Archive for the ‘Dogs’ Category

Do you have a pacemaker, or do you know someone that does? If you’re on this site, we already know you love furry friends, and now you can make a difference in a dog’s life. We’re not allowed to donate pacemakers to people, but you may be surprised to find out they can be donated to a dog.

You see, dogs can use pacemakers just like humans, and a human pacemaker works in dogs.  Best of all, humans can leave a note in their will to allow the pacemaker to be removed and donated to save a dog’s life. And there are plenty of dogs that need pacemakers.

According to this article, 10% of all dogs and 75% of senior dogs die or suffer from congestive heart failure or heart disease. And studies from the NIH and veterinary clinics across the country share similar stats like this one for senior dogs and this one about heart disease in dogs. 

One study from the University of Minnesota showed that 86% of dogs survived up to a year after the pacemaker was installed, with a 65% survival rate three years later. And this study from the NIH showed dogs that have atrial standstill survived 866 days longer because of the pacemakers.

Donating a human pacemaker to a dog can give the furry friend a second lease of life.

If you’re ready to donate or are curious about whether your pacemaker qualifies, read on. 

How to Tell If Your Pacemaker Can Be Donated to a Dog

Whether your pacemaker can be donated depends on a number of factors, including the battery life left and its age. Your doctor and the veterinary clinic you work with can help you understand whether your pacemaker is eligible for donation to a pup. 

How and Where to Donate Your Pacemaker to a Dog

There are two common ways people transfer their pacemakers to a dog. The first is to have your will modified so that when you pass away, there are instructions to have it removed and sent to the clinic of your choice. The other is to request your doctor save the pacemaker for donation when yours is being replaced or upgraded. 

And the good news, there is no shortage of programs and places you can donate your pacemaker to in order to save a dog’s life:

Your local veterinary hospital where they perform heart surgeries Local animal shelters can provide you with options if they have partnerships with medical facilities Colleges and universities with veterinary medicine programs Contact your local pet pharmacy to see if they have a list of dogs with heart problems and ask them to email the pet parents

When your pacemaker is no longer needed for your life, see if you can give life to another by donating it to a furry friend!

New Year’s Eve can be stressful for dogs due to fireworks and changes in their environment. Understanding and preparing for these challenges can help ensure a safe and comfortable holiday for your furry friend.

Why Dogs Fear Fireworks

Dogs’ fear of fireworks is mainly due to their loud and unpredictable nature. Dogs have more acute hearing than humans, making the intense sound of fireworks particularly startling and distressing. The unexpectedness of fireworks – sudden loud noises and bright flashes without a discernible pattern – can also trigger a dog’s instinctual flight response.

However, not all dogs react the same way. Some may be more desensitized to loud noises or may have temperaments that are less prone to anxiety. Factors like a dog’s age, environment, upbringing, and breed can influence their reaction to fireworks. Dogs with prior positive associations with loud noises or those who have been gradually exposed to similar sounds in a controlled manner may exhibit less fear.

Dog Reactions to Fireworks

It’s essential to observe your dog’s behavior and offer comfort and security. Common signs of distress in dogs include trembling, hiding, whining or barking, pacing, drooling, attempting to escape, and changes in normal behavior. 

Some dogs might even refuse to eat or lose control of their bladder. Monitoring your dog’s behavior closely during fireworks and providing comfort and a safe environment is crucial.

Share this image on your site (copy code below): <div style="clear:both"><a href="https://www.servicedogcertifications.org/new-years-dog-safety/" target="_blank"><img decoding="async" style="max-width:100%;margin:0 0 10px;" src="https://www.servicedogcertifications.org/wp-content/uploads/2023/12/How-to-Keep-Your-Dog-Safe-During-New-Years.jpg" title="How to Keep Your Dog Safe During New Year's" alt="New Year's celebration and firework safety tips for dogs" border="0" data-src="" /></a></div> Copy

Solutions for Firework Anxiety Comfort and Reassurance: Stay with your dog to provide comfort. Speak calmly and reassuringly. Safe Space: Create a quiet area where your dog can feel secure, away from noise. Sound Therapy: Use soothing music or white noise to help mask the sound of fireworks. Thunder Shirts: These special vests apply gentle, constant pressure, similar to swaddling, which can calm anxious dogs. Medication: In severe cases, consult your veterinarian about using anti-anxiety medications or sedatives. Behavioral Training: Desensitization and counterconditioning techniques can gradually reduce a dog’s fear of loud noises. Proper Identification: Ensure your dog has up-to-date ID tags and microchips in case they become frightened and run away. Other New Year’s Celebration Tips Food Safety: Avoid giving dogs human food, especially chocolate, grapes, onions, garlic, and foods containing xylitol. Alcohol: Keep that Champagne out of reach. Dogs should never consume alcohol. Party Favors: Loud noise makers can startle dogs, so keep them away. Guests and Parties: Monitor your dog around guests, especially if they are not used to crowds. Conclusion

By understanding and addressing the unique challenges of New Year’s Eve, you can help your dog have a safe and stress-free holiday. Remember, a little preparation can go a long way in ensuring a happy start to the new year for you and your pet.

Hello, dear pet parents! Christmas is a wonderful time to celebrate with our furry family members. But amidst the cheer and festivities, it’s crucial to keep our four-legged friends safe. Let’s explore how to make this holiday season delightful and secure for your pooch.

Pet-Safe Christmas Foods

During the holidays, there is always an abundance of delicious food around. Be mindful of the foods that your dog has access to. Here are some common holiday foods:

Candy Canes: Candy canes often contain high levels of sugar, which can be harmful to dogs, potentially leading to obesity and dental problems. Some candy canes may also contain xylitol, a highly toxic sweetener to dogs. Additionally, the hard texture of candy canes poses a choking hazard and can damage a dog’s teeth. Baked Ham: That sweet glaze on baked ham is a no-no for pooches. Too much sugar and fat could lead to an upset stomach or worse. Stick to their regular treats, even if those puppy eyes are convincing! Sugar Cookies: These are too sugary for dogs and often contain ingredients that aren’t dog-friendly. Plus, those cute shapes are more fun for humans than for doggie diets. Eggnog: This holiday favorite often contains milk, sugar, and sometimes alcohol – all things that dogs should avoid. Instead, maybe whip up a dog-safe version with plain yogurt and a sprinkle of cinnamon. Gingerbread: While ginger isn’t toxic to dogs, gingerbread cookies contain sugar and fats that are unhealthy for them. Not to mention, some recipes include nutmeg, which can be harmful to dogs in large amounts. Roast Beef: Plain and lean roast beef in small amounts is usually safe. Avoid fatty cuts and any seasoned with garlic, onions, or heavy spices. Mashed Potatoes: Plain mashed potatoes without added butter, milk, garlic, or onions can be okay. However, these additions, common in holiday recipes, can be harmful to dogs. Gravy: It’s often too rich and fatty for dogs and may contain harmful seasonings. Best to avoid. Fruitcakes: Generally unsafe due to ingredients like raisins, nuts, alcohol, and sugar. These can be toxic or cause health issues in dogs. Cooked Turkey: A small slice of plain, cooked turkey is a protein-packed treat. Just be sure it’s free from garlic, onions, and heavy seasonings, which can upset their tummy. Pumpkin and Cranberries: Small servings of plain pumpkin and cranberries are fine, but steer clear of sugary pie fillings and cranberry sauce.

Share this image on your site (copy code below): <div style="clear:both"><a href="https://www.servicedogcertifications.org/christmas-dog-safety/" target="_blank"><img decoding="async" style="max-width:100%;margin:0 0 10px;" src="https://www.servicedogcertifications.org/wp-content/uploads/2023/12/How-to-Keep-Your-Dog-Safe-During-Christmas.jpg" title="How to Keep Your Dog Safe During Christmas" alt="Pet safe and toxic foods and other Christmas party tips" border="0" data-src="" /></a></div> Copy

Christmas Trees

Ensure the tree is securely anchored to prevent it from tipping over if your dog bumps into it or tries to climb it. Pine needles, if ingested, can be harmful, so it’s a good idea to vacuum them regularly. Additionally, the water in the tree stand may contain preservatives that can be toxic to dogs, so keep it covered.

Christmas Lights

Keep electrical cords from lights out of reach, as chewing on them can lead to electric shock. Also, be mindful of ornaments and lights at the lower levels of the tree, which could be within your dog’s reach. Those shiny baubles and tinsel can be tempting for a curious snout but can lead to choking or intestinal blockages if swallowed.

Overall, regular monitoring and preventive measures can help ensure your dog’s safety around these holiday decorations.

Managing Guest Interactions

Dogs can get overwhelmed with too much attention. Set up a quiet, cozy space where your dog can retreat if the festivities get too much.

With all the coming and going, your dog might sneak out. Keep an eye on doors and perhaps set up a baby gate to prevent unexpected adventures.

Preparing Your Dog

Consider your dog’s personality. If they’re not fans of big gatherings, respect their space and comfort. A good walk or play session before guests arrive can help burn off excess energy.

Have a special, quiet place for them to retreat to, like a bedroom or a crate with their favorite toys.

Conclusion

With these tips, you can ensure a safe, happy Christmas for your beloved pup. Remember, the best gift you can give them is your love and protection. Happy holidays!