Sunday, November 7, 2010

It's Daylight Saving Time: Safety & Health Tips for Your Pet

Gibson's checking the clock. He knows it's meal time!

With the arrival of Daylight Saving Time, it's important to keep in mind that while we Hu-family members think we can get an extra hour of sleep, our canine pals don't really care about that - their internal clocks are what drives them. So if they are used to going out at 5 AM, they will most likely be getting you up at 4 AM (like one of mine did) because to them, it's really 5 AM!

Here are several helpful safety tips that we should all do/check when we turn back the clocks:
  • If your pets are on specifically timed medications, i.e. seizure meds (like our boy Gibson), at least for the first day of the new time change, stagger the dosage times. If your pet typically takes his medications at 8 AM and 7 PM, for today, give the AM dosage at the new fall-back time of 7:30 (true time would be 8:30, a half hour later than usual), and give the 7 PM dosage at 6:30 (true time would be 7:30). That way, while their internal clock says it's a bit late, their system can adjust to the "new" time and won't be going too long without the meds. Getting back on schedule is very quick, but I like to ease my boy in and keep those seizure meds as close to on-time (according to Gibson's clock) as possible.
  • It's also a great time to remember to check your emergency pet window clings.(You can order a free Pet Safety Pack from the ASPCA online, which includes a window cling and Poison Control Center magnet. ADT also offers free Pet Alert Window Clings that you can order online as well as a list of fire departments in your area that carries them. You can also search the Internet for other clings if you'd like.) When checking your window cling, is it still afixed to the window? Is it legible? Did the sun fade the info? Are the number of pets and location still accurate? This is critical information for the Fire Department emergency personnel that could save your pet's life in case of a fire.
  • Replace the batteries in your smoke and carbon monoxide detectors.
  • Update your pet's emergency first aid kit.
  • Check your supply of cold/snow season items. Be sure you have pet-friendly sidewalk ice dissolvers (not salt), natural paw de-icers (we use a nice oil- and lanolin-based protectant for the Sibes' paws before they go out into the snow and ice to prevent balling in between the paws and on leg and underbelly fur), clean towels for drying them off or removing ice balls from longer fur, and an outdoor dish that can withstand the cold and not freeze up their outdoor source of water.
  • Inspect all bedding, crates, blankets, doghouses, etc. to be sure they are all clean, functional, and protective. (Stop by the AKC website and take their quick poll on winterizing for your pets.)
  • Pets will seek out shelters when outside. Be sure all leftover summer pool chemicals, BBQ gas tanks, pesticides, and sharp tools have been put away from their reach. Winter 'tis the season for outdoor hot tubs, so do a check to be sure the chemicals and fragrances are stored out of the pet areas. These areas may be OK where they are located in the summer, but in the winter pets can climb and dig through snow, giving them a different reach. So please, use a critical eye when winterizing their areas.
  • As with people, this is also the perfect time to review your pet's meds and be sure they are all up-to-date. Toss away any that are expired.
  • Update your home and cell phones with your vet, emergency vet clinic, and Poison Control Center numbers. Also be sure they are posted by your phone and are accurate.
Daylight Saving Time provides us with a great opportunity to perform these simple, life-saving tasks twice-a-year to ensure that our pets will be safe. And as for the Hu-family getting that extra hour of sleep...BOL!!! :-)


  1. Excellent post. We are fortunate not to be worried about meds, etc., at the moment, but The Herd pounced on me at the same "time" as every other morning.

  2. Yep! We've been up since 4am too!

    Emma Rose

  3. So happy to have an extra hour...we needed it! :)

  4. Great post! Yes, one of my girls got me up at 3:30 instead of 4:30 this morning. We're going to have to work on that.

    What do you use on paws to prevent snowballs around pads?

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  6. Sue, I happily use a product now for several years called "Paw Pro." I spray it right on their pads and massage it in, especially in between the pads. I rub it up their legs and their under belly. And on my wooly boys, I rub it on their tail as well, all places the ice balls seem to stick! I purchase it online through Drs. Foster and Smith ( under the "Paw Care" tab. I have the Sibes stand on a rug while I do it as it can be a little slippery on floors. Great stuff!

  7. Great info again!!! We had the Momster up early today, well actually it was the right time per our inner clocks:) We got to have two walks today to see if that will make us sleep longer:)

    Woos ~ Phantom, Thunder, and Ciara

  8. Great post!

    I'm quite lucky that Khyra is a great sleeper - not tied to the clock -

    Dinner time was requested at 5pm - as always so I guess she got the memo about the time change!

  9. Morning from wet and windy Britain! Thank you for visiting my blog and your very kind comments. I'm so glad you visited as I LOVE your blog and have definitely fallen for your dogs. Just been looking after a dog in France and the clocks went back there last week but we didn't need to worry because he slept after we wore him out with walking! Lovely to meet you....just signing up to follow you.

  10. Hey, found your blog from your Lady Bloggers Society comment on mine - I'm usually a cat person but your huskies are really sweet!
    *Things my mother taught me* x

  11. Great info, especially about adjusting to medicine schedules by staggering the times. Parker, (Cardigan Corgi/Aussie Cattle dog/Mysterious Stranger) keeps a tight schedule like he's on a military mission. Obviously he is not fond of time change. Bennie and I are pure Pembroke and believe it is always time for someone to pet, feed, treat, play or walk us! BOL!
    Julie (HCIC)
    Bark Of Love

  12. I love your blog! Thanks for visiting mine, I'm so glad that I've found yours now.

    Where did you find the stuffed pumpkins for them?

    You've got a beautiful pack; I'm looking forward to reading about them :)

  13. What great advice! And thanks for the links about for the safety packs and window clings.

    Thankfully, pet meds are not an issue, but walks sure are!

    Thanks for always having such great info on your posts!


  14. Thanks, everyone for your great comments. Amy, the stuffed pumpkins came from PetSmart!