When we buy or adopt a Westie, we take on a huge responsibility. One piece of that responsibility is their safety. Just like our children, they depend on us to care for them and keep them safe.
The Westie, by nature, is an inquisitive dog. Anything is fair game. They will play with and chew on just about anything, especially is they are bored. There are many things in our homes that are very dangerous to our dogs. Learning what these things are and making your home safe for your dog is a big responsibility. Hopefully these sites will help you become safety conscious.
Coyotes A recent article in the Detroit Free Press states that there are believed to be 100 Coyotes living in the Metro Detroit Area. They could be in your neighborhood. They have been spotted and trapped in Livonia and sighted in Rochester Hills. They can jump a four-foot fence and will kill small animals and pets for food. Coyotes resemble a medium sized German Shepard; they are gray or reddish in color with buff under parts. Their legs are long and rust or yellow in color. Their tails are bushy with a black tip. Their eyes are yellow. Their ears are erect and the tail stays below the level of their backs. They can weight from 15 to 44 pounds and range from 15-20 inches high. Do not leave your dogs unattended in your yard. If you live in a wooded area, be on the watch for Coyotes–they are among us.
Also see POISON for other backyard safety items.
While holidays are fun, they are also busy times in most households. There are more potential hazards to our pets during these busy times. Here are some sites that can help you avoid mishaps with your dog.
HOT WEATHER SAFETY
- Never leave your pet alone in a vehicle. Always carry a supply of water with you.
- Don’t walk your dog in the heat of the day. Remember, they are closer to the ground cement and asphalt can throw a lot of heat.
- Avoid walking your dog in areas that you suspect have been sprayed with fertilizers.
INSECT BITES AND STINGS
Please be cautious with your dogs. Bee and Wasp stings can be deadly. Insect stings are a potential hazard for your dog, particularly for Westies who are very curious dogs and will try to catch or play with a bee. Bites and stings from bees are usually in the head and mouth area. If your dog is stung near its mouth or in its throat, it may swell and restrict breathing. Some dogs can be allergic to bee and wasp stings and quickly collapse. If you think your dog may have been stung in the mouth area, check that the airway is clear. If it is not, or the dog is showing any signs of distress, take him to your vet immediately. Click on the link for more information on treating a bee sting.
We have taken the liberty of copying a few words from this link…
“Microcystis aeruginosa (blue-green algae) can produce natural toxins (called microcystins) that are very potent.
The primary toxic effect of microcystins is on the liver. At very high doses, death of liver cells and destruction of blood vessels in the liver can result in serious injury and possibly death. Though less is known about the long-term effects of microcystin toxins, animal studies have shown these toxins can cause chronic liver damage and may promote the formation of liver tumors. These effects are more likely to occur if exposure is frequent over a long period of time.
Usually a dangerous bloom is associated with a distinct bluegreen color and cloudiness in the water. Algal blooms often produce large floating masses of green, yellow or bluish green slime. Visibly affected water should be avoided whether or not there is an official advisory in place.”
This is the best site for photos and has good info too…
COLD WEATHER SAFETY
Westies with very short coats have the least tolerance for cold. Dogs who spend the majority of their time indoors do not have any tolerance for extremely cold weather. Do not leave your pets outdoors unattended when the temperature gets below freezing! Keeping your dog in the garage is dangerous as well. Antifreeze is of particular concern. It can be deadly to dogs that lick it from the garage floor. Never let your dog off the leash on snow or ice, especially during a snowstorm. Dogs frequently lose their scent in snow and ice and easily become lost. More dogs are lost during the winter than during any other season. If your dog is sensitive to the cold due to age or illness, take him outdoors only long enough to relieve himself. Puppies are very sensitive to the cold and should not be left outdoors for long lengths of time.
Restraining your dog during car travel will not only protect your dog, it will also protect you and your passengers. The best way to ensure your dog’s safety while traveling is to use a travel crate, dog car seat, safety support seat harness or a pet safety sitter. If you use a crate, it should be large enough that your dog can fit into it comfortably.
HAVE DOG WILL TRAVEL…OVERALL TRAVEL NEEDS
TRAVEL ADVICE (Link recommended by Caroline)
DISASTER PLAN FOR DOGS