Tag Archives: dog health

How to ensure cottage safety for your pet

7 Sep

Warm weather makes us want to set out. Set out to cooler places and enjoy outdoors. It is that time of the year, when families head out for the cottage. Since this set up does not even remotely resemble your urban environment, it calls for a utmost pet safety precautions from your end if your planning on taking your pet along. Your pets are not very different from kids. Both are extremely curious, inquisitive and famously known to get into trouble of all kinds. By being aware of all the things that can cause to get your pet into trouble, only helps in avoiding them and ensures an uneventful stay at the cottage, both for you and for your furred companion.

Pet safety & you
Pets, like children, can device innovative ways of getting into trouble.

Here are some important safety measures that you would want to take before embarking on your journey to the cottage:

1. The travel

First things first, make sure that your pet is securely strapped onto a seat belt or is being kept in those special carriers made exclusively for pet transportation, when driving to your destination. Ensure the temperature inside the car maintained at all times & is pet friendly by turning on the air conditioner when needed. Never ever leave your pet locked up inside your car with windows closed or even partially open because it can only be a matter of some minutes before your beloved pet collapses out of suffocation or heatstroke.

By feeding your pet with a light meal at least 3-4 hours in advance before the journey will help in preventing car sickness. Also, give your pet some respite from traveling continuously for long hours by pausing for a break every 2 to 4 hours. This break can be used to give it some time to flex its muscles, stretch itself, exercise and to attend the call of the nature. You can carry a litter box, in case of cats.

All the while make sure that the leash is securely fastened to your pet’s collar. Since pets are basically curious & still retain a part in them that is wild, it won’t be long before you find your pet chase a wild hare or a turkey and then loose its way to your car or worse, get hit by another vehicle. Leashing them therefore helps in preventing such uncalled for tragedies & accidental escapes to a large extent, especially if you are a parent to a very naughty pet.

Another important precaution that you need take regarding your pet’s safety is by ensuring that it does not stick its head out of the window. A sudden brake or debris is all it takes to cause it some serious injuries. Last but not the least, try and be sensitive to your travel companion by not blaring the speakers of car and by keeping the volumes moderate, since dogs’ and cats’ hearing are several times higher than our own.

2. Limit your pet’s freedom

You might think as to what better place than the cottage to let your pets loose and allow them some fun and frolic. Wrong! This in fact, is a place where you need to be more guarded about your pet’s freedom than ever before. Never forget the fact that this place is alien and unfamiliar to your pet.

Letting them loose in an environment like this, is like inviting trouble with a red carpet. Chances of your pet getting lost or hit by a passing vehicle are mighty. Your pet might even become an unfortunate victim of territorial dog fights. Having your pet microchipped therefore is a very good idea. Keep the contact details of local animal shelters in & around your cottage area handy.

3. A healthy pet is a happy pet

Before leaving for the cottage, ensure that your pet does not have any of its vaccinations due, especially against deadly diseases like Rabies or CD (Canine Distemper), both of which can prove fatal to your beloved pet. It should also be safeguarded against tick or flea infestation. Your veterinarian should be able to help you regarding the medications available in preventing lice and flea attacks on your pet when outdoors.

Never bring an ailing pet along with you to the cottage. Have someone take care of your pet while your away, for a travel to a new place can be traumatizing to the poor animal. In any case, keep the phone number of a veterinarian close to your cottage area, handy at all times in case of any unforeseen emergencies.

4. Water and pets

A nice water body is synonymous with fun. Boating, swimming etc., are some of the water sports that we all enjoy immensely and therefore want our pets to enjoy them too. But then, water safety is not limited to us alone, it should be extended to our furred friends too. Get them a pet life jacket, for you don’t want to lose them to an otherwise easily avoidable water accident. Life jackets are called that way for a reason, and that is because- it protects, protects life. It also helps your pet against the fatal ‘hypothermia’ in cold & frigid waters. Here are some things to watch out for:

a. Never let your dog into the water with its leash or chain still on, for these can get entangled to hidden obstacles under water like water weeds, rocks, debris etc.

b. Running or moving water can be dangerous to your pet. The large quantities of flowing water will make it difficult for your pet to swim against its current.

c. Check the temperature of the water. Very cold water can cause hypothermia to your pet, which if untreated swiftly can result in the tragic loss of your pet.

d. Keep a tab on your pet’s energy levels when it is in the water. Get him out of the water the moment you notice a drop in its energy levels, because the chances of a tired dog drowning to its death are higher than you thought.

5. Safeguard your pets against other wild animals and vice versa

You are responsible for your pets and their actions. Care should be taken at all times to ensure that your pet does not harass or attack vulnerable wild animals like ground nesting birds, hares etc. since they are very vulnerable around this time of the year, busy raising their young ones. Your pet can prove to be quite a menace to such animals. You should therefore take care that your pet does not cause any injury to wild animals and birds. Practice a ‘live and let live’ lifestyle when in places like these, esp. with other wildlife around you.

You also need to protect your own pet from more dangerous wildlife like bears, porcupines, skunks. A chance meeting with with these animals can prove to be a fatal or a painful experience to your pet. There are also chances of your pet contacting contagious diseases like rabies etc. from other animals in the area. Keeping your pet indoors and/or on a leash at all times would therefore save you all this trouble.

Advertisements

Puppy Mills: The hellish tale

7 Sep

The joy of bringing home a puppy is something that can never be described in words. Since time immemorial, man’s best friend has proved us time and again as to why it is called that way. By bringing home a puppy, we are bringing home a baby animal which will soon be a part of our family. Undying love, loyalty, affection, companionship and security are some other things that you’d be getting along with your puppy.

puppy hell?

Now that you have decided to get home a furred friend, it’s important from where you get them. Never buy your pet from a commercial breeder or a puppy farm. These ‘puppy farms’ are also called and often referred to as ‘puppy mills’ by animal lovers because of the inhuman treatment meted out to these loving animals. Here are some facts & reasons why you should never encourage nor buy from puppy mills:

1. Inhuman breeding conditions

Puppies are bred or rather harvested only for commercial purpose and for profits with little or no thoughts about the animals’ welfare and well being. Dogs are housed in filthy cages with no sanitary facilities. They are often forced to sleep on their own excrement. Some breeders, for easy clean up of wastes, keep them in cages that have a wired floor. This type of a flooring cause serious wounds to the dog’s paws and legs. To make matters worse, several dogs are kept in a single cage making them overcrowded. There is no proper food, clean drinking water or even veterinary care given to these poor animals. In several cases, the breeders do not even bother to remove a dead puppy from the same cage where other puppies are housed. This increases the chances of infection and other diseases for the other living animals. When once the breeder dog has attained the age of four, they are killed because the breeders feel that the dog is of no use to them any more.

2. Rough treatment

This goes without saying. Now that we know how and why dogs are bred at these hellish puppy farms, one can never imagine a breeder loving, fondling and caring for his dogs. The lives of the dogs here are god forsaken. Puppies are pulled away from their mothers at a very tender age, resulting in trauma for both the mother and her puppies. They are then packed and parceled in crates as if they were vegetables and sometimes made to travel several hundred miles without proper ventilation, food, water and care. Many puppies die out of sheer exhaustion and suffocation even before they reach their destination. The transporters rarely handle these babies with care, and therefore these poor pups are deprived of all the love and care that is needed for them to become good companions for humans. Since dogs that have been bred this way, have never had a glimpse of love and care, they often develop behavioral issues like barking and snarling, become suspicious towards human beings, not trust humans (thanks to what they have seen of them) etc.

3. Health issues

Dogs at these mills are bred under extreme unsanitary conditions, where their fecal matters and excrement are never cleaned or not cleaned regularly. This being the case, these animals are harassed by flies, maggots and even rodents. Since rodents can also be carriers of several deadly diseases, chances are mighty that they may infect the dogs too. Adding to the woes are the facts that these dogs are neither given proper vaccinations nor are they protected against other dangers like lice and flea infestation. The cages that house these dogs are rarely made of solid surfaces and have wired floors. The tiny legs of puppies often get trapped in between these wires and result in some serious injuries to their legs. In some cases the wounds have been so grave, that it called for amputation. Since not many want a handicapped pup for a pet, such unfortunate puppies are done away with by means of killing (which is again extremely inhuman). Dogs bought from these places are also prone to developing respiratory problems, pneumonia and other hereditary defects such as hip dysplasia, later in their lives.

4. Purebreds

Most dogs bought from a puppy mill are bound to have behavioral and temperamental issues. Breeders falsely claim that their dogs are purebreds. With indiscriminate breeding practices prevailing at these puppy mills that do not facilitate a pure breeding, chances are high that your dog may not be a purebred. Puppies are bred by the quantity and not quality, often overlooking the genetic & personality disorders. The breeders never take into consideration the temperament of the breeding dogs, which is very important in having good puppies with no behavioral issues. Breeders often fool and trick the buyers by talking about ‘papers’ and ‘registration’ of a dog, whereas in reality, all these papers are of no use at all, except in housebreaking your dog.

5. Call for action

Do your bit in eradicating the puppy mill menace by never ever buying pets from these barbaric breeders. There are thousands of abandoned dogs, puppies and cats that are euthanized in animal shelters every year, because they found nobody to care for them and give them a home. Adopt them instead of buying from puppy mills. The more the demand for pups from puppy mills, the more these industries thrive. Break this vicious cycle of pain, misery & death by adopting a homeless animal and you would have done a very noble deed indeed. Adopting is also a feel good factor, because you know that you have given an abandoned animal, a family and home to call its own; and that you have not contributed towards cruelty of any sort. Remember, by buying a pet from a pet store, you are actually contributing to the hell like industry with no conscience or ethics.

%d bloggers like this: