Tag: pet safety

All I did was run from a dog

Special effects courtesy of Rot n Wonderland

In honor of Dog Bite Prevention Week, (starting May 15th)  we are sharing reasons why people get bit by dogs and how to prevent it from happening to you.

When you see a stray dog, or if a dog is charging after you, the worst thing you can do is run.  First, you will NEVER out run a dog.  They are faster than you.  If you run, there is a big chance of you getting bit, tackled and attacked.  What you should do if you are charged or if a dog is running toward you is:

STAND LIKE A TREE

Stand still, don’t look the dog in the eye, put your hands behind your back and wait.  It will be scary, but you must wait it out.  The dog will run up to you, sniff you, maybe jump on you, but if you remain calm and still, it will eventually get bored and leave you alone.

If you get knocked down, get into the fetal position.

  1. Knees to chest

  2. Face toward the ground

  3. Interlock your fingers behind your head being sure to cover your ears and neck.

Again, eventually, the dog will get bored and leave.

Image source:  Rot N Wonderland
Special Effects by: Rot N Wonderland

I tried to hug a dog

Special effects courtesy of Rot n Wonderland

All I tried to do is hug a dog

In honor of Dog Bite Prevention Week (starting May 15th) we are dedicating this article to one reason why people get bit by dogs and how to ensure it doesn’t happen to you.

One reason children get bit by dogs is due to hugs.  It makes sense that a child would want to show a dog affection by offering hugs, they were taught that hugs are a sign of affection, after all, we hug each other all the time.  It is important to teach our kids that dogs don’t enjoy hugs like we do.

Dogs see the world in a much different way than we do.  To a dog, a hug is an invasion of space and is very uncomfortable for them.  It is a type of restraint and dogs don’t like to be restrained.

It is also important to know how to read dog body language.  Some signs to look for are:

  1. Body stiffening

  2. Eyes wide

  3. Tongue flicking

  4. Ears pinned back

Instead of hugging, teach your child other ways of showing love to a dog, like:

  1. Petting on the chest

  2. Petting on their sides

  3. They love a nice butt rub too 🙂

Children need to be taught how to properly approach a dog.

  1. Slowly walk up to the owner

  2. Don’t look in the dog’s eyes

  3. Ask the owner if it is okay to pet your dog

  4. If the owner says yes…allow the dog to sniff your closed hand

  5. Once the dog has gotten a good sniff, the child can pet the sides of the dog…nicely

Just remember, no hugs, no bites.

How to prevent dog bites

As a Mesa pet sitter I am  provided with plenty of opportunities to educate pet parents and the general public about how to prevent dog bites when working with shy and fearful dogs. Jenna Trethewey, owner of Play Time Pet Care, says “It’s important to recognize the signs of fear and anxiety in dogs.”

Here are some obvious signs that  a dog is shy or fearful.  Some people may not recognize a dog is fearful or anxious if the dog is exhibiting signs of the slight cower.

Some other signs that aren’t so obvious to the average person that isn’t familiar with dog body language are:

Pet sitting in Mesa has given me plenty of opportunity to observe all of these behaviors. I know that just because a dog is wagging their tail it doesn’t mean it’s happy.  When we are meeting with new dogs we see these behaviors all the time.

Some behaviors that might not make sense:

Get to know dog body language.  It’s a pet parent’s responsibility to know their dog’s behaviors and keep others safe from it.  If you know your dog is food aggressive, keep kids away from their food dish.  If you know your dog is shy and fearful around new people, consult with a professional dog trainer to learn ways to help your dog feel less anxious and how to teach others how to approach, or not approach, your dog.

For more information on dog body language and bite prevention contact us at 480-292-9735 or via email at jenna@PlayTimePetCareAZ.com.

Green Cleaning For Your Pets

Have you ever thought about the cleaning products you use in your home and what affect they have on your pets?  I stopped using harsh chemicals on my floors because my dogs couldn’t stay off of them long enough for the tile to dry and they lay on the tile to cool off and now, my little man, Nugget, eats his breakfast and dinner off the floor (that’s a story for another time).

My first purchase was a steam cleaner for my tile.  The steam cleans and sanitized my tile at the same time while providing a safe environment for my dogs.  The next step was looking into Green cleaning supplies like Melaleuca, but that required purchasing a minimum amount of products every month or becoming a representative, neither of which I was interested in.  So…the next best thing?  Hiring a cleaning company that uses the products.  This is a quadruple win for me!  I hate cleaning my house, work so much that when I do have down time the last thing I want to do is clean.  I don’t have to worry about the products they are using in my home and whether they are safe for my dogs or not. I can continue working and viola…my house is clean.  Ok, that was only 3 wins…but you get my point 🙂

Who is this cleaning company that uses Green cleaning supplies, is great with my dogs and people I can trust inside my home?  Going Greenhouse, that’s who!  April and her crew showed up for my first deep clean on time, met my dogs and allowed them to follow around and “help”.  They had no issue with me leaving them inside while they did their work and actually played with them for a bit.  I did make it very clear that my dogs were a part of my family and they were not going to be sequestered outside while they did their job.  Besides, it’s way to hot out for that.

If you are looking for a great cleaning company, that uses Green products (safe for you kids and pets) I highly recommend Going Greenhouse.

Mesa Pet Sitter Buckles Up for Safety

Wanna go for a ride?  That usually gets my dogs all riled up and ready to go.  Their tails wagging and whining out of excitement.  The wind in their hair, the smells of the unknown, sticking their head out the window, squirming from front seat to back…my lap, the floor…OH WAIT!  That could be dangerous.  How do I get them to sit still in the car? Your Mesa pet sitter buckles up for safety.

 

Have you ever been driving down the road and saw a dog in the bed of a pick up truck? The first thing that screams at me is, “Your dog is gonna jump out and run away as soon as you stop.”  How about the cute dog that has his head sticking out the window taking in all the unfamiliar scents?  It is cute, but bugs or road debris could get lodged in the dogs nose or eyes.  What if you got into an accident?  An unbelted dog now becomes a dangerous object that could fly out the window, crash through the window or fall into a passenger causing additional injury.

It Arizona, it is not illegal to drive with your dog without a seat belt, but it is becoming more an more popular among other states to have seat belt laws for pets.  For instance, Hawaii, Connecticut, Illinois and Maine have banned motorists from driving with pets in their laps, but New Jersey is apparently the first state to require that pets be strapped in.

As a Mesa pet sitter that provides a pet taxi service, we make sure our client’s pets are strapped in for their car rides.  Here are some tips on how to make your pet’s next car ride a safe one:

Purchase a pet safety belt that attaches to your cars seat belt

Have them travel in a crate – make sure the crate is secure in the bed of a truck

Allow them to smell all those wonderful new scents from inside the car.  Crack a window, but don’t let them hang their head out

 

How to Report Animal Abuse

In our last article, 10 Signs of Animal Abuse, we gave you the signs of animal abuse to watch for.  Now, we need to know what to do if we suspect animal abuse.

It is important to report animal abuse to your local agency because many times the only way they find out about animal cruelty is from a concerned citizen.  Without tips from the community many animals will remain in abusive situations, mute and unable to defend themselves.

You may be wondering if you can remain anonymous while reporting abuse.  The answer is YES.  It is just important that the abuse is reported.

In Arizona, you must report animal abuse to your local law enforcement agency.  If you witness or suspect an act of animal cruelty in your community, contact your local police department’s non-emergency line. On a county island, please call the Maricopa County Sheriff’s office at (602) 876-1011.

You can also contact the Arizona Humane Society online and fill out an abuse form.  You may remain anonymous in your reporting.

How to keep your home safe while you are gone

Your Mesa pet sitter offers tips on how to keep your home safe while you are on vacation.  Pet sitters at Play Time Pet Care take our jobs very seriously.  Not only are we responsible for caring for your pets as you would when you are not home we also look after your home.  We got some tips from our insurance agency so we knew what to do to make your home appear lived in even when you are not there.

Here are some questions that were asked of an ex burglar and his answers to each.

FACT: According to the Insurance Information Institute, the majority of home break-ins occur during the prime vacation months of July and August.*

Q: What’s the first thing you do to get inside?
A: “I head straight for the front door. I always knock, just in case. If you’re home, I’ll ask for directions or make up some other excuse. If you’re not, I’ll try to pick your lock. If you want me to avoid your house, make it look like someone’s home. Turn up the TV or radio. Park a car in the driveway.”

 

FACT: According to a survey of convicted burglars, 70% prefer to use the front door.**

Q: What about doors and door locks?
A: “I pick whatever takes the least time. So if I see a double lock, especially with a dead bolt, I’ll skip the house and move on to one with a single lock. A flimsy door that’s not hardwood or metal is a piece of cake to get into. I can kick the door down.”

FACT: According to the FBI, a burglary occurs every 14.6 seconds in the U.S.***

Q: If I have a sign that says “Beware of Dog,” will that stop you?
A: “That’s a giveaway that you don’t have an alarm system, so boom! I’m in. Besides, it tells me there might be a doggie door in the back of the house. I’ve gotten in that way a hundred times.”

FACT: A Rutgers University study scientifically proved that 30-40% of burglars tend to avoid homes with burglar alarm systems.****

Q: What if I come home while you’re inside?
A: “There’s an old trick. I put a bottle or broomstick on the handle of the front door. If the bottle breaks or the broom drops, I know you’ve come home.”

Q: So what do you go for first on the inside?
A: “The small, high-ticket stuff—jewelry, credit cards, keys—the grab-and-run items. I look for bank statements because they tell me about your habits, and the better I know you, the better my chances for a heist. I’m also sizing up the bigger stuff you have. When it looks like the coast is clear again, I’ll be back for the TV, computers and antiques.”

FACT: If you’ve had the misfortune of being robbed once, your chance of being robbed again is higher.†

Q: Do burglars ever hit the same house twice?
A: “You bet, especially if you don’t get your locks changed right away. When people come home after a burglary and the house is a complete wreck, the last thing they think about is their keys. People are more worried about the expensive or sentimental stuff that’s missing. I take the keys, and after a few days, I come back because odds are the locks haven’t been changed yet.”

With all that being said:

  1. Leaving the radio or tv on isn’t necessarily for your pets entertainment.  Although they may get a kick out of it, or not care at all, it may be the one thing that will save your home from being robbed.

  2. A good burglar will know how to handle a dog and will probably befriend them while they are taking your personal belongings, so lock up the dog door and have your sitter come more often.  It’s cheaper in the long run.

  3. Whether you have an alarm system or not, it’s a good idea to put an alarm companies stickers or yard signs by your front door.

Don’t make  your home an easy target!

SOURCES
* usatoday.com; iii.org
** youtube.com
*** fbi.gov
**** EzineArticles.com
† ncjrs.gov
†† crimestoppers-uk.org; fnnc.org; easier.com

Doggy Door Dangers in East Valley

Do you have a doggy door in the East Valley?  Be aware of the dangers if you already have one or are thinking of installing one.

Doggy doors sure are convenient aren’t they?  Have you ever thought of all the things that can get IN your doggy door?  Especially if you live near the desert or state land?  Here are some dangers to look out for:

  1. Intruders – What do robbers think of doggy doors?  Burglars have gotten into homes many times through a doggy door.

  2. Snakes

  3. Scorpions

  4. Coyotes – There are coyotes in almost every neighborhood in areas close to open desert areas.  “They smell something that smells like food, they do some wild stuff sometimes,” says Dr. Schmidt from Johnson Ranch Animal Hospital.

Also keep in mind that if you allow your pets outside by themselves they could be in danger of being attacked by a coyote.  Here is a video that shows how easy it is for a coyote to jump a wall.  It’s slow going… but watch from minute 1:30 to 1:50.

Coyote Jumps 6ft Wall

Here are some tips on what coyotes are looking for and how to deter them from your property.

What Coyotes Look For and How To Deter Them

I walk dogs regularly in East Mesa.  I’ve come across coyotes at Guadalupe and Hawes, Signal Butte & Elliot as well as Signal Butte and Meridian while walking dogs.  While walking your dog keep them on a leash, carry a large stick or rock and if you come in contact with one, make loud noises to try and scare it away.

Your turn…

What experiences have you had with coyotes?

Pet Sitter Interviews Gilbert Fire Department

 

AZ Pet Professionals Present Pet Oxygen Masks to Gilbert Fire Station #255

I recently had the pleasure of being a part of a group of pet professionals that presented Gilbert Fire Station #255 with 2 Pet Oxygen Mask kits.  AZ Pet Professionals presented the 2 Pet Oxygen Mask kits on Saturday, June 29th at 9:00 am. 

Before the presentation we had the pleasure of meeting the crew and I asked them a couple of burning questions I just had to know the answer to.

Q:  What is the best thing pet parents can do to alert the first responders that they have animals in the house?

A:  Captain Robert Foster – “First, I’d like to say that we totally understand the theory behind the window stickers that say how many pets are in the household.  However, we don’t pay attention to those.  It could be a sticker from a previous homeowner and the new owner never took it down or it is inaccurate.  The best thing a pet parent can do is tell us they have pets that are still in the home.  The worst thing a pet parent can do is go back in to try and save their pets.  We understand that pets are our children and we care for them as much as our two legged children, but let us be the ones to go back in and save your pets.  It’s our job to make sure you are safe and go in and make sure all other living creatures are saved.”

Q:  How can pet parents help you do your job when it’s a medical related call?

A:  Captain Robert Foster – “If the pet parents know their pet is aggressive or overly friendly or barks a lot, the best thing they can do is put them somewhere where they are out of the way.  In another room, outside…anywhere but right in our face.  It can be difficult to perform our job when we are clobbered with kisses or greeted at the door by an aggressive pet that will do anything other than let us inside.”

Q:  Do you REALLY rescue cats stuck in trees?

A:  “How many times have you seen skeletons in trees?  Seriously, yes, we do rescue cats from trees.  We got a call once from someone who said this cat had been stuck in a tree for 3 days.  It wasn’t their cat, but they were tired of hearing it meowing.”

Gilbert Fire Department Ladder 255 was very grateful of our donation.  We want to thank them for their hospitality and letting us ride the ladder!  Woo Hoo! 

Getting ready to ride the ladder!