7 Important Steps You Need To Follow To Keep Your Pets Safe This 4th of July

More pets get lost on the 4th of July than any other day of the year, and only 14% of them are returned home from the shelter. Most pets panic from the loud booming of fireworks and unfamiliar smells which causes them to run off in search of safety. It is very likely that they will become lost, injured, or worse.

It is extremely important that all pet owners become educated on how to prepare for the 4th of July so their pets remain safe, calm, and happy.

1.  Keep your pets inside at all times. The safest scenario possible is to keep pets secured inside once the parties and fireworks start. Even if your dog is used to being outside, the anxiety and loud noises from the holiday can cause him to break his restraint or jump over a fence in search of safety.

2.  Walk your dog, play with your pets, and give them plenty of exercise early in the day before the parties begin. Make sure your pet has had plenty of exercise before she has to stay inside for long hours during the party or fireworks to reduce her anxiety, help her sleep, and reduce the likelihood she will escape when the fireworks start.

3.  Leave your pets at home during the fireworks. Make sure your pet feels as safe as possible by making it easy for him to access his crate or “safe place” in your house. Create a safe haven for him in a sheltered, escape-proof part of your home with access to plenty of water. Leave your dog with a frozen treat to keep him occupied and distracted during this stressful time. Turn music or the TV on for background noise to help mask the sound of the fireworks.

4.  Keep charcoal, matches, fireworks, glow sticks, and sparklers in a safe place where your curious animals cannot reach them. It may seem obvious to keep fireworks that are lit away from everyone, but it is also extremely important to keep unused fireworks away as well. Some fireworks are made with toxic chemicals such as arsenic, potassium nitrate, and other lethal ingredients that are very dangerous for dogs.  Some matches contain chlorates that can cause difficulty breathing, damage to blood cells, and kidney disease if ingested.

5.  Keep human food and alcohol out of reach. In the tragic event that your dog, cat, or small animal does get lost, it would be devastating if they didn’t have any way of being identified. Without proper identification, it is nearly impossible to reunite a lost pet with its owner. A microchip and ID tag are the best options for ensuring you will be reunited.

6. Make sure your pets have visible, easy to read, up-to-date ID tags on their collars at all times. In the tragic event that your dog, cat, or small animal does get lost, it would be devastating if they didn’t have any way of being identified. Without proper identification, it is nearly impossible to reunite a lost pet with its owner. A microchip and ID tag are the best options for ensuring you will be reunited.

7. Take a current photo of your pet that you can easily access in case your pet gets lost. Many of us are addicted to taking pictures of our pets, sometimes every day! However, you want to be sure you have a clear, current, full picture of your pet in case of an emergency for easy identification.

The absolute safest option for your pet on the 4th of July is to completely exclude her from the party and fireworks, as sad as it may seem to not spend this holiday with her! We know how hard it can be to spend time apart, but there are many toxins, risks, and extreme anxiety involved with this holiday. Our job as pet parents is to keep our fur babies happy, healthy, and safe. We must remember that a holiday like the 4th of July is not as enjoyable for them as it is for us. Your pet will thank you for keeping him safe during this holiday so you can spend many more years together.

Dog Harnesses Can Be A Safe And Effective Training Method

Whether you need a large dog harness for your working dog, or maybe something flashy for a show dog, there are many good choices. Your pet harness should be bought with it’s designed use and your dog’s breeding in mind. All dogs collars and dogs harnesses are meant to be tools, you have to discover the one that is right for your animal and its temperament. Then commit the right allotment of effort required for training your pet . But for lots of dogs, a harness can be a safe and effective training accessory.

Using a harness for walking strong energetic dogs may seem hard to do but some modern harnesses feature elementary but clever techniques such as the front-attachment rings. When a dog pulls, it creates a small tightening or pressure around the chest and near the front legs. These mild but odd feelings stop when the dog stops pulling or lunging. Most dogs promptly associate pulling with uncomfortable sensations. When using this kind of harness, practice, in addition to positive reinforcement, is the key. If your aim is to train a large dog that pulls and lunges on a leash, seek out a training harness with a martingale-type closure that tightens when pulling and loosens up when the pulling ends and the leash relaxes.

If your dog likes to swim, or you live in a rainy, humid climate, you’ll want a more durable nylon harness. For a well-mannered dog that doesn’t get wet very often, leather is an elegant , wear resistant choice. A reflective harness and leash combination might be right if you and your dog are out after dark. After choosing your harness the harness training, like all training, requires repetition and patience. Most owners that try harness training experience very good results.

For the gentle dog that only needs a walking harness, style might be your main consideration and there are lots of designer and fancy made harnesses to choose from. Well made dog harnesses are made from leather or nylon, with each material having many years of use . Some other features to consider are: padding, spikes, buckles, Velcro, front leash attachments or top of the shoulder leash rings.

When doing your research on a dog harness, make sure to take into consideration ALL the features you may require. Don’t forget, just by choosing a harness, you’re taking a step in the right direction that will be protecting your dog’s health and well being.

When searching for a dog car harness you can shop where the pro trainers shop. All the pet harnesses here are top quality.

Pet Food Recall

The Kroger Co. announced Saturday that it was recalling three brands of pet food. Tests showed that select packages may have come into contact with aflatoxin, which can pose a health risk to pets.

The company advises customers: if you bought a contaminated bag of pet food, stop using it immediately and return it to where you purchased it for refund or exchange.

The affected packages of Pet Pride, Old Yeller, and Kroger Value brand pet foods were all produced at a Kroger-owned factory in Springfield, Tenn., according to Denise Osterhues, spokeswoman for the Cincinnati-based grocery store.

The recall affects customers at Kroger’s, Dillons, Gerbes, Baker’s, Food 4 Less, Jay C, Hilander, Owen’s, Pay Less and Scott’s stores in 19 states across the Midwest and South: Alabama, Arkansas, Georgia, Illinois, Indiana, Kansas, Kentucky, Louisiana, Michigan, Mississippi, Missouri, Nebraska, North Carolina, Ohio, South Carolina, Tennessee, Texas, Virginia and West Virginia.

If you buy Pet Pride, Old Yeller, or Kroger Value brand products, first check the sell-by date and then the UPC code. All of the recalled products have a sell-by date of either Oct. 23 or 24, 2011. Your package would read OCT 23 11 DP or OCT 24 11 DP.

If that sell by date appears on your package, “check the numbers on the packaging,” advises Gilda Rogers of Krogers. If both the date and UPC code match the recall list, “Take them back to a store.”

Kroger is recalling these products:

Pet Pride Cat Food sold in 3.5 lb. packages with UPC code 1111088128.

Pet Pride Cat Food sold in 18 lb. packages with UPC code 1111071357.

Pet Pride Tasty Blend Poultry & Seafood Cat Food sold in 3.5 lb. packages with UPC code 1111088152.

Pet Pride Tasty Blend Poultry & Seafood Cat Food sold in 18 lb. packages with UPC code 1111074580.

Pet Pride Kitten Formula Food sold in 3.5 lb. packages with UPC code 1111071903.

Old Yeller Chunk Dog Food sold in 22 lb. packages with UPC code 1111074566.

Old Yeller Chunk Dog Food sold in 50 lb. packages with UPC code 1111074563.

Kroger Value Cat Food sold in 3 lb. packages with UPC code 1111000018.

Kroger Value Chunk Dog Food sold in 15 lb. packages with UPC code 111107155.

Kroger Value Chunk Dog Food sold in 50 lb. packages with UPC code 1111000108.

If you believe your pet has been exposed to aflatoxin, and is showing symptoms of sluggishness, yellow-tinted eyes, and diarrhea, you are encouraged to seek treatment for your pet immediately.

Customers who have questions about this recall may contact Kroger toll-free at (800) 632-6900 or visit www.kroger.com/recalls.

Harness or Collar – What’s Best?

Used imprpperly collars can do damage to your dog’s neck (including the trachea, esophagus, and more) over the years. An easy way to prevent the damage is to attach your dog’s leash to a harness instead of a collar.

If your dog pulls a lot on his leash, you can buy a training tool such as an Easy Walk Harness or a Gentle Leadeer Head Collar and use that tool on walks while you teach your dog to walk more nicely. (Be sure to follow the instructions when using training tools like these.) Once your dog understands how to walk politely on leash, you can remove the training tool and simply walk your dog in a regular body harness.

Hartz Real Beef Treats Recall

SECAUCUS, N.J., Sept. 3 /PRNewswire/ — The Hartz Mountain Corporation is voluntarily recalling one specific lot of Hartz Naturals Real Beef Treats for Dogs due to concerns that one or more bags within the lot may have been potentially contaminated with Salmonella. Hartz is fully cooperating with the US Food and Drug Administration in this voluntary recall.

Salmonella is an organism which can cause serious infections in young children, frail or elderly people, and others with weakened immune systems, all of whom are at particular risk from exposure and should avoid handling these products.

Salmonella symptoms may include fever, diarrhea, abdominal pain, and nausea in both dogs and humans. Anyone experiencing the symptoms of Salmonella infection should seek immediate medical attention. Owners of dogs exhibiting these symptoms should also seek veterinary assistance.

Hartz Mountain Corporation is recalling 74,700 8-oz bags of Hartz Naturals Real Beef Treats for Dogs, lot code BZ0969101E, UPC number 32700-11519, which were imported by Hartz from a Brazilian supplier, Bertin S.A., and which were distributed to a number of customers in the United States. While regular testing conducted by Bertin (prior to shipment to the US) did not detect the presence of Salmonella in any packages of this product, random sample testing conducted by FDA did indicate the presence of Salmonella. Hartz is aggressively investigating the source of the problem.

Although Hartz has not received any reports of animals or humans becoming ill as a result of coming into contact with this product, Hartz is taking immediate steps to remove the product from all retail stores and distribution centers. Dog owners having purchased this product should check the lot code on their bag, and, if the code is not visible, or if the bag has lot code BZ0969101E imprinted thereon, they should immediately discontinue use of the product and discard it in a proper manner.

Consumers can contact Hartz at 1-800-275-1414 at any time with any questions they may have and for information on how to obtain reimbursement for purchased product.

Contact: Hartz Consumer Affairs