What Happens to A Dog in a Hot Car?
You've undoubtedly heard that it's a bad idea to leave Fido in your car during the summer. Doing so can even earn you a fine from the Austin Police Department. But did you know that this isn't just an issue when the temperatures rocket past 100?
Every year, dogs (and children) in Texas die from heat stroke from being left in cars. Even when it's only 70 degrees outside, the temperature in your car can be as hot as 110 degrees -- and cracking the window makes little difference!
When your dog's body temperature hits 109 degrees, they suffer from irreversible brain damage, seizures, coma and death. But even before that point, they can suffer damage to their kidneys, stomach, liver and brain.
Check out the infographic below to learn just how serious an issue this is and please spread this to every dog owner you know -- education is the best way to prevent these tragedies!
And if you see a dog left in a car, what should you do? CALL 9-1-1! Many people feel uncomfertable calling 9-1-1 in this situation, but it could save a life!
Decoding Your Dog: What Their Tail Tells You
It is a common misconception that a dog with a wagging tail is a happy, friendly dog. In reality, a tail wag can be meant to communicate a variety of things, including fear and aggression. As a general rule, humans aren't the best at interpreting a dog's body language, and all too often this leads to negative situations. The key to avoiding dog bites, and improving your relationship with your dog, is to understand what they're trying to tell you!
Let's start with the tail. Did you know that you can tell if a dog feels positively or negatively about an item or person, by the way they wag their tail? A dog who wags their tail more to the right side feels generally positive about someone or something at hand, where as a dog who wags their tail more the left feels negative about it.
The dog's tail position, movement speed, and tail stiffness all communicate a great deal about the dog's mood. For example, a relaxed, happy dog will have a tail that is loosely wagging and will hold the tail at body level (unless the dog breed has a tail with a naturally high curl). This dog is calm and is in the proper mood to greet strangers or children.
A dog who is extremely excited to see a specific person will sometimes do what we call a "propeller wag", where the tail goes in a full circle. If you are lucky enough to be on the receiving end of this wag, you know you're an extremely special person in the eyes of this dog.
A dog whose whole body is wiggling and wagging is extremely excited and happy, but should calm down before interacting with children. Still, this is a happy, friendly dog.
If a dog's tail is held high above it's body and is either still or moving stiffly, this is a warning: back off. It is important to note that some dogs have tails that naturally curl above their bodies, so it's particularly important to note the tails movement in those cases. You should not approach a dog in this state, they are busy assessing what is going on to determine their next move.
Another clue that a dog is deciding what to think about a situation: slow tail wag and stiff body. Again, back off.
If a dogs tail is held high and either bristling, vibrating or wagging quickly and stiffly is a dog that might be ready to attack or bite. Avoid this dog.
Unsure or Fearful Tails
A dog whose tail is tucked tightly between its legs is scared and fearful. Fear can turn into submission or aggression, so it's best to give this dog space.
Curious about overall dog body language? Look at this great peice put out by the ASPCA!
Learn more about a dog's tali (including video and photos) here.
Breathe Easier: Combatting Pet Allergies
If you're one of the 15-20% of people who are allergic to pets, there is hope for you yet! You may not have to give up Fido or say farewell to Fluffy! We have some great tips from the ASPCA on how to improve your home environment, decontaminate your pet, and take care of yourself!
It won't be an easy process, but if you really want to keep your pets, it's definitely worth a try before resigning to ridding yourself of fuzzy friends forever!