8 Essential Things To Do When You See A Dog Left In A Hot Car

8 Essential Things To Do When You See A Dog Left In A Hot Car

Originally Posted on: Barkpost.com by Rachel Crocetti

Summer is here and for most people (and dogs) that means so is the unbearable heat. Summer for humans means wearing less clothing and taking a dip in the pool or ocean, but summer for dogs can be harsh. Imagine not being able to take off your winter sweater, even when it’s 95 degrees out. It’s painful to even think about! For dogs, that is their reality.

By now we all know the rule: do not, by any means, leave your dog in your car in the summer (or ever, for that matter). According to the Humane Society of the United States, when it is 80 degrees fahrenheit outside, the inside of a car can rise up to 99 degrees fahrenheit within only 10 minutes! So that means your ten minutes in the cool grocery store to grab your milk means a painful, sweltering, and possibly deadly situation for a dog left in a car.

Now that we’ve had a refresher on the rules, the question remains – what do you do when you see someone else’s dog in a hot car? Here are a few tips from the experts:

1. Get informed.

According to the Humane Society, the first thing that you can do to help a dog in a dangerous situation is to learn the facts yourself. Check out your town or state’s laws on leaving an animal in a car. Gather the phone number of the police department’s non-emergency line and also the animal control department in your town. Be prepared so that you aren’t left trying to solve the problem at the last minute, and wasting what could be precious and critical moments for the overheated dog.

2. Take down the car’s information.

The Humane Society says that when you see a dog left in a car, immediately take down the vehicle’s model, make, color, and license plate number. These can be used to report the owner for neglect or irresponsible behavior, and also to identify who the owner is.

3. Have the owner paged.

Go into the local businesses or buildings nearby and notify a manager or security guard. Insist that they make an announcement over the intercom with the license plate number to inform the owner of the dire situation.

4. If you can’t find the owner, call the authorities.

This is when having emergency numbers saved in your phone comes in handy. Call the humane authorities or the police to come and assess the situation.

5. Do not, by any means, leave the scene.

This is probably one of the most important things to keep in mind. If you have to, have someone else watch the car and the animal while you run inside the building. According to PetMD, signs of heatstroke include restlessness, excessive thirst, heavy panting, dark tongue, rapid heartbeat, fever, vomiting, and lack of coordination. Keep a close eye on the dog for these symptoms, as it could mean that the situation needs to be acted upon very quickly.

6. If the authorities take too long, take action.

If you very honestly believe that this dog is in bad condition and showing symptoms of heatstroke, assess the situation and get a witness to back you up. Remove the dog from the heat immediately and wait for the authorities to arrive.

7. Take proper steps to care for the animal.

When the dog is removed from the hot car, the situation isn’t necessarily over yet. Get the animal into air conditioning as soon as possible and give him cool water to drink.

8. Spread awareness.

While it may seem like an easy thing to remember, some people don’t realize the dangers that heat can have on animals. Kindly remind friends and family to leave their pets at home when they run errands. The Humane Society suggests asking local businesses to hang up signs during the hotter months reminding people not to leave their dogs in their vehicles. Most importantly, if your town doesn’t have a law regarding leaving dogs in cars, attend a town meeting and start lobbying for one.

While we hope that you’ll never have to use these tips, it’s important to have them handy just in case. According to the AVMA (American Veterinary Medical Association), hundreds of pets die from heat exhaustion every year. With these tips, you may be able to lower that number.

Remember – a cool dog is a happy dog! Hot dogs are only good at barbecues!

Sources: Humane Society, PetMD, AVMA

How to keep your dog safe and at ease when the fireworks start

How to keep your dog safe and at ease when the fireworks start

Originally posted by Cesar Milan

Some dogs have no problem with the sight and sound of fireworks if they’ve been desensitized — hunting dogs, for example, grow used to the sounds and smells of hunting rifles and gun powder. Most dogs, however, are not used to these things, so the Fourth of July can be a particularly stressful holiday for dogs and their humans alike.

More pets run away on the Fourth of July than any other day, so you should take extra steps to ensure their safety. Keep a keen eye on your dog during the commotion, and make sure your pet is wearing proper identification.

It is natural for dogs to be afraid of loud noises. The sounds trigger their nervous systems, and they can become anxious or afraid. Running away from the noise is a survival instinct.

Remember, to your dog, the experience of fireworks is different than other natural loud noises, like thunder. Fireworks are closer to the ground, more vibrant, and are accompanied by sudden booms, flashes and burning smells. Dogs experience the world through their senses — nose, eyes, ears. The typical Fourth of July celebration can be overwhelming to them.

Here are some tips to help keep your dog calm, making for an easier holiday for both of you.

1. Preparation

Arrange to have your dog in a place where there won’t be loud fireworks displays — a friend’s or relative’s home or a doggie day care with which your dog is familiar. If it’s an unfamiliar place for your dog, take him over there a few times in the days before the holiday so that it won’t be a surprise when you take him there on the Fourth.

2. Accommodation

If you cannot take your dog to a place away from fireworks, then have a travel kennel at home for her to feel safe in. if you’re not going to be home, have a friend or sitter there to keep your dog company and take her out to relieve herself every four hours.

3. Acclimation

The best way to prepare your dog for fireworks is to make sure he’s comfortable with the sound in advance. While this is a simple process, it can take time — possibly three or four months of playing the recorded sound of fireworks for your dog at an increasingly louder volume before he eats, before a walk, and before affection and play.

This will condition him by association to hear the sound and interpret it as something good. While you can try this method over only a week or two, in such a short time span it should only be used in conjunction with one or more of the other tips. In any case, play the firework sounds.

4. Sedation

If you do find it necessary to use medication or a thundershirt to calm your dog during the fireworks, remember that you must introduce any such tool at the right time, conditioning your dog to understand that the medication or thundershirt is there to bring them to a calm state.

This means that you must bring your dog to that calm state first, then introduce the tool — before the fireworks and the anxiety begin. If she is already at an anxiety level of 8 or 9, then her mental state will overrule the medication. If she is already breathing heavily, then the thundershirt, which is designed to slow her breathing, won’t work. A tool is an intellectual thing we use with a dog’s instincts. The challenge is knowing how and when to connect the two.

5. Communication

If you are going to be with your dog during the fireworks, sending the calming message that they are nothing to worry about will also help him to relax. Remember, though, while humans communicate with words, dogs communicate with energy, and will look to their pack leader for clues on how they should behave. If you’re not making a big deal or showing excitement about the fireworks, then he will learn to be less concerned as well.

In all cases above, expend your dog’s excess energy first, before the fireworks start, by taking her on a very long walk to tire her out and put her in a calm state.

Most importantly, don’t think of this in terms of your dog as your child who is missing out on a great, fun time. That’s human guilt. Your dog won’t know what she’s missing. You’re being a good pack leader by not exposing her to a situation that will trigger her flight instinct in a negative way. When the booms and bangs of Independence Day are over, your dog will be grateful to you for having made it a less stressful experience!

No Mocha Monday! An easy and affordable way to support DMK Rehoming.

No Mocha Monday!  An easy and affordable way to support DMK Rehoming.

NO MOCHA MONDAY is the first Monday of each month (probably not a good day to choose, but No Mocha Wednesday didn’t have that “ring” to it) and we’re asking you to skip your Mocha and instead donate $3.74. We will get approximately $3.50 from that. The button for NMM (no mocha monday) is a monthly donation, which you can claim as your tax deductible contribution for $44.88 on your taxes as a deduction. Our goal is 1,000 people. If 1000 of our FB friends donate, that would give us $3,500 per month for our general fund. It will cover our monthly standard vetting, dog food, help out with rent and leave us with a little seed money, hopefully. The small donation of $3.74 a month would really help our cause for the dogs. Please click here to donate to the pups at DMK Rehoming!

Kids Who Grow Up With Dogs and Cats Are More Emotionally Intelligent and Compassionate

Kids Who Grow Up With Dogs and Cats Are More Emotionally Intelligent and Compassionate

Originally posted by Starre Vartan
Mother Nature Network
April 27, 2015
Original Post

If you’re a parent, the idea of adding the care and feeding of an animal to your responsibilities might feel like too much work. But having a dog, cat, bunny, hamster or other animal as a part of the family benefits kids in real ways. Studies have shown that kids who have pets do better — especially in the area of Emotional Intelligence (EQ), which has been linked to early academic success, even more so than the traditional measure of intelligence, IQ.

Even better news is that unlike IQ, which is thought by most experts to be unchangeable (you can’t really change your IQ by studying), EQ can improve over time with practice. Animal friends can help kids do that by cultivating the very skills that lead to better Emotional Intelligence. (And pooches and kitties aren’t even trying; it just comes naturally.)

The following EQ skills are developed by children with pets:

1. Compassion: According to this overview of the scientific literature by Nienke Endenburg and Ben Baarda in The Waltham Book of Human-Animal Interaction, “If there are pets in the house, parents and children frequently share in taking care of the pet, which suggests that youngsters learn at an early age how to care for and nurture a dependent animal.” Even very young children can contribute to the care and feeding of a pet — a 3-year-old can take a bowl of food and set it on the floor for a cat, and at the same age, a child can be taught to stroke an animal nicely, maybe using the back of the hand so they don’t grab the animal. Supervising kids during the first few interactions is a teaching moment. Later, once they have learned the ropes, their memory and understanding of a life outside themselves will be stimulated each time they interact with the animals. Older kids can be responsible for walking a dog or playing with it in the yard, cleaning out a cat’s litter box, or taking veggie scraps from dinner to a rabbit or hamster. A study of 3- to 6-year-olds found that kids with pets had more empathy towards other animals and human beings, while another study found that even just having an animal in a classroom made fourth-graders more compassionate.

2. Self-esteem: Caring for pets also builds self-esteem because being assigned tasks (like filling the dog’s water bowl) gives a child a sense of accomplishment and helps him feel independent and competent. Pets can be especially good for children who have very low self-esteem: “[A researcher] found that children’s self-esteem scores increased significantly over a nine-month period of keeping pets in their school classroom. In particular, it was children with originally low self-esteem scores who showed the greatest improvements,” write Endenburg and Baarda.

3. Cognitive development: Kids with pets play with them, talk to them, and even read to them (that last activity is more common than you’d think), and the data backs up the idea that this additional low-stress communication benefits verbal development in the youngest kids. “Pet ownership might facilitate language acquisition and enhance verbal skills in children. This would occur as a result of the pet functioning both as a patient recipient of the young child’s babble and as an attractive verbal stimulus, eliciting communication from the child in the form of praise, orders, encouragement and punishment.”

4. Stress reduction: In surveys of kids who are asked about who they would go to with a problem, children regularly mentioned pets, indicating that for many, animals can provide emotional support and an additional way to mitigate negative emotions when they are feeling stressed. “The ‘social’ support given by pets has some advantages compared to the social support given by humans. Pets can make people feel unconditionally accepted, whereas fellow humans will judge and may criticize,” write Endenburg and Baarda. Animals are great listeners and are non-judgmental — if a kid does badly on a test or angers their parents, an animal will still provide loving support.

5. Understanding the cycle of life: Talking about birth and death with kids can be hard for parents. Learning about them via the lives of animals can be an easier way for both parties to learn about these basics of life. While experiencing the death of a pet can be difficult and painful, it can also be an important learning experience. “… the way in which their parents and others near to them deal with the situation will have an influence on how children cope with death in general throughout their lives. It is important for parents to discuss their feelings of sadness openly and to share the associated feelings with the child. Parents have to show that it is all right to have such feelings. Learning to cope with sad feelings, for instance when a pet dies or is euthanized, is important and parents have to help their children with it,” write Endenburg and Baarda.

In addition, experiencing or talking about the other side of death — birth — can be a simple and age-appropriate way to begin the discussion about sex.

Of course all of the above positive benefits depend on the structure of the family, the number of siblings or other non-parental adults around, and of course a child’s own genetic tendencies, but only children and those with few siblings (or the youngest of a group) often become more pet-oriented.

If any of the above concepts sound familiar to adult readers, that’s because some of the same benefits are relevant for grown-ups too, including the social support and stress reduction.

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