Helping Local Pets: Pet Oxygen Masks

There are so many ways to help local pets – volunteering, fostering, donating food and/or money, but one way you may not have thought of is donating to local fire stations.

Having a fire at your house when your pets are left home alone is probably every pet owner’s worst fear. I know it’s mine. Although I hope it’s something none of us ever have to deal with, it does happen. Last year a friend of mine, a devoted animal rescuer who takes in sick and elderly dogs, had a fire at her house. Thankfully, someone walking by noticed the fire and called the fire department. And even better, that local fire station, the Euclid Fire Department, had pet oxygen masks. The fire department took great care of the pets and because they had pet oxygen masks, they were able to save many of them.

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Photo credit: Wag’N O2 Fur Life – http://www.petoxygenmasks.org

I didn’t realize until this happened that not all fire departments have pet oxygen masks. For the pets in these cities, if they are rescued from a house fire the fire fighters would not be able to treat them for smoke asphyxiation. It’s a scary thought, but it doesn’t have to be that way.

So how can you help?

  1. Contact your local fire department to find out if they have pet oxygen masks. Even if they do, they may need more or they may need replacements, so find out all the details. If they need them or need replacements, you can purchase pet oxygen masks for your local department through the Wag’N 02 Fur Life Program – http://www.petoxygenmasks.org
  2. Contact your local station and let them know about Invisible’s Fence’s Project Breathe, which donates pet oxygen masks to local fire stations. Fire Departments can go to the website http://ifbbeta.invisiblefence.com/why-invisible-fence/project-breathe and fill out a form to get oxygen masks for their station.
  3. Spread the word! Make sure all pet lovers know about the need for pet oxygen masks.

And thank you, to all of the firefighters out there who risk their lives to save our families, furry and non-furry!

5 Tips for a Dog Friendly 4th of July!

So this year I have finally decided to buy Hunter a ThunderShirt for the 4th of July. After three years of not being able to console him at all during random neighborhood fireworks, I’ve realized I may have to try something different this year. We’ll see if Roscoe needs one too. I’ve noticed that he follows Hunter’s lead with most things, so I am hoping that if the ThunderShirt calms Hunter down, Roscoe will also be calm. I am still skeptical it will work, but enough people have said it works for their dogs to convince me to give it a try. Stay tuned for my review!

thundershirt-dog

If the 4th of July is also not your dog’s favorite holiday, here are some other tips to try to make the 4th a little easier on him or her this year. Let me know what works to calm your dog down in the comments!

5 Tips for a Dog Friendly 4th of July!

1. Keep Your Dog Inside

Maybe your dog doesn’t mind fireworks, but chances are the combination of crowds and loud noises won’t make for a fun event for your dog. In fact, more dogs get lost after being scared and running away on the 4th of July than any other holiday. Safe stay by keeping your dog inside.

2. Get Some Exercise

The best way to avoid a freaked out dog is to wear him out, so he has less energy later.  Take your dog for a long hike or a trip to the dog park before the fireworks to allow him to work off some energy. As the saying goes, a tired dog is a calm dog.

3. Stock up on toys and treats

If you’ll be home with your dog, you should plan some activities to do with him or her during the fireworks. The key is to start the activities before the fireworks start though, since he may too distracted once it begins. You can play games with your dog, teach him new tricks and give him lots of treats to take his mind off the fireworks and give him a positive association with the noises.

4. Play Soothing Music

Once the fireworks start, and especially if you will be leaving your pets for the night, turn on soothing music or your television to drown out some of the noise.  Even if there is not an official fireworks display near you, there’s a good chance someone in your neighborhood will be letting off their own fireworks. It happens every year no matter where I live.

5. Make sure your pet is properly IDed

Hundreds of dogs end up at shelters each 4th of July after running away from being scared by fireworks. Make sure your pet has tags on his collar and that the information registered with your pet’s microchip (if he or she has one) is up to date. It’s always better to be safe than sorry.

With these tips in mind, I hope you have a safe and fun 4th of July with your dog!

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