Benefits of Dog Boots
If you mentioned having boots for your dog 10 years ago, everyone would think you were crazy! But, the popularity of dog booties has grown recently and not just because your furry friend will look adorable in them. In fact, dog boots are more about function and not just fun and fashion.
While dogs do have thick pads on their feet, they are not invincible. There are times when having boots on your dog’s paws is going to give them the extra protection that they need. So, let’s have a look at five benefits of investing in some dog boots for your best buddy.
Protection in Hot Temperatures
When the sun is out in the middle of a British summer, it gets really hot. Of course, keeping your furry friend hydrated is extremely important but a lot of owners forget about their paws. Think about how your bare feet feel when you are running on hot sand; this is how your dog feels when they are walking on the pavements! Dog boots are going to protect your dog’s paws from burning when you are out in the summertime by creating a barrier between the hot ground and their pads.
Help Injury and Illness
If your dog already has a paw injury or cuts on their pads, having boots on is going to relieve some pressure and pain for them. In addition, it will help prevent further damage to your dog’s paw and allow it to heal properly. If your dog is older and struggles with arthritis, dog booties can also help eliminate the uncomfortable friction on the pads and provide the extra cushioning your canine needs to still enjoy his or her daily walks.
Explore and Hike Safely
We all love to take our dogs out exploring and often it is somewhere off the beaten track. This can mean that there are hazards all around for their paws. For example, rocks are not only slippery for your pup but they can also be sharp and dangerous. While your dog may act unfazed by rough terrain, their pads can suffer and debris like sharp sticks and plants can cause painful cuts. But, wearing dog booties is going to protect their paws on long hikes so this is no longer a problem!
Protection from Snow and Ice
Just like us, dogs get cold when they are out walking in the winter, especially when the snow starts to fall. While your dog may love to play in a winter wonderland, the snow can become cold on your canine’s paws and even ice is sharp to walk on, especially when it starts to break. Yet, when your dog is wearing boots, their paws can be protected from cuts and injuries in the winter freeze and they can enjoy running around in the snow again.
In the winter, salt is normally spread on the ground to help melt the snow and ice. Yet, most dog owners don’t realise that this can be harmful for their furry friend’s paws. The salt can cause irritation and make them very dry. If you don’t wash your dog’s paws regularly, this will result in chemical burns. When you choose boots, you don’t have to worry about this problem when you are out walking in the winter since your dog’s paws will be covered.
Pet safety tips for the Christmas holidays
Just as the firework season is a dangerous period for your dog, the Christmas holidays also bring a range of new challenges for your pet. According to veterinarians, Christmas is one of the most risky times of the year for pets. You want to enjoy the holiday season with your dog without any dramas or expensive vet bills, so here are a few tips to help keep your pet safe this Christmas.
Christmas often means deliveries, visitors, time away and generally rushing about trying to get things sorted. This can be quite upsetting for your dog, so it is important that you try to keep to your dog’s routine as much as possible. Try to walk and feed him at his usual times, keep up with his obedience training and teach him to relax on his own in an allocated space. It is also a good idea to have somewhere safe for him to go to if he wants to rest. It is at these times that your dog crate will be invaluable as his safe haven.
Visitors and your dog over Christmas
Before visitors arrive, it is a good idea to take your dog on a long walk to tire him out. Then let him rest in his crate, perhaps with a stuffed Kong to keep him occupied and settled. If you don’t have a crate, then perhaps putting him in a safe room behind a dog gate will ensure that he is not bothered, especially if there are children about. Remember, no matter how friendly your dog is or how old the child is, children and dogs should always be supervised together. By all means, have your dog involved in the festivities, but if you cannot supervise your dog, then ensure that he is kept relaxed and safe in his own area where nobody can bother him or feed him.
Dog-proof your decorations
Other things to watch out for are your Christmas decorations. The most obvious one being the Christmas tree. Pine needles are sharp and they can get stuck in your dog’s pads or in his throat if he decides to eat it. Many dog owners opt for an artificial Christmas tree for this reason. Also, make sure that your dog cannot get to the tree’s water, as pine sap is toxic to your dog. A good idea is to put a barrier around your Christmas tree so that your dog cannot get to it, knock the tree over, drink the water or get hold of the tinsel and decorations, especially if they are breakable (glass) or small enough to swallow! A good idea is to use a playpen around your Christmas tree, but ensure you unplug your Christmas lights when you go out. You can also spray the cables with bitter apple, Tabasco sauce or put them inside a PVC pipe, to deter your dog from chewing the cables.
Decorations can fall and break causing a lot of damage to your dog, so opt for unbreakable ones and big enough so that your dog cannot swallow them. Some people choose to decorate the top and middle of the tree and leave the bottom part without decorations so that the dog cannot get to it. Dogs have a very keen sense of smell, so never hang anything edible, especially chocolate, in your tree, as this will entice your dog to jump up to get it. Try to also keep all toys away from your dog, as he can choke on it. Clear up after you have unwrapped your gifts to ensure your dog cannot get to any wrapping paper, ribbons or toys.
Toxic treats over Christmas
Keep all chocolate well away from dogs at this time of year (i.e. not hanging it in the tree, leaving it under the tree or in Christmas stockings), as your dog may suffer from theobromine poisoning if he eats it. Symptoms of chocolate poisoning can include vomiting, diarrhoea and increased urination and seizures. Symptoms can start within 6 to12 hours of your dog eating chocolate. Different chocolates contain different amounts of theobromine, with dark or cooking chocolate being the most toxic. Half of a 1/2 lb block of dark chocolate contains enough theobromine to be dangerous to a 20 lb dog.
Another thing to keep away from your dog is Christmas cake, as raisins and sultanas can be toxic to your dog. Some dogs can eat it and be completely fine, but some can become very ill when eating it. Also, try not to give your dog left-overs as it may upset his stomach, and definitely do not give him any cooked bones as these will splinter and puncture his digestive system.
Other things to watch out for is anti-freeze which can cause irreversible liver failure. We also tend to decorate our homes with plants which are poisonous to dogs, including holly, mistletoe, ivy, lilies, poinsettias and many more, so keep your dog out of the way of these. Also, ensure he cannot knock candles you put out and that he cannot knock anything into the fireplace.
Create a safe place for your dog
Having your dog in a safe place will ensure that he is not fed any unwanted food, given alcohol, teased or being forced to interact in a manner he is not used to. He will also not be in the way when you are rushing around getting things sorted, get stepped on or have things dropped on him with all the hustle and bustle. Also, he may get frightened by poppers, balloons, champagne bottles and other loud noises, which may cause him to run off in a fright. In fact, you will be able to relax more knowing he is safe in his own rest area.
Be aware that it can get very cold at this time of year and you may need to invest in a coat (ideally high-visibility for those dark nights) or boots for your dog, to ensure he is warm and comfortable. If your dog stays outside, make sure he has plenty of protection from rain, snow and wind and that his water bowl is not frozen.
Lastly, be prepared so that if anything happens, you have covered all avenues. Find out what your veterinarian’s opening times are, as well as their emergency number. Ideally, have your dog microchipped and make sure he wears a tag with your details on it in case he gets frightened and runs away or gets lost. It is a good idea to put your mobile number on it, so you can be contacted when someone finds him. If you do not want any of your details on his tag, then you can register your dog with your local council and they will give you a tag with a unique ID number and a telephone number so that the council can contact you directly. You may also want to insure your pet, in case he needs emergency veterinary care.
Most pet-related Christmas dangers are easy to avoid, so be prepared and just have fun with your best friend!
A steep increase in UK pet poisonings: Troubling toxins
Many dog and cat owners in the UK are unaware that pet poisonings have risen a shocking 73% over the past five years according to a recent article published on the Express website. Some of these conditions and deaths are intentional and others are accidental.
The RSPCA (Royal Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals) has been examining this suspicious rise of poisonous threats to our pets and their findings are frightening. Even though the RSPCA is based in Australia, they reported on a disturbing case from Pontypridd, South Wales, a few years ago where there was a suspicious trail of meats found littered on a busy street that were laced with deadly poisonous pills.
Although it’s horrific to imagine someone is intentionally poisoning our pets, sadly it still occurs and the culprit of this particular crime was never caught. What may be even worse, incidences included in this statistic about an
alarming increase of animals ingesting toxic substances are often accidental. Many of these dangerous digestive dilemmas are commonly found inside our flats, gardens, out buildings and other sources in, around or near our home.
For example, across the pond, the ASPCA (American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals) recently published their “Top Ten Pet Toxins of 2016,” with some surprising entries. None of us should be amazed to see items like chocolate, certain types of “people food,” and finally, OTC (over the counter) medications being put as number one on this roster. But others may come as a surprise and we should take notice.
Protecting our pets
Some other obvious toxins include things like fertiliser and insecticides that we keep tightly contained and out of reach for safety’s sake. But what about common plants found both inside and outside of our dwellings?
There’s a long list of these potentially poisonous growths, even those found delivered from our local florist that can be dangerous or even deadly for pets (and even children). Again, while some are obvious like Nightshade for example, others seem less than harmful such as English Ivy or Laurel. While we’re keeping ordinary poisonous substances locked away, we should also be protecting our animals from exposure to many suspicious types of greenery.
While we’re at it and keeping insecticides carefully tucked away from exposure to our animals, sometimes we overlook a troubling transference problem. Think of it this way, if we, which includes our neighbors and official agencies, are using insecticides to rid ourselves of unwanted pests, these troublesome critters are still ingesting poisons and could be posing a significant problem to our pets.
Whether these toxins are being accidentally discovered by our pets or they’re meant for other animals, before or after the targeted critters have died from ingesting them, this type of transference from casual contact is still problematic. Some of these rodents have built up a tolerance to these toxins and if there was a “cat-and-mouse” scenario occurring, an innocent feline could accidentally ingest enough poison to cripple or kill them.
Taking protective measures
While always doing what’s best to protect our pets, sometimes we need to be extra vigilant and look for unusual ways they come into harm’s way. Just a little bit of extra awareness can go a long way when it comes to keeping our animals safe.
Written by Amber Kingsley
Travel junkie, Amber Kingsley, is a freelance writer living in Santa Monica, CA. Her art history background helps her hone in on topics that are of interest to readers. She is a dog enthusiast and loves spending time with her pomeranian, Agatha.
Summer for Dogs: Health and Safety Tips
Summer is a fun time for pet dogs. They get to go on summer trips along with their owners, swim in the pool or pond, play along with other canine pals at the park, and even have the opportunity to meet their love interests within their neighbourhood. But just as summer is a fun time, this too can have its hazards for your beloved four-legged bud. To ensure that your pet will have the best time of his life this summer, check out these simple safety tips for keeping pet dog healthy.
Common Problems and Corresponding Solutions
- Dehydration. Along with the hot climate will have the likelihood of your pet suffering from dehydration. The best way to beat this problem is by providing your dog with fresh clean water. Make this accessible by having their water bowls always filled with it. Instead of dry pet foods, you can also serve foods that have ample moisture in it such as broth or yoghurt cubes. Make sure you provide water in your dog crate (or puppy crate) with a crate water bowl and that there is enough water for all your dogs, if you have a multi-dog household.
- Allergy. When seasons change, this is commonly tied to seasonal allergy in pets. During summer, the culprits may be in the form of molds, flowers, and fleas. If your pet has a history of suffering from allergy or has developed one, keep it safe by restricting contact from what triggers it. For pets that may have contracted it, your vet will be able to prescribe recommended antihistamines for treatment. If your dog has grass allergies, then dog boots(or dog socks) may be able to help your dog.
- Road safety. If you are one of those who can’t spend their summer vacation without tagging along their pets, you must at least try to keep it safe on the road. Don’t leave it alone in the car on its own. The summer heat will literally turn your car into a hot oven without the aid or air-conditioning. Furthermore, get a dog leash to keep it from biting anyone just in case your dog gets restless in the presence of strangers. Having a car temperature monitor may help on those occassions where you are competing with your dog and is being supervised constantly. There are also window vents and door vents you can use to help keep the car cool. A car crate fan may also provide some cool air for your dog.
- Poisoning. Having plants at home is great not just for home improvement but for your health too as it provides needed oxygen. However, there are some plants that are considered toxic to dogs and some of these may be lurking in your yard. Remove these soon, or if you plan to keep these, make sure that your dog will in no way be able to chew on them. Examples of plants dangerous to canine pets are daffodils, oleanders and hyacinths. Here is a list of poisonous plants for dogs from the Kennel Club.
- Sunburn. Most dogs have coats that help protect them from the heat of the sun and from the cold in the winter months. But the sun’s rays today are nastier than ever, no thanks to the ozone layer now rapidly deteriorating. To keep dog from getting sunburned when the two of you are doing training activities out in the yard or at the park when it’s hot, apply some sunscreen lotion specially formulated for dogs.
- Heat Stroke. When your dog’s body temperature tips way above the normal scale, this can end up in heat stroke. This usually happens when they exercise under the heat of the sun or are left in very hot environments. To prevent heat stroke in pet dogs, provide a shaded or cool space for them to stay when the weather is hot. Do not use a dog muzzle during summer since these can impede in your pet’s ability to cool itself down through panting. On very hot days a cooling dog coat will help keep your dog’s body temperature down and if you are using a dog crate (or puppy crate) then a crate sun cover will help keep it cool too.
- Leptospirosis. This disease is common during wet months but can also be prevalent during the summer months in areas that have access to stagnant water. And since dogs are very curious animals who love to wander about, being bitten or having indirect with an infected animal, or ingestion of contaminated water, will make your pet dog suffer from it. If your dog shows symptoms of anorexia, joint and muscle tenderness, frequent water intake, vomiting and fever, get medical help right away since these are signs of leptospirosis. Here is a list of diseases in dogs and some of their symptoms.
- Burned pads. Some dogs make walking on pavements look like there’s really nothing to it. But they are actually not. Your dog’s foot pads have nerves in it and they will be able to feel the heat coming from a cemented walk. Feel the pavement with your fingertips. If it makes you cringe with pain, then don’t let your dog walk on it. If you have to , then dog shoes (dog boots) will help protect your dog’s paws.
- Getting lost. Many dogs end up in shelters and one of the reasons is not because of abuse, but simply because they got lost. Keep your dogs within the confines of your fence. If you go out on a walk, use a dog lead. Better yet, invest in microchips for identification purposes. It is also a good idea to put your mobile phone number in your dog’s tag, so that if he gets lost during a walk, you will be able to get the phone call whilst you are out looking for him.
- Swimming safety. And of course, summers are never complete without being able to dive in a pool or at the beach. Dogs are popular for their swimming prowess. But this does not mean they’re invincible. Let them wear lifejackets just the same for added protection in case some nasty tide tips them over.
What About Other Pets?
For those who own other types of pets such as poultry, cats, or rabbits, you too should exercise some precautionary measures to keep your pets safe this summer. For example, backyard chicken pets are sensitive not just to the cold, but also of the summer heat. They must be provided with well-insulated chicken coops that are well ventilated to keep them from feeling hot. Furthermore, summer is also the time where predators are on the hunt for their foods. Your eggs and chickens will be considered the best meal to calm their hungry stomachs. This can be prevented by having well-built chicken coops that offer added security features. And unlike pet cats or dogs, you can’t take all of your backyard chicken with you on a beach vacation. You will need to hire a caretaker to feed or secure them in coops in the evening.
During the summer, you have the right to enjoy this any way you want to. Visit a beach, fly to an exotic place, or go camping with your friends. But before you do, secure the safety of your pet too. Their summer fun also depends on the arrangements you make.