Category Archives: safety

Safety Tips for Pets Who Love Heaters and Fireplaces

By Tamara McRill

When I was growing up, the merry crackling of a fire always seemed to entice my pets to curl up near the hearth and take a nap. Now that I’m older and, sadly, without a fireplace, I’ve noticed that my dogs are just as attracted to heaters on a cold winter day. Snuggling next to the heat can be comforting for pets, but it can also be dangerous.

That doesn’t mean we have to ban our furry friends from one of their favorite winter pastimes. All we need to do is make sure safety precautions are taken, so sitting near a fire or heater can be enjoyed without any disastrous results. Here are some tips to consider:

Fire and Fur Don’t Mix

For obvious reasons, we need to take precautions to make sure our cats and dogs don’t get singed by errant embers. Fireplaces will need a fireguard screen to make sure any popping flames don’t shoot out too far. This will also prevent wagging tails from entering flame territory.

Dampers and Detectors

Carbon monoxide poisoning can be deadly to pets and humans, not to mention it can cause health issues from exposure. This is especially a concern if you have a gas fireplace. If your damper is closed, then all of the carbon monoxide comes back into the room and your pet, being the closest, will be the first one affected.

In addition to making sure your fireplace damper is properly adjusted, you should also place carbon monoxide detectors near the fireplace and throughout your home. This is so important to check every time you turn on your gas fireplace. Especially given that a gas fireplace burns so cleanly that you likely won’t even notice if the damper is open or not.

Regular fireplaces should also be adequately vented, so smoke and carcinogens don’t get in your cat or dog’s lungs. It’s a good idea to keep any heat vents near your fireplace closed when it is lit, so nothing is spread through the home heating system. Also be sure to check the batteries on smoke alarms, to make sure they are in working order.

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How to Keep Your Dog Safe at Summer Cookouts

By Langley Cornwell

Summer is here and the time for cookouts has begun.  For those of us who have dogs, this can mean attempting to keep the dog safe while still enjoying your company.  As a last resort, you can keep Fido in the house but where’s the fun in that?  You want your dog to be a part of the party, so you need to know how to keep your dog safe at summer cookouts. You might be surprised by how many things out there can be a danger to your pooch but with these tips, you can keep him safe and happy while enjoying a summer cookout with friends and family.

People Food – Make sure all of your guests know that you do not want your dog to have people food.  A wholesome, quality dog food like CANIDAE has all the nutrients your dog will ever need; there’s no need to supplement with table scraps. Additionally, beware of bones such as chicken and pork bones. They can splinter and cause severe intestinal damage.  The barbeque sauce can be too spicy for a dog’s stomach too, so just keep all people food away from the pets.

The Grill – Make sure the grill is always being watched by someone so the dog does not go near it.  The smell of cooking meat can be too much of a temptation for your furry friend and they could attempt to get into the grill.  This can cause severe burns which can be torment to your dog.  It is so easy to avoid this by having a human manning the barbeque at all times or to have the dog inside when there is no one to monitor the grill.

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Is Your Home Safe for Your Dog?

By Linda Cole

We don’t view our homes the same way our dogs do. They see every little button or tack hiding among the dust bunnies under the bed, and they’re always finding things that have fallen on the floor or that we forgot to pick up. Having a pet means constantly looking around the home to make sure your dog doesn’t find something that could be harmful to him if he ate or drank it. We think our home is safe for our pets because it’s safe for us, but that’s not always the case. Is your home safe for your dog?

We already know how important it is to make sure we’ve pet proofed the house, inside and out. But even that doesn’t guarantee your dog won’t find something potentially dangerous for them. Dogs are experts at finding things in and around the home. Small sticks are fun to chew and play with, but a stick in the mouth of a running dog can be dangerous – he can ram it down his throat if he runs into another dog or the ground.

Dogs pick up anything that looks interesting. To keep your home safe for your dog, look at it from their perspective. The garage, basement or back porch are great places to store things, but a dog can quickly find something they shouldn’t have. Watch out for spilled antifreeze, opened bottles of antifreeze, oil, transmission fluid, windshield cleaner, stored gas, car batteries, grass clippings from the lawn mower, handsaws, hand tools, string, rope, electrical cords, small tacks, nails, screws or anything that might catch your dog’s attention.

Keep your home safe for your dog by making sure knives, forks, potato peelers, dropped food, dropped medications (liquid and pills), dish detergent, all types of soap, cleaning products, drain cleaners, batteries, spices, food, candy, alcohol and gum are all safely stored away from prying noses.

Even if you think your dog is past the chewing stage, don’t leave remote controls where your dog can get them. I made the mistake of leaving my TV remote on the coffee table one day. My 10 year old dog was apparently bored and my poor remote was never the same after an afternoon of being chewed on. Dogs will also chew on batteries if they fall out of the remote. The average dog bites at around 200 to 500 pounds of pressure per square inch, and big dogs have a bite pressure even higher.

Many things dogs find on the floor or under the couch or kitchen counter can be harmful to them if swallowed or chewed. Rubber bands, needles (some still attached to thread), string, yarn, balloons, small toys, small balls, clothing, mothballs, Q-Tips, diet pills, cigarette butts, antacid tablets, medications, push pins, paper clips, tacks, nails, jewelry and food often find their way to the floor without us knowing about it.

Paper shredders are a new danger for pets. Make your home safe for your dog by unplugging your shredder when it’s not in use. Shredders left on automatic will start to run if the dog or cat licks it. It’s unknown if pets lick the shredder because of the smell of the metal or because they smell their owner’s scent on the shredder. Veterinarians have seen an increase in pets injured when their tongues become caught in a shredder that started up when they licked it. Some of the injuries have been severe and some dogs have had to have damaged portions of their tongues removed as well as multiple stitches. The best way to prevent accidental shredding of your pet’s tongue is to make sure the shredder is unplugged.

Poisons used to eradicate snails, ants, mice and rats can be found by an inquisitive dog. Most dogs will check out the bait if they find it, and some dogs will try to eat it. Traps not only catch rats and mice, but can catch your dog as well. Make sure poisons, ink cartridges and toners are safely stored away.

No matter how clean we try to keep our homes, things end up on the floor by accident. We need to be aware of what we have in the home that could be dangerous for our pets. They will play with, chew on and consume what they find on the floor or anywhere in the home if they can reach it. Keep your home safe for your dog by seeing it as they do. If in doubt, put it away in a cabinet, drawer or under the sink. Your pet’s safety depends on you seeing what they see.

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The personal opinions and/or use of trade, corporate or brand names, is for information and convenience only. Such use does not constitute an endorsement by CANIDAE® All Natural Pet Foods of any product or service. Opinions are those of the individual authors and not necessarily of CANIDAE® All Natural Pet Foods.

Cleaning Your Pet’s Dishes and Food Storage Containers

It is important for your pet’s health that you keep their food and water dishes clean. You should also periodically clean the container that their food is kept in. Food and water dishes should be cleaned daily and the water should be fresh every day to promote adequate water consumption. If something fouls your pet’s water they are less likely to drink water. While a pet can go several weeks without food, they will die after a few days without proper water intake. The food dishes can harbor fat particles that in time can become rancid if the dishes are not cleaned regularly.
While you or I may not be able to smell anything funny in their dishes, your pet will and may refuse to eat if their dishes aren’t clean enough for them. I wash my pets’ dishes everyday as well a making sure that they have clean water every day. I wash my pet food storage container once a week. I use stainless steel dishes, which are pretty easy to keep clean; but how do you clean some of the other surfaces like ceramic or plastic?
On ceramic dishes you can use a sponge with a scrubber side, but I would not recommend it for your plastic dishes, as the scrubbers on some of those sponges are strong enough to leave grooves in some plastic dishes, which in turn can harbor bacteria. So for the plastic, just use a regular sponge and elbow grease to get the dishes squeaky clean. Use a detergent that will take grease off dishes and make sure to check the dishes with your fingers after scrubbing. You would be amazed what you can find with your fingers, especially if you have a dish that is a color that hides dirt or grime.
You can probably wash some of your dishes in the dishwasher, but if you are using a plastic bowl with a weighted bottom, the heat and water in the dishwasher might soften the glue and make the bottom of the dish fall out of the base. I would check with your pet shop to make sure the bowls you are purchasing are dishwasher safe; if that is the way you choose to go. I like washing dishes the old-fashioned way, because I can feel any grease or grunge left on the dishes, even if I can’t see it.
As to washing the storage container, using a good sponge and elbow grease is my best advice. Here again you want to use a de-greasing detergent to get any old fat off the container’s sides, if you are just dumping the food from the bag directly into the storage container. After cleaning and rinsing, air dry if possible. If that isn’t an option, get an old towel and make sure that you dry your container (including the lid) thoroughly before you put the pet food back in.
If my container still has a bit of odor in it after I clean it, I use a tablespoon of baking soda mixed with about a cup of water and wipe the sides and top of the container with this mix. Then I rinse it very well and let it sit for a few hours to dry it out. Something I have been doing recently is leaving the food in the bags they came in and put them in the container.
I started doing this a while ago after a friend ended up with a storage container full of grain beetles (due to not cleaning regularly enough). Grain beetles will not hurt your pets, they are protein after all; but they will eat the food and lay eggs and you can end up with an infestation in your kitchen cabinets if you aren’t careful. I still completely wash the container after the food has been fed and the bag is discarded. There can still be fat in the container from food spillage or from handling that you may not be able to see.

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The personal opinions and/or use of trade, corporate or brand names, is for information and convenience only. Such use does not constitute an endorsement by CANIDAE® All Natural Pet Foods of any product or service. Opinions are those of the individual authors and not necessarily of CANIDAE® All Natural Pet Foods.