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As the Fourth of July weekend approaches, everyone is looking forward to the upcoming events.  Picnics, parades and fireworks are so much fun for families and children of all ages.  

But what does your family dog think of all these festivities?  The answer is they are probably not as excited about it as you are.  Crowds of people and loud noises are not a favorite for most dogs, so here are a few tips to help make the Fourth of July weekend more enjoyable for your four-legged friend too:

Parades

It may be best to leave your pup at home for this one.  There is a lot of activity at parades – crowds of people, loud noises, items being thrown - it may just be too much for your dog.

If you really want to include your dog in this tradition, be sure to take the following precautions:

Keep your dog on a leash.  We would suggest a 4 or 6 ft non-retractable one in order to best be able to maneuver your dog through a crowd or keep him away from things he shouldn't have.

Watch out for thrown candy.  Candy wrappers, chocolate and sucker sticks could be lethal to your dog.  Keep an eye out to make sure he doesn't snag a stray piece or two.

Bring water and offer it often to keep him hydrated.  

Don’t stay out too long if you’re dog does not handle the heat well.

Definitely do not leave your dog in the car during the length of the parade.  Hot cars are extremely dangerous even for short periods of time.


Picnics


As we’ve stated in other holiday related articles, the biggest danger for dogs during gatherings like these is food.  Be sure to keep the “people food” on the people plates.  This will avoid any stomach irritations for your dog, which is good in any case, but especially if fireworks are that evening.

Sparklers, at home fireworks, and other related products could also present several dangers to your pet.  For instance:

Anything that you light is obviously potential for burns for people and animals alike.  Be careful and be very aware of who is around you.

Fur could catch fire easily.  Be especially careful with your kids and the sparklers they may be having fun with.

Some of the firework “toys” could frighten dogs.  Especially the snapping, growing or popping ones.  Best to keep your dog inside during these demonstrations to make sure they don’t get spooked or try to eat the remains.  Do not let children (or adults for that matter) tease the family dog with any of these toys.  Even the most passive dog can be very unpredictable when frightened or hurt.

Fireworks

Fireworks are tough for dogs.   We all know how loud fireworks are for us, but keep in mind dogs have much more acute hearing than we do.  Even from inside the house, fireworks can be downright frightening.  A dog’s reaction to fireworks may be similar to thunderstorm anxiety.  

Specific tips for an uneventful fireworks experience include:

No question on this one.  Leave your dog home safe in his crate, favorite room or even a bathroom.

Play some soothing music (or your dog’s favorite) to help drown out the noise of the fireworks.

Be sure all doors and pet doors are locked in the unlikely event of an escape.  In a moment of panic, your dog may try and come to find you (wherever you may be) to find comfort.

Be sure his or her collar and tags are on in case of an escape.

If there are accidents when you get home, try not to be upset.  Keep in mind the reaction was due to fear and nothing else.

We wish you and your family a very safe and enjoyable Fourth of July weekend!  

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Did you know that approximately 4.7 million people are bitten by dogs every year and children are the most likely victims?  May 19 through May 25 is Dog Bite Prevention Week.  We, at DogWatch of Columbus, feel it is extremely important to not only train your dog, but train your children as to the do’s and do not’s of dog safety.

We’ve compiled our 21 years of working with dogs into a few tips below that can help keep your children safe.  Check out these tips and be sure to share them with your kids.  Who knows, it might prevent one of them from being bitten some day.  Teach your children:

  1. To never approach a dog they don’t know.  Be especially wary if the dog is behind a physical fence.  Never tease a dog that is behind a fence.
  2. To always ask the owner before they pet a dog.  Teach them to then ask how the dog prefers to be petted (behind the ears, on his back, etc).
  3. To slowly put their hand in front of the dog’s nose before they pet a dog.  This way the dog can get their scent and it will help to put the dog at ease.
  4. To never put their face in the face of an unknown dog.  Bites to the face are the most heartbreaking.
  5. To never attempt to hug or pick up a dog.  On the opposite side, never attempt rough play with a dog you don’t know.
  6. To avoid eye contact with an unknown dog as in dog talk that means a challenge of authority.
  7. To always approach a dog so they can see you.  Never “surprise” a dog from behind as a scared dog is more likely to bite or nip, if only for self defense.
  8. Signs that a dog may not want to be approached.  An unapproachable dog may have his ears back, the hair on his neck may be raised, his teeth may be showing, and he may be growling or skittish.
  9. The signs of a friendly dog.  A wagging tail, tongue lolling out of his mouth, a dog “smile” if you will, eagerness to interact, and ears perked are all signs that a dog is ready to be approached, so long as permission has been granted by the owner.
  10. To never approach a dog that is off leash without an owner present. This is doubly important if the dog appears skittish, aggressive or confused.  Tell them to find an adult immediately so that the adult can call animal control.
  11. To never to run from a dog even if it is charging them.  It is far better (though harder) to stop and stand with your arms in and head down.  Avoid eye contact so that the dog does not feel threatened. The child will no longer seem like a threat to a dog if they are still and quiet and the hope is they will not attack.  If the child continues to run, the dog will pursue until the “prey” is caught.
  12. A tip from one of our customers, Bridgett Shoemaker, who is an avid runner.  While running, slow to a walk if you are approaching a dog on a run.  Dogs get nervous when someone is running towards them and should relent if the runner approaches more slowly and avoids eye contact.

Obviously, it is important to properly socialize and train your dog as well, but we feel it is just as important to teach your kids about other dogs because you never know how well other dogs have been trained.

We hope this helps educate you and your family and helps to create awareness during National Dog Bite Prevention Week.  Please call us at 614-527-3799 or contact us if you have any questions.


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From February 23 through March 3, 2013 we will be manning a booth at the Central Ohio Home & Garden Show.  When you find us at our booth, you can get a free gift simply by "liking" our Facebook page or if you're ready to set up an estimate or installation, you have a chance to spin our new PRIZE WHEEL that has opportunities to win some pretty cool add-on's to your system or 50% off the installation of a Performance Series Hidden Fence.

The show hours and location as well as a $1 off coupon can be found at http://www.dispatchevents.com/content/sections/central-ohio-h-and-g/index.html .  What are you waiting for?  We hope to see you very soon!  If you have any questions, please contact us or call 614-527-3799.  We'll be at the show over the weekend, but will return your call as promptly as possible.

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Looking to get your pet's picture taken with Santa?  Look no further!  Here is a list of places and times you can find the big guy in the red suit that is ready for some fur-friendly portraits:

Dec. 13 5:30 - 8:30 CHA PetPeople 6415 Perimeter Dr. Dublin
Dec. 15 11:00 - 3:00 Cozy Cat Cottage Mutts & Co. 5125 Hampstead Village Dr. New Albany
Dec. 15 10:00 - 4:00 Central Ohio Greyhound Petco Westerville
Dec. 15 11:00 - 3:00 CHA PetPeople 4010 Powell Rd. Powell
Dec. 15 11:00 - 4:00 Colony Cats (&dogs) PetSmart Rome-Hilliard Rd. Hilliard
Dec. 15 11:00 - 4:00 Hand Me Down Dobes PetSmart Hilliard
Dec. 15 11:00 - 4:00 New Beginnings PetSmart Grove City
Dec. 16 11:00 - 4:00 New Beginnings PetSmart Grove City
Dec. 16 10:00 - 4:00 Central Ohio Greyhound Petco Westerville
Dec. 16 11:00 - 3:00 Cozy Cat Cottage Mutts & Co. 5125 Hampstead Village Dr. New Albany
Dec. 16 11:00 - 3:00 Cat Welfare Petco 5030 North High St. across from Graceland
Dec. 16 2:00 - 5:00 Powell Animal Welfare Society Mutts & Co. Dublin
Dec. 16 11:00 - 4:00 Colony Cats (&dogs) PetSmart Rome-Hilliard Rd. Hilliard

A big thank you to Pet Butler of Central Ohio the information!

 

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Hey all you crazy Black Friday shoppers!  Our office will not be open today; HOWEVER, if you e-mail us by 11:59pm we will take $75 off a full installation of a DogWatch Performance Series system OR $25 off an indoor unit (perfect for around the tree and Christmas presents).  E-mail us at This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it that you saw this post and we'll contact you on Monday to set up the install or confirm delivery of your indoor unit.  Happy Shopping:0)!

 

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