Monday, June 28, 2010

Fourth of July Tips

Independence Day celebrations are great fun for people, but the loud noises and bright lights can be traumatic for pets, especially dogs. The explosions, excited voices and visual stimulation create confusion and fear."

In years past, NAFA has experienced record numbers of runaway and lost pets. Most have been frightened and made frantic by fireworks. But by being aware and thinking ahead, we can keep our pets as safe and comfortable as possible during Fourth of July celebrations.

The following tips will help pet owners to prepare for Independence Day:

If you are going to a fireworks display, leave your pet at home where he will be safest and most comfortable.

Don't leave pets outside. If you cannot bring them inside, cover their outdoor crate or kennel with a blanket to offer them some protection from the bursts of bright lights and loud bangs. A pet’s sense of hearing is acute—over 10 times more sensitive than humans'.

Never leave your pet in the car. A partially opened window does not supply sufficient fresh air for him to breathe, and it creates an opportunity for your pet to be stolen.

Keep your pet away from the front and back doors. Your pet may be under significant stress, which could result in unnecessary injury to others or cause him to dart out the door and become lost.
Create a special area or "den" in your home where your pet feels safe. A properly introduced crate or kennel can be a calming refuge for him.

Some pets become destructive when frightened. If you don't use a crate, be sure to remove items from the room that the pet could destroy or could hurt him if he chewed them.

Keep windows and curtains closed to reduce noise and bright flashes.

Turn on a TV or radio to a talk station at normal volume to distract your pet from loud noises and help him to relax.

If possible, stay with your pet during the majority of the fireworks. A pet often reacts more intensely to loud sounds and flashes of lights when you are not with him.

Always keep proper identification securely fastened to your dog's collar in case he gets out. NAFA offers a free “Reward” Tag system to all dogs in Northeast Arkansas . Consider talking to your veterinarian about implanting a universal microchip in your pet, and make sure that your veterinary hospital and NAFA have your correct contact information in their database.

Independence Day is a time for fun and celebration, by taking these precautions, you and your pets can have a safe and happy holiday experience.

Wishing you a holiday filled with Waggin' Tails not Worried Pups,


Friday, June 18, 2010


Pets face many hazards during the summer months this article will help you to familiarize yourself with some of them. Recognizing what hazard your pet has come in contact with is just part of the battle. If you think your pet may have exposed themselves to a toxic animal or material seek veterinary help immediately.

These amphibians secrete a substance that can irritate a dog’s eyes or tongue. Catching and chewing a toad can cause excessive salivation with disorientation, but is usually not very serious. If your dog has caught a toad, flush his mouth with water to relieve the unpleasant symptoms and then follow up with a call to your veterinarian!

Most pet owners do not realize that some of the mushrooms that grow in their yard are toxic to pets. Pets who like to “graze” will sometimes eat wild mushrooms along with lawn grasses, leading to mushroom poisoning. Some pets, like some people, are allergic to even edible, normally safe mushrooms. Symptoms of mushroom poisoning can range from mild vomiting and diarrhea to severe digestive problems to complete liver failure.

Summer is often a time when people fertilize their lawns and work in their gardens. But beware: Plant food, fertilizer, and insecticides can be fatal if your pet ingests them. In addition, more than 700 plants can produce physiologically active or toxic substances in sufficient enough amounts to cause harmful effects in your pet.

Antifreeze is actually a year round hazard. With the warmer temperatures of summer, cars over heat and may leak antifreeze. (This is typically a bright green liquid.) Also, people changing their antifreeze may spill some or leave antifreeze out where pets can access it. Antifreeze tastes sweet and is inviting to pets (and children). It is also extremely toxic in very small amounts. Call your veterinarian immediately if any ingestion is suspected.

Bees, wasps, fire ants and mosquitoes are other painful pests of the summer. Pets that take a curious or aggressive interest in bees or wasp are likely to receive payback in the form of a sting on the nose, head or foot. (Be sure to have Benadryl on hand and discuss its use ahead of time with your veterinarian.)
Fire Ants often march onto the abdomen of a pet lying outdoors enjoying the sun, then sting in synchrony, which is a very painful experience. If your pet is stung by fire ants, hose them off and get your pet to the veterinarian.
Reactions to insect bites and stings range from slight swelling and pain to anaphylaxis, a sudden and severe allergic reaction that can be fatal if not treated immediately.

These activities can also be dangerous during warmer part of the year. So your dog jogs everyday with you and is in excellent shape; why alter the routine? As the weather warms, humans alter the type and amount of clothing worn, and we sweat more. Dogs are still jogging in their winter coat (or a lighter version of it) and can only cool themselves by panting and a small amount of sweating through the foot pads. Not enough! Many dogs, especially the ‘athletes’ will keep running, no matter what, to stay up with their owner. Consider changing the time of day you routinely do this activity to early morning or late evening to prevent your pet from having a heat stroke. (See also BURNS)

Hot sidewalks and parking areas can be painful for pet’s paws. In addition to burns on the pet’s paws, sunburns are more common in the summer months. Areas not protected by fur or dark skin are more prone to burn from exposure to the sun. Pet owners should keep their pet indoors as much as possible during the times of day when the sun is at its peak. If you and your pet are going to be in prolonged sun exposure talk with your veterinarian about the possibilities of using sunscreen to keep your pet from burning.

Many people head for the lake, river, or other body of water this time of year and the family pet is often part of the fun. However, not all dogs are excellent swimmers by nature, especially if he or she has underlying health problems, such as heart disease or obesity to contend with. Consider protecting your pet just as your human family and purchase a life jacket for your pet. If your pet is knocked off of the boat (perhaps getting injured in the process), or it is tired/cold from choppy water or a sudden storm, a life jacket could be what saves your pet’s life.

Ear infections are frequently caused by water getting trapped in a dog’s ear after swimming or bathing. If your pet is frequently in water activities speak with veterinarian regarding specific ear cleaning products that will help dry the ear canal after water exposure to help prevent recurring ear infections.

If your pet stays outdoors, it is important that they have shade and fresh water accessible at all time. A story we (NAFA) are all to familiar with is outdoor pets who suffer from heat stroke because their tether, tie out, or chain got tangled around or stuck under something prohibiting them from reaching their shady area or their water source. Remember that temperatures inside a dog house can reach 100 degrees during the day. Consider bringing your pet inside and put them in a crate, laundry room or blocked off area during the hottest portions of the day.

It is very dangerous, and in some states illegal, to drive with a dog in the back of a pick-up truck. Not only can flying debris cause serious injury, but a dog may be unintentionally thrown into traffic if the driver suddenly hits the brakes, swerves, or is hit by another car. Dogs should ride either in the cab or in a secure crate in the bed of the truck.

If you are traveling outside of your home town, it is wise to check out the Veterinary clinics/hospitals in the area you are planning to visit, before the need arises. It is better to be prepared for an emergency and not have one happen than to panic in an emergency situation, wasting valuable time. Be sure to take your medical records, medications, and pet supplies with you include an emergency contact number for your pets in case of an accident. It is best to carry a gallon of water when you travel, as you never know when you could be stuck in traffic jams or have vehicle trouble on your trip.

Watch for tips for a safe and stress free 4th of July with your pets in our next post.

Have a great weekend,

Wednesday, June 16, 2010

How to kill your pet in 30 minutes or less.

Leaving your pet in a vehicle in the heat and humidity we are currently experiencing can be and will most likely be a death sentence. If you see a pet in a car, try to find the owner or, if you are in the city, call Animal Control, they will dispatch an officer. If you are in the county, call the sheriff’s department and tell them that there is a pet in danger of dying.

§ When it's 85F (29C) outside, the inside of your car can reach 102F within 10 minutes; 20 minutes later and the temperature is likely to be 120F;
§ Even when it's only 72F (22C) outside, the car can heat up to 105F within 30 minutes;
§ Leaving the car windows open has a negligible effect on both the inside temperature and the rate at which the car heats up;
§ Your dog is designed to conserve heat and only has sweat glands on his paw pads and his nose;
§ Your dog regulates his temperature by panting - expelling warm air and inhaling cool air. In a hot car he will be breathing in hot air and so fighting a losing battle against heatstroke;
§ Even if you get your dog out of the car and cool him down, he may have suffered long term damage to his brain and internal organs.

NAFA has a special card to put on car windows where animals are left. If you would like a pdf copy of that card visit our website –, or email our director and she will send you one or answer any of your questions –

Print your Hot Dog Cards here.

Please do not leave your pet in your vehicle,


In the past two days, NAFA has responded to 9 canine, 1 feline and 1 bird call concerning the heat and humidity. Most of these calls have been preventative calls and NAFA was able to advise individuals how to prevent the animals from overheating. Visit our – for tips on preventing heat stroke or overheating in your animals.

We are sad to say that one call yesterday concerned a beautiful French Mastiff, whose owner was walking the dog in the heat of the day. Neighbors warned the owners and contacted one of NAFA’s volunteer/supporters. By the time NAFA was able to arrive to assist, the dog was already in a coma and as a result it did not survive.
In this posts we will provide information on what to do if your animal suffers from a heatstroke or heat related illness. This information is provided only to stabilize your animal until you can get it to a veterinarian. Medical attention is extremely important.

In simple terms, heatstroke occurs when a dog or cat loses its natural ability to regulate its body temperature. Dogs and cats don’t sweat all over their bodies the way humans do. Canine/feline body temperature is primarily regulated through respiration (i.e., panting). If the respiratory tract cannot evacuate heat quickly enough, heatstroke can occur.
To know whether or not your pet is suffering from heatstroke (as opposed to merely heat exposure), it’s important to know the signs of heatstroke.
A dog/feline’s normal resting temperature is about 100.5 to 102.5 degrees Fahrenheit. Once the temperature rises above 105 degrees, physiological changes start to take place, and it begins to experience the effects of heatstroke. At 106 to 108 degrees, the animal begins to suffer irreversible damage to the kidneys, liver, gastrointestinal tract, heart and brain.

If your pet is experiencing heatstroke, you may observe:

excessive panting;
increased salivation;
dry gums that become pale, grayish and tacky;
rapid or erratic pulse;
and possible rectal bleeding.

If the dog continues to overheat, breathing efforts become slowed or absent, and finally, seizures or coma can occur.
The amount of damage a pet sustains when stricken with heatstroke depends on the magnitude and duration of the exposure. The longer and more severe the exposure, the worse the damage will be.

What to do

Pay attention to your pet.

Recognizing the symptoms of heatstroke and responding quickly is essential for the best possible outcome.

Get into the shade.

If you think your pet or an animal you observe is suffering from heatstroke, move it into a shaded area and out of direct sunlight. Apply cool water to the inner thighs and stomach of the dog, where there’s a higher concentration of relatively superficial, large blood vessels. Apply cool water to the foot pads, as well.

Use running water.

A faucet or hose is the best way to wet down your pet’s body. Never submerge your dog in water, such as in a pool or tub – this could cool the dog too rapidly, leading to further complications, including cardiac arrest and bloating.

Use cool – not cold – water.

Many people make the mistake of pouring cold water or ice to cool the pet. When faced with an animal suffering from heatstroke, remember that the goal is to cool the pet. Using ice or extremely cold water is actually counterproductive to this process because ice and cold water cause the blood vessels to constrict, which slows blood flow, thus slowing the cooling process.

Don’t cover the dog.

One of the keys to successfully cooling your pet is ensuring the water being placed on the pet can evaporate. Cover the head or neck only with a wet towel. Don’t wet the pet down and put it into an enclosed area, such as a kennel. Any air flow during the cooling process is helpful in reducing the animal’s body temperature. Sitting with the wet pet in a running car or inside your home with the air conditioner blowing is an ideal cooling situation.

Keep the pet moving.

It’s important to try to encourage your pet to stand or walk slowly as it cools down. This is because the circulating blood tends to pool in certain areas if the pet is lying down, thus preventing the cooled blood from circulating back to the core.

Allow the pet to drink small amounts of water.

Cooling the dog is the first priority. Hydration is the next. Don’t allow the animal to gulp water. Instead, offer small amounts of water that’s cool or let the animal lick ice cubes. If the pet drinks too much water too rapidly, it could lead to vomiting or bloat.
See a veterinarian.

Once your pet’s temperature has dropped, cease the cooling efforts and take the animal to a veterinarian as soon as possible. Your pet’s temperature should be allowed to slowly return to normal once cooling has begun. An animal that’s cooled too quickly may become hypothermic.
Even if your pet appears to be fully recovered, the veterinarian needs to check to determine if the heatstroke caused any damage to your dog’s kidneys and liver. The effects of heatstroke can continue for 48 to 72 hours longer, even if your animal appears normal.

Following these instructions will help your pet have a safe and healthy summer,

Monday, June 14, 2010


If this summer is going to be anything like the last few years the thermometer is going to stay stuck on one temperature- HOT.

In weather such as this when not even the moon brings solace from the heat ensuring pets are kept safe and cool is not as easy as just keeping the water bowl full.

As valued members of the family who rely on their owners for protection, pets require special care, and like children, need to be watched over during the hot summer months.

The summer dangers for pets come in a variety of forms including pools, cars, insets, pesticides, fireworks, owners and of course the sun.

However, it is still possible to enjoy the summer months and the outdoors with pets if a few simple rules are followed.

In the next week NAFA will be posting tips on having a great summer with your pets and advice on how to avoid the dangers that accompany summer. This first installment will help you assist animals left by unknowledgeable owners who just are not thinking about the dangers of the summer heat.


Most people are aware that leaving a pet locked in a car on a 90F degree day would be dangerous. However, driving around, parking, and leaving your pet in the car for “just a minute” can be deadly. On a 75F degree day the interior of a vehicle can heat up to 120F – 130F degrees in just minutes, even with the windows cracked.

Did you know that in 10 minutes or less the interior of a vehicle can heat up to 150F degrees.
Did you know that when your pets internal temperature reaches 110F degrees it can have permanent damage to its brain, kidneys, liver or heart? These things can cause the death of your pet.
Did you know that your pet can not sweat to cool off? He must pant and panting hot air will not cool him.


Heat Stroke signs include but are not limited to the following:
· Body temperature of 104F – 110F degrees
· excessive panting
· dark or bright red tongue and gums
· staggering
· bloody diarrhea
· vomiting

These things can lead to a coma or death of a pet.

Short nosed breeds (Bulldogs, Pugs, Shih Tzus, etc.), large heavy coated breeds (Newfoundlands, St. Bernards, Great Pyrenees, etc.), senior pets, puppies, kittens, and animals with heart or respiratory problems are at a greater risk of heat stroke.
If you suspect heat stroke in your pet seek veterinary attention immediately!

Things you can do to help your animal cool down if heat stroke is a possibility:
Use cool water, not ice water, to cool your pet. (Very cold water will cause constriction of the blood vessels and impede cooling.)
Get your pet out of the car or out of direct heat and in a shaded area.
Hose or cool down the animal with cool water. (Find anything you can to wet down your pet with cool water.)
Place water soaked towels on head, neck, feet, chest and abdomen.
Offer ice cubes for the pet to lick on until you can reach a veterinarian.

The objective is to cool the pet down as fast as possible to allow the body temperature to return to normal.

Important Note:
Just because your animal is cooled and “appears” okay, do not assume everything is fine. Internal organs such as liver, kidneys, brain, etc. are definitely affected by body temperature elevation and blood tests and examination from a veterinarian are need to access the damage that has occurred.


No, this is not a coupon to your local hot dog stand; it is something that can help save the life of a pet left in a vehicle in the hot summer sun.

The danger for pets inside a car during the summer can be devastating. NAFA is providing free “Hot Dog Cards” for pet lovers. NAFA suggest that should anyone see a pet inside a vehicle that they leave one of these cards under the wiper of the vehicle. If the animal appears to be in distress please call your local Animal Control or go into the store and have the owner of the vehicle paged. Be sure to write down the license plate number along with the color and make of the vehicle.

You can get copies of the “Hot Dog Card” at NAFA’s Adoption Events held each Saturday at Petco on Caraway in Jonesboro from 1 p.m. – 4 p.m. or download them here.

Keep Your Pets Cool & Comfy,
Tut (who is happily laying on his couch)

Wednesday, June 9, 2010

Couple's Van Stolen With Show Dogs Inside - KAUZ-TV: NewsChannel 6 Now | Wichita Falls, TX

Couple's Van Stolen With Show Dogs Inside - KAUZ-TV: NewsChannel 6 Now Wichita Falls, TX

URGENT! Our Vallhund friends had their van stolen in WICHITA FALLS, TX this morning at 9am, with their 7 dogs in it. THey were on their way to the SV specialty in Flagstaff. White Toyota Sienna, TX plates. 5 Vallhunds, Norwegian Elkhound, Beagle puppy.Please crosspost and forward, Carol is a contact at 512-799-7976


Thursday, June 3, 2010



MISSING 6-1-10Please keep you eyes out in the Dunwood Addition (Off South CulberhouseRoad) of Jonesboro for 2 missing Shih Tzus. If you see them please call930-0594 - even if you can't catch them. 2 Shih Tzus Oscar - White Lilly - Brown Collars with owners phone number.

Judy lost her way late Tuesday Night (June 1st) near the intersection of Crowleys Ridge and Pine Valley (south of the nursing home on Harrisburg Rd. ) She is tagged and very friendly. Reward if found. Please help her find her way home. Call 870-277-0106 with any information. She is 12 pound, spayed, adult (5 y/o) female with a bobbed-tail. She is wearing a green collar with a purple ID tag and is registered with VetCare.