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July 15, 2011

Some Things Never Change; The HSUS’ Retro Video Still Has Great Pet Care Tips

The old adage “what’s old is new again” is true with HSUS’ responsible pet owners video from the early 80s. It looks like fashions may have changed, but most things about being a responsible pet owner never go out of style.

A good leash on life? Retractable = less control over your dog
People like retractable leashes because they give dogs more freedom to explore their surroundings on a walk, but these leashes have many drawbacks and can even be dangerous. You have minimal control over your dog. Even if you pay close attention to your dog, he may still get far enough away from you on a retractable leash to run into traffic where he may be injured or killed, or rudely jump on people or other animals.

Aversive collars – Avoid Choke Chain at All Costs
Some trainers use aversive collars to train “difficult” dogs with correction or punishment. These collars rely on physical discomfort or even pain to teach the dog what not to do. They suppress the unwanted behavior but don’t teach him what the proper one is. At best, they are unpleasant for your dog, and at worst, they may cause your dog to act aggressively and even bite you. Positive training methods should always be your first choice.

Spay/Neuter = Not an option to avoid
In every community, in every state, there are homeless animals. In the U.S. as a whole, there are an estimated 6-8 million homeless animals entering animal shelters every year. About half of these animals are adopted, and tragically, the other half are euthanized. These are healthy, sweet pets who would have made great companions. Spay/neuter is the only permanent, 100-percent effective method of birth control for dogs and cats.

Feeling Hot, Hot, Hot
Never leave your pets in a parked car. Your pet may suffer irreversible organ damage or die. If you see an animal in distress in a parked car, contact the nearest animal shelter or police. A matter of routine, shade and water are a must. Limit exercise on hot days. Signs of heatstroke are: heavy panting, glazed eyes, a rapid heartbeat, restlessness, excessive thirst, lethargy, fever, dizziness, lack of coordination, profuse salivation, vomiting, and unconsciousness. If this happens, move the animal into the shade or an air-conditioned area. Apply ice packs or cold towels to her head, neck, and chest or run cool (not cold) water over her. Let her drink small amounts of cool water or lick ice cubes. Take her directly to a veterinarian.

Collar and Tags = Lifelines
Lots of pets escape yards and wander off in summertime. For their health and safety and your peace of mind, all cats should be kept indoors. An ID tag is your cat's ticket home. If you're lucky, a neighbor will find him and return him to you right away. But your pet could be picked up by a stranger or an animal control officer and taken to a shelter. Without an ID tag, he could be mistaken for a homeless stray.

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Follow The HSUS on Twitter. See our work for animals on your iPhone by searching “HumaneTV” in the App Store.

The Humane Society of the United States is the nation's largest animal protection organization — backed by 11 million Americans, or one of every 28. For more than a half-century, The HSUS has been fighting for the protection of all animals through advocacy, education and hands-on programs. Celebrating animals and confronting cruelty — On the Web at humanesociety.org

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