Choose Safe Pet Toys to Avoid Accidents

Schnauzer and Airedale playing with ball

Dogs Love to Play with Balls

It’s so much fun to buy toys for our pets. We want toys that will attract and amuse them while keeping our cat or dog occupied. Safety is not often a concern while we’re shopping, but it should be.

Squeakers are very attractive to both cats and dogs as they mimic prey animal noises. When the squeaker stays safely inside the toy, it’s great. There have been cases, however, when a dog tears a toy apart, swallows the squeaker and becomes very sick requiring lifesaving surgery. If you get a toy with a squeaker, watch your cat or dog as they play with it, so they don’t tear it apart and swallow the squeaker.

Dogs love bones and rawhides to chew. Hard bones can chip teeth. Softer bones can chip off and get stuck in the dogs’ teeth, gums or soft palate which could require veterinary intervention. Some dogs will consume rawhides without much chewing. This can cause choking or digestive problems. Nylon or hard rubber bones are good options for dogs who enjoy chewing. But be sure to inspect them regularly and discard them when they show pieces breaking off.

Chasing balls is great fun for most dogs and some cats. Be sure to have a large enough ball that won’t get caught at the back of your pet’s mouth which can cause suffocation. Also get a ball that your pet can’t chew apart. When the ball becomes weathered or damaged, discard the potential choking or blockage threat.

Feathers and yarn can be fun cat toys, but if your cat pulls the feathers or yarn apart and swallows them they can create problems requiring veterinary care. Mylar film is often part of cat toys because it floats, is shiny and attractive to cats’ prey instincts. This material is also made into tinsel for Christmas trees, and it can be hazardous when cats chew or swallow it.

One of the best and safest cat toys is a laser pointer. Your cat can chase the red light to her heart’s content. The light can go over and into cardboard boxes or paper bags. Just pay attention to where you’re pointing, so kitty doesn’t climb and claw the curtains or knock that Ming vase off your shelf.

If your pet likes to cuddle soft toys, be sure to get a child safe toy. When the toy wears thin or too much exuberant playing tears the toy, discard it as stuffing can cause choking or digestive system blockages. Be aware of any small parts that can come off and be chewed or swallowed can be hazardous.

When you rotate your pet’s toys, they’ll stay interested in the ‘new’ toy when you bring it out again. Always put questionable toys out of pets’ reach when you’re not available to watch them.

If your pet is fortunate to have a Hale Pet Door, be sure to put the inside toys away while you’re not home.

Share your pets’ favorite toys in the comments below.

How to Really Love Your Pet

ValentinePups

February is the month of love, and you know how much love your pets add to your life. You want to return that love to let them know how precious they are to you. But have you thought of what your pet needs to be truly loved?

Give Your Pets What They Need

It’s only natural for people to give their pets the things that they would appreciate receiving, but pets are different species, so they have different needs and desires.

Dogs are pack animals, so your presence is the best present you can give your dog. Exercise and playing with you simulates hunting with the pack—a necessity for your dog’s mental, emotional and physical health.

Cats are usually more solitary types, but they appreciate play that simulates hunting. Short bursts of intense physical activity followed by a snack and a nap is the cat’s meow.

Give Your Pets What They Want

There is one constant between humans and pets. The desire to be near and to interact with loved ones. Give your pets your time. You may not have large blocks of time to spare, but there is truth to “quality time” even if it’s a few minutes at a time.

A peaceful environment where pets feel safe is another gift you can give your pet. Take time for training, so your pet knows what acceptable behavior is. Pets don’t understand punishment, so catch them doing the right thing and praise that behavior. Instead of yelling, “No!” which raises your blood pressure and confuses the animal, give him something to do – go lie down in his bed or safe spot with a small treat or favorite toy.

Be consistent with your expectations for your pet. If you like your dog to jump up to greet you when you have your sweats on, remember that she will also jump on you when you’re wearing your good clothes too. You can have it both ways by teaching your dog a cue to give you a hug when appropriate and a different cue for staying down.

High quality food, a comfortable place to rest and good company are the ways to show love to your pet. Don’t forget to get a Hale Pet Door  so your pet can go outside when necessary and come back into the house again.

Getting in Shape with Your Pets

Jack Russel Terrier lifting weights

Let your pet be your fitness coach

New Year’s Resolutions come and go, but this is a great time of year to resolve to let go of that extra baggage – for you AND your best friend.

It’s an unfortunate fact of life that Americans and their pets are too well fed, resulting in overweight and obesity. Carrying too much weight can cause health problems from diabetes to heart problems to bone and joint damage for people and their pets.

Try some of these ideas to burn calories and build strong muscles and bones. Always consider your and your pet’s health and conditioning before beginning any exercise regimen. If you’re not sure that you or your pet is healthy enough to workout, contact your physician or veterinarian.

Too Cold and Icy for a Run?

If you live where winter becomes an impediment to your outdoor exercise schedule and your gym doesn’t allow dogs, consider a brisk walk in the park instead of running along icy roads. When you walk in snow, you’ll be using more energy than on a smooth road, so your walk can turn into a calorie burner for you and your dog.

Turn Training into Indoor Fun and Exercise

Whether your dog needs to learn Stay and Come commands or could use some practice, you can turn training into a game while you both get some exercise.

If you have carpeted stairs you and your dog (or cat) can get some extra aerobic exercise. Just ask your dog to Stay while you race up the stairs (or down the hall, or across the yard) then call her to Come. Praise her lavishly while you reward her with a treat and repeat until you’re both breathing hard.

When your pet gets good at Stay, you can turn it into a game of Hide and Seek by using the Stay command or distracting him with a few treats while you hide then give the Come command or whistle to get him searching for you. If you have helpers at home, they can hold or distract your cat or dog while you hide then give the Find and your name command to teach another behavior.

If your pet is in better shape than you, a game of fetch can stretch out muscles and create those feel good endorphins that will make your pet happy and relaxed when the game is over.

Make Getting in Shape Fun

Just the thought of exercise can make you tired, but if you make working out a game for you and your pets, you’ll both enjoy getting in shape.

And don’t forget to get a Hale Pet Door to make sure that your pets are healthy and happy in 2014!

Holiday Pet Safety Tips

Golden Retriever with Christmas Tree

Enjoy the holidays with your pets by keeping them safe

The holiday season is officially here! It’s time to celebrate with family and friends with decorations, gifts and luscious foods. It’s tempting to give in to the soulful looks of your furry friends when you’re enjoying exotic foods, it’s important to know that some of your favorite foods and decorations can be toxic or dangerous to your pets.

Foods that Can be Toxic to Your Pet

  •  Alcohol in beer, wine, mixed drinks
  • Caffeine in coffee, tea, soft drinks, cold medications and pain killers
  • Chocolate in candies, cakes and cocoa
  • Yeast Dough before baking
  • Raw Eggs
  • Fat Trimmings and Bones
  • Grapes, Raisins and Currants
  • Macadamia Nuts
  • Milk and Dairy Foods
  • Onions and Garlic
  • Persimmon, Peach and Plum pits contain cyanide
  • Raw Meat and Fish
  • Salty Foods
  • Sugary Drinks and Desserts
  • Xylitol sweetened candy, toothpaste, gum, baked goods and diet foods

Be Careful with Your Holiday Decorations

The following holiday decorations have been known to be hazardous to pets:

  • Pointsettias, Lilies, Mistletoe and Holly Berries
  • Tinsel and Garland if ingested
  • Candles can cause burns or become a fire hazard
  • Electrical Cords if chewed
  • Flocking or Imitation Snow
  • Preservatives in Live Christmas Tree Water
  • Snow Globes and Bubble Lights can contain toxic chemicals
  • Edible Ornaments can have toxic components
  • Potpourri can contain Essential Oils that can be toxic to cats: Cinnamon Bark Oil, Lavender Oil, Lemon Oil,  Melaleuca/Tea Tree Oil, Peppermint Oil, Thyme Oil or Wintergreen Oil

Plan Your Festivities to Avoid Your Pets’ Anxiety

You love sharing your home with family and friends, but make sure to consider your pets when entertaining – what’s fun for you may be stressful for your furry family members.

While your Labrador can be comfortable in the midst of the party, your cat may not be as social. Know your pet, if you think your cat or shy dog might be freaked out by so many strangers in the house, give them safe haven in a closed bedroom, their crate, or bed in a quiet corner.

Be sure to caution your guests about approaching your pets while they are in their “safe spots”. When your pets feel that they’re safe, they’ll come out of hiding to mingle, but don’t be surprised if they don’t appreciate your party.

Get a Hale Pet Door and Take the Stress Out of the Holidays

 Your pets’ safe haven may be their fenced backyard. When you have an energy efficient Hale Pet Door, your pets can come and go to the party as they please.

If you’re going to be away for the holidays, your pet sitter will appreciate the convenience your dog door brings to her schedule and your dog’s well being because he won’t have to wait for someone to come and let him out.

When you’re out visiting friends and relatives, the time can fly by – but with a durable Hale Pet Door, you won’t have to worry about getting home to let your dog out because she’ll be able to go out when she needs to.

There are dog doors for every location in your home. Check them out at Hale Pet Door and order yours today!

Get an Energy Efficient Pet Door for Your New Senior Pet

Mature dogs often make the best pets

Mature dogs often make the best pets

November is Adopt-A-Senior Pet Month. It’s a great time to find your new best friend and save a life. Many shelters and rescues run “specials” on adoption fees for senior pets during November, so you’ll have more to spend on beds, toys, treats and a pet door.

In the world of pets, “senior” is not really “old”.  Very large dogs (over 90 pounds) are considered senior at age 6. Large dogs (51 – 90 pounds) become senior citizens at age 7. Medium dogs (21 – 50 pounds) are senior at age 8, and small dogs (up to 20 pounds) reach senior status at 9 years. Cats are considered senior citizens when they reach 9 years.

While puppies and kittens are cute, senior pets are a lot less work because they assimilate quickly, are not as destructive – no teething to deal with, are more laid back and really appreciate the care you give them.

As with pets of all ages, they require good food, fresh water and appropriate exercise. Most of all they flourish on love and attention.

When dogs can answer ‘nature’s call’ right away, they are healthier and less prone to develop urinary or digestive tract problems. Since it’s difficult for you to be home all the time, a high quality pet door can let the dog out and let him back in the house to rest.

No matter what size senior pet you adopt, you can have a dog door that’s the right size for your pet because Hale Pet Door makes 11 sizes of pet doors. If you want to replace your existing dog door with an energy efficient and durable Hale Pet Door, you can have a pet door made to fit the hole you already have in your door or wall. Just call 800-646-4773 with your rough opening – you might be surprised at how affordable a custom size dog door can be.

Because you want to keep the new addition to your family safe for years to come, the soft heavy vinyl flaps of the Hale Pet Door provide the best protection against outside air while staying safe for your pets. These flaps are crystal clear with stainless steel strikes that hold firm to 5 times stronger Alnico magnets while allowing your pet to come and go as he pleases.

Help the shelters and rescues find forever homes for their senior pets and save a life. Just let us know that you rescued your pet, and you’ll save 10% on your Hale Pet Door with our Rescue Rewards Program. We’ll donate that same 10% to the shelter or rescue where you adopted your pet.

Do you have a senior pet? What’s the best thing about your older pet? Please share in the comments below.

Get an Energy Efficient Pet Door for Your New Shelter Dog

Shelter dogs make the best pets

Shelter dogs make the best pets

October is Adopt-A-Shelter Dog Month. It’s a great time to find your new best friend and save a life. Many shelters run “specials” on adoption fees during October, so you’ll have more to spend on beds, toys, treats and a pet door.

When dogs can answer ‘nature’s call’ right away, they are healthier and less prone to develop urinary or digestive tract problems. Since it’s difficult for you to be home all the time, a high quality pet door can let the dog out and let him back in the house to rest.

No matter what size shelter dog you adopt, you can have a dog door that’s the right size for your pet because Hale Pet Door makes 11 sizes of pet doors. If you want to replace your existing dog door with an energy efficient and durable Hale Pet Door, you can have a pet door made to fit the hole you already have in your door or wall. Just call 800-646-4773 with your rough opening – you might be surprised at how affordable a custom size dog door can be.

Because you want to keep the new addition to your family safe for years to come, the soft heavy vinyl flaps of the Hale Pet Door provide the best protection against outside air while staying safe for your pets. These flaps are crystal clear with stainless steel strikes that hold firm to 5 times stronger Alnico magnets while allowing your pet to come and go as he pleases.

Help the shelters find forever homes for their dogs and save a life. Just let us know that you rescued your pet, and you’ll save 10% on your Hale Pet Door with our Rescue Rewards Program. We’ll donate that same 10% to the shelter or rescue group where you adopted your pet.

Keep Your Pets Cool During the Hot Summer Weather

Black Schnauzer running in grass

Dogs enjoy summer, but it’s up to us to keep them safe

As you’re having fun in the sun, be sure to keep in mind your dog’s health and welfare. Dogs, just like people, can suffer from too much sun and heat.

Here are some of the dangers that summer heat can create and steps you can take to prevent them.

  • NEVER leave your dog in a parked car. Even with the windows cracked open, temperatures can rise quickly causing your beloved pet to suffer heatstroke or even death. What you think may be a quick errand can turn into a 20 minute delay that could endanger your best friend’s life. On a 95 degree day, your car can turn into a 130 degree oven in only 30 minutes. Don’t take a chance – leave your pet home while you run to the store.
  • Hot pavement can burn paws. If it’s too hot for you to walk barefoot on the sidewalk, street or parking lot, your pet’s paws can be burned on those surfaces as well.
  • Because dogs and cats don’t sweat but pant to regulate body temperature, keep in mind that breathing hot air will slow the cooling process. In extreme heat, keep your pets in the same temperatures where you are comfortable – whether that’s outside in the shade or indoors in a temperature controlled environment.
  • Remember that your pet’s coat protects her from the sun. Don’t shave your pet thinking she’ll be cooler. She may be susceptible to sunburn without her fur coat protection, and her coat helps regulate her temperature.
  • If your dog has a thin light colored coat, consider using a pet approved sunscreen on the bridge of his nose and ear tips when you’re going to be out in the sun for an extended period.
  • Provide plenty of cool clean water all of the time as hydration is crucial to keeping your pet’s temperature normal.
  • Exercise and walks are important to your dog’s physical and emotional health, so walk early in the morning before the heat of the day or in the evening when the temperatures have cooled down.
  • Get an energy efficient Hale Pet Door, so your pets can access the outdoors to relieve themselves and return to the cool indoor environment.

Fourth of July Safety Tips for Your Pets

Keep your pets safe while celebrating

Sensitive dogs like this one require extra care during the noisy celebrations of Independence Day

The busiest day at Shelters around the country is the Fifth of July. So many pets get so scared by the explosions and lights that they run blindly in terror and can’t find their way home and end up at the local pound.

Here are some tips to keep your pets safe and calm while the country celebrates her birthday:

  • Find a Quiet Place – Keep your pets confined to a safe room in your home while the fireworks are on. Play some comforting music or turn on the television to block the noise. If you’re not going out to celebrate, relax and pet or cuddle with your cat or dog making them comfortable.
  • If it’s barbeque or block party time, be sure to keep your pet safe inside your home, so she doesn’t hear your voice and try to jump the fence to get to you or those enticing food odors.
  • Keep those delicious party foods for people. Exotic foods coupled with excitement can upset your pet’s digestive system. Remember that tasty foods that we enjoy, like: avocado, onion, raisins, grapes, chocolate and alcohol can be toxic to our furry friends.
  • Although sunscreen and bug repellant may help you enjoy the outdoors, don’t use these products on your pet unless they are specifically made for animals’ delicate skin.
  • Even if your pet is not afraid of the booms and bright lights of fireworks, be sure to keep him away from matches and sparklers as they can cause burns.
  • Be sure to securely fasten your Hale Pet Door security cover to keep your pets safe inside the house while you go out to celebrate.

Keep summer a fun time by keeping your pets safe while you celebrate Independence Day!

Dog Water Safety Tips for Home and Out & About

water pugYour pet’s safety is important both to avoid vet bills and unnecessary pain and suffering. Here are a few tips to keep your dog safe while enjoying summer fun.

Safety First when Boating with Your Dog

All dogs can swim, and some are quite expert. However if your dog is accidently thrown overboard, the impact with the water can momentarily stun him, and his swimming instinct may not kick in. The wake from a moving watercraft or the rapids of a fast moving river can roll your dog preventing from swimming.

There are several manufacturers of life jackets for dogs. This site outlines the pros and cons of some of them: http://www.boatus.com/foundation/findings/findingsdog.htm

Keep a close eye on your best friend the first few times in the boat or raft to make sure she doesn’t jump after flying birds or interesting things floating in the water. As with other new experiences, training is essential to a good time for both you and your pet.

Be Aware of Changes in Natural Waterways

That lazy river or small stream can become a hazardous torrent when weather quickly changes upstream. It may be bright and sunny where you are with no notice of rain, but if it’s raining miles upstream, your walk by the creek can change without warning.

If your favorite waterway begins in hilly country, a thunderstorm miles away can change that placid waterway into a danger to your best friend who could get washed away. Pay attention to the weather forecast at the source of the river or stream to avoid putting your dog’s life at risk.

Summer Thunderstorms Can Be Lethal

Get off the water as soon as thunderstorms threaten. Most lakes are flat and wide open, and water is an excellent conductor of electricity. Lightning can be harmful if not fatal to you and your pets, so get off the water and into a building or your vehicle as soon as possible.

Avoid the rivers or streams that feed the lake in case the storm creates a flash flood.

Floods Bring More than Water

When water rises, it can bring all sorts of dangers downstream to your dog who is happily splashing in the water on a hot summer day.

Branches and downed trees can break loose in high water creating a potential collision with your dog. In severe flash floods the water brings rocks and boulders tumbling down the stream or dry wash.

Another not so obvious danger is the pollution from storm water runoff. Pesticides and fertilizers from lawns or farm fields can be toxic for your dog to drink or through skin absorption.

If there’s a sewage plant or septic tanks upstream, the flood water can bring all sorts of nasty pollution into the creek that could potentially make your dog ill.

Safe Water in Your Backyard

If your dog likes water to cool off in, a small kiddie pool can bring relief from the dog days of summer.

Just make sure to change the water often to prevent mosquitoes from reproducing. Another reason to keep the water clean is that dogs usually drink from their pools, and you don’t want her to drink polluted water.

Get a Hale Pet Door So Your Dogs have Access to the Yard and the House

When your dog can ‘answer the call of nature’ then escape the summer heat, he’ll be less likely to develop urinary and elimination problems and be less frustrated. Keep your dog healthy and happy with a Hale Pet Door.

 

Get a Hale Pet Door and Get a Jump on Spring!

Hale Pet Door lets the dogs out to enjoy spring

Daylight Savings Time gives you more daylight at the end of the day. Hopefully, you’ll be out enjoying the spring weather with your dog, but if you’re running late, it’s great to know that your best friend can get out into the yard and “take care of business.”

Hale Pet Door makes cat and dog doors for the perfect place in your home:

Wall Dog Doors

Door Dog Doors

Screen Dog Doors

Window Pet Doors for vertically hung windows

Window Pet Doors for horizontally sliding windows

In-Glass Dog Doors

Panel Cat and Dog Doors for sliding glass doors

No matter what size cat or dog you have, Hale Pet Door has the right size dog door for the best place in your home. Start your spring home improvements today with a Hale Pet Door – the pet door that’s sure to make you and your pets happy!

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