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Keep Your Dog Safe When You’re Out and About

It’s a great time to be a pet owner — more cities and locations are becoming dog-friendly every day. At the same time, it’s up to us to take the necessary precautions to keep our dogs safe when they’re out in the world. To help, we’ve put together our best tips for keeping your pet safe outside of your home.



Dog Safety: Traveling Outside Your Home

When it comes to keeping your dog safe in the great big world, first consider the type of place you’ll be taking them. Let’s explore some of the most common places you might take your best buddy.



#1: The Dog Park

First, make sure your dog has been to the vet for the appropriate medications, vaccinations and checkups. You’ll also need a leash, some water and a little luck for some good weather.

Alright, you’ve got the necessities. Now what? You’ll also want to bring your dog’s best behavior. A well-trained and socialized dog will stay safe in most situations, because you can count on them to act appropriately and respond to your commands. Don’t underestimate the power of brushing up on your “come” and “sit” commands, as well as giving your dog plenty of supervised opportunities to safely interact with other pets. The dog park can be an excellent chance to practice these behaviors and lead to more successful outings in the future.



#2: Pet-friendly Stores or Restaurants

If you’re heading to a pet-friendly store, you’ll want to familiarize yourself with any rules and guidelines they may have. Check their website or call ahead to make sure you know what to expect. Based on the location, you may need a certain length of leash, only be allowed to bring certain dog breeds, or need your dog to have a certain type of training. In any case, have a plan for how to manage your dog if they approach, or are approached by, other people’s pets.

If you’re at a restaurant, it’s a good idea to bring some of your dog’s food or treats, as well as their favorite chew toy. Keeping them full and occupied might prevent them from begging for table scraps or searching for dropped morsels.



#3: A Long Trip or Joy Ride

If you’re planning to travel in the car with your dog, start small and build up to your big adventure. Take regular drives together, gradually increasing the distance to help your dog get used to being in the car. Remember to bring plenty of water and food, depending on how long you’ll be gone. You’ll also want to keep the inside of the car cool so your dog doesn’t overheat. And remember: it’s never safe to leave your dog unattended in a car.



A New Way to Keep Your Dog Safe

Regardless of where you’re taking your buddy, it’s a good idea to have a backup plan in case something unfortunate happens. You’ve probably heard of how microchips can help locate a lost or stolen dog, but you may not know about another technology that can help.

It’s called NOSEiD. Your dog’s noseprint is one of a kind, just like a human fingerprint. By downloading our app and scanning your dog’s nose, anyone who finds your dog will have a faster, simpler way to reunite the two of you. It’s a great way to keep your dog safe while traveling. Give it a try!

  • Recognizing the Signs of Bloat in Your Dog
    Recognizing the Signs of Bloat in Your Dog

    Recognizing the Signs of Bloat in Your Dog

    What Is Bloat?

    Bloat is a life-threatening condition that acts rapidly and can lead to death within hours if not recognized and treated immediately. Unfortunately, the cause of bloat remains unknown at this time.


    The scientific term for bloat is gastric dilatation-volvulus or GDV. Bloat is characterized by rapid and abnormal expansion of the stomach with gas (dilatation). This can be followed by rotation of the stomach (volvulus). This rotation closes both the entry to and exit from the stomach. The blood vessels also are closed down, and blood flow is restricted.


    What follows is an increase in pressure inside the stomach and compression of the surrounding organs. Eventually, shock will occur as a result of the restricted blood flow. Here are a few key facts about bloat:

    • Bloat should always be treated as a medical emergency.
    • Bloat can kill a dog within hours after onset.
    • The cause of bloat is unknown.
    • Bloat affects 36,000 dogs in the United States each year; 30% die as a result of this condition.
    • Bloat can occur in dogs of any age.
    • Certain breeds are more susceptible to bloat, particularly deep-chested dogs.
    • The stomach rapidly expands with gas then rotates on the long axis. Entry to and exit from the stomach is prohibited, causing blood vessels to close and restriction of blood flow.



    Signs of Bloat

    Bloat is a true medical emergency, and early identification and treatment is critical to survival.


    In the early stages of bloat, the dog will be very uncomfortable. You might see him pacing and whining or trying unsuccessfully to get into a comfortable position. He might seem anxious, might lick or keep staring at his stomach, and might attempt to vomit, without success.


    Other indications of bloat can include weakness, swelling of the abdomen, and even signs of shock. Signs of shock are increased heart rate and abnormally rapid breathing.


    If you notice these signs, call your veterinarian immediately!


    • Whining
    • Inability to get comfortable
    • Pacing or restlessness
    • Pale gums
    • Unproductive attempts to vomit
    • Abnormally rapid breathing
    • Increased heart rate
    • Anxiety
    • Pain, weakness
    • Swelling of the abdomen (particularly the left side)



    Helping Prevent Bloat

    These suggestions could help you prevent bloat in your dog. However, they are based on suspected risk factors and are not guaranteed to prevent the onset of bloat.


    • Feed small amounts of food frequently, two to three times daily.
    • Avoid exercise for one hour before and two hours after meals.
    • Don't let your dog drink large amounts of water just before or after eating or exercise.
    • If you have two or more dogs, feed them separately to avoid rapid, stressful eating.
    • If possible, feed at times when after-feeding behavior can be observed.
    • Avoid abrupt diet changes.
    • If you see signs of bloat, call your veterinarian immediately.



    Digestible Foods

    Another way you might help prevent bloat is to feed a high-quality, highly digestible food with normal fiber levels.


    Feeding management offers the best method available for reducing risk until the exact cause of bloat can be identified. Although not 100% effective, these measures can reduce the number of dogs that face this serious, life-threatening condition.



    High-Risk Breeds

    • German Shepherd
    • Bouvier de Flandres
    • Great Dane
    • Boxer
    • St. Bernard
    • Doberman Pinscher
    • Bloodhound
    • German Shorthaired Pointer
    • Irish Setter
    • Gordon Setter
    • Borzoi
    • Irish Wolfhound
    • Dachshund
    • Labrador Retriever
    • Basset Hound

    Recognizing the Signs of Bloat in Your Dog
    Recognizing the Signs of Bloat in Your Dog
    Recognizing the Signs of Bloat in Your Dog
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