Spring Hints for Hounds

RubyInTheSummer08012It is that time of year when we will be spending more time outside and taking our hounds out with us. There are several things to remember as you work your way through spring and in to summer:

DID YOU KNOW?

Toxic Mulch

That attractive red cocoa mulch everyone seems to be using can be toxic to your dog?  It is made from the cocoa cut hull and contains the same ingredient (theobromline) that is in chocolate.

Bees/Wasps

Most bees and wasps can sting only once BUT the yellow jacket can sting many times before it loses its toxic venom.  They can also nest in the ground over the winter and as hounds trot around the yard the pests come out of the ground in a swarm to attack.  Always keep Benadryl on hand and give (2-3 teaspoons) immediately BEFORE you rush the hound to the vet or ER clinic. Even if you “overdose” your hound on Benadryl the only usual side effect is drowsiness.  Urgency is needed if stung near the face, eyes or mouth.

Tools

Gardening Tools can be DEADLY.  We have all seen or heard the cartoon where someone steps on a rake handle and flips up and hits them in the face. Tools are just as dangerous to your hounds. A garden rake with thick iron tines can puncture delicate hound skin and even cause internal injuries if left with tines turned upward.

Wheel Barrow – use extreme caution when leaving a wheel barrow sitting in the upright position around your hound.  Hounds know to race and avoid people in the yard (most do) but the handles of the wheel barrow are nearly invisible to a hound racing in the yard. A hound can impale itself on the handles and cause serious injury and even death from such impact.

Electric Cords/Tools are especially tricky around hounds. You never know when a hound might decide to take off running and suddenly get tangled up in the cord and injure itself terribly.

 Fertilizer/Lime – most “chemically treated” items used in a garden or yard to promote plant or grass growth have toxic qualities that may poison your hound. Use extreme care when choosing a product to use in the yard where your hound is contained.

Flowers/Plants – Many ordinary looking flowers and plants are toxic if ingested by your hound. Please check the internet for a list of “plants toxic to pets”.

Lawn Ornaments/Decorations are a beautiful addition to any home. Use caution when selecting where to place these items. Try to keep them out of the area your hound is allowed to access. If you must use them, place them in ways that your hound will not run into after dark or on one of their famous yard circles.

Car Windows- We all love the sight of the wind whipping our hound’s ears back – the smile that appears on the face as all the scents of the world rush past those magnificent glands in their nose. BUT be aware that insects, dirt, stones and other objects may cost you a vet visit. Items whizzing by at even 40 mph can cause major damage to your hound’s sensitive eye tissue.  A small opening of the window will allow the same excitement for your hound and be less likely to cost you money.

Water HazardsFamilies with pools of all types need to take care during the warmer months.

In-ground pools present their own special set of dangers for hounds. Hounds have no way of knowing that the surface of the water will not support their weight. If you have an in-ground pool, be sure to take your hound into it and show them how/where to get out in an emergency. Most hounds can swim but they have no idea of pool navigation.

Above Ground pools are not quite as dangerous BUT do not fool yourself into a false sense of safety. Hounds have been known to climb ladders! Be sure that your pool ladder is secured in the closed position when leaving it unattended.

Wading Pools – Seem totally innocent….they can be dangerous as well to a hound. Water any warmer than tepid can cause a hound to faint away. While we do not recommend freezing cold water which could cause hypothermia, monitor the wading pool temp before allowing your hound access. NEVER allow a hound unsupervised access to any water container.

Hoses – while not presenting a danger for drowning CAN be harmful to your hound. Hoses lying in the sun can generate very HOT water for the first five minutes of use. Take care that you cool the hose water down before allowing your hound to drink or be used on your hound’s body.

Stay safe this spring and summer!

 

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