Hot Weather Safety for Pets

Dog sticking his head out of a car window

Hot cars kill dogs.

I live in N. Texas where it’s not unusual for weather to have everyone hot under the collar. Hot weather safety for pets around here is a matter of life and death for cats and dogs. Just imagine how pets feel with a fur coat.

Cats and dogs risk sunburn, pad burns and life-threatening heatstroke without proper precautions. Never leave your pet unattended in a hot car. These tips can help you prevent problems, or even save your pet’s life.

Dog paw

Paws are not as tough as you’d think.

PAD BURNS

Dogs don’t get pad burns very often because they flinch away from heat. But cats love heat and often lounge on surfaces up to 126 degrees. They won’t feel themselves getting burned.

Cat Facts: The Pet Parent's A-to-Z Home Care Encyclopedia

Learn more about heat-loving cats in CAT FACTS.

Both dogs and cats can suffer pad burns from walking on hot pavement, especially when not offered the option for cooler pathways.

Do the barefoot test. If pavement feels too hot for you, it’s also a problem for pets. Prevent pad burns by making shaded and/or grassy pathways an option. For pad burns, apply an aloe vera ointment three to five times a day to help shorten healing time. It’s safe for pets to lick off in small amounts, too.

SUNBURN

Fur protects most dogs and cats from sunburn, but thinly furred ear tips, bridge of the nose, and the tummy can get burned. White pets are at highest risk. Dogs who sleep on their back and sun-worshiping cats seem affected most often.

Sunburn isn’t a medical emergency, but it can be painful. The skin turns red, can blister, become crusty, and peel. Kitty ears curl and literally turn crispy.

Cold water spray from a plant mister every half hour or so works great to soothe sunburned dogs, but cats hate getting sprayed. Witch hazel helps cool inflamed skin by evaporation and doesn’t sting like alcohol. Dab some on affected areas with a cotton ball three or four times a day to soothe the burn.

Sunburn dries out the skin. Aloe vera creams not only moisturize but also help heal burns faster. These products often contain vitamin E that speeds healing and soothes burns.

A funny image of a thirsty Boxer crossbreed with a very long tongue sticking out

Heat stroke is no laughing matter–and panting won’t help.

HEATSTROKE

Pets don’t sweat. To cool off, dogs pant so the moisture evaporates off the tongue. Cats lick fur and evaporation keeps body temperatures at a safe level. But for grooming or panting to work, the outside air must be a lower temperature than the pet’s normal body temperature (101-102.5 degrees). When self-cooling fails, heatstroke kills in less than 15 minutes.

DogFacts

Get the FACTS about all your dog health concerns!

Cars become deathtraps. When the temperature reaches 78 degrees, cars sitting in the shade reach 90 degrees in no time. But if parked in the sun on a 78-degree day, car temp soars to 168 degrees within minutes. That cooks the brain, leaving irreversible damage.

Signs of heatstroke include rapid panting, a bright red tongue and gums, sticky saliva, and body temperatures of 104-106 degrees. Severe cases of heatstroke may prompt body temperatures of 110 degrees or higher.

Unless you live only five minutes away, give first aid before heading to the emergency room. To save your pet’s life, reduce body temperature to 104 degrees and then get follow-up medical care.

For mild heatstroke, offer water or Gatorade cooler than the outside temperature. Wrap the pet in cold wet towels. Bring him into an air-conditioned space and turn on a fan so the air he breathes is cooler than his body to reduce internal temperature naturally.

first-aid

First aid saves lives–from hangnails to gunshots to animal bites, know what to do!

For severe heatstroke (body temperatures over 106 degrees), douse the pet with cool water from the hose, or dunk him in the bathtub or sink. Ice packs placed in the “armpits” or groin (near major blood vessels) help chill the blood so it cools the pet during circulation.

COOL PET TIPS

Prevent heat stroke by providing shade for outside pets, along with plenty of cool water. Specialized attachments turn outside faucets into 24/7 pet drinking fountains so you won’t have to worry about spilled bowls. Misting fans and aerosols lower the temperature and keep pet fur damp to cool fur through evaporation. Misters can be placed on the porch, deck or near your dog’s pen.

Invest in cooling bandannas and collars, body wraps, and pet mats from pet products outlets. Or just provide a child’s wading pool, fill it daily with cool water and let the water-puppies splash to their heart’s content.

dog in water

A safe place to cool off is great for dogs during hot weather.

Prevent problems altogether by keeping cats and dogs in air-conditioned spaces when the temperatures become dangerous. The most dangerous times of day for sunburn are 9:00 a.m. to 3:00 p.m. so schedule cooler times for outdoor excursions.

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I love hearing from you, so please share comments and questions. Please note that I earn a small percentage from affiliate links to books or other products which are mentioned from time to time in my posts. Do you have an ASK AMY question you’d like answered? Do you have a new kitten and need answers? Stay up to date on all the latest just subscribe the blog, “like” me on Facebook, and sign up for Pet Peeves newsletter. Stay up to date with the latest book give aways and appearances related to my September Day pet-centric THRILLERS WITH BITE!

Hyperthyroid Cats & Mother’s Day

SerenOnStair
Hyperthyroid cats is a fact of life for people lucky enough to have an old cat. Most of y’all who read this blog know that Seren-Kitty is a senior citizen girl, and as such she’s at risk for hyperthyroid disease. At her last checkup, we ran tests to check and–thank goodness!–she’s normal and doesn’t have that issue. That makes this Mother’s Day a happy one for this “cat mom.”

Complete Care for Your Aging CatThat’s not the case with many older cats. There are a couple of causes of the condition, with about 95% of cases due to a benign tumor on the cat’s thyroid, which is highly treatable. I write about feline hyperthryoidism signs, diagnosis and treatment in my CAT FACTS and also my COMPLETE CARE FOR YOUR AGING CAT books. (Both are way-cheap in the Ebook versions *s*).

Learning about cat care issues is an ongoing passion at my house. Maybe you know a “cat mom” that needs some solid information to keep her cat-babies healthy and happy.

Cat_Friendly_Logo_lowResI’m a member of the AAFP’s Cat Friendly Practice Advisory Council, so I’m always happy to share great info from this organization. AAFP has created a feline hyperthroid disease brochure that you can download with all the details. They’ve also shared this neato infographic, below, for quick reference.

Do you have an aging cat? Has your kitty shown telltale signs of problems? Or maybe your feline kid has been diagnosed and gone through treatment for feline hyperthyroidism. Please share your experiences in the comments–it could help other “cat moms” out there!

AAFP-Signs of Feline Hyperthyroid

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I love hearing from you, so please share comments and questions. Do you have an ASK AMY question you’d like answered? Do you have a new kitten and need answers? Stay up to date on all the latest just subscribe the blog, “like” me on Facebook, and sign up for Pet Peeves newsletter. Stay up to date with the latest book give aways and appearances related to my September Day pet-centric THRILLERS WITH BITE!

Thriller Thursday: Theater, Horses & Murder = One Dead, Two to Go

Chills, thrills and spills with Thriller Thursday by Amy Shojai

Chills, thrills and spills with Thriller Thursday by Amy Shojai

THRILLER THURSDAY is a new occasional feature of Bling, Bitches & Blood. As a member of International Thriller Writers and alumni of the ITW Debut Author Program, it is my honor to showcase select ITW authors and books participating in the ITW Bloggers Program. If you love reading great books as much as I do, check out my Spotlight Guest Elena Hartwell! 

Now here’s something you don’t see every day–a playwright deciding to write thrillers. (I’ve found my identical twin separated at birth! Ha!) When I learned that Elena shared my love of theatric-icity, I had to ask for more information. Take it away, Elena!


Elana & Chance

Elana & Chance

Question: What do theater, horses, and murder have in common? Answer: Author, Elena Hartwell.

My writing career started in the theater, as a director, producer, and educator. As a playwright, I’ve had several productions around the US and abroad. Sometimes it was satisfying and wonderful. Sometimes it was painful and always required I “sell” my script over and over and over to the next theater down the road. For twenty years, I worked teaching theater, directing, and producing.

But my heart always returned to the writing.

Plays are satisfying, but require a village to “complete.” So I started my first novel. It was a 120,000-word mystery. I was worried it was too short. I’ve since learned most first time mysteries are 65-70,000 words. I learned a lot with that first book. Plays are in permanent present tense and each character has their own POV, because they are inhabited by individual actors. Novels, on the other hand, are usually in past tense and with a specific POV. I learned the difference between writing atmosphere and writing specific descriptions.

I wrote another book. It was better. But didn’t sell. So I wrote a third book and landed an agent. I thought I’d “made it.” But that book didn’t sell either. So I wrote a fourth book and pitched it to an Independent press. One Dead, Two to Go hit the shelves on April 15th.

Elena's husband J.D. and Jasper

Elena’s husband J.D. and Jasper

So how do you stay grounded in a world where you have little control over your own destiny? My method is my horses. Two years ago, I met an Arabian gelding named Second Chance. He was given that name because he survived a kill pen, where he was to be sold for dog food. He arrived at the equine rescue where I volunteered and I fell in love. Unwilling to let anyone touch him, he walked over and put his head on my shoulder the first time we met. We’ve been together almost every day since. In December, my husband and I bought Jasper, a dynamic, confident ranch horse we found at the end of a dirt road on the Nevada/Utah border. Now I share my love for these magnificent animals with him. No matter what happens in the publishing world, I stay grounded. For that I am eternally grateful.

Elena Hartwell

Thriller writer Elena Hartwell

MORE ABOUT THE AUTHOR: Elena Hartwell was born in Bogota, Colombia, while her parents were in the Peace Corps. Her first word was “cuidado.” At the age of nine months, she told two men carrying a heavy table to be careful in their native tongue. She’s been telling people what to do ever since. After almost twenty years in the theater, Elena turned her playwriting skills to novels and the result is her first book “One Dead, Two to Go.” The Eddie Shoes Mystery Series launches April 15, 2016, to be followed by “Two Dead Are Better Than One” and “Three Dead, You’re Out.” For more information on Elena, please visit elenahartwell.com or like her Facebook Page ElenaHartwellAuthor and follow her on Twitter and at Pinterest. You may get to see cute pictures of her dog and her horse.

Buy the book at AMAZON HERE, and also at BARNES & NOBLE HERE.

HERE’S WHAT READERS SAY…

One Dead, Two To Go is smart, page-turning fun, with the most feisty and likable P.I. since Kinsey Millhone. Looking for your next favorite detective series? Look no further.” Deb Caletti, National Book Award finalist and author of He’s Gone

“Elena Hartwell doesn’t just burst onto the scene with this clever mystery novel—she kicks the door in and holds the reader at gunpoint.” —Peter Clines, Award-winning author

“The writing is cinematic and vivid, the characters well-drawn, but the dynamic between Eddie and Chava, which reminded me fondly of Cagney and Lacey, is what makes the story. Fans of the Stephanie Plum series by Janet Evanovich should de nitely check out One Dead, Two to Go. Recommended.”Max Everhart, author of the Eli Sharpe Mystery series

“Unlike the standard-issue PI, Eddie seems allergic to guns and violence and worries about a bad haircut as much as stalking danger. Funny, clever, and full of grabbing plot twists, Elena Hartwell’s One Dead, Two To Go, the debut novel in her Eddie Shoes series, takes the mystery lover into unexpected territory, including the introduction of Chava, the intrepid mother who is kicked out of Vegas by the Mob and shows up uninvited on Eddie’s doorstep. is is a fast, memorable and entertaining read. Warning: you’ll want more.” —Scott Driscoll, author of Better You Go Home

One Dead, Two To Go

Elena Hartwell’s debut novel One Dead, Two to Go

 SYNOPSIS: Private Investigator Edwina “Eddie Shoes” Schultz’s most recent job has her parked outside a seedy Bellingham hotel, photographing her quarry as he kisses his mistress goodbye. This is the last anyone will see of the woman… alive. Her body is later found dumped in an abandoned building. Eddie’s client, Kendra Hallings, disappears soon after. Eddie hates to be stiffed for her fee, but she has to wonder if Kendra could be in trouble too. Or is she the killer?

Eddie usually balks at matters requiring a gun, but before she knows it, she is knee-deep in dangerous company, spurred on by her card-counting adrenaline-junkie mother who has shown up on her doorstep fresh from the shenanigans that got her kicked out of Vegas. Chava is only sixteen years older than Eddie and sadly lacking in parenting skills. Her unique areas of expertise, however, prove to be helpful in ways Eddie can’t deny, making it hard to stop Chava from tagging along.

Also investigating the homicide is Detective Chance Parker, new to Bellingham’s Major Crimes unit but no stranger to Eddie. Their history as a couple back in Seattle is one more kink in a chain of complications, making Eddie’s case more frustrating and perilous with each tick of the clock.

Buy the book at AMAZON HERE, and also at BARNES & NOBLE HERE.

 


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I love hearing from you, so please share comments and questions. Do you have an ASK AMY question you’d like answered? Do you have a new kitten and need answers? Stay up to date on all the latest just subscribe the blog, “like” me on Facebook, and sign up for Pet Peeves newsletter. Stay up to date with the latest book give aways and appearances related to my September Day pet-centric THRILLERS WITH BITE!

Dogs & Cats & Bad Guys, Oh My! LOST AND FOUND is FREE

Amy Shojai's Lost And Found Thriller

The 1st installment of Shojai’s dark, female-driven domestic thriller series featuring pet-centric plots

LOST AND FOUND is FREE!

James Rollins said, “Riveting, heart-wrenching, and brilliant, here is the debut of a stunning talent.” 

I’m delighted to announce that LOST AND FOUND is now available for FREE for your reading pleasure. You can find the FREE Ebook version at these great sites:

Kobo

A young woman races a Texas blizzard to save her autistic nephew from a deadly secret others will kill to protect–and the service dog she’s trained finds his true purpose, when he disobeys.

Animal behaviorist September Day has lost everything–husband murdered, career in ruins, confidence shot–and returns home with her trained Maine Coon cat Macy to Texas to recover. She’s forced out of hibernation when her nephew Steven and his autism service dog Shadow disappear in a freak blizzard. September and Shadow forge a stormy partnership to rescue the missing … But can they also find the lost parts of themselves?

Again, get your free copy at the links below–Dang, I hope you like it! With 75+ positive reviews, lots of folks have already enjoyed this dog-centric story as well as the following stories, HIDE AND SEEK and SHOW AND TELL. Please SHARE this post with anyone who enjoys a pet-centric roller-coaster suspense!

Kobo

p.s., If you prefer nonfiction, don’t forget to enter the give-away for DOG FACTS and CAT FACTS here.


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I love hearing from you, so please share comments and questions. Do you have an ASK AMY question you’d like answered? Do you have a new kitten and need answers?Stay up to date on all the latest just subscribe the blog, “like” me on Facebook, and sign up for Pet Peeves newsletter. Stay up to date with the latest book give aways and appearances related to my September Day pet-centric THRILLERS WITH BITE!

Enter Goodreads Contest: Win Dog Facts & Cat Facts in Time for Mother’s Day

Pets consider us their moms.

For pet-moms, every day is Mother’s Day.

I’m celebrating the release (and great reviews!) of my two latest books with GIVE AWAYS! Hey, you can enter for yourself, for your dog or cat, or tell others about the chance to win a PAW-tographed print copy of these books.

With Mother’s Day just around the corner, wouldn’t one of these books make a great gift for a pet-mom? *s*

Of course, if you don’t want to rely on chance, you can order Cat Facts here or for dog lovers, Dog Facts here for the pet-loving folks in your life, and get it to them in time.

Goodreads Book Giveaway

Dog Facts by Amy Shojai

Dog Facts

by Amy Shojai

Giveaway ends May 16, 2016.

See the giveaway details
at Goodreads.

Enter Giveaway

Goodreads Book Giveaway

Cat Facts by Amy Shojai

Cat Facts

by Amy Shojai

Giveaway ends May 16, 2016.
See the giveaway details
at Goodreads.

Enter Giveaway

 


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I love hearing from you, so please share comments and questions. Do you have an ASK AMY question you’d like answered? Do you have a new kitten and need answers?Stay up to date on all the latest just subscribe the blog, “like” me on Facebook, and sign up for Pet Peeves newsletter. Stay up to date with the latest book give aways and appearances related to my September Day pet-centric THRILLERS WITH BITE!