By Megan Kaplan
Avoid common errors, and keep your four-legged pal healthy and well-behaved.
Mistake 1: Buying a Pet Spontaneously
Why this is a mistake: That doggie in the window may be darling, but he might not be the right fit for your family or lifestyle.
How to avoid it: Fully inform yourself before you bring home a pet. Every dog or cat has its own needs, some of which are specific to the breed. Terriers tend to dig; Abyssinians explore and climb. If there’s a breed that interests you, read up on it (try the website of the American Kennel Club, at akc.org, or the Cat Fanciers Association, at cfainc.org), talk to owners, and get to know someone else’s Border collie or Persian. That said, not every dog or cat is typical of its breed, so “ask about the pet’s history, health, and temperament,” says Stephanie Shain, a director at the Humane Society of the United States. When dealing with a breeder, you should be shown where the pet was raised and meet his parents.
According to AAA, more than 30,000 accidents a year are caused by dogs riding in the front seat of the vehicle. The Travel Industry Association says that 29 million dog owners drive with their dogs but only 20 percent use dog safety restraints. They also state that driving with an unrestrained dog can be as distracting as talking on a cell phone or texting.
- If a dog survives the impact of a crash, he will likely be injured or frightened, and flee the scene, at risk of being struck by another vehicle or becoming lost.
- An unrestrained dog can interfere with driving by crawling on the driver’s lap, falling down by the gas or break pedals, or creating some other distraction that causes an accident.
- If you have an air bag for the passenger seat of your car, the force of impact upon inflation can severely injure or kill your dog.
- A small dog on the lap of a driver in a crash is at risk of being crushed between the air bag and driver.
By Linda Cole
We know the health concerns and dangers associated with sunburns for people. We have all had our share of too much sun after a day at the beach, hiking or just enjoying a day off relaxing outdoors. If your pooch is at your side while enjoying outdoor activities, don’t forget the sunburn protection for your dog.
Sun, fresh air and exercise are good for our pets as well as for us. Rays from the sun aid the skin in producing vitamin D and helps balance calcium levels with metabolism. Enjoying summer sun doesn’t have to be painful for either man or dog.
Dogs can and do get nasty sunburns, although not as easily as we do which can make it harder to determine if your pet is burned or not. Hairless, short haired and light colored breeds are the most prone to sunburn, but any dog can pick up a burn after a day in the sun. Because dogs are closer to the ground, they can get sunburned from above and from the reflection of the sun’s rays off a sandy beach or concrete. Like us, repeated burns can result in skin cancer and skin damage.