Safety Issues Hound Dogs During This Time Of Year
This time of the year can be extremely difficult for pets. Fireworks, bar-b-ques and warm temperatures present potential hazards for dogs.
KPCW’s Carolyn Murray visited the Nuzzles & Co Rescue Ranch in Browns Canyon to talk with staff about how to keep your dog safe during the summer celebrations.
Fireworks are an obvious concern for pet owners. Some dogs are so frightened by the explosive sounds that they’ll take off and keep running. The Humane Society of Utah reports it’s not just the loud noise, but the smell of sulfur and the bright lights that can be equally as frightening for animals. They recommend people never take pets to fireworks displays and don’t leave them outside in the yard.
Director of Administration with Nuzzles and Co., Lyndsey Hansen says be sure your pet has a collar with tags and that the micro chip is up to date.
“Keeping them where they’re in a room away from the noise. Often you can play music or television and have that in the background and that will kind of drown out the noise of the fireworks. If you have a basement, that’s really ideal or a room that’s as far away from where you’re setting off fireworks. You never want to leave them in a yard or where they have the ability to run.”
Hansen says summer temperatures can be very dangerous for dogs. They need shade and fresh water when they’re left outside.
“Even on hot days, shade just isn’t ample so if you can keep them indoors on hot days that’s ideal. Never leave your dog in the car. I know everyone says, I’m just going to make a quick trip into the grocery store, but even in five, ten minutes, a dog can succumb to heat stroke. Even on a cool day. A 70-degree day, the inside of your car, the temperature can rise up to 110 degrees in a matter of minutes.”
Hansen says if you decide to take your dog out on a mountain bike ride, pay attention to their body language and give them a lot of breaks.
“If your dog is laying down, they’re becoming lethargic, excessively panting or drooling, if they are breathing very heavily. Those things you want to look out for. You don’t want to overexert your pets, especially in the warmer months. They can succumb to heat stroke, even if you’ve done all these things correctly. So, limiting the exercise and limiting it to certain hours of the day, like early in the morning, is ideal.”
Hansen says dog breeds that are flat faced like a bulldog or a pug are more susceptible to heat stroke. She says shaving a dog is not a good idea because the coat helps to keep them safe from the sun and can provide cooling. Sunscreen is sometimes used on dogs, but it must be recommended safe for use on animals.
It’s the time of year for back yard bar-b-ques and they often include foods that are dangerous for pets.
“It’s definitely not good to have dogs eating meat off of bones. Not only for the bone itself, because those can splinter off when they eat them and could potentially cause some fatal internal damage. But, also, just that fattier meat is not ideal for a dog. It can cause upset stomach, diarrhea, they could vomit.”
Nuzzels & Co has over 200 volunteers and currently cares for 240 animals throughout all their locations. They can house 80 dogs and 60 cats at the Rescue Ranch, and they perform more than 100 adoptions per month. Their goal is for Utah to be kill free by next year.
The Humane Society of Utah has posted a list of unsafe foods for pets often included in summer parties. You can find that list and a slide show of the visit to the Nuzzles & Co. Rescue Ranch on KPCW.org.
Make sure your pets do not consume the following:
Items during summer parties: grapes, raisins, garlic, onions, guacamole, chicken wings, cooked bones, chocolate, Xylitol (artificial sweetener common in sugar-free foods), alcohol, sunscreen, insect repellent, citronella or fireworks. Ask your guests not to feed your pet any food other than their preapproved treats.