1.4 BAD BABYSITTING (7 Dangers to Avoid)︱Pet First Aid Course

BAD BABYSITTING...Well, more like, not being aware of the hazards and taking the necessary steps to protect your pet. In this video we discuss common dangers in and out of the home. Please comment below and share your experience if you have had to learn these lessons the hard way.

*** I FORGOT TO MENTION: THE BATHTUB!!! I have seen multiple patients harmed and even killed by accidents resulting from being unsupervised near a hidden danger- the bathtub. Drowning, burning in hot water, and falling into an empty bathtub (hitting their head, injuring back/spine, and breaking limbs).

Thanks to Kayla @whistlerdognanny, for the helpful training and trail safety tips at the end!

Bad babysitting/ a.k.a. Not keeping dangers away from the toddlers safe (preventable dangers in the household- objects in the household) 

Preface:Pets are a lot like small children- they need their parents not only to feed them but also keep them safe. 

Here are some examples of problems that happen while pets are unattended or not closely supervised:

  • Trauma: 
  1. Hit by car while wandering neighbourhood or even just on  front lawn using the washroom:  I have seen numerous dogs get hit by cars in the front yard. One of these recently was an older dog, very intelligent
    • unwitnessed trauma: 
              • we just call this “unwitnessed trauma”. Happens all the time.
              • dog amputated her toe and would have bled to death if much longer had passed; (hemorrhage...while wandering the neighbourhood)
    1. problems resulting from encounters with other animals: 
              • dog fights, wildlife trauma, getting lost/getting hbc while chasing or being chased by other animals
              •  (especially common in cats)
    2. accessing dangerous items in the house: 
            • toxins (drugs/medications/foods/plants),  foreign bodies
    3. mechanical. dangers 
              • (those folding windows, anything sharp, reclining chairs (puppies/kittens), anything with hinges (especially the fridge), washing machines, dryers, stoves, pots of boiling water, hot bathtubs, swimming pools (especially with the covers on).
    4. high rise syndrome:
              • jumping out windows, off balconies 
    5. plastic bags: 
              • suffocation
    6. anything they can strangle themselves on
              •  (my puppy strangled himself in a hammock in our backyard while we were at school)
              • towels with holes in them (common for puppies
              • dogs playing and getting caught in their own collars
                • this happened to my cousin’s puppy while he was playing with his brother; one of the puppies was unconscious and blue, but my cousin was ski patrol and always carried a knife so he saved the little guy
              • (being tied up and jumping over the fence), even while playing with other animals, hammocks
    7. choking
              • make sure that their toys are big enough that they can’t get caught in the back of their throat, or that foods are small enough)
    8. foreign bodies: 
              • tampons, corn cobs, any toys/bedding/stuffing, string
            • The garbage cans is its own danger because there are 
              • even a cat that somehow sliced his face on sharp chicken bones.
              • g(tampons, Kleenex with drugs in them, bones, onions, corn cobs)
    9. Their own food:
    10. being left too cold
              • litter of puppies died because they were outside with the mom
    11. medical problems going un- noticed: 
              • if a serious medical problem arises like laboured breathing, GDV, urinary obstruction...who is there to notice?
    12. When unattended/unsupervised outside the home out in public:
            • being left in a hot car
            • getting hit by a car 
            • drinking saltwater
            • falling off ____ parking garages, bridges, cliffs...
            • ingesting poisons
            • ingesting foreing bodies
            • wildlife encounters/ other animals
            • getting lost (getting chased or chasing other animals)
            • traffic 
            • burs/fox tails (for long-haired breeds
                              • At home:
                                      • Make the environment as safe as possible (identifying and removing all of the dangers). 
                                        • identify and remove any poisons
                                        • make sure to always cut up plastic bags into little pieces
                                        • secure the garbage cans 
                                        • install fridge  locks if necessary
                                        • put up signs for guests (like don’t let the cat out)  if a pet is is a runner 
                                        • assess mechanical dangers
                                          •  (things they can choke on or swallow). anything sharp
                              • check all of the fences, gates and windows
                                        • and make sure they can’t get caught up or escape
                              • nanny cam
                                        •  Use a nanny cam and check it (share the reel of the dog getting into the fridge).
                                        • (i had a patient the RAISIN DOG  whose owners SAW her get into a poison
                              • crate training:
                                        • If the pet can’t be trusted put them in a crate, but first make sure they are crate trained
                              • When  out in public:
                                      • Leashing (use a long line if not ready)
                                        • kayla→ how to know when a dog is ready to be off leash?
                                      • Training/recall
                                      • Supervising play with other animals
                                      • Tractive GPS*
                                        • kayla: ask them for a discount code!*
                                      • Muzzles:
                                        •  if they are garbage/poo/poison eaters
                                        • Muzzles and the necessary precautions if they are biters
                                      • Actively remove them from dangerous situations;
                                        • If you have a small dog and a big dog comes towards you off-leash, just pick up your dog for a few minutes. even then you might not be safe….but in section 2 you will have the necessary phone number (animal control, bylaws, etc. so you will know who to call if something happens)
                              • Screen your babysitter very carefully:
                                  • taking care of other peoples’ pets is a huge responsibility, and just because I know everything that can go wrong, I always say no when people ask me (just way too much liability), and you don’t want to get blamed. the pet care industry is not very well-regulated, so really anybody can care for another person’s pet without having any training, licensing, or even common sense.
                                  • A LOT of emergency patients are brought in by the individual caring for those pets (family members, friends, dog-walkers, pet sitters, neighbours, pet hotels). It’s kind of shocking actually what a big percentage of our case load this is.
                                  • Many of these are accidents/illnesses that could have been avoided  such as being off leash and getting hit by a car, accessing a poison, animal encounters), getting into a poison, getting lost…. although some of them could not have been prevented.
                                    • WARNING: I have seen multiple dogs die from being left in a hot car by friends and relatives!!!!  Not long ago there was a dog walker in vancouver
                                    • sometimes the caretaker  will give the dog a human medication that is toxic, or overdose the patient on its own medication 
                                  • Questions to ask:
                                    • What kind of training and certifications do they have:
                                      • First aid
                                      • Dog training/ fear free, positive reinforcement…
                                    • Will pets be on-leash?
                                    • Are pets left unattended, under what circumstances and for how long
                                    • How many other animals will be present and is it safe for them to all be together?
                                    • Are they familiar with the dangers and has the environment been pet-proofed
                                    • what training methods will they use (you want force-free/fear free)
                                    • Where will the pet be riding in a vehicle and will they be wearing a seatbelt?
                                    • In section II we are going to discuss about having an emergency plan with any caretakers (making detailed instructions for worst-case scenarios, phone numbers, signed letter giving power of attorney, etc.) 
                              a lot of times when pets end up in the ER, our big questions...now where were the adults? who was babysitting here?
                              • making sure that your pet is on-leash until they have reached level 3 recall
                              • if another pet comes near and you have a little dog- pick it up. be forceful- especially if you are in an area tell the owner to leash their dog or you will call the police, and pull out your phone.
                              • puppy-proof your home (medications, drugs, toxins, poisons).
                              • identifying tags and phone numbers
                              • educate visitors and guests (parties, cabins)
                              Related posts:
                              My Dog Ate Part of a Tennis Ball
                              Suffocation (A Sad Day at the Twin Trees ER) 
                              Head Trauma (Stepped On or Kicked by Horse) 
                              Dog Impaled by a Stick
                              3 Tips from the Emergency Vet
                              TREES PET FIRST AID COURSE! This course is FREE and open to the public. We designed it for pet owners, dog walkers and pet sitters. If you pass the quiz at the end you can get a First Aid Certificate. Take notes and leave your questions and comments below :) Make sure to share with your friends that need to watch this!

                              Here are the 3 best pieces of advice from the emergency vet that could save your pet's life:
                              DON'T WAIT TOO LONG TO GET HELP! If you wait too long, it could be too late. This is especially true for concerns such as laboured breathing, pale gums and weakness. You know your pet best, so if you are worried or concerned, "when in doubt, check it out!"
                              PREVENT THE PREVENTABLE. Learn as much as possible about dangers that face your pet, such as household poisons, seemingly harmless objects (such as toys, clothing, garbage and rocks), other animals, and vehicles. Pets are like toddlers and they need a responsible adult/babysitter to protect them from danger. Puppies and kittens need to start their vaccines at 8 WEEKS (and they need boosters too!) to protect them from deadly diseases.
                              BE PREPARED FOR THE WORST CASE SCENARIO. Have a plan in place, know your nearest emergency clinic, have the ASPCA phone number on speed dial. Know basic first aid training and CPR. But MOST IMPORTANTLY, BE FINANCIALLY PREPARED. The cost of medical treatment in an emergency, and the owners' ability to pay for it, is probably the most important factor that determines whether a pet will receive the medical care it needs. The best way to protect yourself is to have good medical insurance for your pet. Do your research.
                              **REMEMBER**: WE ARE ALL ON THE SAME TEAM, with the best interest of the patient as everyone's first priority. Let your vet do what he/she does best, and don't try to grab the steering wheel and obstruct your vet from doing his/her job. We are all in the same car, we are all headed to the same place, but only one of us has the driver's license (meaning, only the vet has the medical training and background to "drive the car").

                              Please remember to spay/ neuter your pet, and to donate to your local animal shelter- they really need your help!
                              Additional Resources:
                                ASPCA Animal Poison Control: Hotline: (888) 426-4435 
                                Preventive Health in Puppies
                                Meet "Oliver"
                                Medical Insurance Can Save Lives 
                                3 Tips From The Emergency Vet That Could Save Your Pet's Life
                                ASK YOUR QUESTION ON TWIN TREES VET TALK! Have a quick question? Want to run something by us? Or just need our two cents? This is your chance! Enter your questions here. and each week we will select a handful of questions to answer.
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