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What to Do When Approached By An Off-Leash Dog


Having a loose dog approach you and your dog while you’re out enjoying a walk can be a nerve racking experience. Is the dog friendly or will they bite? Are they a stray or did they escape from their yard somewhere nearby? Where is their owner? Are they wanting to come play with your dog or are they protecting their territory?

This scenario happens more than it should and it can be terrifying, especially if your dog has had bad experiences with off leash dogs in the past or you have a leash reactive dog who needs their space. Whether a dog has gotten loose from their owner (or the owner has decided to just ignore leash laws in the first place), or if it's a stray dog wandering the area, an off leash dog coming to investigate a leashed dog is a situation that you should try to avoid at all times.

The dynamics between a leashed dog and off leash dog are different than if both dogs were leashed or both were off leash. It’s best to save the greetings for another time, when both owners are present, the dogs are either both leashed or both off leash, and after you’ve had a chance to find out more about the other dog’s behavior and health history. 

So what should you do if you’re out on a walk with your pup and you see a loose dog approaching? There is inherent danger and risk to having a loose dog coming towards you and your dog. These following techniques may help keep your dog safe but every situation is unique. Use your best judgement. You could be putting yourself in harm's way in order to try and protect your dog. Hopefully the approaching dog is friendly and no one gets hurt.

Want to learn more about your dog's behavior and get some training tips? We've  got 101 more for you here!

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Topics: Dog Safety, pet safety tips, pet safety, Emergency, Safety, Puppy, Dog, Dog Walking, Emergency Preparedness for Pets, aggression in dogs, Off Leash Dog

Buckle up Your Pup


Does your dog love going for rides in the car? For long road trips or short trips across town, dogs are our trusty sidekicks. Does your pup buckle up?

If you don’t already restrain your dog when they’re traveling with you in the car, you should start. Not only is it safer for you and your pet, but it’s also safer for other people on the road.

When your pet is restrained, their risk of injury decreases dramatically — if you need to stop suddenly, your dog won’t go flying. Many pets are injured each year when their owner stops suddenly and they are projected forward, hitting the back of a seat, or worse, the windshield. Also, if you’re involved in a crash, the restraint helps keep them from getting injured and even from running away from the scene, since they’ll be scared.

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Topics: Dog Safety, Cat Safety, Dog Harnesses, Dogs, Safety, Travel, Pet Booster Seats, Restraints, Harness, Crates, Trucks, Carriers

BBQs, Sun, Water, and Fun - Oh My! Summer Pet Safety for Your Dog.

Come June, who among you isn’t ready for the sunshine, BBQs, fireworks, trips to the river, lake, beach, and all the other joys that summer brings?

Believe it or not, there is one group that likely isn’t ready…
your pets!

With a few simple steps you can help prepare your pets and keep them safe this summer. This article will serve as an overview of the summer hazards that commonly sicken, injure, and kill cats and dogs this time of year. Awareness is such an important part of prevention. So please, give this article a good read and be sure to share it with your pet-loving friends, family, neighbors, and co-workers. Here’s to a safe and wonderful summer for all – human and pet, alike!

Summer Pet Safety Tips:

  1. Summer carries dangers from heat, water, toxins, and an increase in injuries.
  2. Always consider your pet’s safety and comfort.
  3. Sometimes it’s better to leave your pet safe in the home, rather than exposed to danger.

HEAT

Though that beautiful glowing orb in the sky improves our collective mood and helps to sustain life on our planet, it can lead to a few significant problems for our beloved pets, too.
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Topics: Dog Safety, Cat Safety, flea treatment, High Rise Syndrome, Dogs, Safety, Cats, Summer, Heat Stroke, Pets, Swimming, Boating, Barbeques, Sunburn, Blue Green Algae, Snails, Paw Pad Burns, Fireworks, Slugs, Antifreeze, Blog

When To Start Socializing Your New Puppy


Many people ask when to start socializing their new puppy – and receive many different answers!

It’s possible that you’ve received a different answer from your breeder or shelter than you have from your trainer, and it’s equally as likely that you’ve even received an answer from your vet that’s different from both of those. So who’s right? When exactly should you start socializing your new pup?


There’s no doubt that puppy socialization is an important topic.  We’ve all seen the sad results of dogs who weren’t properly socialized, and many of those dogs end up abandoned or in shelters.  The need for proper socialization for dogs just makes sense inherently, doesn’t it? And now a building mountain of scientific evidence is helping to prove it, too.

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Topics: Dog Training, Safety, Puppy Training, Puppy, Socialization, Dog, Vaccines, Vaccination, Puppy classes

Why Sticks Are Not 'Free' Toys For Dogs


Think sticks are good, free toys for dogs? Read this.

Do you throw sticks for your dog to fetch? Do you let your dog chew sticks? Lots of people do, and lots of dogs love to fetch and chew sticks, right? You see it all the time at the park, on the beach, and in yards. I personally get nervous though when I see dogs chewing and chasing sticks, and I know that many of my veterinarian colleagues and our technical support staff do, too. Do you know why? It’s because we see the results of dogs chewing and chasing sticks!

Here's just a sample of the types of injuries that sticks commonly cause:

  • Splinters in a dog's tongue and/or gums
  • Punctures of the roof of a dog's mouth, or even their throat
  • Impalement in a dog's eye
  • Penetration of a dog's chest, with resulting damage to their heart and/or lungs

Every year many dogs suffer significant pain and injuries from sticks, and that some dogs even die from their stick-related injuries. It’s true – and it happens far more frequently than you might expect. Want some proof? See the many stories at the end of this article.

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Topics: pet safety, Dogs, Safety, Chasing, Throwing, Chewing, Sticks, Impalement, Dog-friendly products, Playing Fetch

Dogs in Cars: Debunking Five Dangerous Misconceptions


Sadly there are still many erroneous myths and misconceptions out there surrounding the idea of leaving pets in parked cars. These contribute to dangerous practices that result in the heat stroke cases and deaths that my colleagues are seeing on a daily basis in the news and online all-too-frequently.

This article should debunk these misconceptions and hopefully get us closer to ending these dangerous practices. Use it to educate yourself and protect your pets, and share it to help educate others. The more people we can get to recognize the inherent dangers of these misconceptions and practices, the more injuries and deaths from heat stroke we can all help to prevent.

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Topics: Dog Safety, Cat Safety, Dogs, Safety, Cats, Heat Exhaustion, Summer, Heat Stress, Heat Stroke, Danger, Pets, Prevention, Blog

Heat Stroke In Dogs: What is it and when does it happen?


What Is Heat Stroke In Dogs?

When a dog’s body temperature rises over 104°F and his mechanisms for cooling himself – such as panting – become overwhelmed and stop working properly, heat stroke sets in.

Sadly it’s not just a dog’s thermoregulatory (“cooling”) system that fails in heat stroke. As the condition progresses and the body temperature rockets even further above 104°F, most body systems fail. Among them are the all-important neurologic, urinary, circulatory, and blood clotting systems. Once these systems begin to fail, the likelihood of recovery from heat stroke is very slim.

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Topics: Kids and Pets, Dogs, Safety, Cats, Heat Exhaustion, Summer, Heat Stress, Heat Stroke, Danger

Heat Stroke: How To Treat My Pet's Heat Exhaustion or Heat Stroke?


In this article you’ll find an outline of the first aid steps you should take to treat a cat or dog suffering from heat exhaustion or heat stroke.

You’ll also find important warnings and principles of first aid for heat-related illnesses.

Please keep in mind that while many of the more mild cases of heat exhaustion can be successfully staved off with the basic first aid steps provided below, all cases of heat stroke (and many of the more severe cases of heat exhaustion) will require veterinary care following your initial first aid. When in doubt, just bring your pet for veterinary evaluation, as heat-related illnesses are nothing to be trifled with. These are cases where it’s truly better to be safe than sorry.

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Topics: Dogs, Safety, Cats, Heat Exhaustion, Summer, Heat Stress, Heat Stroke, Danger, Pets, Prevention

Heat Stroke: Is my dog at risk?


Along with the outside temperatures and humidity and the situations that people may put and leave their pets in – hot cars, exercise on hot days, etc. – there are several other pet-specific “predisposing” factors that can increase a pet’s risk for suffering from heat exhaustion and heat stroke.

If your cat or dog has one (or several) of the characteristics or conditions listed below they may be at increased risk of suffering from heat-related illnesses. Please take extra precautions on warm and humid days and be sure to speak with and work with your pet’s veterinary team to best manage your pet’s risk of suffering heat stroke.

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Topics: Dogs, Safety, Cats, Heat Exhaustion, Summer, Heat Stress, Heat Stroke, Danger, Pets, Prevention, Brachycephalic, Addison’s Disease, Persian, Bulldogs, Scottish Fold, French Bulldogs, Pekingese, Boxers, Himalayan, Shih Tzu, British Shorthair

Photo Credit: Preventive Vet

Please do not ask emergency or other specific medical questions about your pets in the blog comments. As an online informational resource, Preventive Vet is unable to and does not provide specific medical advice or counseling. A thorough physical exam, patient history, and an established veterinary-patient-client relationship is required to provide specific medical advice. If you are worried that your pet is having an emergency or if you have specific medical questions related to your pet’s current or chronic medical conditions, please contact or visit your veterinarian, an animal-specific poison control hotline, or your local emergency veterinary care center.

Please share your experiences and stories, your opinions and feedback about this blog, or what you've learned that you'd like to share with others.