Embracer lea with her dogsAs they say, it takes a village to raise a baby, or in this case, a blog. My good friend, Embracer Lea, is going to help out with the Embrace blog so you'll be seeing more of her excellent posts here to keep our content fresh and relevant.

I can't think of anyone more qualified at Embrace to help out with the blog than Lea. She was hired at my kitchen table back in early 2006 when we didn't have an office to speak of (I'm pretty sure my cat Barnes sat on her lap to give encouragement during the interview). She then started off in the Contact Center selling many of you early Embrace family your policies - she really knows our policies from the ground up.

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Today’s podcast topic is pet safety, which can cover a multitude of areas. Safety in the home, safety interacting with other people and dogs, safety in different environments.

The questions Dr Patrick Mahaney and I tackle are:

  1. Recently a friend told me that it was OK to leave his dog in the car if it was in the shade with the windows down a crack. Can you give us some facts on internal/external temperatures of a car so show that’s just not going to help
  2. Can you talk about the Yellow Dog Project? It’s big out in Colorado
  3. Any suggestions on important first aid type items to keep on hand for your pets? [link mentioned http://www.humanesociety.org/animals/resources/tips/pet_first_aid_kit.html] Can you do the Heimlich Maneuver on your dog?
  4. Where’s an official place to get alerted about pet food recalls? Often the press releases are put out late Friday afternoon and I might miss an important one (fda site) [link mentioned www.thetruthaboutpetfood.com]
  5. I have big dogs so don’t crate them in the car. What do you suggest for car safety while traveling? [link mentioned

    http://fidoseofreality.com/car-restraints-dogs-big-lie/]

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Yea it is summer!  Wow, was that the worse winter you can remember?  Well, now we all are doing as much as possible outside as we can, and that includes doing a lot of those things with our dogs. Taking a walk with a dog is one of the best therapies I know to wind down after a hard day at work. The serene evening hours, to me, is the best time to take a stroll. But….be aware, danger may be right around the corner.

Many of us live in areas that have no sidewalks, so we often use the streets. I am an avid cyclist, so I know all too well, of the dangers on the road. People really don’t pay that much attention while they are driving. You need to be visible, even in daylight and almost to the obnoxious extreme, to make sure people know you are there. I have 2 lights in the front, two in the back on my bike and I dress head to toe in dayglow green cycling gear (sorry for the mental image!). You can definitely see me!

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From the number of accident claims we process at Embrace, you'd think all our own pets were perfectly safe and never have anything bad happen to them. Things like accidental ingestion of underwear, puncture wounds, torn cruciate ligaments, allergic reactions, lacerations, animal bite wounds, and so on - the list goes on.

Well, accidents happen to all pets, even ours. You can't keep them wrapped in bubble wrap their whole lives (besides, some of them might chew on it). And as it happens, the list of accidents above actually happened to some of the pets of people who work at Embrace - yes, they happen to us too.

Safety is all about educating oneself and managing the risk in your pets life. Whether it be securing your home pool to prevent drowning or taking a pet first aid course, there's a lot you can do and a lot to talk about this month.

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Dr Patrick and I talk today about summer health dangers. Things like heat stroke, water safety, parasites, pesticides and so on. I know that many of you have warmer weather all year round but even still, there are issues your pet faces in the summer months more than others. 

Here are the questions we discuss in our podcast:

  1. Chrissy: What are the signs of pet heat stroke? I think this one is extremely important because many pet parents do not realize how easily this can happen (myself included prior to working at the vet). One of our clients took their sheltie on a 5k walk on a hot summer day and it almost died. 
  2. Karen: My dog plays in the tall grass and woods and will occasionally pick up a tick. I do use Frontline on all of my pets but is there anything else I can use to help repel fleas/ticks? Is it ok to use a collar like Seresto with the Frontline? Do you have any suggestions for additional protection? I do have cats in the house and I know some canine treatments are toxic to cats.
  3. Carrie: how do you feel about holistic flea/tick/heartworm preventions?
  4. Jenna: any help with lawn weed and feed stuff? I have little clovers and other weeds popping up everywhere but Lou thinks he's a cow or a goat or something. He eats so much of it, I'm afraid to try anything for it.
  5. Karin: any specific tips on water safety? I recently read about a case of dry drowning and thought that perhaps you could share more about that.
  6. Josh: Any advice on dogs that get frightened by booming fireworks? Even being inside and the noise being muffled, he hears them and starts shaking.
  7. Karin: one last one – what about toads. Are they really that bad?

Dr Patrick also mentions the Pet Poison Helpline's page on toads, which is here.

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