Thursday, June 29, 2017

Fireworks and Your Dog

Fourth of July is upon us! With this holiday comes BBQs, swimming and, of course, Fireworks!
Some dogs are completely comfortable with loud noise but, let's face it, the majority of them are not! There are a few important steps for keeping our pets safe over the week of Fourth of July.
Firstly, if you and your family are going to an outdoor party and/or a fireworks show DO NOT bring your dog friends with you. Outside they can easily get spooked and run off on you, please keep your dogs indoors during any fireworks displays. Secondly, check to make sure doors and windows are well secured. A dog who has noise sensitivity will bust right through a screen door or window if they are scared enough!
The good news is there are many safe, natural calming remedies! Oral remedies include flower essences: Bach flower (Rescue Remedy), Mimulus, Aspen, or Rock Rose. You can also give valerian root orally. In more extreme cases you can use Benedryl (please call your vet for dosing and to verify that it is safe for your specific pet!) or Sileo (available only through your vet). Lavender essential oils also work well, this is to be applied topically and not to be digested. You can even get a Lavender scented wall plug-in! Classical music or even white noise will help as well.
It's best to be there with your dog if you're able, give them calm attention. DO NOT act like they have a reason to be scared, avoid coddling and act as though the loud noises aren't even happening. Dog's take many cues from us and if you are calm it is much easier for them to be, as well. A light massage is calming and he/she will definitely appreciate it! You can also keep them occupied with a Kong filled with peanut butter or cream cheese (freeze it to make it last longer!), or a puzzle ball (these are available at most pet stores).
These remedies are also great for cats who have noise sensitivities!
I hope everyone stays safe over the next week and enjoys the holiday! Thanks for checking out Tech Talk!

Thursday, June 22, 2017

Summertime Care for your Dogs!

We all love to be outside during the Summer time! Especially in Western Mass there are so many fun things to see and do all while enjoying the limited amount of warm weather we get! Sometimes we are lucky enough to have our dog friends join us but there's a lot to keep in mind!
First of all dogs cannot sweat like humans and they can suffer heatstroke much more easily. Always keep fresh, cool water for your dog available at all times. It is best if you always allow a shady area and account for sun movement!
Pavement is usually inadvisable for doggy paws in the summer so grass is always best. If you need to go on the pavement check the temperature, if it's too hot to touch it's too hot for your dog's paws! You can exercise your dog either early in the morning or late in the evening, the pavement is usually cooler around these times but I advise this, even on grass so they do not overheat (especially for braciocephalic breeds) .
All braciocephalic breeds (boxers, pugs, boston terriers, English bulldogs, etc.) are much more susceptible to overheating as they cannot breathe as well as other breeds. Also, heavy coated and elderly dogs can easily get overheated. Please, take extra special care with these guys! Allow them a cool room in the house with either a fan or air conditioner, fresh water, and DO NOT leave them outside unattended. Kiddie pools are great for dogs that like to be outside! (Check below for some fun, dog-friendly, summer recipes!)
And, I must touch upon this, DO NOT leave a dog inside a car, even with the windows cracked. The heat inside a car on a warm day can easily reach over 100* in a matter of minutes! If you must leave the dog to go in somewhere keep the car running, have water available, and only leave them for short periods! If you see a dog in a car that appears to be in distress (heavy panting, laying on their side, etc.) check around for the owner, verify that the car is not running, and call the police. Do NOT smash a car window and leave, this could be very dangerous for you and the dog.

Homemade Doggy "Icecream"
32 oz Plain low-fat yogurt
1 banana
spoonful of peanut butter
spoonful of honey

Put all ingredients in a blender and blend until smooth. Separate into containers and freeze.

Also! You can put dog treats, or canine friendly fruits, inside ice cube trays or freeze peanut butter or cream cheese inside a kong to keep them cool and occupied!