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dog laying on couch by fireplace - pet fire safety tips

Fire Safety For Your Pets

Every year, more than 500,000 different pets are affected by house fires. Many times these fires can be avoided by taking precautions, but there are times where it is simply out of your control. So, what can you do to prevent fires and what can you do in case of an emergency to ensure the safety of you, your family, and your pets? Continue reading to learn more about some pet fire safety tips.

Pet Fire Safety Tips

Monitored Smoke Detectors

If you happen to live in an area that is prone to fires or you are concerned that your pet may accidentally start a fire, monitored smoke detectors are something to take into consideration. These are amazing because they work in the same way normal smoke detectors work, but in addition, they alert the fire department immediately. This way, if you are ever out of the house when a fire occurs, you can rest assured that it will be taken care of.

Hiding Places

Those of us with pets know that they can make their way into the most obscure locations and hiding places. It is important that you know where these hiding places in case you need to evacuate so that you can easily find your pet and get them to safety. It may be best to just get rid of these places altogether by shitting furniture or reorganizing there aren’t so many little nooks and crannies.

Emergency Plan

Many families have an emergency fire plan. These plans often include an evacuation plan, a meeting point for when you get out of the house, and maybe even emergency bags to grab on your way out if possible. It is extremely important to include your pets in your emergency fire plan. Some things to know in case of an emergency is who will grab what pet and some emergency supplies for them. That way, if an emergency comes everyone knows what to do to be safe. Other things to identify in your emergency plan are where you will exit the house depending on where the fire is and have a safe exit plan including a place to meet up once you make it outside. Another thing to do with this plan once you have set it is to practice it consistently so your pet is used to the quick actions of getting out of the house. Dogs may think that it is fun to quickly run out of the house and can be trained to go to certain spots outside, but cats may need to be picked up and taken outside, so you are going to want to get them accustomed to it.

Pet-Proof Home

Pet-proofing your home is an important precaution to ensure that no fires start accidentally, especially when you are not home. Some things to look out for are cables that can spark and catch fire. Other things include any lamps that could be knocked over into a curtain. If you have candles around the house, make sure they aren’t lit unless someone is in the room as a lit candle can be enticing to some pets. Check out this article to learn more about Dog-Proofing Your Home.

Rescue Alert Sticker

This is a sticker that goes in your front window and states how many pets are inside. Many even have room to specify what species your pet is (i.e. cat, dog, bird). These are a great indicator for when firefighters arrive to let them know that there are pets that need to be rescued. You can pick one up at your local pet store or order them online from places like Amazon.

Emergency Travel Supplies

If you need to evacuate your home in a hurry, you may not have time to get everything that you will need, especially everything to take care of your pet. That is why it is important to keep a stash of emergency supplies, or an emergency kit of things to take with you in the event of an emergency. Some things to make sure you have to include:

One thing to remember is that this is not a comprehensive list, and your dog’s emergency kit may look different from the dog who lives down the street. Just make sure that your dog will have everything they need in a rush.

Pet Id

Making sure your pet has the proper ID is very important because it can allow you to reunite with them in the event that you get separated. You can do this by making sure that they have their collar on them and they have the correct info on that collar. You can take this one step further by microchipping them so if they lose their collar, they can still make it back to you.

Conclusion

There are many pet fire safety tips that can help you prepare for, prevent, and make it through a house fire. The most important thing to remember is to do your best to prevent them from happening, but still, be prepared for one if it does happen.

Sources

https://www.aspca.org/news/fire-safety-and-your-pets-keeping-them-safe-unexpected
https://www.redcross.org/get-help/how-to-prepare-for-emergencies/types-of-emergencies/fire/pet-fire-safety.html
https://www.americanhumane.org/fact-sheet/pet-fire-safety/
https://www.akc.org/press-releases/national-pet-fire-safety-day-prevention-tips-to-keep-pets-from-startin/

featured image for weird cat behavior and what it means

Weird Cat Behavior and What It Means

Cats are one of the most common house pets. While once wild animals, DNA shows that they domesticated themselves thousands of years ago. Since then, they have been living near or with humans. Even though they have been around humans for so long, there is still a lot of people who don’t know much about them. Here is some weird cat behavior and what it means.

Rolling around like a dog

Cats roll around like dogs for several reasons. However, their reasons are not necessarily similar to dogs. One of the main reasons they roll onto their backs is for attention. When a cat trusts you, they will show you their belly. It is important, however, to not rub their belly. Give them a few scratches on the face or head instead.

Suddenly going crazy

Have you ever seen a cat suddenly go crazy like they’re running from some invisible threat? This is known as the zoomies. Most of the time, the zoomies are bursts of energy that a cat needs to release. When a cat is left alone all day or does not get enough playtime, it results in the zoomies. Indoor cats are more likely to experience the zoomies. Scheduling more playtime with your cat is the best solution. For ideas on keeping them active, read our article, “Keeping An Indoor Pet Active“. The zoomies, however, can also be a sign of other issues. Anxiety, fleas, skin irritation, problems from old age, or a dirty litter box are all common culprits.

Kneading with paws

Sometimes when cats do this it can end up being painful. This is an instinct they have had since they were kittens and will continue to do throughout their lives. Sometimes they will knead a blanket or even your leg. They knead while they are nursing as kittens, but no one knows why they continue this behavior as adults. Some theories suggest it is the comfort of the memory and others suggest it is a way to mark their territory. Whatever it means, it is usually a good sign that your cat likes you if they knead you. Even if it does hurt.

Bringing you dead animals

If you have outdoor cats, chances are they have brought dead animals into the house or even the front porch. Cats have an instinct to hunt. In the wild, female cats bring food to their families and their young. They do this to teach them how to hunt. Although they have been domesticated for thousands of years, these instincts still exist. It just means they consider you their family.

Eating grass

Did you know that cats cannot digest plant matter very well? This makes their habit of nibbling on plants like grass especially bizarre. Especially since they usually end up throwing it all up. They do this, however, to get rid of the contents in their stomachs. Cat stomachs are usually full of things that don’t digest like hair and bones. To get rid of these things, they need to throw them up. Other theories suggest that cats nibble on plants for nutritional value.

Hiding in small spaces

Another weird thing cats will do is hide in the smallest spaces. Sometimes even if they don’t fit. If you have seen a cat try and crawl into a cardboard box half it’s size, you know what we mean. In the wild, cats hide in small spaces as well. They do this for the comfort of feeling both warm and secure.

Sources

https://www.hillspet.com/cat-care/behavior-appearance/weird-things-cats-do

https://www.nationalgeographic.com/news/2017/06/domesticated-cats-dna-genetics-pets-science/

https://www.livescience.com/34471-cats-dead-animals.html

https://www.cathealth.com/behavior/how-and-why/2548-why-do-cats-get-the-zoomies

brown and white dog walking through tall grass - hunting with a dog

How To Safely Hunt With A Dog

Many people take their dogs with them to hunt for various reasons. Whether it be to hunt small game such as birds or rabbits, all the way to assisting with deer coyotes and even bears, a hunting dog can help. However, many people who are new to hunting with a dog do not know some vital safety precautions that must be taken. Continue reading to learn about the main kinds of hunting dogs, and how to safely hunt with them.

Types of Hunting Dogs

Gun Dogs: These are mainly used by hunters who use shotguns to hunt for small game. Gun dogs are used in the field for tracking, pointing, and retrieving different types of small game. Some breeds that are commonly gun dogs are:

  • Pointer
  • Labrador Retriever
  • Golden Retriever
  • German Shorthaired Pointer
  • English Setter

Hounds: These dogs are good and tracking by either scent or sight. They are used to track large game like bears or deer. Some scenthound breeds include Foxhounds, Beagles, and Basset hounds. On the other hand, sighthounds include Pharaoh hounds and Greyhounds.

Terriers: These pups are used to help with a small game like squirrels. However, some people use them to help track larger games too. Terrier breeds include:

  • Jack Russel Terriers
  • Wire Fox Terriers
  • Yorkshire Terriers
  • Boston Terriers
  • Bull Terriers
  • Border Terriers
  • Scottish Terriers

Hunting With A Dog

Before The Hunt

Training

Before you take your dog out to hunt with you, there are some things to take care of. The first being to train your dog. Check out this article for tips to train your dog. However, in addition to that training, your dog will need to know other commands like retrieve and should know when to stay back. You can train any dog to hunt if you have the time, skill and patience to do so. However, the breeds listed above are natural hunters so they will be easier to train. If you cannot train your dog to hunt, you can find someone nearby who specializes in it.

Another thing to train your dog on is the sound of a gun shooting. That way they are not startled when it comes time to hunt and they hear a gunshot. You can train them by simply shooting your gun at some clay pigeons with them nearby but in a safe location. If they are not actively hunting, you may want to consider getting them some ear protection. Another thing to look into is a safety vest so your dog can be seen by other hunters.

Exercise

In addition to your dog learning new commands, it is important to make sure they are physically fit. You do not want to take an overweight and lethargic dog out to hunt and chase deer. This can cause you to lose the deer, or your dog could get injured or even killed. To avoid this, American Hunter recommends that hunters keep their dogs on a summer workout routine. Some things that this workout includes are to make sure they are running and not walking. However, they remind hunters to watch the temperature and to run at dawn or dusk. Another thing you can do to cool off your dog whilst still exercising is letting them take a few laps in the pool.

Pack Food

When preparing for your hunt by stocking up on food and water, it is important to bring some for your canine companion too. In fact, it is important to bring extra food and water for your dog in addition to the amount they normally eat, as they will most likely be working more than they would be at home.

First Aid Essentials

In addition to food and water, it is important to have the phone number and location of a vet that is nearby. That way you can check up on your dog. Be sure to also check with your vet before you leave to ensure your dog is up-to-date on their immunizations.

Since we are on the topic of safety for dogs, you should invest in a dog first aid kit. You can purchase one, or make your own with the same supplies but remember to keep it on hand in the car in case of an emergency. Some things a dog first aid kit should have are:

  • Emergency Phone Numbers
  • Antibiotic Ointment
  • Gauze with Tape
  • Gloves for your hands
  • Medications
  • Guide to dog first aid
  • Non-stick bandages
  • Hydrogen Peroxide
  • Soft muzzle

During The Hunt

Transport

When traveling to the area that you are going to be hunting, or just simply going 5 minutes away, never leave the dog loose in the back of a truck. If they are in the back of a truck, make sure they are in a crate that is secured and is large enough to be comfortable. Make sure that it is weatherproof and can keep your dog dry too. If they are in the car, find a secured crate, or put them in a dog seatbelt.

Temperature

When hunting with a dog, make sure you are watching their temperature. If your dog gets wet retrieving a fowl, dry them off as much as possible. That way your dog is not at risk of developing hypothermia. You can also create a resting area that is safe from the wind to let them warm-up and take breaks.

On the other hand, if your dog has been out in the sun all day and is panting heavily, drooling, or is showing signs of weakness, they may have heat exhaustion. It is important to then let them rest in a cool shaded area with plenty of water.

Gun Safety

If you are not actively aiming to shoot some game, you need to make sure your gun is set to safety mode and is pointed away from people and their dogs. That way nobody is at risk of accidentally shooting and killing their dog.

After The Hunt

When your hunt is over, you want to make sure your dog has had a good time. If they performed well, you can reward them with some treats, or better yet, give them a bite of the game when it has been cleaned and cooked. Another thing to do when you get home is to see your vet to get them a checkup. That way you know if your dog may have gotten something that you didn’t notice. Other than that, you can celebrate a successful hunt.

Conclusion

When hunting with a dog, there are many things that go into preparing not only for the hunt but preparing your dog. One thing you can do to make sure that your dog performs their best, but is still enjoying it is to give them treats when they do perform well. Be sure to check out one of our previous articles to learn about Camping With Your Pet: 6 Tips to Do It Right.

Sources:

https://www.americanhunter.org/articles/2018/7/13/gundogs-summer-fitness/
https://www.americanhunter.org/articles/2019/4/1/4-safety-tips-for-hunting-dogs/
https://www.pheasantsforever.org/BlogLanding/Blogs/Pheasants-Forever/Bird-Dog-Travel-Tips.aspx?feed=articles
https://www.hillspet.com/dog-care/resources/dog-hunting-safety
https://www.ducks.org/hunting/retriever-training/10-tips-to-prepare-your-dog-hunting-season

girl petting a dog with dry skin

Caring for Your Pet’s Dry Skin

When it comes to our pets, dry skin is a concern. There are many reasons why it develops, so caring for your pet’s dry skin is vital. It is not always just a result of dry weather. That is why you should always keep a close eye on the condition of your pet’s skin and fur.

Causes

a cat itching his head because of dry skin

Allergies – Animals get allergies just like people do. That is why it is important to pay attention to what you feed your pets and how they react to it. Pets can also be allergic to things like dust, pollen, grass, and fleas. Cats can even have dry skin and vomit as a result of eating something poisonous like plants. If you notice your cat constantly itching after vomiting, contact a vet immediately. Check out our article, “Pets and Allergies”, for more information.

Parasites – One cause of dry skin in pets is lice. Lice are often mistaken for dandruff, so it is important to take a closer look. Lice do not fall off fur as easily as dandruff. If your pet has lice, it should be treated as soon as possible because they can cause mange. Luckily, humans cannot get lice from other species of animals.

Disorders – Metabolic and auto-immune diseases can cause dry skin in pets. If there have been no changes to your pet’s environment, their skin condition could be internal.

Breed – Some breeds of dogs are more likely to develop skin conditions than others. Hairless breeds, huskies, and malamutes are some of the dog breeds more likely to develop skin conditions.  

Poor Diet – At the root of most health problems is diet. Be sure that your pets are getting the proper nutrients their bodies need. There are many human foods both dogs and cats cannot eat, so be sure you and no one else is feeding them. They should only be eating food specifically designed and recommended for them. You can also talk to your vet about feeding them pet supplements. Liquid Health Pets offers many supplements in liquid form for easy consumption.

Overbathing – Bathing your pet too often can also dry out their skin. If your vet has ruled out other potentially harmful causes, minimize washing your pet to only once every other week. Be sure that you are also using a shampoo that is either for cats or dogs and does not contain any harmful chemicals.

Treatment

Talking to your vet before beginning any treatment is important to rule out serious concerns. Caring for your pet’s dry skin is vital. If you are concerned about their dry skin, pay close attention to their environment. If there are new pets, you have moved, have traveled, or have fed them anything different, take note. Paying close attention to the details in your pet’s life will make it easier to pinpoint the root of the cause. Most importantly, take care of your pets. Be sure they are receiving a well-balanced diet, are bathed, and exercise regularly.

Sources

https://www.hillspet.com/cat-care/healthcare/does-my-cat-have-dry-skin