Watch Tip: Restraining Pets in Automobiles

Posted on August 1st, 2012 by Trish Roman-Aquilino

Watch Tip LogoThis morning, as I drove to work, I passed a car with a medium-sized dog with at least half of his or her body hanging out a half-open window, completely unrestrained.  As the car made a left turn, I watched from my rear-view mirror, worried that the pooch was going to fly out of the window as the vehicle careened around the corner.  The dog did not, and I was grateful, but it is an example of the need for pet restraint and/or containment in a vehicle.

Loose Pets in Vehicles Pose Many Risks

There are many dangers in letting pets roam freely in automobiles, to them and to others.  The group, Bark Buckle UP, has a detailed and thorough website that includes not only why pets should be safe, but all types of pet travel tips and product reviews.  From their site: Read the rest of this entry »

Watch Tip: What to do if you find a dog

Posted on July 2nd, 2012 by Trish Roman-Aquilino

Watch Tip LogoWe’ve all been there – a dog is running loose in the neighborhood, or you see a dog sitting on the side of road, all alone. Most of us are inclined to help in those situations, and this week’s Watch Tip focuses on how to do so safely, thoroughly, and conscientiously, increasing the chances of your found dog being reunited with their owner.

Play it safe

Assuming the found dog is not aggressive or injured, and you can safely get the dog into your car or home, you will want to collar and leash them, so that they will not be able to escape you as well; it is very helpful to have extra leashes that can quickly be looped into a slip-leash.  If you have an appropriately-sized crate for transporting them, even better!  A special trick I learned from a long-time dog rescuer, is to close your car door on the leash, after putting the pup in the car – leaving only the handle portion of the leash extending from the car.  That way, you can grasp the end of the leash in your hand before opening the door, and the dog does not have an opportunity to escape. Read the rest of this entry »

Watch Tip: Keep Pets Safe Around Water

Posted on June 3rd, 2012 by Trish Roman-Aquilino

Watch Tip LogoWarm weather is here, bringing increased activity in and around bodies of water; coupled with the common misconceptions that animals inherently know how to swim and that all dogs enjoy being in the water, this increases risk of tragic accidents.  Please be sure that you are taking the same care and concern with your pets that you would with small children, as the dangers are quite similar, and please kindly educate any family, neighbors, and friends on the proper pet water safety precautions, as outlined here.

Water Safety Tips for Pets

These tips are geared towards canine care, but could be used with those special felines that are offered closely supervised exposure to the outdoors, as we do not encourage allowing cats to roam freely. Read the rest of this entry »

Watch Tip: Lawn & Garden Chemicals

Posted on April 29th, 2012 by Anna Nirva

Watch Tip LogoBeware of the deadly dangers of toxic lawn and garden chemicals. Don’t use them and prevent your pets from visiting neighbors who use them. Pesticides, insecticides and rodenticides can kill your pets, especially those that include sweeteners to attract their intended prey. If your neighbors complain about snails/slugs, mice/rats, flies and other pests, and they use toxic products to control them, keep your pets away!

Protect Your Pets: Learn this List of Toxics

  1. Snail baits with metaldehyde  Read the rest of this entry »

Watch Tip: Learn Your Pets’ Vital Signs

Posted on April 22nd, 2012 by Anna Nirva

Watch Tip LogoBe better prepared for emergencies involving your pets by learning how to take their normal (healthy) vital signs: pulse rate, respiratory rate, and temperature. You’ll want to know both the resting and active rates. Keep that information in your pet first aid kit, so you will recognize a problem earlier. Optionally, ask your vet to provide that information at your pet’s next exam.

Review: “Pet First Aid & Disaster Response Guide” by founder Elaine Acker

This week’s tip was inspired by Acker’s book (cover pictured at right). You already know that Sunbear Squad encourages animal lovers to be good Samaritans for companion animals, especially neighbors’ pets and lost or abandoned animals in your area. We want every animal lover to be prepared, equipped, and knowledgeable, so we like to recommend helpful resources like this book ($18.95). This is one you want in your first aid kit. But please read it first; you’ll be glad you did.
Click on the book cover to purchase the book. Read the rest of this entry »

Watch Tip: Dog Park Tips & Warnings

Posted on April 16th, 2012 by Trish Roman-Aquilino

Watch Tip LogoDog parks have become extremely popular with dog owners for a variety of different reasons, including exercise, opportunities for socializing dogs, and just plain canine fun.  But there are problems to consider, and precautions to be taken, so that “fun” trip to the dog park doesn’t turn into a tragedy.   Following are ten tips and warnings to take heed of, and to distribute to any dog parents you may know!

1.         Do your research first.

Check out the dog park before taking your dog for his or her first outing.  Whether it’s Fido’s first time at this particular park, or visiting a park away from home, it pays to know the “lay of the land” before the first outing, and see what amenities are available (drinking water? separate play areas for small and large dogs?).  Know what the rules of the park are – they will have signs posted, and often a website that goes over the rules in more detail. Read the rest of this entry »

Watch Tip: New Cat Introductions

Posted on March 18th, 2012 by Anna Nirva

Watch Tip LogoIf you adopt an adult cat and you already have adult cats living in your home, manage the introduction process carefully to avoid fighting and eventually achieve harmony. Remember that cats are territorial animals and most will reject newcomer cats with extreme drama and noise. Follow these steps when introducing an adult, tame adoptive house cat to your home cat tribe. Your goal is “100% safe acceptance,” no clumps of fur found anywhere, no wounds of any kind, no emergency trips to the vet! If your cats actually become friends who sleep side by side, consider yourself lucky; it doesn’t happen often.

Consider adopting a cat who has lived with other cats to minimize the amount of adjustment time and effort needed.

1. Create a private room for the new resident.

  • Provide the shelter or current owner with two items of bedding (small blankets, towels, t-shirts) a day or two in advance of pickup, with a request that the bedding be placed in your new cat’s sleeping space as bedding. When you pick up your cat, pick up the  bedding too. Put the bedding in your cat’s travel crate. Read the rest of this entry »

Watch Tip: Integrating a New Dog into a Household

Posted on March 11th, 2012 by Trish Roman-Aquilino

Watch Tip LogoAdding a new dog to the family, especially when there is already a resident dog or dogs, should be a thoughtful process, and should incorporate several crucial tenets:

  • Preparation
  • Patience
  • Pack Management

Many humans require time and guidance to acclimate to new situations, learn new rules, understand each other’s ways of communicating, and to form bonds…why wouldn’t a new dog require the same kind of courtesies? (When deciding to bring a new dog into the family, proper introductions to a resident dog are a must – please read these tips and make sure your new addition will be compatible with your resident dog). Read the rest of this entry »

Watch Tip: Pet Manners in the Shelter

Posted on March 4th, 2012 by Anna Nirva

Watch Tip LogoWhile looking for a new pet at an animal shelter, get information and guidance from the shelter workers and volunteers about dogs or cats you are interested in. They know the animals. Don’t overlook an animal who might be just perfect for you because it has one behavior that you don’t like. Take a second look. Remember: shelters are crowded, noisy, smelly environments that cause unwanted behaviors that will disappear once outside.

Meet Sadie, the shelter cat with “Cattidude”

Sadie lives in our home now, but she had formerly lived in the no-kill shelter where I volunteer for well over a year. She was admitted as a stray cat and surprisingly, she was declawed. Normally a declawed cat is adopted quickly, but Sadie didn’t “show” well. She had “cattitude” with a capital C. Read the rest of this entry »

Watch Tip Classic: Scratching Persistently

Posted on February 26th, 2012 by Anna Nirva

Watch Tip LogoListen and watch for pets who scratch or lick themselves persistently; they might be suffering severely from food allergies, mange, fleas or other parasites. Look at the fur: do you see red, rough patches or skin ulcers? This animal is in perpetual torment. Please take action. Talk to the owner or call the authorities.

“Look at the fur” ==> “Look beneath the fur”

When you watch a dog or cat who persistently scratches, you might make the same common assumption as many others do: the poor thing suffers from fleas or even worse, has developed allergies to flea saliva. If you part the hair and find pin-head sized dark things that dart or jump, and accompanying flakes of dark red “dandruff” (blood), you are correct.   Read the rest of this entry »