Archive for April, 2010

Dog Seat Belts
April 23, 2010

Dear Liz – Please help settle an argument.  My co-worker thinks that seatbelts for dogs is stupid but I say it’s a great idea.  What are your thoughts?

Signed, Debating in Darien.

Dear Debating:  My thought is that any flying missile in your car is a baaaaad thing.  If you ever had to hit the brakes hard, anything that isn’t glued down or strapped in has the potential to become a flying missile.  Including your pet.

A friend of mine is an EMT and he has told me many times that PETS have actually CAUSED some severe injuries when they fly through the air during a car crash, EVEN a MINOR one.

Tell your co-worker that next time there is a “simulated crash” at a county fair; I want him to try that ride.  It’s usually run by the State Police and it has a person sit in a seat, much like a car seat, and it simulates a 10mph car crash by sending the person in the seat forward and then suddenly stopping them.  The person then feels what it’s like to have a crash at 10mph.  THEN have him tell you that an unrestrained passenger – whether it’s a child or a pet – is not a good idea!

So – how do you restrain them?  Some use pet seatbelts, which is great!  I’ve actually used one on Bandit, my dog of long ago.  However, I found that she sometimes had issue with it and fidgeted.

I’ve also used dog crates.  This method seems to work best, at least for me.  I use the wire crates as the Vari-Kennels (the plastic ones) tend to block my view out of the windows.  Wire kennels can either open on the end or on the side and I do find that these are the best.  I’ve also found that when my dogs are not with me, the crates make GREAT holders for grocery bags!!!  Keeps everything from spilling around the car!

So that’s that.  I do say you’re right and keep up the SAFE work!

Natural Fly Repellent
April 13, 2010

Dear Liz – I’ve been noticing that those tiny, black flies are out already and are biting my dog’s ears.  Is there anything natural I can use to help ward them off?

Signed, Bugged in Bolton.

Dear Bugged – I have the same problem where I live – both for me and for my dogs!  Those little, black, yucky, nasty flies are out and about again.  Does it seem like they come out earlier and earlier every year???

ANYWAY…. I did my research and found that there are a LOT of “natural” remedies and repellents for those nasty things.

Peppermint extract from the baking isle – Apparently you’re supposed to put a drop here and there but I’d be careful – Try only one drop and wait to see if there are any reactions.  Do NOT put this on freshly bathed skin as it might burn.  Check the reaction (put a drop in an area that you can see a reaction.) and make sure all’s ok before putting more on.

Vaseline or Neosporin in the ears.  Use this on the exposed areas of the ears – It pretty much makes those black things stick and unable to bite!

Horse sprays are often ok for dogs, too – just make sure the label says it’s ok.  “Swat” is supposed to be ok.
“Flies Off” is another product – check the label for reactions or precautions.

“Ultrashield” fly repellent – Ditto.  Spray on a gloved hand and then apply.

Fresh aloe (break a piece off the plant, and mush it) – put directly on ears.

Skin So Soft is great for people – I’ve read that applied to the bath water helps repel flies on dogs, but doesn’t it make the fur greasy??? Yuk.

In any case, make SURE you use a SMALL amount of the product and wait a few hours to determine if your pet has an allergic reaction.   We used too much bug spray once on one of our dogs and the dog became very shaky and nervous.  We quickly got the dog into a bath and, after washing that stuff off (Actually it was “Off”), she was ok but it was a terribly frightening thing to see!

There are MANY “natural” remedies for repelling flies and mosquitoes and these can all be found on your computer (ain’t technology grand?)…

Easter Stuff!
April 2, 2010

Ok – here we go again with our annual Easter reminders!

  1. No chocolate, coffee, tea, caffeine, etc.  Remember, it can (in large doses) be lethal.  It’s the caffeine, not the chocolate, that does the damage.
  1. No Easter grass.  This, once consumed, can cause intestinal blockages and again, can be fatal.
  1. No Easter lilies or other plants!  Again, these can be fatal if ingested.  Don’t know which are bad?  Keep pets away from any of them!
  1. No foil wrappers!  What ever your Easter candy is wrapped in, make sure to keep it away from your pets. Aluminum foil can cause intestinal blockages.
  1. No sugar free stuff, either!  Some of the sugar free foods (like gum) have an ingredient that is VERY deadly to pets, so make SURE to keep these away from them!  It’s even more important than the chocolate rule!!!
  1. If you do the Easter egg hunt, make SURE to keep track of those little plastic eggs you’ve filled with goodies.  You DON’T want your pets to get into them!  The plastic can cut up your dog’s mouth and what ever is IN those eggs can be bad as well.  Make SURE ALL candy is out of reach of your pet at ALL times!
  1. If you decide to take your dog for a walk, make sure to watch out for glass on the roadways.  If the street sweepers haven’t been around yet, there may be glass on the roadway from over the winter.
  1. And if the roadway is too hot for you to walk barefoot on, it’s too hot for your dog to walk on, too.  Your dog’s pads haven’t toughened up yet from being inside all winter!
  1. No people food!  It’s really tempting, I know, to give your pets a “treat” of people food but it’s not good for them.  The spices in people food aren’t there in dog or cat food and it can cause diarrhea and vomiting – neither of which I’m sure you’d like to deal with on a holiday!

10.  Have fun with your pet!!!  Give them a hug and keep them safe.