Your Dog Ate your Weed. Now What?

Your Dog Ate your Weed. Now What?

Amid the rising tides of cannabis legalization and growing acceptance of the substance overall, pet owners have begun to ask themselves these questions more often. Indeed, there’s evidence suggested that these accidents might become more common. One study suggested that during the steep rise in medical marijuana registrations in Colorado between 2005 and 2010 marijuana toxicosis cases quadrupled at two veterinary hospitals in the state.

Since dogs are far more likely than any other pet to eat your edibles, we see dogs being a lot more curious about things and eating everything than many other species. Cats, on the other hand, are more finicky about what they eat. (more…)

Are You Pet Ready for an Emergency or Disaster?

Are You Pet Ready for an Emergency or Disaster?

Severe weather,  polar vortex, hurricanes, earthquakes. No matter the cause are you pet ready in the event of a natural disaster or severe weather? In an emergency situation, your pets are more dependent on you than ever, so it’s important to have a disaster plan for your furry family member as well. Being prepared can save their lives.

The Red Cross has suggested the following tips and lists to help keep your pet safe during a disaster.

Top Tips for keeping your pet safe:

  1. If it’s not safe for you to stay in your home during an emergency, it’s not safe for them either
  2. Include supplies for your pet in your emergency kit, or assemble an emergency kit for your as well
  3. Make an evacuation plan for you and your pets. Many hotels and shelters do not accept animal guests, other than service animals.

Know a safe place for your pet:

If you have to evacuate your home during a disaster, the best way to protect your pets it o evacuate them too. If it’s not safe for you to stay behind, it’s not safe for you to leave them behind either.

  • Know which hotels and motels along your evacuation route will accept pets in an emergency. Call ahead for reservations if you know you may need to evacuate. Ask if no pet policies can be waived in the event of an emergency.
  • Most American Red Cross shelters cannot accept pets because of health and safety concerns and other considerations. Service animals that assist people with disabilities are allowed in Red Cross shelters.
  • Know which friends, relatives, boarding facilities, animal shelters or veterinarians can care for your animals in an emergency. Prepare a list with phone numbers.
  • Although your animals may be more comfortable together, be prepared to house them separately.
  • Include your pets in evacuation drills so that they become used to entering and traveling in their carriers calmly.
  • Make sure that your pet’s vaccinations are current and that all dogs and cats are wearing collars with securely fastened, up-to-date identification. May pet shelters require proof of current vaccinations to reduce the spread of disease.
  • Consider having your pet “microchipped” by your veterinarian.
  • Read more about The American Red Cross’s safety tips for traveling with your pet.

Making a pet emergency kit

  • 7-day of bottled water for each pet.
  • 7-days worth of canned (pop-top) or dry food for each pet.
  • Pet feeding dishes & water bowls.
  • Extra collars and tags, harnesses and leashes for all pets.
  • Copies of pet medications and vaccinations.
  • 2-week supply of medication and copy of any current prescriptions.
  • A recent photo of your pet(s) in case they get lost. Since many pets look alike, this will help eliminate mistaken identity and confusion. It will also help in making lost posters.
  • A crate or traveling carrier large enough for each pet to stand up in and turn around. Label the crate with your pet’s name, your name and contact information.
  • Disposable litter trays with litter for cats and extra cage liners for dogs.
  • Tools and supplies for sanitation and waste cleanup.
  • Pet first-aid kit and guide book (ask your vet what to include).
  • Pet beds and toys, if easily transportable.


Keep Your Pet Safe this Winter

Keep Your Pet Safe this Winter

Keep Your Pet Safe This Winter


When the weather outside is frightful, your pets could be at risk!

Know your dog’s limits

Some dogs are more susceptible to the cold than others. Short-coated, thin, elderly, or very young dogs get cold more quickly – so adjust the amount of time they stay outside! If your dog enjoys being outdoors and you will be outside longer than a few minutes, consider outfitting it with a sweater or coat to keep it warm. Hypothermia and frostbite pose major risks to dogs in winter, so remember, if it is too cold for you, it is probably too cold for your dog!

1 - low resCheck the hood

Cats often sleep in the wheel wells of cars during the winter months to keep warm. If you start your car and a cat is sleeping on your tire, it can be severely hurt or even killed by moving engine parts. Prevent injuries by banging loudly on your hood or honking the horn before starting your car. This will wake up the cat and give it a chance to escape before starting the car.

 Wipe their paws

During winter walks, your dog’s paws can pick up all kinds of toxic chemicals – salt, antifreeze, or de-icers. Be sure to wipe off your dog’s paws when you return from walks to prevent him from licking it off and becoming sick. Purchase pet-safe de-icers for your home for an extra level of safety. And when wiping off your dog’s paws, remember to check for signs of injury, such as cracked or bleeding paws.Rainbow 1 - Low Res

Keep them leashed

More pets become lost in the winter than any other season because snowfall can disguise recognizable scents that would normally help them find their way home. Prevent your pets from becoming lost by keeping dogs leashed on walks and, just in case you are separated from your pets, make sure their collars have up-to-date contact information and they are microchipped.

Avoid the ice

When walking your dog, be sure to avoid frozen lakes and ponds. Your dog could be seriously hurt or even killed if the ice breaks.

Leave them home

Just as hot cars are dangerous for pets in the summer, cold cars pose a threat as well! Only take your pets in the car if it is necessary, and never leave them unattended.

Be seen

Due to Daylight Savings, many of us are relegated to walking our dogs in the dark. Keep yourself and your dog are safe by wearing reflective gear (clothing, leash, collar, etc) and keeping your dog close when walking on the street.

GS in snowGive them shelter

Ideally, all pets should live inside. If your pets live outdoors primarily, bring them indoors during sub-zero temperatures. For the rest of the winter, provide them with a dry, draft-free shelter that is large enough to allow them to sit and lay down comfortably, but small enough to conserve body heat.  The floor should be raised a few inches off the ground and covered with cedar shavings or straw.  Turn the shelter so it faces away from the wind and cover the doorway with waterproof burlap or heavy plastic. Also, pets who spend a lot of time outside need more food to replace energy lost from trying to stay warm. Use plastic food and water dishes instead of metal – when the temperature is low enough, your pets’ tongue can become stuck to metal.

Avoid spills

Antifreeze attracts cats and dogs because it is very sweet to taste, but it is extremely poisonous and can cause serious illness or death when ingested. Be sure to clean up any antifreeze that spills in your garage, and keep the bottle somewhere your pets cannot access.

Be prepared

Winter brings extreme weather that can cause power outages. Have an emergency plan and make sure they include your pets! Have an emergency kit with enough food, water, and medication to last your pets at least five days. Most likely you will never need it, but if you do, you will be thankful you planned ahead!

The Dog Days of Summer and Keeping Fido Cool.

The Dog Days of Summer and Keeping Fido Cool.

Keeping Fido cool during the dog days of summer

The dog days of summer are upon us.  Every time I go out my guy Bandit gets so excited. He bounds down the stairs, skidding across the rug and literally throwing himself against the front door, stopping himself with his big wiggle butt, smiling and twittering with excitement with the prospect of going with me in the car to run my errands while sticking his head out the window. He’s so cute!

But alas, it’s over my 75-degree temperature which I use to gauge whether or not I can my furbaby with me and leave him safely (will all windows rolled down and a bowl of water) in the car. It breaks my heart to have to tell him, “Sorry dude, but it’s too hot to take you with me.” And yes, I do have these conversations with him.

We are lucky as we have a huge fenced in yard that Bandit can roam at his heart’s content, complete with sprinklers and a puppy pool but I do like to take him to the dog parks so he can socialize with other dogs and pee on everything in sight, but this time of year, it’s a little more difficult due to the hot sun I only take him early in the morning or later in the evening and even then it’s pretty warm. Tanner Park is the best option with creek access and the ability for him to just lie in the water and cool himself down but even then, I sometimes eschew the creek at the end due to the lack of shade and how hot it is to get there.

Summer Solutions

So, what are other things we can do to make sure Fido can spend time with us, get his/her exercise, socialize with other animals and basically get what they want all the while keeping them safe and cool?

  • Offer an ice pack or wet towel to lay on.
  • Add ice cubes to the water dish.
  • Offer access to a wading pool with shallow, cool water.
  • Offer access to cool shade by stringing up a tarp, cloth, or use a shade screen.
  • Bring a collapsible water dish on your walks.
  • Replace a portion of their regular diet with canned food.
  • Avoid walking on hot pavement, and consider booties to insulate their toes.
  • Early morning or evening playtimes, exercise, and walks are best.
  • Give your dog some homemade frozen treats. (By the way, Bandit Bitez will be selling puppy fro-yo at our upcoming events – shameless self-promotion).

Heatstroke in dogs: know the signs

  • Raised temperature (101.5° is normal)
  • Rapid breathing and panting
  • Excess salivation and thickened saliva
  • Fatigue or depression
  • Muscle tremors
  • Staggering

If you spot these signs, get your dog inside and contact your vet.

Wrap your dog in cold wet towels, especially the underarm/belly/groin area. A fan may be used on the dog during the cooling process.

Check your dog’s temperature every five minutes and end the cooling treatment when the temperature is down to 103°. Avoid cooling too rapidly to avoid shock. Allow access to cool water, but don’t force your dog to drink. Your vet may push IV fluids if dehydration is a concern.

Dehydration in dogs: know the signs

  • Sunken eyes
  • Lethargy
  • Dry mouth
  • Depression
  • Gently pinch a fold of skin at the top of the neck. Is it slow to snap back?

Not all signs of dehydration are easy to detect. If you suspect your dog may be dehydrated, a trip to the vet is recommended.

Offer clean cool water. Try different bowls, adding a splash of carrot juice, chicken broth, or pieces of a favorite fruit to one of the bowls to encourage drinking. Some dogs enjoy a few ice chips in their water dish.

To shave or not to shave… Is that your question?

If your furry friend has a double coat like mastiffs, spitz, or terrier types, you may be tempted to simply shave off all that fuzz in hopes of keeping them cool. Before you break out the razor, you should know there can be several drawbacks to this solution, including a sudden lack of insulation and decreased sun protection.

Additionally, because longer guard hairs have a different growth cycle than inner insulation hairs, it can take years for some dogs to regain their natural appearance.

Be safe and aware in the hot summer sun. Bandit Bitez will be at the Campfire Lounge on Saturday, July 14, 2018 for the Pool PAWty, sponsored by Salt Lake Animal Service.

Let your pup take a romp in the kiddie pools at Campfire Lounge located at 837 E 2100 S, SLC. Win fun prizes & enjoy an evening with your best friend! This is a 21 & older event. Dogs must wear their current rabies tag.

All proceeds raised will be used to educate the public about the dangers of leaving dogs in hot cars throughout the year.

The Pool PAWty events are part of the Too Cool for Hot Cars campaign, from Salt Lake County Animal Services, to help bring awareness to the dangers of leaving your pets in a vehicle during warm spring, summer, and fall months. What could be more natural than a pool party for happy dogs during the summer months?