Sunday, June 24, 2007

Dogs and storms



Thunderstorms, or any storms, can be a very traumatic time for your pet if you're not around.

Storms are a part of life, but not for these little guys. We know what's happening...they don't.

The most important thing to do is basically not do anything. When the lightning strikes...stay calm. When the thunder rages, don't move...act like it's an everyday activity.

My oldest was used to them but the youngest peed everywhere whenever a storm hit. So when a storm came around and he looked to me for direction, I did nothing. I acted as if it didn't matter. After the first two times, he lifted his head to watch my reaction and, when there was none, went calmly went back to sleep.

Pets mimic our behavior. If we freak out, they freak out. If we are calm, they are calm. After all, it's just another noice that they add to their repertoire of things to "worry about" and things that "don't matter".

Friday, June 15, 2007

Keeping your pets comfortable in the summer


Summer heat means being extra careful with your pets, especially flat faced little dogs like Shitzus. They tend to heat up very quickly and, because of their tiny flat noses, can have a very difficult time breathing.
Although these little guys love to be outside, you need to have a cool environment available to them when they start to heat up, particularly on days with high humidity.
Keep an eye on them and bring them into an air conditioned car or house immediately if you hear them wheezing or having trouble breathing...that is a danger sign of overheating. Also, keep an eye on how much they are panting. Regular panting is normal and is how they cool themselves. However, the panting should slow down or stop altogether when they have cooled themselves. If this is not happening, again, bring them into a cool environment. Also, make sure they always have a good supply of fresh, clean, cold water.
I think it goes without saying (but I'll say it anyway) - NEVER EVER leave them in a car alone with the windows closed in warm, sunny weather. Don't even leave them in the car with the windows open on a hot sunny day - keep them at home.
I also like to give the little guys a cool bath on hot, humid days. It's probably the one time they don't hate me for doing this!