Watch Tip: Road trips with pets

Posted on August 28th, 2010 by Anna Nirva

Vehicle travelers with pets planning a Labor Day trip—get prepared. Crates or safety seats for pets reduce opportunities for trouble. Remember, keep heads inside those windows! Drivers, keep pets off your lap. Pickup drivers, don’t let them ride loose in the bed. These are all risky behaviors. Nervous, excited pets can quickly get loose, lost or hit by traffic. (Can you afford a big vet bill?)

Plan ahead and prepare for pets traveling with you in your vehicle on a holiday weekend

The highways will be busy, other drivers may be preoccupied, and you might encounter traffic jams or slowdowns. You might even become involved in an accident. Will your pets be safe and comfortable, protected from any unexpected events? While most will make elaborate preparations for travel with children, pets are sometimes just assumed to be immune from trouble. A tragedy could result. Here’s a quick list of travel needs:

  • Acquire a crate or travel harness for each pet
  • Bring pet food with you, and water if your pet is picky about drinking unfamiliar water (don’t forget medicines if needed)
  • Leashes, collars, and tie-outs
  • Toys and treats
  • Bucket with big bottle of water, spray cleaner, garbage bags, and towels (your pet might get carsick; you never know!)
  • Pet info: your vet’s phone number, photo and description sheet copies (in case your pet escapes and runs off), medication list if needed
  • Cleaning wipes are handy, too

If you are not traveling with your pets during the upcoming holiday weekend, please watch and listen for stray, frightened animals in your neighborhood. Take action to help them immediately. Alert all the neighbors and homes at nearby key intersections. If you alert the authorities and they pick up the stray animal, please be aware that in many municipalities these poor lost creatures are euthanized in 3 to 5 days (depending on regulations). Can you seek out a home and family to take the pet?

Thank you for all you do to help animals in need! The world needs more like you!

Watch Tip: Pets of Students

Posted on August 21st, 2010 by Anna Nirva

Weekly Watch Tip for week of Aug. 22:

Listen and watch for trapped or escaped pets around student housing neighborhoods. Back-to-school time is very high-risk for student-owned dogs and cats, because students move into new housing and life can be chaotic for a while. Their companion animals are often young, energetic, and untrained. It’s a classic recipe for accidents of every kind.

Watch Tip: Ramshackle Kennels

Posted on August 13th, 2010 by Anna Nirva

Watch Tip for week of Aug. 15

Watch closely if you come upon shelter, a kennel or dog house or lean-to, that is in ramshackle condition. Seek them out in areas hit by foreclosures and in poverty-stricken neighborhoods. Are food and water bowls turned over or filled with filth? Do the feces contain rocks or dirt? Is the dog sad and reclusive? You must take immediate action or the dog could die.

Dedicated to two dead dogs abandoned in St. Paul MN, names unknown

They were found curled together in death, their bodies dusty and dry, in a ramshackle doghouse attached to an empty home. In one article, authorities speculated that dark one had died earlier than the light one, because the dark body was more decomposed. So the light-colored dog laid with his head nestled against the dark belly of his dead friend, waiting silently for his release. It takes a long time to starve.

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Watch Tip: Oncoming Trains

Posted on August 8th, 2010 by Anna Nirva

Weekly Watch Tip for week of Aug. 8:

Watch for dogs and cats that are near or on railroad tracks in your neighborhood. Odd as it might seem, some animals don’t seem to fear or even notice oncoming trains. Lure animals away from alongside the tracks and don’t step between the tracks. Remember: trains move faster and may be nearer than they appear! Their enormous size can fool your senses and you could die yourself while trying to save a dog who may move quickly enough to escape being hit.

Trains are high-risk for companion animals and their humans!

I’ve read a number of news accounts recently about dogs darting in front of oncoming trains. Their panicky owners follow and are killed while the dog escapes injury because they move so quickly.

Please be thoughtful around trains when you are walking your dogs or cats. They will do surprising things as you know! You would never jump in front of a moving train but a dog or cat will occasionally do just that. It’s as if they don’t hear the train or possibly they don’t comprehend the danger of being hit by it (similar to cars). Veterinarians will tell stories about companion animals injured or killed by trains and the story is usually that the animal darted right in front of it, surprising the owners.

Walk your animals well away from the tracks, beyond leash length. Remember that retractable leashes may be longer than you think and your thumb on that lever might not be fast enough to save your pet from being hit. This warning holds true of walking dogs alongside busy roads using retractable leashes too, especially if you have a strong dog or if something very interesting is just across the road!

What is it with these pet food companies? Can’t they handle their products without letting them get contaminated?  Merrick’s previously announced recall on Texas Hold ’ems has been extended. Here is the first part of the official recall notice.

Merrick Pet Care Recalls Texas Hold’ems 10 oz Bag (Item # 60016 Lot 10127 Best by May 6 2012) because of Possible Salmonella Health Risk

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