Heat Awareness Day 2014
Several states are already experiencing above normal temperatures and sizzling, record breaking heat. Weather predictors such as the 2014 Farmers’ Almanac indicate that this summer will be exceptionally hot across much of the U.S. Since heat is the No. 1 weather-related killer in the U.S. (According to the U.S. Department of Commerce National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration), Animal Behavior College encourages pet owners to prepare now to ensure they protect their dogs and cats from heat’s devastating effects. National Heat Awareness Day on May 23 serves as a great reminder.
“Summer is one of the busiest seasons for most people,” said Steven Appelbaum. “With so many activity-filled days, it is easy for dog and cat owners to forget that extreme heat can be potentially fatal. Planning and early preparation are key to ensuring pets are comfortable and safe.”
Pet Summer Safety Tips
The college recommends five readiness tips to help your pet beat the heat and other summer safety-related concerns:
Prevent Heat Stroke. As your pet’s body temperature increases, it cannot accommodate excessive external heat. Extreme heat can lead to heat stroke resulting in multiple organ dysfunctions. Keep your pet out of the heat and in a cool, shaded area. Provide access to water.
Prevent Sun Burn. White dogs and cats and those that have thin or no hair are more susceptible to sunburn. Just like humans, they can sunburn. Use pet safe sunscreens and keep your pet out of the sun. Some sun blocks contain potentially harmful ingredients, so consult your veterinarian before applying sunscreen to your cat.
Avoid Dog Walks on Hot Pavement. Pavement can get extremely hot and can cause lacerations, paw infections and burnt pads. Unfortunately, these injuries are often not apparent to the human eye. Walk dogs when temperatures are coolest or in shaded areas on the grass.
Keep Your Pet Safe Around Water. It is a myth that all dogs are good swimmers. Keep a watchful eye on them around pools, lakes or any other body of water. Ensure fresh water is available to ensure your pet does not drink water from the pool. Visit our blog to learn more about Dog Water Safety.
Safely Remove Ticks. Ticks transmit disease, which can cause fatal complications. If you notice a tick on your pet, it is important to remove it immediately and carefully. Visit our blog for tips about properly Removing Ticks.
Ensure your pet has access to plenty of fresh water and a way to cool off. Never leave pets in parked vehicles. If you notice that your pet is in distress, visit your veterinarian right away.
By following these easy heat awareness and safety tips, you and your pets will enjoy a fun and safe summer season.
Pet Summer Safety Tips – Heat Awareness Day 2014
The ABCs of Gardening with Pets:
Safe Natural Flea & Tick Repellants
By Stacy Mantle
The use of herbs as natural pest repellents on pets and in gardens is nothing new, and it can be a very effective way to decrease or eliminate your reliance on chemicals. However, when planting herbs, be sure to consider herbs that add to the health of you and your pet, while naturally repelling fleas and ticks.
There are a number of plants that can help you naturally control pests on pets in your garden and around the house. When the proper herbs are mixed between your plants in a garden, they can help naturally repel fleas and ticks, while attracting valuable insects such as ladybugs and worms.
Beware of Toxic Plants
Some of the most effective herbs used to control insects are not only toxic to fleas and ticks, but to pets as well. Common herbs that are generally recommended for flea-and-tick repellent, but can be toxic to your pet if consumed, include:
- Flea Bane (Pennyroyal)
- Sweet Bay
These herbs should be avoided in the yard and garden when you have pets.
Safe, Natural Repellents
This leads us to some useful plants that not only act as natural repellents, but are safe for your pets if they decide to snack on them while you’re away. (Note that while these will repel fleas and ticks, they might also work to attract other animals.)
Star Anise is a cousin to the magnolia vine, and placing whole star anise pods around your home can help keep cockroaches and termites at bay. Anise is a natural dog attractant, and many canines have been known to react in the same way cats react to catnip. Star Anise is known to promote vitality and the licorice-spiced plant has quickly become one of the most sought after plants in the world for its healing qualities—shikimic acid, the starting ingredient in the human prescription medication, Tamiflu, is extracted from it.
Catnip is from the mint family and is a very safe and highly effective for the control of fleas and ticks. According to Iowa State University, nepetalactone (the essential oil in catnip) is 10 times more effective than DEET. Remember that anything from the mint plant family is very invasive and can easily take over a garden if left unchecked. Instead, consider some well-positioned containers to keep mint under control. As you know, catnip will act as an attractant for most cats, so you may find your favorite feline rolling around in your garden each morning.
Rosemary is a natural pest repellent that works especially well as a flea, tick and mosquito repellent. You may see rosemary as a natural supplement in many herbal shampoos and conditioners due its effectiveness in repelling pests while serving as an invigorating and refreshing scent for pets and people. Since it does well in nearly any climate, Rosemary is a wonderful addition to any garden.
Lavender is a natural calmant for pets and people, and it also happens to be a great option for natural pest control. These are perfect for containers and will keep pets calm as they lounge on the patio. Not only is it a great way to repel pests, it can help heal sensitive skin after a bite. Simple rub some essential oil directly on the bite and the itch and pain will immediately dissipate.
Lemongrass is not only used to create delicious Asian food, it’s a natural mosquito repellent. You’ll find that this herb naturally attracts cats and naturally repels dogs (under most circumstances), so keep that in mind when you plant. Another benefit to this plant is its ability to keep deer from your garden. Generally, the more fragrant a plant, the less likely deer will be interested in approaching. Consider placing in containers as it has the ability to take over your garden.
Sage has one of the longest histories for medicinal and culinary plants. Egyptians used it as an agent against delirium; the Romans used it to stop bleeding; and it is still used to reduce swelling in injuries. Not only does sage have medicinal values, it’s a natural repellent for fleas and ticks. Consider planting some in containers around your garden. Since it’s a desert plant, sage is naturally drought repellent and low-maintenance, doing particularly well in dry desert climates.
Chamomile is not only easy to grow; it makes for some wonderful tea and offers a broad range of medicinal purposes for man and pets. It’s also a natural repellent for fleas and ticks. Steep a tablespoon of in a cup of water, then cool and add it to your pet’s food or water. This can help relieve gas in pets, encourage healing, expel worms and act as a natural calmant. This makes chamomile one of the most versatile herbs around.
Sprinkling food-grade diatomaceous earth (DE) around plants can also help stop most pests, especially fleas and ticks. Not ready to start a garden? You can also apply food-grade DE to your pets coat and on their bedding to repel keep fleas and ticks. To obtain food-grade DE, check your local garden store or order Flea Dust directly from DERMagic. Flea Dust is safe for all animals, including birds and fish. (Do not use pool DE or DE that is not food-grade as it is treated with chemicals during processing.)
Stacy Mantle is the founder of PetsWeekly.com, a columnist for many publications, including Animal Behavior College and Pet Age, and the bestselling author of the fantasy novel, “Shepherd’s Moon.” For more information about Stacy, please visit www.StacyMantle.com
Live Google Hangout – Talk with a Trainer Session #1
Dog Trainer, Fanna Easter joined us for a very special “Talk with a Trainer” Live Hangout event.
This event takes place at 11:00am (PST) on Google Hangouts.
If you need assistance setting up a Gmail Account to allow you to join Google Plus, please feel free to watch the video we have provided below:
Once you have signed into Gmail, you may find the Live Hangout by following the instructions found in the video below:
Dog Training School – School for Dog Trainers
ABC Veterinary Assistant Program
Student of the Month
A born and bred Pennsylvanian, Jennifer Bergey grew up in Radnor and currently lives in Pottstown—seven years and counting. She is the proud mother of two adorable dogs: a Boxer named Birch and a Cockapoo named Noel. She also has a cat named Bell and a tortoise named Jim. Continue reading
ABC Grooming Instruction Program Canadian Student of the Month– April 2014
Yalitza Torres currently lives in St-Lazare, Quebec, Canada. She works full time as an export agent at a logistics company. Although she has a full-time job, Yalitza knew she always wanted to work with animals. Her love and dedication to helping animals is what helped her decide to join the Animal Behavior College grooming program. Yalitza started out with little experience, but with hard work and dedication she is now working part time with her mentor. Continue reading
ABC Dog Training Program Student of the Month – USA – April 2014
Dean Griffin has had many different jobs in his lifetime. He started out doing telecommunications right out of high school, then worked as a limousine chauffer for 17 years, where his clients included Madonna, Metallica, Billy Squire, Bette Midler, Donald Trump and Barbara Streisand, just to name a few. From there, Dean went on to pursue his childhood dream of becoming a truck driver; a career with long hours and lots of hard work, but one he loved nonetheless. Unfortunately, after being seriously injured on the job, Dean had to give up his truck driving career and is now self-employed as a remote-control technician, repairing and building remote control cars, trucks, boats and planes. Dog training had never really crossed Dean’s mind until he met his wife, who owned two pit bulls and fostered dogs for numerous rescues. Dean was inspired to pursue dog training as a career by his “stubborn, bratty and unruly” pit bull. He wanted to prove to himself—and everyone else—what hard work, dedication and positive-training methods could do. Dean is now in the final stage of the Dog Obedience Instructor Program, and has already been asked by his externship Mentor Trainer to stay on board with the San Francisco SPCA’s Pit Crew. Continue reading
ABC Grooming Instruction Program Student of the Month
William Finan lives in Jersey City, N.J. He already has a degree in the A/V field but decided to add to his carrier options and complete the grooming program. William is now able to work in two fields and love them both. He is still working on his grooming skills and getting in as much practice as he can. Continue reading
Dog Obedience Instruction Program
Canadian Student of the Month
Like many people after graduating high school, Janelle had a hard time deciding what she wanted to do with her life. She changed her mind many times and considered many different career options: social worker, wedding planner, real estate agent and mechanic. Nothing truly called out to her until she adopted her dog Marcus. She decided then that she wanted to be a dog trainer—and she hasn’t looked back since. Janelle is currently working a retail job while she saves money to start her own business. She plans to open her own rescue and dog training facility, which will also include: grooming, agility courses, boarding kennels and a dog park. Continue reading
Being prepared with CPR could help save your dog’s life.
By Audrey Pavia
Scenario: Your dog is sick or injured. What do you do? The first thought for most dog owners is to rush him to a veterinarian. But steps you take before you get to the animal hospital can mean the difference between life and death.
April is Pet First-Aid Awareness month; making it a good time to prepare should your dog need immediate medical help.
It’s important to keep a first-aid kit handy in the event of an injury. If your dog is injured or ingests poison, you can intercede on his behalf just before you take him to an animal hospital.
For your dog’s first-aid kit, you can purchase a pre-made first-aid kit designed for dogs, or assemble your own. If you decide to put together a homemade pet first-aid kit, gather the following items:
- Emergency information: Your veterinarian’s phone number and the number of an emergency referral veterinary hospital where you can take your dog after hours. (Visit the Veterinary Emergency and Critical Care Society website to search for a local emergency hospital) Keep the number of the Animal Poison Control Center in the first-aid kit as well (888-4ANI-HELP).
- Gauze: A roll of gauze to wrap a wound or tie around your dog’s muzzle to keep him from biting if he’s injured.
- Towels and cloth: Small towels or strips of clean cloth to control bleeding or protect a wound.
- Adhesive wrap: An adhesive wrap made especially for use on animals to wrap gauze or cloth bandages.
- Milk of Magnesia or activated charcoal: To absorb toxins in case your dog ingests poison. (Contact a vet or Poison Control Center before administering.)
- Hydrogen peroxide: To induce vomiting when giving orally in the event a dog has swallowed something poisonous. (Contact a vet or Poison Control Center before administering.)
- Thermometer: A digital fever thermometer for determining your dog’s rectal temperature. (This information can be reported to your vet upon arrival at the hospital.)
Keep your dog’s first-aid kit in a bag or box clearly labeled and place it somewhere you will remember in case an emergency occurs. Always take your dog to a vet immediately after you apply first aid.
Pet First Aid & CPR
Knowing how to perform CPR on your dog in the event he stops breathing can be a lifesaver. Understanding how to manage a wound or electric shock can make a difference in your dog’s survival.
The Red Cross offers pet first-aid classes around the country that are designed to teach you how to manage emergencies when they come up. You will learn how to respond to health emergencies and provide basic first aid for pets. You can take either Dog First Aid, or Cat and Dog First Aid.
The courses cover the following:
- Understanding basic pet owner responsibilities
- Administering medicine
- Managing breathing and cardiac emergencies
- Managing urgent care situation
- Treating wounds
- Treating electrical shock
- Caring for eye, foot and ear injuries
- Preparing for disasters
About the Author: Audrey Pavia is an award-winning freelance writer and author of “The Labrador Retriever Handbook.” She is a former staff editor of Dog Fancy, Dog World and The AKC Gazette magazines. To learn more about her work, visit www.audreypavia.com.
How to keep pets at bay all year long.
By Stacy Mantle
You don’t have to share your home with pets to find yourself falling victim to a flea infestation, but the chances of you seeing fleas are a lot higher with pets. While chemical-based flea repellents are the easiest way to treat, they are also the most dangerous method and [could] pose a risk to you, your pets and your family.
Late last year, the EPA agreed that many of the flea and tick collars on the market are dangerous and have cancelled registrations of collars containing the flea-fighting agent, propoxur, which includes collars manufactured by Wellmaker International and Sergeant’s Pet Care Products Inc.
According to the EPA, “The registrants agreed to phase out the products by producing them until April 1, 2015, and stopping distribution after April 1, 2016. Although the products do not meet the current safety standard they do not pose a public health risk if label directions are followed.”
Don’t despair. There are many ways to control flea and tick infestations without waging chemical warfare on your family.
Know Your Enemy, Know Your Environment
The life cycle of a flea is three to four weeks, which is important to keep in mind when you first do battle with the pests. This is important to know because it can take you at least that long to eradicate them from your home. Fleas are notorious for learning how to adapt to situations, so be very vigilant to any symptoms of flea bites. As fleas can lay up to 60 eggs a day, and a cocoon surviving on average a year without feeding, infestations can happen quickly.
Temperature and humidity levels increase the likelihood of a flea and tick infestation. To see when conditions are at their worst in your area of the country, use the weather channel’s handy app.
Bathing Your Pet
Last year, DERMagic released the first “Flea Bar”that is formulated with diatomaceous earth (DE). This all-natural shampoo is made in the USA and provides protection against the pests. [DE is a desiccant; it works by drying out fleas’ waxy outer layer. They dehydrate and die.]
If you decide to purchase DE on your own, you need to ensure it is food-grade. DE used in pools has been processed by heat, which nullifies the insecticide benefits. It is often treated with toxic chemicals and is dangerous to use around you or your pets.
After shampooing, use a fine-toothed flea comb seeking out adult larvae or flea dust. The use of a flea comb should be done daily.
Cleaning Your home
Vacuuming is one of the most effective ways to rid your home of fleas and it should be done frequently. After each vacuuming, you should remove the bag and clean filters right away. You should also plan on washing your pet’s bedding each week.
Apply DE in areas that flea infestation are most likely to occur. This includes pet bedding, carpeted areas, nooks and crevices where larvae are most likely to live.
Natural Pest Spray & Flea Traps
Other natural pest control favorites that I know work include: Buzz Guard Natural Insect Repellent, Mad About Organics Natural Insect Repellent, and NatuRepel from A Balanced K9. They are all highly effective and safe for dogs (although remember to use with caution – too much of anything is dangerous!) Remember, less is more with essential oils and they should never be used on or around cats. If you are in need of a household deterrent, one of the more effective (but natural) ones I’ve found is BioDefense. But, look around and you’ll find dozens of others that are all natural and safe if you follow directions closely.
Remember, all natural does NOT mean that they are safe to use on cats, so pay very close attention to labeling.
At night, placing a dish of soapy water beneath a small nightlight near where your pet sleeps can help trap the little creatures overnight. If you’re not comfortable having your pets around soapy water, there are many electric flea traps available that are safe and effective.
Flea infestations in pets are often linked to nutritional deficiencies and poor diets. One of the most important things you can do for your pets is keep them on a good diet. Feed your pets a superb diet that is natural and free from additives or preservatives. Other digestive aids such as omega 3s, fish oils and plant enzymes can sometimes help strengthen their immunity. While many “natural” websites tout the use of garlic or onion for your pets, these things can cause extreme toxicity in dogs and cats and should be avoided.
There has been a great deal of success in using nematodes, which are microscopic worms that eat flea larvae. Nematodes can be purchased at your local pet and garden stores (but they are virtually useless in the West where temps exceed 100 degrees). While studies are still ongoing, it’s widely accepted that nematodes do best in climates that have a sandy, moist soil. Initial results with studies in California, Texas and Louisiana have seen up to 95percent reduction in fleas. However, areas such as Florida have not seen those types of results.
Natural Control to Avoid
- Essential oils can be either very beneficial or extremely toxic in pets. For this reason, it’s important that you avoid using them on pets unless you have consulted with an expert.
- Brewer’s Yeast can result in skin allergies in many pets.
- Garlic can result in damage to your cat’s red blood cells, which may result in hemolytic anemia and eventual death. Dogs have also shown severe reactions to garlic, and so this common home remedy should be avoided.
About the Author: Stacy Mantle is the founder of PetsWeekly.com and the bestselling author of “Shepherd’s Moon.” Learn more great tips for living with animals by visiting PetsWeekly.com or get to know a little more about the author at www.StacyMantle.com