Dog Beach Dos and Don’ts from San Diego Humane

Here in San Diego we have quite a few dog-friendly beaches for people and their pups to enjoy.  Are you planning on bringing your dog to the beach for some fun in the sun this summer?  The San Diego Humane Society has put together a list of some helpful dog beach etiquette tips for you and your best friend!

  • Many dogs go off-leash at the beach, but keep your dog leashed if you have any concerns about her behavior towards strangers and other dogs. You should also keep your dog leashed if she doesn’t come when called!
  • Bring plenty of fresh water for your dog to drink and an umbrella to provide your dog with shade on hot, sunny days.

  • Not every dog is a good swimmer, especially certain short-muzzled and short-legged breeds like Bulldogs and Dachshunds. Start your dog out leashed in shallow water to see how he does.  Make sure to pull him from the water if he gets tired.
  • Having up to date identification like tags and microchips is especially important when your dog goes off-leash at the beach.

  • Flea and tick prevention should also be up to date before you head to the beach.
  • Rinse the sand and salt water off of your dog when you’re done, and dry her off with a walk before getting back in the car.



Summer Pet Safety Tips

The Summer Solstice is this Thursday, June 21st!  Summer is a great time to enjoy the outdoors with your pets, but be sure you are prepared to keep them safe when the weather is hot.

The Arizona Humane Society has created some very helpful infographics on summer pet safety…because our friends in Arizona know a thing or two about hot weather!

Check out these important tips!

And this guide to heat exhaustion in pets:

Have a safe and happy summer!



Your Dog Ate Chocolate: Here’s How to Calculate How Much is Too Much

Oh no, your dog just got into some chocolate!  How do you know if the amount eaten is a danger to your pet which requires an emergency visit to the veterinarian’s office?

The PetMD website has created a chocolate toxicity meter for dogs.  You can quickly enter your dog’s weight, the type of chocolate, and the amount eaten to find out if your dog needs to get to the vet ASAP.

Sometimes a very small amount of chocolate eaten by a large dog requires nothing more than observing your dog for symptoms such as vomiting and restlessness.  However, a small dog that eats several ounces of chocolate might be in more danger and require immediate veterinary attention.

Chocolate contains caffeine and theobromine, which are toxic to dogs.  Dark chocolate poses a higher risk than milk chocolate.

Symptoms of chocolate poisoning include vomiting, diarrhea, increased heart rate, rapid breathing, seizures, and even cardiac failure and coma in severe cases.

In addition to the toxicity meter, check out PetMD for a handy guide on the theobromine and caffeine content of popular chocolate products, such as M&Ms and Peanut Butter Cups.

On the same page, you can also see a list of the types of chocolate that have the highest amount of theobromine (unsweetened cocoa and baking chocolate top the list).


Summer Pet Safety – Dogs and Hot Cars

With the Memorial Day holiday weekend just around the corner, now is the perfect time to share an important reminder with all pet owners:  Dogs and hot cars don’t mix!

According to the ASPCA, leaving pets alone in a hot car is animal cruelty.  Pets can die from overheating in a parked car very quickly.  Certain dogs are at higher risk for heat-related illness, including:

  • Puppies
  • Senior dogs
  • Short-muzzled breeds
  • Dogs with dark and/or thick coats

Remember that on a day that feels comfortable to you, the temperature inside a car can be 20 degrees higher than the outdoor air temperature, even with the windows cracked open.

Don’t take your dog with you when you’re out running errands in your car on hot summer days.  If you see a dog left alone in a hot car, be sure to call local law enforcement or animal control right away.


Popular Succulents May Be Toxic To Your Pets

Those popular little indoor succulent plants you’re seeing everywhere are adorable and appealing…but are they safe to bring home if you have a dog or cat in the house?

There are many houseplants that can be harmful to our pets, but with the growing popularity of pint-sized succulents for the home and patio, veterinarians are warning pet owners about their potential hazards.

Here’s a brief overview of what you should know.  Be sure to check out this article on the American Veterinarian website for the full story.

Aloe Vera and True Aloe:  Toxic to dogs, cats, and horses.  Symptoms include lethargy, diarrhea, and vomiting.

Euphorbias (such as Pencil Cactus):  Toxic to dogs, cats, and horses.  Contact can cause skin rash and irritation.  Ingestion can cause mouth and stomach irritation with possible vomiting.

Kalanchoes:  Toxic to dogs and cats.  Can cause vomiting, diarrhea, and (rarely) abnormal heart rhythm.

Jade (aka Rubber Plant):  Toxic to dogs, cats, and horses.  May cause vomiting, depression, and lack of coordination.

Silver Dollar (aka Chinese or Silver Jade):  Toxic to dogs, cats, and horses.  Symptoms include vomiting and upset stomach, tremors, and signs of “drunkenness.”

Be sure to seek immediate veterinary care if your pet shows signs of plant poisoning.  Check out the Pet Poison Helpline for more information on dangerous plants.

Now for the good news!  Here are some cute and *nontoxic* succulents recommended by American Veterinarian:

  • Blue Echeveria
  • Burro’s Tail (aka Horse’s Tail, Donkey’s Tail, Lamb’s Tail)
  • Ghost Plant (aka Mother of Pearl)
  • Hardy Baby Tears
  • Haworthia

  • Hens and Chickens (aka Hens and Chicks)
  • Maroon Chenille Plant
  • Mexican Firecracker
  • Mexican Rosettes
  • Mexican Snowballs
  • Painted Lady (aka Copper Rose, Maroon)
  • Plush Plant
  • Tree Cactus
  • Wax Rosette

Top image: “Lucy Cat + my fave succulent pot” (sistashizron on Flickr)