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Spring Safety
  When the cold weather slips away it brings us comfortable temperatures to go out and enjoy our back yards. We also tend to go for more walks/jogs so we can enjoy the nice weather rather than stay inside of a gym. Spring is the normal mating season for animals and you may run across several on your walks. The following tips will help you prevent bites/attacks and avoid confrontation with any wild animals you may come across.

 

What do to around a loose dog
Going for a walk, jog, or even a bike ride and see a dog that’s loose?

1) If you see a dog that is loose in the distance, do not try to approach it or call it to you. Just keep a close eye on the dog and watch its movement and behavior. If you’re out for a jog or on your bike, the best thing to do is slow to a walk or get off your bike and walk past that dog until you’re at a safe distance from him chasing after you.

2) Even if a loose dog seems friendly, especially if the owner’s are outside with it, never assume that you can pet it. If a loose dog approaches you, stop and wait for the dog to loose interest in you before walking on.

3) Never run from any dog at any time! When you run the dog’s natural instinct to chase comes out. And since they have four legs and you have two you will never out run them.

4)
If a loose dog does approach you, stand still and do not stare at them or look in their eyes. Staring at them will cause confrontation which will likely push them into attack mode. Just fold your arms and keep them in your peripheral vision. They will eventually loose interest in you and walk away.

5)
Never scream or yell at a dog. To them it just sounds like you are barking at them and their natural instincts of protection will come out. If you are yelling at them to go home they will take that as a confrontation which will likely lead to an attack.

6) If a dog does attack you knocking you to the ground or you loose your footing and the dog comes after you, quickly and quietly curl up into a fetal position, protecting your neck, face and chest. Keep your hands clenched into fists. Do not yell or kick at the dog. These will just further his attack thinking of you as a moving target. Most dogs will not attack you unless they are provoked by movement or yelling.

7) Not sure what the dog is really saying? A wagging tail or panting tongue does not always mean that dog is friendly and ready for a pet. A dog that goes into a bowing position does not mean it’s ready for an attack. Do some research into a dog’s body language to be sure that you are interpreting his looks correctly. This will help to prevent confrontation and attacks.

 

 Going to a cook-out
 
Going over to someone else’s house for a party and they happen to have a dog? The following tips will help you prevent any kind of confrontations that may lead to a bite.

1) Let sleeping dogs lie. If you see a dog that is sleeping, do not try to wake it or pet it. Sometimes dogs will go into protection mode and snap out at someone that startles them.

2) If you see a dog eating their food or chewing on a bone or treat, never try to take that away from them. If they are eating something they shouldn’t alert the owner to take care of the situation.

3) Never taunt a dog with food; whether they are allowed to have it or not. Some dogs are not tolerant of being teased and they will bite to get what they want.

4) If you are playing with a dog and they start to become too aggressive during play, drop the toy for play time is over. When they become too excited they might go for your hand or arm and accidently bite you.

5) Never pick up a dog that may not know you. Some dogs are sensitive about being picked up or certain parts of their body being touched, such as ears, feet, and tail. The best place to pet a dog for the first time is under the chin and then their back if they let you. If a dog doesn’t want you to pet them, then leave them alone.

6) If a dog approaches you and starts to sniff you everywhere, even areas you may not want them to sniff you, let them do it. This is their way of getting to know who you are. If you are uncomfortable around the dog, ask the owner to put the dog up while you are there until you feel better about their presence.

7)
If you see a dog that is in a pen or kennel, or tied to a post or tree in the back yard, do not try to pet that dog without talking to the owner first. Dogs that are confined to a kennel or tied to a tree is very protective over their territory and usually do not want anyone invading it. If the dog growls, barks, or other shows any other signs of aggression, back away and leave it alone.

8) Before petting any dog, ask the owner about their dog’s behavior first. Be sure that the dog will be friendly by allowing them to sniff you first. If the owner says that the dog will not bite, allow the dog to continue to sniff you. Watch their body language. If they freeze up and stare at you, back off. If they wag their tail and even lick you then you may pet. Be sure that you pet them on their chin rather than on their head. Some dogs are sensitive about a hand approaching their head and might become scared which can lead to a snap. If the dog likes you, you may continue to pet. If they do not, back off.

9) Never get face to face with any dog but your own. Some dogs take this as a threat and will become scared. This will sometimes lead into a snap and sometimes even a hard bite to the face.

10) Try to avoid getting in between two dogs if there’s food or toys around you. Two dogs might get into a fight over these items with you caught in the middle. Do NOT try to break up the fight with your hands. They can grab a hold of your hand thinking it’s the other dog. Sometimes the attack can switch from each other to you thinking you’re also trying to take away what ever they are fighting over.

Hiking and living in the woods

Happen to live in the woods? Enjoy hiking in the great outdoors where there’s only you and the wilderness? We all enjoy walking on our street or sitting out on our decks and patios to feel one with nature. And there’s no better way of observing nature with a friend. Here are some tips to make sure that you and your pets are safe around wildlife in your area.

1) Make sure that your pets are always current on their rabies vaccinations. This could save your pets life if it were to come in contact with a wild animal that could potentially have rabies. Indoor pets are not always safe from the outdoor world either. Bats and other wildlife have been known to enter homes to get out of the elements.

2) Make sure that you secure your trash cans. Only put cans out on trash collection day and secure the lid with bungee cords if it can’t be stored in a garage or shed.

3) Avoid feeding your pet outside. If you must do so, only give your pet the correct amount that it will eat within a 30 minute time period. If they don’t finish it all, pick it up and bring it inside. Any food left outside will surely attract wildlife.

4) While you and your pet are outside, be aware of where your pet is at all times. They could find a snake or opossum lying under a bush and an attack might ensue.5) When your pet is left outside, be sure to check on them often. Chain link fences and invisible fences may keep your pet in but it does not keep wildlife or other animals out.

You can learn more about wildlife by visiting the Coexisting with Wildlife page.

You can also learn more specifically about coyotes by visiting the Coyotes page.

Holiday Safety Tips

Holidays can be a time of joy, fun, laughter, and good times. But not every member of the family will be able to partake in the festivities. There are many hazards when it comes to the holidays. Each year during the various holiday seasons, thousands of pets are seriously injured and/or become deathly ill. As your family gathers to celebrate the upcoming holidays, keep in mind the dangers that could potentially exist for your 4-legged friends.

1) Some flowers that are handed out on Valentines Day could be potentially dangerous to your pets. Lilies are potentially fatal to cats.

2) All chocolate should stay away for your pets. It has been known to be fatal to animals, especially dark chocolate. Other foods such as onions, grapes, and raisins are also poisonous to your pet.

 
3) All other candies and alcohol should be kept out of your pets reach. It can cause drop in blood sugar, seizures, tremors, and even coma. It can even send an animal into respiratory failure.

4) Any flowers received that have thorns should be kept in a place that your pet cannot get to. Any thorns that are ingested could get stuck in the stomach or intestines and will require surgery to remove it.

5) Be mindful of all burning candles in the home. Pets can knock them over and get burned or even start a fire.

6) Keep all wrappings and package decorations away from pets. As soon as it is unwrapped, throw it out or put it some place where your pets cannot get to it. These may seem like fun for your pet but they can get stuck in the throat or intestines if ingested.

With these tips in place you can make your Spring, and holidays enjoyable for the entire family.

To get some travel and boarding safety tips, visit the Pet Travel and Boarding page.