All posts by Louth SPCA

Keeping pets safe at Hallowe’en

Unfortunately Hallowe’en and the days and weeks preceding it can be a very distressing time for animals. The Louth SPCA would like to remind owners to be especially vigilant about their pets at this time of year. Many dogs and cats are either harmed or run away in fright over the next week, quite often ending up dead on the busy and dark roads!

Here are some tips for keeping your pets safe.

  • Make sure your dog gets plenty of exercise earlier in the day. Once it starts getting dark, fireworks become more frequent.
  • Keep your dogs INSIDE during fireworks, preferably with human companionship. Bringing your dogs out during fireworks is never a good idea. Do NOT leave your dog in the back yard this week at all!
  • Provide a safe place inside for your dogs to retreat. When scared of sounds they can’t orient, dogs often prefer small enclosed areas. If your dog is comfortable in a crate, that is a good option. If you dog or cat likes scurrying in behind the sofa, put a blanket in there for them.
  • If possible, keep the windows and curtains closed. Covering the crate with a blanker or lowering the blinds can also be helpful. Removing visual stimulation can also help calm dogs.
  • Make sure all your dogs are wearing ID tags with a properly fitting collar. If you your dog is not microchipped, they really should be! In fact, it’s now the law in Ireland.
  • Give your dog something fun and distracting to do – like a frozen Kong filled with his favorite treats, or a big chewy pig’s ear that will keep him busy for a good while.
  • If you MUST go out, leave the TV or radio on louder than usual to muffle the sound of fireworks outside.

hearing-callout3

As well as keeping them safe from fireworks, remember there are other hazards at this time of year for pets. Here are some do’s and dont’s:

  • DON’T leave animals in a room with lit candles or pumpkins. Dogs can have lethal tails, wagging all over the place. Make sure that lighted candles are kept where they cannot be knocked over by a wagging tail or by a curious cat. Not only could your pet start a fire, but they could severely burn themselves in the process.
  • DON’T dress animals up in costumes as many pets find this uncomfortable and stressful. It’s cute, but it’s also dangerous!
  • DON’T take pets trick-or-treating. Dogs can become very distressed and confused by all the noise and activity with strange smells, costumes and loud bangs from fireworks.
  • DON’T let animals near bonfires, candles or other dangerous items.
  • DO make sure that rabbits and other caged animals are safely secured in a garage or outbuilding, away from the sight and sound of fireworks. As an alternative, the cage can be covered with thick fabric to muffle the sound, making sure there is sufficient ventilation. Horses should be securely stabled or moved to a different location during fireworks displays in the area.
  • DO keep pets away from Halloween decorations and tell children not to share any sweets and chocolate with their pets. Chocolate is very bad for pets.
  • DO take a pet suspected of ingesting a harmful item or substance immediately to a veterinarian.
  • DON’T ignore animals in need. Report animal abuse and neglect immediately to An Gardai Siochana or contact the Louth SPCA at 042 9335045 (even if no answer, please leave a message. It WILL be checked).

Level 5 Restrictions

As a result of last night’s Level 5 announcement we will be restricting the number of people coming in and out of our facilities for the next 6 weeks.

If you are interested in adopting an animal please contact us via info@louthspca.ie to make an appointment to visit. Our phone line is currently down so it is best to contact us via email.

We will continue to post updates of the animals we have in our care on our Facebook page and on this website.

Our Inspector and volunteers will continue to assist animals as usual over this period.

We know it is a tough time for everyone, remember to be kind and check on your neighbours. We will get through this together.

 

Dogs and Fireworks

Adults and children alike look forward to the fireworks at Hallowe’en, New Year’s Eve and other occasions – but we sometimes forget that a lot of animals suffer terrible anxiety as a result of loud noise and flashing lights. You should keep your cat indoors if at all possible, but it is dogs who suffer the most around fireworks.

Some dogs have no problem with the sight and sound of fireworks if they’ve been desensitized — hunting dogs, for example, grow used to the sounds and smells of hunting rifles and gun powder. Most dogs, however, are not used to these things, so fireworks can be particularly stressful for them.

For example, more pets (dogs and cats) run away on Hallowe’en than any other day, so you should take extra steps to ensure their safety. Keep a keen eye on your pets during the commotion, and make sure your they are wearing proper identification.

You should arrange to have your dog in a place where there won’t be loud fireworks displays — a friend’s or relative’s home (ideally out of town) or a doggie day care with which your dog is familiar. If it’s an unfamiliar place for your dog, take him over there a few times in the days before the holiday so that it won’t be a surprise when you take him there before fireworks start firing off.

If you are going to be with your dog during the fireworks, sending the calming message that they are nothing to worry about will also help him to relax. Remember, though, while humans communicate with words, dogs communicate with energy, and will look to their pack leader for clues on how they should behave. If you’re not making a big deal or showing excitement about the fireworks, then he will learn to be less concerned as well.

In all cases above, expend your dog’s excess energy first, before the fireworks start, by taking her on a very long walk to tire her out and put her in a calm state.

Consider purchasing an anxiety wrap (“thundershirt” in US) to keep your dog calm. They’ve been widely reported to work quite well at keeping dogs calm during fireworks.

dog-anxiety-vest-wrap

Most importantly, don’t think of this in terms of your dog as your child who is missing out on a great, fun time. That’s human guilt. Your dog won’t know what she’s missing. You’re being a good pack leader by not exposing her to a situation that will trigger her flight instinct in a negative way. When the booms and bangs are over, your dog will be grateful to you for having made it a less stressful experience!

7-3-15-fireworks-color

 

Should I adopt a dog?

Among companion animals, dogs are unmatched in their devotion, loyalty and friendship to humankind. Anyone who has ever loved a dog can attest to its hundred-fold return. The excitement your dog shows when you come home, the wagging tail at the sound of the leash being taken from its hook, the delight in the tossing of a tennis ball, and the head nestled in your lap-those are only some of the rewards of being a dog owner.

Owning a dog is not just a privilege-it’s a responsibility. These animals depend on us for, at minimum, food and shelter, and deserve much more. If you are considering taking a dog into your life, you need to think seriously about the commitment that dog ownership entails. If you already have a dog, you need to consider if you are fulfilling all your obligations as its owner.

Consider the following carefully – Are You Really Ready To Get A Dog?

  • Have you done homework, such as reading about housebreaking, training, behavioral problems, and daily care of a dog? And what kinds of dogs are best for you and your family?
  • Will your working hours allow enough time to provide the care and exercise a dog needs every day?
  • If you have children, will you have time to provide the daily care and exercise a dog needs every day?
  • Will you have enough money to cover food, toys, annual vet exams, vaccinations, monthly heartworm preventative, flea control, unexpected medical costs, grooming, training, and boarding the pet when you travel?
  • Are you ready to live with a pet? Can you depend on your children not to pester a dog and let a dog out the door? Will you be able to watch the dog at all times when children visit your home?
  • If considering a puppy, will you be able to arrange for midday visits — since puppies need to go out every 4 hours or so to become housebroken?
  • Do you have time for obedience training and teaching house manners as necessary to help the dog become a good companion?
  • Do you travel frequently, and if so, what are your plans for the dog?
  • If you move, can you be sure your next place will allow dogs?
  • Can you make the commitment to care for this animal for his or her lifetime?

 

Update on Jade

This is Jade who was found wandering on country roads. She was brought to Louth SPCA  as she had obviously recently had pups.

We set about searching for he pups all over the area in which she was found. We came to conclusion she had just been dumped. She was so afraid to come to us, wagged her tail but just could not walk to us. We could pet her in bed. We found she had huge lump on her neck. In the vets they found and abscess going quite a bit round her neck. Needless to say she was operated on and you can see the amount of stitches she had in the photo.

She has since found a wonderful home, with two great people who have all the time in the world to wait for her to trust!

 

Roxy Update

Roxy the German Shepherd came in as a surrender case. She had a life of living in a pen. She had a lovely nature but needed training. This photo is of her now in her new home. She lives with another two dogs. She is really fitting in and learning from the others and her great new owner how to behave.

Great to see!

Lilly

Lilly was a house cat but her owner is unfortunately no longer able to mind her. She now finds herself looking for a new home.

She is neutered and about is 3 years old from what we can gather.

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