Protecting pets is easier than ever By Beth Crosby We take our dogs with us, whether for companionship or fun, and we want to keep them safe. Some of our cats need a little intervention, too. Take a look at the options below. Doggles - Have you seen these goggles for doggies? Letting our dogs ride with their heads out of windows, in sidecars, and in the beds of trucks poses real danger to their eyes, ears, and even their heads and bodies. Doggles protect dogs from foreign objects, wind, and UV light (glare and light sensitivity). This protective eyewear comes in many models, and all boast flexible, snug-fitting frames with foam padding against the face with the canine head shape in mind, polycarbonate (shatterproof) and anti-fog lenses; and adjustable elastic head and chin straps. Sizes fit dogs from 3 to 250 pounds. Life Vests - All dogs can't swim, so whether you are enjoying the pool or a boat, a life vest is crucial for Rover's safety. Brightly colored life vests help boaters, skiers and jet skiers see your dog in the water. "In the case of extreme fatigue, strong currents or a blow to the head, a well made life vest (can) keep your pet afloat, and strong handles can aid you in rescuing him from the water," according to The Modern Bark. Any vest you consider should be lightweight, brightly colored with reflective strips, have handles and well-rated flotation; and dry quickly to prevent chafing. Ruff  Rider Roadie - When traveling in a vehicle, always secure your dog. A seatbelt and harness combination that allows your dog the freedom to sit, stand and lie down comfortably is far superior to a kennel that can break or shatter on impact. The Ruff Rider Roadie allows your dog to comfortably see and feel part of the family in the car but still remain safe and secure in its seat or equipped cargo area. This harness and connector set is easy to use, especially if the pet is accustomed to wearing a harness. "The Roadie Canine Vehicle Restraint is designed to meet the same stringent standards that human seatbelts must meet," according to Auto Geek, and the webbing exceeds standards for a human seatbelt. The Roadie's design prevents chafing and will not choke your four-legged friend. Leash type - Retractable leashes make walking dogs easy. Pups can roam and have a little freedom, BUT they also can run free and rip the hard plastic leash handle from the human's hand. The break-away puts both the dog and walker in danger. The dog can run upon unsuspecting people and animals, causing an accident or biting incident or run into the street. Meanwhile, the human must retrieve a dog that enjoys playing chase. Sometimes the walker is injured in a fall, especially if a smaller person walks a strong dog. The safer option is to use a leather or canvas leash with the leash handle securely wrapped around your wrist. Don't just hold the leash loosely in your hand. Wrap the loop of the leash securely around your wrist and hold onto the length of the leash with the same hand as the wrist that holds the handle. Reflective Leashes - Walking dogs at night can be dangerous. Both people and pets need reflective tape or clothing when walking after the sun disappears. Athletic stores sell reflective gear, tape and tennis shoes for  humans. Reflective leashes and collars are available from pet specialty outlets. If your cat goes outside, a reflective collar is a sensible option for Fluffy, too. LED Leashes - BriteDoggie LED Pet Safety Collars have a switch that lets you choose a steady light or two blinking options and comes in six colors. The lights don't bother the pet because the collar rests behind the head. These battery operated collars offer neck sizes as small as nine inches and up to 30 inches. For an introductory period, the 48-inch leash in matching colors can be added for $10, for a total of $29.97. Cat owners, in particular, appreciate the breakaway side buckle release. As we take our pets with us more and more, we see?and invent?many safety options. The list above is a brief introduction. What accessories do you recommend for pet safety? Let us know in the comments. At Fluffs of Luv, your pets' care and comfort is our goal. Call us or visit today to schedule visits for your fall and winter travels and daily visits or to ask how we strive to keep your pets safe. Resources: Copyright ©2016 Fluffs of Luv. All rights reserved. If any part of this publication is reproduced, distributed, or transmitted in any form or by any means, electronic or mechanical, or stored in a database or retrieval system, full credit must be given to Beth Crosby and Fluffs of Luv. No part may be used for commercial gain without the express written permission of Fluffs of Luv.

Minimize dangers to your pet when cleaning the grill By Beth Crosby When we think of grill safety and pets, burns come to mind.  Some summer dangers from our last blog  We often overlook the dangers of cleaning the grill. Why are bristle brushes bad? In the past few years, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention has warned about using bristle brushes to clean grills and grill grates. Both dogs and people have suffered from loose or broken bristles sticking to grill grates and transferring to food. Eating food prepared on the grill can cause the detached bristle to lodge in the throat, puncture the intestines, or even press against the bladder, causing pain. Sometimes, the bristle will cause infection and abscess.  In one case, a human lost six inches of intestine to remove the infection. Often the small bristles are invisible on an X-ray and only an ultra sound or CT scan shows the offender. Of course, pets cannot tell us where they hurt or describe the pain. In dogs, the symptoms can mimic pancreatitis. Animals, by nature, want to avoid looking weak, so they attempt to mask their pain. This delay in treatment increases the danger. How do we protect our dogs? The best option is to throw out grill cleaning brushes with metal bristles. But if you use bristled brushes, take these precautions. 1. Police what you scrape from the grill. Be careful when disposing the residue. If you toss the debris into a pile in the yard or an open trash can, dogs can easily get into the aromatic refuse. 2. Wash grates in soapy water after using the bristle brush to ensure no bristles remain. 3. Use a halved onion after you have turned up the heat to burn off charred food. Put a halved onion, cut side down, on the end of a long fork and scrape the grates to remove remaining residue. What are some other cleaning methods? 1. Opt for coil brushes. These top the Good Housekeeping list. Sharon Franke, director of the Kitchen Appliances and Technology Lab in the Good Housekeeping Institute recommends Brushtec. The Institute also recommends Parker & Bailey BBQ Grill Cleaner and Degreaser for deep cleaning. 2. Employ scouring or abrasive pads. Alternatively, balled up aluminum foil is an option to scrape grates. 3. Try a pumice stone or the more environmentally friendly Grill Stone to provide exceptional cleaning. 4. Apply Carbona, spray oven cleaners, or cleaning agents (used in a well-ventilated area). But note: They take a bit of time and have chemical components that can be dangerous. 5. Several other alternatives are available at At Fluffs of Luv, your pets' care and comfort is our primary concern. Call us or visit today to schedule visits for your travels and daily visits. Resources: (Promotes oven cleaner and bristles, but is thorough) Copyright ©2016 Fluffs of Luv. All rights reserved. If any part of this publication is reproduced, distributed, or transmitted in any form or by any means, electronic or mechanical, or stored in a database or retrieval system, full credit must be given to Beth Crosby and Fluffs of Luv. No part may be used for commercial gain without the express written permission of Fluffs of Luv.

How Hot is Too Hot for your Dog? By Beth Crosby A professional pet sitter who owned her business once asked me if I thought dogs felt hot asphalt under their feet. I was flabbergasted that she asked and fearful for the pets in her care. Dogs' pads are flesh. Pads have nerve endings like any other flesh. If the surface is too hot for your bare feet, it is too hot for a pet, too. Consider walking the dog on grass if you must walk it during the heat. Both cement and asphalt liquefy in high temperatures and can seep into a dog's bare skin. I have seen a dog with tar in his paws. Without that extreme, the burn is still painful and intense. Other hot surfaces might include a boat or pool deck. Cool water can lower the temperature, but be sure reapply cold water frequently because the water heats in the sun, as well. Other dangers include outdoor grills and ranges. If you grill out or cook in an outdoor kitchen, remember these hot surfaces can be dangerous lures to your pet because the food or residue smells yummy. If a surface is too hot for you to touch without protecting your skin, it's too hot for your pet's bare skin. Sunscreen is for pets, too Dogs with short fur or thin coats are particularly sensitive to UVA and UVB sun rays. Pink noses and tummies are also at risk for burning and skin cancers. So when you pick up sunscreen for yourself, remember to get sunscreen specifically for pets. Zinc oxide is the active ingredient in most sun block (and some diaper-rash ointments), but the element is deadly to dogs. (That's why pennies are dangerous to dogs.) Be sure to get a sunscreen without the zinc oxide. Many options are on the market, but if you are unsure, talk to your vet or pet sitter to see if they can recommend a product. Unattended cars are dangerous One last reminder: Cars heat quickly, and dogs suffer in hot cars with little circulation, no water, and stress. "At 70 degrees on a sunny day, after a half hour, the temperature inside a car is 104 degrees. After an hour, it can reach 113 degrees...When temperatures outside range from 80 degrees to 100 degrees, the temperature inside a car parked in direct sunlight can quickly climb to between 130 to 172," according to This information is not new, but every year, dogs suffer and die in hot vehicles. Owners think they'll just run in for a minute, and the dog will be fine. But how often have you run into the store to get two things and then remembered the other five things you need before getting into a slow line? Well-intentioned owners find themselves with a sick or dead pup because time slips away. Do your pets a favor and leave them at home in the cool. The alternative of leaving the car running is dangerous for other reasons, such as the dog locking itself in the car or pushing it into gear. You can take your pets for a ride around the block later and devote a few minutes just to them. At Fluffs of Luv, your pets' care and comfort is our primary concern. Our pet sitters are trained in pet safety and make your pets' health and  safety our priority. Call us or visit today to schedule visits for your summer and fall travels. Visit the resources below for additional information on summer sun safety. Resources: Copyright ©2016 Fluffs of Luv. All rights reserved. If any part of this publication is reproduced, distributed, or transmitted in any form or by any means, electronic or mechanical, or stored in a database or retrieval system, full credit must be given to Beth Crosby and Fluffs of Luv. No part may be used for commercial gain without the express written permission of Fluffs of Luv.

Not all dogs can swim By Beth Crosby A billboard along I-77 says "Pool rules: Let the dog in the pool." It should come with a disclaimer as large as the sign that says IF the dog can swim and IF it has adult supervision. Pet owners and trainers share their stories of why they live with the painful consequences of dogs that couldn't swim. A pet parent discovered that her small dog had gotten out of the house and into the pool while she was gone. When she couldn't find the dog anywhere, she looked outside. She went to the pool and found her beloved pet at the bottom! (I will give you a moment to catch your breath before I go on to a less extreme, but still terrible, example.) An experienced dog trainer responded to clients who bought a new home when the owners found their well-trained German shepherds struggling to get out of the pool. The dogs had never been trained to swim because the family didn't have a pool. When the trainer arrived, the two dogs' paws were bloody from trying to pull themselves up onto the cement edge of the pool. They had to be trained to swim to the shallow end and climb up the steps. The myth that all dogs can swim and doggie paddle is sadly unfounded. Other dangers arise Aside from the trauma that can come from a pet that can't swim, consider the effects of chlorine or salt water on your skin and hair. You become itchy and feel sticky or dirty. A dog will feel the same way. And sticky fur can cause the pet to feel even warmer on hot summer days. Last, consider how your stomach responds when you swallow chlorine or salt water. You want to vomit or feel bad for several hours. Your dog responds the same way and is much more likely to ingest water than you are simply because its mouth is along the water line when it swims. Swimming is good for dogs. Our Labs love to swim, as do many breeds. But for the sake of your beloved pets, always supervise, teach them to swim if they can't, and consider using a flotation device or life-saver for your pup.

New prescription medicine calms anxious dogs By Beth Crosby Sileo offers hope to owners of anxious dogs. If your adult dog suffers during fireworks and thunderstorms, this formulation for use at home might offer help. Expands use of proven treatment The Sileo formulation approved by the FDA and now available to pet owners is an oral version but in an "EXTREMELY low dose (compared to the dose we give as an injection)," Dr. Julie Reck of Veterinary Medical Center in Fort Mill said. Nearly a third of dogs are traumatized by noise, and their owners feel the anguish but have not had a resource until now. This oral gel can be easily administered between the teeth and gums and has proved to calm suffering pets while they continue to interact normally. Calms fear and destruction As pet sitters, we have seen dogs hide under furniture when they hear fireworks, thunderstorms or other noise, such as alarms. They break teeth and hurt their paws trying to escape and can destroy homes in their distress. Sileo offers a calming alternative to medicines such as Xanax, developed for humans and prescribed for animals, which can cause pets to be disoriented or sedated. Prescribed by veterinarians Only your veterinarian can prescribe Sileo, and puppies and some dogs with health concerns are not candidates for the drug. Pregnant women should not handle the oral syringe. So ask your vet if Sileo is a good fit for your anxious dog. Each $30 syringe contains enough gel for one to ten doses. Dosage depends on the dog's weight. The medication takes about 30 minutes to take effect and lasts for 2 to 3 hours. An open syringe can be used for 2 to 3 weeks. "We are really excited about this product," Reck said. "The medication in Sileo has been around in veterinary medicine a long time... in an injectable form that we give to sedate or quiet pets for quick painless procedures such as X-rays, orthopedic exams, nail trims for fearful pets, etc." At Fluffs of Luv, your pet's care and comfort is our primary concern. We are happy to administer Sileo at no additional charge during our regularly scheduled visits. Call us or visit today to schedule visits for your summer travels. Resources: Copyright ©2016 Fluffs of Luv. All rights reserved. If any part of this publication is reproduced, distributed, or transmitted in any form or by any means, electronic or mechanical, or stored in a database or retrieval system, full credit must be given to Beth Crosby and Fluffs of Luv. No part may be used for commercial gain without the express written permission of Fluffs of Luv.

Dogs appreciate appropriately sized crates Much to the surprise of many dog owners, Fido enjoys his own cave. Many dogs find the cozy size of their crates to be comforting, especially amidst commotion or noise. They find solace in their little If crates aren' t used to confine dogs too long or too often, dogs appreciate the personal space. Dogs should be crated no longer than half of the day at a time and overnight. They need exercise and potty breaks during the day after eating. The pups also enjoy the toys and treats they get while inside their Why are cages a good idea? Dogs keep their living areas clean, so they try to avoid soiling their own spaces. A puppy with too much room in the crate will enjoy a suite with a bedroom and private bathroom. Confine them to their little bedrooms and move dividers to expand the size as your pup grows. (Be aware that a puppy eliminates every hour for its age in months.) Ex. A 2-month- old needs a potty break every two hours. Dogs should never be expected to go more than 8 hours without a break. How do you know what size crate your dog needs? Correctly sizing your dog's crate is crucial. Crates are expensive, but you can migrate your puppy into a large crate if you make or buy dividers. This is especially helpful when crate training or house training. Obviously, the dog needs to be able to stand and sit without bumping its head on the top. And they need room to stretch out on their sides and to turn around without being cramped. But they need to feel cozy, too, so don't get a crate that's too large. How do you measure for appropriate size? Length: The crate should be 2-4 inches longer than your adult dog will be from nose to tail base (not the tail). This will allow the dog to stretch out comfortably. Height: The height should be 2-4 inches taller than the pet standing or sitting with its nose up, whichever is higher. The width will be appropriate if the height and length are sized properly. Remember, get a crate for your full-size dog and partition it off for the puppy as it grows. Sometimes those dividers need to move every week! An extra-small cage measures about 24 inches long. Larger cages reach 72 inches in length. Crates provide a cozy den for dogs from teacup chihuahuas to great Danes. With this in mind, do not go into the crate when your dog is inside. Dogs feel secure in their crates, especially as they age, and perceive anyone intruding as a threat. A chart for the appropriate size for your breed can be found here. ( But remember, this is a guide. Your dog might be larger or smaller than the average. For best results, consider the size of the litter's sire and dam (parents). What kind of crate is best? Wire crates are collapsible and easy to clean because of the pull-out tray. After the dog outgrows its destructive phase, you can add a comfy washable bed. If your pet seems to want seclusion, you can provide a crate cover or blanket. Plastic crates are less expensive and durable. And they don't collapse for transportation. If you opt for a pre-owned crate, visit the home of the previous owner and inquire why the crate is available. You want a crate from a healthy dog. Then sanitize it with a cleaning solution recommended by your groomer or veterinarian. You will find that your dog is more easily house trained in a crate and that Fido will find comfort in its own private master suite or den. size-dog- crate-and- which-type/#What_Size_Dog_Crate_Do_You_Need size/ Find crates and ratings on-line. By Beth Crosby

Purrfect Paradise provides pampered cat care By Beth Crosby Is your cat your purrfect companion? Is he or she regal, poised, demanding of your attention and respect? Purrfect Paradise Cat Hotel in Pineville ( offers an innovative approach to kitty care with cat-only boarding. Your cats can stay in the comfort of large cage-free suites from 6' x 9' to 11' x 13'. Each family of pets shares a room. Purrfect Paradise allows ample space for multiple cats to lounge and play. Most suites even have large windows looking outside. Each themed room boasts climbing shelves and interactive toys to keep your kitties active and entertained. Staff are at Purrfect Paradise Monday through Friday from 8 a.m. to 6 p.m. and provide care on the weekends, so your cats have the comfort of humans nearby while enjoying their autonomy. We are open by appointment only, so our feline visitors are as calm as if they were at home. We visit our guests and interact as much as they like in addition to feeding, scooping the litter and providing medications. Cats can play and sleep on their own schedules. Your cats like consistency, so we encourage you to bring their cat food in a sealed container. If your feline is finicky about litter, you may bring an unopened container of litter. Of course, personal items are also permitted. Some cats like having an article of the owner's clothing to snuggle, and we want them to feel safe and comfortable. Of course, we completely sanitize the suites, toys and litter boxes between guests to ensure their safety, and we require proof of rabies and FVRCP (feline distemper) vaccinations. Our experienced cat care professionals understand feline temperaments and enjoy the company of cats from Abyssinians to Tonkinese. We have many cats among our in-home pet sitting clients, but Purrfect Paradise Cat Hotel caters especially to cats and their people. All care givers are vetted and background checked, as well. Owner Jennifer Fagan didn't have cats until she was a young adult, but since she got Morris, she hasn't been without the company of kitties.  Now she has three; Lily, Emma and Comet.  "Cats hold a special place in my heart, and I think they should be pampered and treated like royalty. Our cat-only hotel provides that level of care." We provide medications from pills to fluids. Administering pills and injections is included in the stay with no additional fees. Prices are reasonable, especially for a family of cats, starting at $25 per night. Visit for requirements and to schedule an appointment or call 704-440-4080. And like us on Facebook to follow our exciting updates. It's the cat's meow!

Pet Poo Pickup Prevents Illness By Beth Crosby Many people think that leaving dog feces on the ground is healthy for the grass. However, feces is toxic and carries bacteria, viruses, disease, and parasites. Pet and livestock manure differ? Farm animals eat grass, seed or corn. Their feces is full of nitrogen from their foods, which is helpful in cultivating a healthy garden. But manure is composted before it is added to soil and is used in measured amounts. Composting builds heat that kills bacteria and disease before manure is added to the soil, and manure is added months before plants are consumed. Never leave feces on the soil Some people wonder about the benefit of using pet feces for composting. According to Cornell University, "Homeowners should not use any manure from dogs, cats, or other meat-eating animals, since there is risk of parasites or disease organisms that can be transmitted to humans." ( In fact,  Colorado State University goes as far as to say, "Not even fresh manure of any kind should be left on the surface of the soil because of possible E. coli contamination." ( Dogs and cats are carnivores and should eat mostly protein, which passes through their systems, depositing protein wherever they relieve themselves. Both protein from stools and ammonia from urine burn grass. Feces left to decompose can seep into the groundwater and run into our lakes, streams and ponds, providing an ideal habitat for excessive algae to grow. After the algae die, their decomposition takes the water's dissolved oxygen from healthy inhabitants, harming the ecosystem. Dog feces carries millions of bacteria One (1) gram of dog feces carries 23 million fecal bacteria. A gram is about the weight of a paperclip, or 0.00220462 pound.  Feces that decomposes in the soil can contain parasites, such as roundworms, that can live in the soil for up to 10 years. Flies pick up feces on their feet and deposit the hazard wherever they land, whether on you, your dog, or your kitchen counter. Children and other animals track the toxic dangers wherever they go if they hit one of these "land mines" that pet owners warn about. Not only is stepping in dog poop disgusting, it is dangerous. Bare feet have about 2,000 pores, which are some of the largest pores on our body. These pores allow toxins and bacteria into our bloodstream. Any adequate bag without holes works? Pet owners and care takers, bag your pup's poop. Estimates in the U.S. are that 38 to 47 percent of pet owners do not pick up after their dogs. Some neighborhoods and parks provide stations to get bags and deposit bagged waste. But responsible owners carry bags. While bags are available for poo pickup, even in biodegradable forms, any bag will do. Grocery bags, poop bags, sandwich bags, and even fruit bags from the produce section all work. In fact, using bags you already have meets three goals. You pick up after your pet , reduce waste, and reuse bags. Fluffs of Luv offers poo pick-up So for the health of you and your pets, as well as the safety of the yards and water you enjoy, carry a bag and pick up the poo. Then dispose of it in a waste can. If you prefer to have someone else do the dirty work, Fluffs of Luv offers weekly Yard Doo-Doo Clean Up.  ( Resources? Copyright ©2016 Fluffs of Luv. All rights reserved.?If any part of this publication is reproduced, distributed, or transmitted in any form or by any means, electronic or mechanical, or stored in a database or retrieval system, full credit must be given to Beth Crosby and Fluffs of Luv. No part may be used for commercial gain without the express written permission of Fluffs of Luv.

Seizures are not as scary with information A pet owner asked about a story she heard that a puppy suffered a seizure at the groomer and died. While cats don't ordinarily go to the groomer, they can have seizures, so read on if you have a canine or feline.  ?We looked into this serious and scary scenario and found that although uncommon, the stress of a long grooming visit is one of many causes for seizures. But you can take precautions. Generalized and Focal seizures First let's consider what a seizure is. Seizures happen when the brain is overstimulated  and brain activity is interrupted. A focal seizure was referred to in the past as a petit mal seizure and affects only one part of the body. The episode can manifest in unconsciousness with the pet unmoving, as teeth chattering or other focused reactions. A generalized seizure affects the full body and was called a grand mal seizure in the past. A focal seizure can move into a generalized seizure, according to Below is a list of typical behaviors during a generalized seizure. Uncontrollable movements, twitching, jerking Salivating Paddling of the feet Chomping Collapsing Urinating and Defecating Uncommon occurrence Second, you can take comfort in knowing that seizures are relatively uncommon. And a pet that has a seizure will not necessarily have another, ever. Preparation Knowing what to look for and how to react can minimize the effects on you and your dog or cat. Before the onset of a seizure you might notice indicators, such as appearing restless, staring into space, seeking affection more than normal, salivating, whining, hiding, or appearing scared, worried or stressed. Seizures can last from a few seconds to several minutes. To keep yourself and your pet safe, leave it alone if it is in a safe place where it can't hurt itself. Remove anything the pet might hit and harm itself. DO NOT try to restrain the pet, but confine it to a smaller, flat space if possible, such as a bathroom. Stay calm so that your pet doesn't perceive your stress. Speak calmly to your pet and attempt to comfort it. You can stoke the head or back, but KEEP YOUR HANDS free of the pet's mouth. The pet can bite you or itself. We know now that swallowing the tongue is not a concern. Time the seizure. Length of the episode is important to your vet, whom you should call as soon as possible. After the first seizure you should immediately call your vet and take the pet in for assessment. Then call the doctor if the pet has another seizure for additional instruction. Keep a log of seizures if the pet has more than one. Record time, date, and length of seizure, as well as symptoms. Try to list any changes to the pet's schedule, environment, or foods that preceded the seizure. After the seizure has ended, you can expect any of these symptoms to last up to a day. Be available to comfort your pet, because they have no recollection of what happened. Seeming disoriented Appearing uncoordinated, wobbly Wandering Suffering partial blindness Drooling Bumping into walls Sleeping longer than usual Hiding Bleeding if it bit it's tongue or mouth Causes Some pets have epileptic seizures. Other stimulants for seizures can be allergies, stress, overheating, and changes to routine. The seizure can happen as soon as the pet is exposed to the stimuli or be delayed minutes to hours. The story of the seizure at the groomer is true. The link below to Grooming Smarter shows a video of a dog having a seizure at the groomer. The writer has done a great deal of research and has determined, anecdotally, that the air directed at the head and ears can overstimulate a dog.  She recommends towel drying the dog and avoiding the head and ears with a nozzle dryer. Sometimes the seizures happen at the groomer and sometimes they occur later. Preparation Know your pets. Know the signs of a seizure and what to do to protect your pets. Recognize  your pet behaving strangely. Speak with your groomer and any potential groomers to see if they have experienced a dog or cat having seizures, even if the groomer is in a veterinarian's office. Explain that you don't expect it to happen and that your dog has (or has not) had seizures before. Let them know that you want to be prepared so you can ensure the best care for  your dog. Then ask how they handle seizures or other health concerns. The more knowledgeable the groomer appears to be with animal health and care, teh better. Ask the groomer (and any care giver) to contact you immediately and not wait until you pick up the pet. If the pup seems to be uncomfortable waiting, reschedule. Delays at the groomer don't upset every dog. But if yours is sensitive to crowds, noises or crates, then put your pet's well-being first. Reschedule. While the thought of a normal activity causing a seizure in your four-legged family member is scary, remember that something as simple as a food allergy can bring on a seizure. So be prepared to take care of your pet if it has a seizure and ask questions of pet professionals to be sure they are capable of helping your pet through the disorienting experience. Resources:? By Beth Crosby

Dog walks require attention Anybody can walk a well-behaved dog without worry, right? If we had to watch only the dog, that would be true. But as with driving, you have to look out for more than yourself. When you take your dog for a walk or let someone else walk your dog, be attentive to the possible dangers below. * Chards of glass or plastic. Metal, such as flattened cans or pop-top tabs from cans * Other animals. Even a well-behaved dog can be distracted - or worse - surprised by another animal such as a dog roaming off-leash or a cat. One memorable time, I was walking a dog on Christmas night, and he came upon a possum. That threw us all for a loop! Possums are unpredictable and look scary! Other dogs wants to chase squirrels, rabbits or birds. Keep your dog on a canvas or leather leash and be sure to loop the handle around your wrist for double safety. * Insects. When walking a dog of any age, glance frequently at the ground. You will see dogs plod right through ant beds or over yellow jackets' nests. Ants quickly climb into fur and disburse over the body, and yellow jackets live in the ground and swarm viciously when disturbed. The flying insects will victimize dogs and people, which could lead to allergic reactions in both. *Of course fleas, ticks and mosquitoes are dangerous to you and your canine. In the south, any of these can be out any time of the year, as with snakes. So be sure to treat your pet for fleas, ticks and mosquitoes year round. Mosquitoes are the source of heart worms, and heartworm larvae take six to seven months to develop into a dangerous worm in not only the heart, but other organs, as well. * Some dogs like to catch bees in their mouths, so be aware! A bee sting is painful, especially in a tender mouth. * Dangerous treats. Dogs love to sniff, and sometimes they sniff and consume vomit, feces, gum, cigarette butts, and other "goodies" found along the way. Watch what your pet is sniffing. * Snakes. Serpents seem an obvious  danger, but snakes camouflage well in leaves, pine straw and on trees. Be attentive to anything that looks out of the ordinary or feels unsafe. * Grass. Even grass can be dangerous if it was treated with insecticides or fertilizer. Often, you don't know what is in anyone else's yard, so try to keep dogs from eating grass you don't know is chemical free. * Holes. Soft spots or holes can be dangerous for you and the pup, so be alert. * Standing water. Just as dogs snack along the way, they will drink from puddles or other pools of water. This can be dangerous because of mosquito bites and diseases like leptospirosis and giardia borne in stagnant water. * Other people. We all know that kids and adults don't always pay attention. Some drivers, runners and walkers weave in the road, so be aware of your surroundings. * Cars. One last thing to beware is the cars going fast or swerving and the sound of a car backfiring. That noise is scary for animals and their walking partners! When you walk your dog or trust someone else to care for your furry loved one, keep these dangers in mind so you can both be safe! By Beth Crosby

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