies, its best to err on the side of caution. Skip the indigestion or visits to the pet emergency room altogether, and put the candy bowl out of their reach.

3. Safe Zone – Whether you have an outdoor pet or just like let them out occasionally, take extra caution on the night of and those leading up to Halloween. Everything from the increase in foot traffic to cruel Halloween pranks could give your pooch a scare. And let’s face it, scares are for people – not dogs!

Although it is smart to take extra safety measures as we approach Halloween, that does not mean your pet can’t get into the spirit of things. IN our next blog, you will find tips about how your pet can safely participate in upcoming Halloween events!

Thinking about adding a furry friend to your family.

If you are looking for a pooch that can accompany you through the upcoming holiday season, and for many to come, be sure to visit Wayside Waifs. You can also “meet” our Waifs on our website.


Aug 8 2014

Canine Atopy

Canine AtopyEveryone has a concept of what allergies are in people, but while pets can suffer from allergies too they look and are usually managed quite differently.  An allergy is an abnormal immune response the body has to something that is harmless. The immune system basically overreacts and mistakenly perceives this harmless thing as being a threat to the body.  Animals can have allergic reactions to vaccinations, bee stings, a particular food, or things in the environment. In the context of this article we are going to just address environmental allergies in dogs, which the proper term for is canine atopic dermatitis or atopy.  Atopy is a fairly common type of allergic condition that is estimated to affect anywhere from 3-15% of the dog population (MacDonald) and can be very challenging to manage.

Common clinical signs of atopy include rubbing, licking, biting or scratching at their feet, muzzle, ears, armpit and belly areas. The skin in these areas may be red and inflamed and some dogs will also develop secondary skin infections due to all the self trauma they’re causing. Many dogs may also have frequent ear infections or anal gland problems.  Dogs may be itchy year round or seasonally.

As with anything, it’s important to rule out other medical conditions first since there are other causes for itchy skin.  If your vet is starting to think your dog may have an allergic condition, one of the first things he or she will do is make sure your dog doesn’t have external parasites like fleas or skin mites.  Your vet may also do bloodwork to rule out common internal diseases that can cause skin issues.  An additional test may be a diet trial to rule out food allergies. This involves feeding a special prescription diet only for 8-12 weeks and monitoring for improvement of symptoms.  If your dog responds favorably then that may mean he or she has a food allergy instead of environmental allergies.

Through out this entire process your vet may prescribe different medications to help alleviate the symptoms and make your dog more comfortable.  The goal of most treatment plans is to manage the symptoms, rather than treat the allergy, similar to people who take allergy medication when they are especially sneezy or sniffly.  Some types of medication that your vet may prescribe include antihistamines, oral steroids, topical steroids, immunosuppressive drugs, medicated baths or wipes and fatty acid supplements.  If there are any signs of a secondary bacterial or yeast skin infection then antibiotics or antifungals may also be prescribed.  As with any medication there can be side effects so ask your vet what side effects you should be monitoring for and notify them if you see any.

If your dog does not respond to the diet trial and is still miserable despite frequent attempts to manage the symptoms with medications your vet may recommend allergy testing and allergy shots by a veterinary dermatologist. This will help provide answers as to what your dog is allergic to so that specific injections can be given on a schedule to help desensitize your dog’s immune system to allergens.  It can often take a long time for dogs to respond and not all of them do.

Now if that all seems complicated and confusing that’s because it usually is!  Most of these dogs are challenging to diagnose and treat.  And because it can often take a long time (weeks to months) to achieve an acceptable degree of relief from the itchiness and discomfort pet parents can get easily discouraged.

While the most important thing is to develop a good relationship with a vet you trust, YOU as a pet parent will be a key component in helping your dog through this.  If your vet suspects your dog may have atopy here are some helpful things you can do:

1. Keep track of what you’re seeing.  Write it down and bring it to your vet appointments so that you can provide your vet the most accurate information.

2. Pay particular attention to:

  • What signs are you seeing and how severe are they?
  • When are you seeing them? All the time during particular months?
  • How long do they last?
  • Is there any improvement with any type of treatment?
  • At what age was your dog when you started noticing clinical signs?

3. Follow your vet’s treatment directions
There may be a greater number of medications with specific treatment instructions.  Following the treatment plan will not only ensure the best chance for your dog to improve but provide good information to your vet.  If you are unable to follow all of your vet’s directions be honest with them.

4. Discuss the goals of treatment with your vet, and understand that in many cases the treatment plan may be to manage the symptoms, rather than treat the underlying cause.

5. Understand that diagnostics and treatment may be financially more than you might expect. Be honest about what you can do and what you can’t do.

6. Be prepared to be a frequent visitor of your vet’s practice!

7. Be prepared that your vet may recommend your dog see a dermatologist.  They are experts in skin conditions and may be able to better help your dog.

Written by Alison Liu. DVM
Wayside Waifs

 

 

Citations:

MacDonald, John M. Western Veterinary Conference. 2012. Las Vegas, NV. n.p. n.d. Web.


Jul 31 2014

The “Right to Farm” Bill: What It Really Means

On August 5, 2014, Missourians will have the opportunity to vote on Amendment 1, also known as the “Right to Farm” bill. Because of this initiative’s misleading namesake, it is important for voters to know what the vague, open-ended language on the ballot really means. With potentially harmful effects on our farmers, farmland, and animals, it is pertinent that you are well educated about this issue before casting your vote in the upcoming election.

What You Need to Know

Deregulation of Puppy Mills & Animal WelfareRight-to-farm-bill

Animal welfare groups like the Humane Society of the United States have largely opposed this bill, as it is believed that it could lift state-mandated safeguards that regulate puppy mills and farm livestock. With Representative Jason Smith from Smith’s Kennels, one of the largest, family-operated dog breeder operations in Missouri, co-sponsoring Amendment 1, the personal agendas of the bill’s supporters are more concerning than ever. As a proponent of animal welfare, Wayside Waifs encourages you to vote no on this initiative to deregulate the puppy mill industry.

Empowerment of Foreign Corporations

Despite the bill’s intention to mislead voters, which appears to cater to the needs and wants of local Missouri farmers, the only parties whose rights this initiative caters to are those of foreign corporations and factory farms.  In fact, if Amendment 1 was added to the state constitution, it could undo previously passed legislation implemented to protect local farmers, farmland, and animals.

To put things in perspective consider the fact that Smithfield Farms, Missouri’s largest pig producer, has already been acquired by a Chinese aggregate. Additionally, a 50,000-acre plot of farmland was recently purchased by a Chinese corporation, wanting to open a factory farm. What makes these developments so concerning? Amendment 1 could disassemble legal checks and balances that are in place to protect the environment. 40 percent of Chinese farmland suffers from degraded quality.  This is directly correlated to pollution resulting from the lax environmental practices of large, profits-first corporations. Missouri land is a precious commodity, and it deserves to be treated as such.

Reduced Food Labeling

Missouri residents have the right to safely manufactured food and knowledge about its contents. However, Amendment 1 could result in the dismantling of efforts that succeeded in the implementation of better food regulation, specifically the labeling of GMOs. In recent years, Missouri farmers have been a large source for food produced from sustainable practices. With the quality of our food on the line, it is crucial that Missouri voters prevent Amendment 1 from being enacted in our state constitution.

Protect Our State

Your vote matters, so make it count. Missouri farmers, farmland, and animals are dependent on it. Before the upcoming election, educate family and friends about the negative effects this bill could have on the Missouri agriculture system, as we know it.

For more information about why you should vote no on Amendment 1, be sure to visit http://votenoon1.com/.


Oct 4 2013

Pet Tip — The Importance of Microchipping

It can happen to any pet owner: your furry friend decides to become a magician and demonstrate their new disappearing act. Each year, more than 5 million pets pull off this trick. But one simple step can protect your animal and give you peace of mind – microchip your pet! Wayside Waifs recommends microchipping as a permanent means of identification should your pet’s collar and tags break, fall off or become undreadable.

Dozens of lost pets find their way to Wayside Waifs each week. The first thing admissions counselors do is scan each pet for a microchip. Unfortunately, only 10% of those animals have a registered microchip, which makes it harder for Wayside to reunited lost pets with their owners quickly. “Microchipping significantly increased an animal’s chance of being reunited with its family,” said Dr. Alison Liu, Veterinarian at Wayside Waifs.

“One study showed that owners of almost ¾ of lost, microchipped animals were found due to the presence of their microchip.” If your pet is already microchipped, it is important to keep your contact information current in the microchip registry. If you move or your phone number changes, you will need to contact the microchip company to update your information; otherwise, the chip will be useless.

As part of Wayside’s commitment to partnering pets and community for life, every animal is microchipped before leaving the shelter with their forever families. Wayside also offers pet microchipping to the public for $25. To schedule an appointment, please call 816-986-4452.

Microchip Facts:

  • A microchip is a tiny transponder that is about the size of a grain of rice.
  • The microchip is inserted under the pet’s skin between the shoulder blades.
  • The microchip procedure can be done without sedation or anesthesia.
  • Each microchip contains a number specific to your animal and is connected to your name and contact information.
  • Microchips have played an instrumental role in identifying and returning pets with family during a natural disaster.

 


Aug 5 2013

HEARTWORM – What You Need to Know About This Disease

What Is Heartworm?
A heartworm is a parasitic worm that lives in the heart and pulmonary arteries of an infected animal. Although it is not contagious, heartworm disease is spread from animal to animal through the bite of a mosquito. When an infected mosquito bites a susceptible animal, baby worms called “microfilariae” enter the new animal’s tissue and begin to migrate into the blood vessels. It can harm an animal’s arteries and vital organs. Heartworm is a serious and potentially fatal disease.

Who is at risk?
Although heartworm is more common in dogs, cats can also be infected. Dogs over the age of six months are at the greatest risk. Outdoor cats in areas with high concentrations of mosquitoes may be at a greater risk for the disease. Heartworm can be especially life-threatening to kitten and older cats.

Cody

Did you know Wayside Waifs test all animals in our shelter for heartworm? Cody is an 8 year old Shepherd dog currently available for adoption at Wayside.

What are the symptoms?
Several hundred worms can live in a dog for five to seven years. Symptoms can include: labored breathing, coughing, vomiting, weight loss, and fatigue after only moderate exercise. Some dogs however may exhibit no symptoms at all until late stages of infection.

Since a cat is not a natural host for the heartworm, fewer and smaller worms survive. But those that do survive can cause severe health problems for cats. Symptoms can include: a persistent cough, breathing difficulties, depression, loss of appetite, weight loss, and sporadic vomiting.

How can I prevent heartworm?
Ask your veterinarian to test your pet for heartworm and discuss the best way to protect them. Vets can often prescribe safe and inexpensive medicine to prevent heartworm. For dogs, this often means giving them a pill once a month.

Treatment options
While treatment for heartworm disease in dogs is possible, it is a complicated and expensive process, taking weeks for infected animals to recover. There is currently no effective treatment for heartworm disease in cats.

If you notice your furry family member exhibiting any of the general symptoms described above, be sure to contact your veterinarian right away.

 


Jul 5 2013

Beat the Heat

 

 

Photo by: Nomadic Lass (courtsey of Flickr Creative Commons)

Summer is officially here. In case anyone forgot what it feels like, Mother Nature has already given us a few 90+ degree days. When we as adult humans get hot, our bodies remind us to take steps to cool ourselves off. Our furry friends however rely on us to make good decision regarding their health and well-being.

Here are a few recommendations ASPCA has come up with to help ensure your animals have fun and stay safe summer.

·         Visit your vet. If your pet isn’t already taking heartworm medication, be sure to have them tested before starting them heartworm prevention medicine. Heartworm is spread by mosquitos putting your loved ones at an increased risk during summer months.

·         Provide shade and plenty of H2O. It’s important that pets don’t over exercise. Pets get dehydrated quickly. If your animals are outside, make sure they have a shaded area to relax with plenty of refreshing water to rehydrate. In extreme heat, please keep them indoors.

·         Know the warning signs of heat exhaustion. Warning signs for animals include: excessive panting or difficulty breathing, increased heart and respiratory rate, drooling, mild weakness, and/or collapsing. In extreme cases where body temperatures elevate to 104 degrees, your animal may experience seizures, bloody diarrhea, and/or vomiting. Animals with flat faces tend to have a hard time controlling their panting put them at an even greater risk for heat exhaustion. Remember to keep these pets, along with elderly, overweight, and/or those with health problems in air conditioned spaces.

·         Just like your children, you should never leave your pet alone in a car. On a hot day, a parked car with the windows up turns into an oven. When the temperature outside reaches 90 degrees, your car interior will become 109 degrees in just ten short minutes. In fact, leaving pets in unattended vehicles in extreme weather is illegal in many states. If you spot an animal in such a situation, don’t hesitate to call building security, local police, or animal control for assistance.

·         Does your dog know how to swim? If you aren’t sure, never leave your pet unattended around water. For dogs who love to swim, please remember to rinse off chlorine or salt from your pet’s fur. If swallowed, chlorine and other chemicals could also upset their stomachs.

·         Have you checked the screens on your windows to make sure they are secure? If not, your cat may fall out of an open window and sustain serious injuries.

·         Keep your pets out yards that have been sprayed. The insecticides may be harmful if ingested by your furry friends.

 

 


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