Protect your Pets

max-webIt’s summer again and it’s easy to forget the safety measures we all need to take to keep our pets healthy and happy all summer. Arizona’s heat is hard for our furry friends, but taking extra care will help ensure that they have a good summer. Here are a few reminders.

Don’t leave any living creature in a car in the summer heat. Temperatures in a car can quickly reach slow-cooker level, and even a five-minute trip can do permanent damage to a small body like a pet’s. Leave your pets at home when running errands.

Make sure your pet has plenty of water and shade. If you ever leave your pets outside, make sure they have shade to protect them from the sun – pets can get sunburned too – and plenty of fresh water in a non-spill bowl. If possible, don’t leave pets outside any longer than it takes them to do their business.

Don’t walk your pet on hot sidewalks. Most people don’t realize that dog paws are as sensitive to heat as our bare feet. One easy way to find out if a sidewalk is too hot is to put the back of your hand on the sidewalk in the sun. If you can’t leave it there for 10 seconds comfortably, it’s too hot for your pet. Walking your dog on those sidewalks can do irreparable damage in a short period of time.

Make sure your pet knows how to get out of your pool. It may seem like dogs know how to swim automatically, but if they fall in your pool and don’t know the way out, they can end up drowning as they tire from constant swimming. Either keep your pool gate closed when your dogs are outside or work with your pets so that they know how to get out of the pool. Of course, some dogs love to swim and you may have to plan on including them in your family’s pool activities.

Pay attention to pet safety in the summer and you, your family, and your pets can have a great time even in the heat.

Cause for paws

13703899_MLHave you ever walked barefoot on a sidewalk during an Arizona summer? Chances are you’re too smart to try it, but many people take their dogs for walks on the sidewalk or in the street in the sun’s heat, not realizing that a dog’s paws are as sensitive and at risk as a human’s bare feet.

Fulton Homes has partnered with 93.3 KDKB to help build awareness of how hot sidewalks and streets can damage dog paws, sometimes permanently.

Studies have shown that the skin on the bottom of a dog’s paw will redden and burn after just five minutes on a 120-degree surface. After one minute on a 140-degree surface paws will burn, leaving permanent damage. At 150 degrees, rapid burns and blistering occur, resulting in permanent nerve damage. In the searing Arizona summers, sidewalks and roadways can become hot enough to fry an egg. Now, imagine what a scorching surface can do to the bottom of a dog’s paw.

“This campaign is important because it will help educate people to the dangers our beloved pets face while walking outside during these brutally hot Arizona summers,” said Fulton Homes CEO Doug Fulton. “Dogs are members of the family and make are lives fuller and more joyful. Fulton Homes is dedicated to keeping our pets safe and healthy.”

93.3 KDKB will help promote the program on KDKB’s website, by its on-air talent, social media, e-mail blasts, and with their live radio remote broadcasts.  At Fulton Homes, we want to do what we can to support safety for everyone in your family, including your pets.

Perfect Pet Presents

Whether you have pets yourself or friends and family have pets, the holiday season is a great time to remember to shower your furry buddies with gifts. As you contemplate the right options for the kitten or puppy in your life, here are some ideas and safety factors to consider.

Toys: If you want to give something such as a stuffed toy, stick to those made for animals. That little Santa at a discount store may be tempting, but the fabric, stuffing or trim may not be pet-friendly. You would also miss out on that all-important squeaky factor, disappointing some dogs that actively look for the squeaker when given a new toy.

Treats: A nice box or stocking filled with treats is almost always a welcome gift. Be sure to check with the owner to avoid food allergy issues. If you’re feeling adventurous, how about making homemade dog biscuits or cat crackers? There are numerous recipes available on the Internet, and people and pets appreciate something you bake yourself.

Unlike cookies for people, dogs and cats are not fussy about how their treats look. If they smell like peanut butter, bacon, or tuna and salmon for a cat, they will be thrilled with your gift.

Wrapping for pet gifts is also casual. Most pets don’t care about ribbon or tags, with the possible exception of kittens that see them as a fun extension of the gift. The best option is plain tissue paper with a minimum of tape. This enables even the least adventurous to open their own presents.

One last tip: Don’t put pet presents under the tree until just before it’s time to unwrap. Animals are not at all good about waiting and may dive into the celebration a bit early.

Holiday Safety Tips

Happy holidays can quickly disappear when safety is not given priority. Just a few precautions can keep your holiday celebrations merry. Here are a few basics.

Trees: If you want a live tree, choose one that is very fresh and free of mold. Before you buy your choice, shake the tree gently. If green needles fall, the tree is too old already. Also check the trunk for signs of mold and check for a musty smell. Sometimes storing them for too long or in less-than-optimal conditions leads to trees that are dry enough to be fire hazards. If you find more than one or two trees with these problems, find another lot. To keep your tree fresh for the rest of the season, cut at least one inch from the bottom of the trunk, and make sure your tree holder can handle at least a gallon of water. Check and fill the water daily.

Lights: Never put electric lights on a metallic tree. Never string more than three sets of lights together. Throw away any light sets or extension cords that are damaged or worn. Consider LED lights because they are cool to the touch. Make sure cords don’t become tripping hazards.

Decorations: If your household has children or pets, pay attention to the ornament and decoration choices. Small glass balls look tempting and can draw the attention of children. Tinsel can also prove a real risk to pets that will eat anything that looks interesting.

Take a few minutes to factor safety into your holiday plans and you and your family can have a holly jolly time!

Holidays and your Pets

Most of us want our pets to be part of the upcoming holidays, but it’s important to treat them appropriately so that they have fun, too. Here are some suggestions to make everyone’s holiday brighter.

Don’t give a puppy or kitten as a holiday gift. While it seems like a great present, this is not the best time to introduce a new pet to your household. It can be particularly traumatic for a baby animal to be placed in a box, or even badly wrapped like in this case. It’s clear that this poor new pet is concerned about what kind of household he has come into. Instead, give a stuffed pet with the promise of a real one in the next few weeks. That way you can ensure that your new family member has a quieter and more successful transition to your home.

Holiday costumes are a matter of personal pet preference. As you can see in the photo to the right, the Pekinese is pleased with her holiday jacket while the miniature boxer is embarrassed and unhappy. He seems particularly horrified that someone took a picture of him dressed this way. Remember that pets have their dignity. Also, keep any costumes safe and simple. Your pet may chew and swallow elements of the costume that are particularly disturbing, such as buttons, so keep an eye out for unsafe behavior.

Finally, never put your dog in the position of the poor pooch to the left. Not only is he forced to wear a very mortifying headdress, the cat is totally free of embarrassing holiday garb, leaving her free to laugh at the dog. Even if you are a cat lover, you have to know that this isn’t right.

So with just a little consideration, both your family and your pets can have a safe and happy holiday.