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Dog Health | PetsWeekly

Desert Dangers: Rattlesnakes

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We’re continuing our discussion of the deadly dangers in the desert for pets. Today, we’re discussing one of the most obvious ones: rattlesnakes.

Since I’ve lived here, I’ve seen my fair share of snakes. They are very common down here and you’ll run into them if you spend any amount of time hiking or working outdoors.

They show up everywhere, from the middle of the city to the outskirts of town. If you visit Arizona, you’re likely to see one as well - our snake seasons seem to be getting a bit extended and even in winter, you can run into one.

Snakes and Pets

Approximately 300,000 dogs and cats are bitten each year by snakes.

This number increases each year (and that number was taken in 2011). So, you do the math.

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Desert Dangers: Toads

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I live in Arizona, one of the most hostile, yet hauntingly beautiful places in the world. Arizona is home to the Sonoran desert, which is filled with dangers to us and to our pets.

Since many visitors may not know about these when they first arrive, I wanted to talk about a few of those this month and make sure everyone knows understands that the desert can be deadly if you’re not on your guard.

Today we're talking about one thing visitors may not expect: toads.

These toads are commonly known as the Sonoran Desert Toad or the Colorado River Toad, or the "bufo toad". But they also have their scientific names of Ollotis alvaria and Bufo alvarius.

They are most common during the months of May thru August in the Phoenix metro region. However, they can show up at any time of the year. They lay up to 8,000 eggs at one time and love being in slow-moving streams, temporary pools of water (like after it rains and then floods), or any area that has lakes (especially on golf courses). We see these guys most often during the monsoon season (which runs from June through late August).

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10 Ways to Avoid Bloat in Dogs

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Binge eating is just as dangerous for our pets as it is for us. Gulping down food can result in a number of eating disorders and health problems for your pet including simple (but annoying problems) that include passing gas or burping. It also causes more serious problems such as bloat , torsion or Gastric Dilation-Volvulus (GDV).

Below is a very brief overview of the differences between bloat, torsion and GDV - followed by a very detailed overview of how you can stop your dog from wolfing his food and thereby reducing the risk of bloat. (If you have a cat, check out this informative article showing various Methods of Feeding Your Cats)


Bloat is a very serious, often fatal disorder that occurs when your dog’s stomach fills with air, fluid or food. The food puts pressure on other organs, which causes difficulty breathing and reduces the blood supply to vital organs.

Read more: 10 Ways to Avoid Bloat in Dogs

How Much Water Does Your Pet Need?

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Animals are as prone to dehydration as we are. July is Pet Hydration Month and we want to make sure your pet is getting plenty of fresh water to drink and that you know how to tell if your pet is dehydrated.

Water supports our pets and our own health and well-being. Without water, we cannot have proper organ function or digestion, and our bodies cannot remove waste from our systems. The human body is made up of 65% water, but our pets bodies consist of nearly 80% water. This makes proper hydration even more important as very serious health issues can develop when your pets don’t consume enough H20.

As you probably all know by now, we live in the deserts of Arizona, which is why we are so concerned with water intake and why we take it so seriously.

Summers definitely take their toll on our pets, especially with the relatively new addition of haboobs covering us in dust a few times each summer, which leaves our normally beautiful desert that looks like this:

Read more: How Much Water Does Your Pet Need?

Dogs that can't Swim and Some that just aren't very good at it

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Summer is officially here in the desert and we have reached temperatures in excess of 100 degrees, so you know we will soon be rebuilding our pathetic little 3-foot pool for some short cool down periods in the late afternoon, some hip exercise for our senior Aussie, and some water play with our other hounds.

But before you take your pets out on a boat, or head out to the beach (or lake or river) with your four-legged friend, there are a few things you need to know about your dog’s breed. Not all dogs are designed for fun in the sun. In fact, some dogs can't even swim, let alone paddle around in lukewarm water, which is why you need to understand your pet's limitations.

Here's a look at a few breeds of dogs that don't do so well in the water...

Read more: Dogs that can't Swim and Some that just aren't very good at it

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