Category Archives: Safety

Car Safety for Dogs

 Dogs love to go for car rides. For many dogs, their favorite words are “bye-bye”. I’ve seen dogs jump, prance, smile and bark with delight at the thought of a car ride. How many times have you seen dogs hanging out the car window? Or on the owners lap looking as happy as can be?

Yes, going for a ride in the car can be fun, but driving with dogs can also be very dangerous to both you and your dog. I recently talked to some owners that were in an accident – caused by their dog – in which they were injured, the car they hit had some severe injuries and their dog was killed. How tragic!

There are some very common dangers and causes of injuries that can be prevented – and if you understand them, it will help keep you and your dog safe.

1. Jumpers – Many dogs love to hang out windows and watch what goes by, enjoying the feel of the air in their hair. Some dogs will jump out of an open car window, even though their owners would have sworn they would never do that. One day – for some reason – something extra excites them and out they go. I’ve seen everything from mild injuries and abrasions to fractures and even death resulting from dogs jumping into traffic and immediately being hit by another car. For every dog that jumps, the owners say the same thing. “He always rides like that – and never jumped before.”

2. Air and eye injuries – Some dogs that hang their head out of an open car window can obtain injures when things that are flying in the air hit their head or eyes. When these objects hit the dog’s eyes it can cause corneal ulcers and injuries.

3.Airbags – Dogs can be severely (even fatally) injured by airbag deployment. For this reason, many dog seats and harnesses are created for use in the back seat.

4.Distraction – Dogs distract drivers. I’ve seen excited dogs on their owner’s lap moving back and forth from the passenger window to the drivers’ window. For one reason or another, they distract their drivers causing an accident. The driver looks at their dog to see what they are doing and wham!

5.Slowed reaction time – With a dog on your lap, your ability to drive and react quickly is impaired. Drivers are often unable to make a quick turn with their dog on their lap. This is a common cause of accidents.

6.Injury in crashes – Pets can be severely injured in crashes and, when they are unrestrained, they can run out of the car and suffer even more injuries. Some have even run away.

7.Foot petal problems – Some dogs (and cats) love to get down by the floor, under the seat or near the foot petals. I’ve seen several cases where this caused crashes.

Pets riding unrestrained in a vehicle may be cute and fun – until an accident happens. Less than 20% of dog owners use some sort of harness or seat belt to restrain their dog while in a car.

Seatbelts and car seats are especially made to keep dogs safe. We recommend that all dogs be restrained in the back seat during car rides. All pets should have a microchip as well in case they get free during a car ride. Windows should be kept at a lowered point so the dog can get air but can not get their head completely out the window – thus preventing eye injuries and any risk of jumping.
Keep your dog safe.

Diana Ruth Davidson, Chief Pet Officer and Managing Nanny, Westside Dog Nanny

We offer pet services such as:  Pet Sitting,  In-Home Dog Boarding, Dog Walking, Overnights in your home, Doggie Day Care.
310 919 9372

A Tail of Two Cats: Indoor Cat vs Outdoor Cat

This is from experiences I’ve had.
I have a friend who has a cat, an indoor-outdoor cat.  One day she tells me that her cat returned home one day with the tip of her tail bitten off.  She rushed her to the vet and the kitty was attended to.  I saw her a week later and asked about her cat. She told me that the cat came back with her tail bitten off AGAIN!
I was stunned, not that the tail had been bitten again, but that she had let her cat out again!!  I told her that she should not let the cat out anymore, it could be hurt more or killed.  She told me that the cat wants to go out and that she feels bad leaving it in the house.
Leaving a human inside all day may be cruel, leaving a cat inside all day is protective.  Indoor cats live up to 4x longer than outdoor cats.
I have a client who hired me to watch their cat while they are away for three weeks.  They are lovely people and their cat is a real cutie.  I go over there each day to change food, water and litter.    Sounds okay, right?  Well, this cat is an indoor-outdoor cat too; comes and goes through hole in a screen door in a window.
Here’s  my gripe.  They are in South America; I visit each day to feed, water and change litter.  There are days when I don’t see him because he’s outdoors.
When I think of him being outdoors and his parents being out of the country, I get ill.  Yes, of course, I am there to see that he is kept safe-difficult to do when he is outdoors.  My point is that if I had an indoor-outdoor cat and went on vaca, I would be ill with worry about his safety.
Words to live by:   PLEASE KEEP YOUR CAT INDOORS!   Believe me, they will be fine.  I have had many cats over the years, all indoor, and all happy kitties.
Ok, off my soapbox.

Diana Ruth Davidson, Chief Pet Officer and Managing Nanny, Westside Dog Nanny

We offer pet services such as:  Pet Sitting,  In-Home Dog Boarding, Dog Walking, Overnights in your home, Doggie Day Care.
310 919 9372

Electric Shock Injuries in Dogs

First Aid for Electric Shock

Electricity is dangerous, especially around young dogs and incorrigible chewers. However, if your dog suffers an electric shock it is essential that you consider your own safety before helping

What To Watch For

A convulsing or rigid dog lying on or near a power cable or other electrical source may be suffering an electric shock. The dog may not be right on the cable as pools of liquid, including urine, can carry electric current. Roots of trees are also known to carry electricity in cases of lightning.

Primary Cause

Chewing power cables is the most common cause of electric shock in dogs.

Immediate Care

Do not touch the dog or fluids in contact with it, especially if the animal is rigid – you may receive a fatal electric shock yourself. Instead, you should:

  • Turn off the electricity at its source, if possible.
  • If you can’t turn off the current, use a wooden broom handle (or other long, non-conductive object) to move the dog a good distance from the source of electricity and any pools of liquid.
  • Check the dog’s pulse and breathing, giving CPR and artificial respiration as needed.
  • If the dog’s mouth has been burned, use cold compresses to limit the damage. See “Burns and Scalding” for further treatment guidelines.

Once the dog appears to recover:

Take it to the vet immediately

  • Monitor its breathing and pulse regularly for 12 hours.

Even if your dog appears to recover completely and normally from an electric shock, it is vital to take it to see the vet. Internal damage, shock and fluid build-up in the lungs may not be outwardly visible, but can cause serious trouble hours after the accident.

Other Causes

Although it is rare, a male dog urinating on an exposed power line or electrical source may cause the current to “jump” and give it a shock. Even rarer are cases of dogs being struck by lightning, though the effects are similar.


Electricity should always be treated with care: consider your dog as a small, inquisitive child and take appropriate measures to safeguard them in the home.

  • Cover power cables if possible or spray them with a bitter-tasting compound to deter puppies and chewers from investigating.
  • If your dog is still very young, never leave it alone in a room with live power cables or uncovered sockets.
  • Examine the surroundings and clean up any trailing electrical cords. Extension leads can help keep cables close to the walls, out of sight behind furniture, etc.
  • Always turn off electrical sockets when not in use – it’s not only safer, it’ll save you money on equipment that runs on standby!

Diana Ruth Davidson, Chief Pet Officer and Managing Nanny, Westside Dog Nanny

We offer pet services such as:  Pet Sitting,  In-Home Dog Boarding, Dog Walking, Overnights in your home, Doggie Day Care.
310 919 9372


Are Your Cats Indoor Outdoor Cats?


I’ve been giving advice to cat caretakers for more than 10 years, and one of the most common things I tell people regarding cat health and care is to keep their cats indoors. After all, it’s safer for the cats and for the wildlife those cats like to hunt.

When I lived in urban areas, keeping my cats indoors was a no-brainer: the traffic, the drunken idiots, the perils of traps, and people with bad intentions — there was no way I was going to let my babies outside to face those risks.

But when I moved to the family homestead in 2005 and set up housekeeping in a tiny apartment carved out of the corner of an unheated barn, I knew there was no way I’d be able to keep my ridiculously quick-footed and agile cats inside if they wanted to go out. I also knew the odds were good that three cats in a 12-by-30-foot apartment would probably get so stir-crazy that they’d start fighting, and the territorial stress might cause other behavior problems like spraying or litter-box avoidance.

This is the view from the door of my little apartment at the family homestead. The road is a few hundred feet away.

I figured the cats would be safe enough. After all, my little apartment was at least a couple hundred feet from the road — arguably the biggest danger of outdoor life — and I was almost sure that Sinéad, Siouxsie, and Thomas were smart enough to stay away from the traffic.

In the country, wildlife can be an issue. But the family homestead was situated far enough away from the woods that I figured that any critter interested in a snack of pampered cat wouldn’t want to get near. My brother had cleared a lot of trees and brush, too, so there wasn’t much in the way of camouflage for a hunting predator.

Aki, an Akita-Samoyed cross, and Conan, an Irish Wolfhound-Great Pyrenees cross, guarded the family homestead. And they loved each other, too.

The property was also home to two dogs, one of whom had been pals with Sinéad and Siouxsie since she was a puppy. There was also a small herd of goats, a flock of chickens, and a bunch of geese. If you’ve ever had a run-in with geese, you know they don’t take any crap from anyone or anything!

Letting the cats go outside had one immediate benefit. In the first month I lived in that barn apartment, Thomas single-pawedly annihilated the colony of rats that had taken up residence in the attic. I’d wake up every morning to find at least one very large dead Norwegian wood rat on my doorstep. Thomas quickly earned the title Most Puissant Rat Slayer.

Thomas and Sinéad share some “deniable snuggling.”

As the months turned into a year, all my cats became stronger, their muscles became firmer, and their fur and eyes sparkled with robust health. Their diet, regularly supplemented by rodents and the occasional rabbit, had turned them into true exemplars of cathood.

Of course, there were the problems inherent in indoor-outdoor life: tapeworms, regular applications of flea and tick preventive, occasional wounds from fights with the feral cat who had taken up residence in the barn. But I knew I’d signed up for that when I decided to let my cats go outdoors, and I provided them with all the vet care they needed.

Sinéad always did have her eyes on the horizon. Here, she’s gazing out the window of my apartment on the family homestead.

All the cats enjoyed their outdoor time, but Sinéad was the bravest explorer. Even as a kitten, she searched the horizon from a sun-drenched windowsill and keenly observed the activities in the streets below the city apartments where we’d lived.

Sinéad was so curious and adventurous that even when we lived in the city, she tried “jailbreaks” on a regular basis. One time she even sprinted off the back porch, down the fire escape, and into the alley before I could catch her. She was missing for more than 24 hours, until after much desperate and frantic searching, I found her in the basement of my building, where she’d gotten herself stranded when she hopped through a half-open window and couldn’t get out again.

Sinéad strolls across the front yard, loving life.

I guess it shouldn’t have been much of a surprise that Sinéad would fully exercise her desire for adventure when she had acres and acres of fields and woods to explore. She always came home in time for supper and a nice cuddle and snooze with me, so it didn’t worry me much — until one morning when she didn’t come home for breakfast. When she didn’t return for supper, either, I got really concerned.

I called all the vet clinics and animal shelters in the area, and no cats matching her description had shown up. I put up a lost cat poster at the local grocery store and began searching. I looked in the ditches by the roadside for a quarter of a mile each way and bushwhacked all over the property and the surrounding woods. I was heartbroken to think that maybe she was gravely injured and couldn’t get back home.

 Sinéad basks in a sun puddle by my window, 2006.
My heart sank when I found cat-sized pawprints by a stream and a bunch of much bigger pawprints nearby.
I remembered that I’d heard a pack of coyotes crying and howling very, very close to the property the night Sinéad went missing. And I remembered that Aki had insisted on going outside in the middle of the night, and the ferocious growling and barking I’d heard … followed quickly by silence.
Aki was fine, but I never did find Sinéad or her remains.

Sinéad is so proud of her outdoor exploits that she licks her nose with pleasure.

Although I’m grateful that my cats enjoyed a great quality of life as country kitties, I do regret that Sinéad died because I chose to let my cats outdoors. If my cats get to go outside again, it’ll be on a harness or in a safe “catio” or fenced-in yard.

What about you? Do you let your cats outdoors? Have they ever suffered serious consequences from that choice? Would you ever let your cats out? Tell us about it in the comments

The garden at the family homestead.                

Diana Ruth Davidson, Chief Pet Officer and Managing Nanny, Westside Dog Nanny

We offer pet services such as:  Pet Sitting,  In-Home Dog Boarding, Dog Walking, Overnights in your home, Doggie Day Care.
310 919 9372


What is Poisonous to Dogs and Cats: Keep Them Safe This Holiday Season

We love the holidays for celebrating some of life’s happiest moments and making memories with loved ones. Dogs and cats love the holidays too, especially when their owners and guests share extra time and pet treats with them. But all the interesting foods and decorations in our homes during the holidays can be irresistible to pets, sometimes landing them in emergency pet hospitals after tasting or eating them.
“Every year during the holidays, calls to Pet Poison Helpline increase substantially,” said Ahna Brutlag, DVM, MS, DABT, DABVT and associate director of veterinary services at Pet Poison Helpline. “Certain foods and items that bring holiday cheer to our homes can have the opposite effect on pets when ingested, making them very sick.”
Armed with knowledge, pet owners can keep their beloved best friends out of harm’s way this holiday season. To inform pet owners, and also to debunk some age-old myths, the veterinarians and toxicology experts at Pet Poison Helpline offer these tips for pet owners.
Human Eats and Drinks: Not for Pets
Some holiday foods we hold dear can be quite dangerous to pets, such as chocolate and cocoa, candy and sugarless gums that contain xylitol, yeast bread dough, leftover fatty meat scraps, and fruit cakes with raisins and currants. The fruitcake threat can be compounded if the cake is soaked in rum or another alcohol. Alcohol poisoning in pets can result in a dangerous drop in blood sugar, blood pressure and body temperature, potentially leading to seizures and respiratory failure. So, while entertaining this holiday season, it’s perfectly acceptable to ask guests to refrain from sharing human food and drinks with pets.
Seasonal Holiday Plants: Myths Debunked

Herein lie the myths. Over the years, the relative toxicity of poinsettias has been exaggerated. In reality, if ingested by a dog or cat, the sticky white sap usually causes only minor mouth or stomach irritation. Likewise, Christmas cactus can cause vomiting and diarrhea, and the spiny leaves of the Christmas or English holly can cause irritation and damage to pets’ stomachs and intestines. While serious complications aren’t likely with holiday plants, it’s still best to keep them out of pets’ reach.

Tinsel and Liquid Potpourri: Cat Owners Beware
Tinsel should be banned from households with cats. It looks like a shiny, fun toy to cats, but when ingested, tinsel can wrap around the tongue or anchor itself in the stomach making passage through the intestines impossible. Matters are made worse when the intestines contract and move, as tinsel can slowly cut through the tissue and cause severe damage to the intestinal tract. For all these reasons, it’s also best to keep ribbon, yarn and thread stowed away.
Liquid potpourris are dangerous too. They typically contain cationic detergents and essential oils that, if consumed by a cat, can cause severe chemical burns in the mouth, fever, difficulty breathing and tremors. Dogs are not as sensitive to the chemicals, but its best to keep potpourri out of their reach as well.
Handbags: Stow Them Away!
Be sure to store guest’s handbags out of your pets’ reach. Handbags typically contain many items poisonous to dogs and cats. The most dangerous are prescription medications, pain medications (e.g., Tylenol, Advil, Aleve), sugarless chewing gum, asthma inhalers, cigarettes, coins, and hand sanitizers.
Gifts: The Best Choice for Pets
Give the gift of safety and health to your pets by downloading and using the Pet Poison Help iPhone app for only $1.99. It has an extensive database of more than 200 foods, drugs, household cleaning supplies and plants that are potentially poisonous to pets. Each toxin has a full color photo, description, list of symptoms, and a bright yellow banner that indicates the severity of the toxin, from “mild to moderate,” to “moderate to severe.”
As you deck the halls and celebrate, keep the holidays happy for pets by placing potentially dangerous items out of their reach. If, however, you think a pet may have ingested something harmful, take action immediately. Contact your veterinarian or Pet Poison Helpline at 1-800-213-6680. At only $39 per call including follow-up consultations, Pet Poison Helpline is the most cost-effective animal poison control center in North America.
About Pet Poison Helpline
Pet Poison Helpline, an animal poison control center based out of Minneapolis, is available 24 hours, seven days a week for pet owners and veterinary professionals that require assistance treating a potentially poisoned pet. The staff provides treatment advice for poisoning cases of all species, including dogs, cats, birds, small mammals, large animals and exotic species. As the most cost-effective option for animal poison control care, Pet Poison Helpline’s fee of $39 per incident includes follow-up consultation for the duration of the poison case. Pet Poison Helpline is available in North America by calling 800-213-6680. Additional information can be found online at

Diana Ruth Davidson, Chief Pet Officer and Managing Nanny, Westside Dog Nanny

We offer pet services such as:  Pet Sitting,  In-Home Dog Boarding, Dog Walking, Overnights in your home, Doggie Day Care.
310 919 9372

Dog Microchip Can Save Your Dog’s Life

Summer may be winding down but there are still many outdoor days ahead so I thought this article would be helpful in keeping your dog safe…….and alive!

It is no secret that annually, millions of dogs are killed in dog pounds across the United States. A tragedy and a wrong that we are on the forefront to rectify, some of the most horrific cases occur when a family’s best friend gets lost in the midst someplace and consequently loses his life.

The Problem

When dogs are picked up as strays, they are OFTEN killed because his family has not been found/ notified or does not appear at the holding shelter in the VERY short time span that is given  before a dog’s life is snuffed out. 

This happens after days at the beach, a campground, natural disaster, or an open gate at home which sends Fido strolling perhaps to get lost and picked up by Animal Control.

It is nothing short of tragic… 

Fortunately, there is a simple fix  that every dog guardian can do to help assure their best friend does not become a statistic.


That Tiny Life Saving Solution is a Dog Microchip

A microchip is a very small computer chip with a unique pre-programmed ID number. Once implanted, the I.D. number is permanent. A layer of connective tissue will form around the chip preventing movement.


Implanting a tiny microchip such as the one pictured above is quick, easy and pain free. A quick injection under the loose skin between shoulder blades and it’s done !

Most veterinarians and animal shelters have scanners that can read that identification code.  Most use universal scanners that will read all brands of microchips.

Once complete, you must register the microchip, with your contact info and your veterinarian’s contact info which will be added to the database should your best pal ever get lost.

If a shelter  takes in your dog, they will scan to read the number and contact an agency managing the database. The only dilemma has been that there are different manufacturers and consequently different databases… and shelters are not very proactive after a call to one.

The good news here is that a  microchip database exists within the AAHA and is accessible online to make the search easier. According to their site the database enables veterinarians, humane organizations, dog guardians and others to search pet recovery registries and identify where a microchip is registered.

Ask your vet to scan your dog for the presence of a microchip and search the database if there is a chip, to make sure it is REGISTERED. This is very important and only take a few minutes.

Contact the microchip supplier at their customer service dept to confirm registration and that all of your contact information as to names, phone numbers, and veterinary information are up to date.

This is CRITICAL. Your dog may have only one chance at a dog pound to be reunited with you. Don’t leave to hope or chance what happens when a phone number supplied years ago is dialed…. 


If you travel internationally, some countries require microchips in imported animals to match vaccination  records.  

MR Bruno
Adopt a Dog-  Protect Her Life With a Simple Microchip and ID Tag

Diana Ruth Davidson, Chief Pet Officer and Managing Nanny, Westside Dog Nanny

We offer pet services such as:  Pet Sitting,  In-Home Dog Boarding, Dog Walking, Overnights in your home, Doggie Day Care.
310 919 9372



Is Your Dog At Risk? Dangerous Dog Treats

I bought rawhide bones for my GSD.  I didn’t know that they were so potentially dangerous!  After reading this very informative article, I am buying bully sticks instead.-Diana Davidson,

Sometimes even the best intentions can have dangerous or tragic results. 

As a good pet parent, you want your dog to have the very best life possible. That includes giving them everything you can to make them happy. One easy way that many owners show how much they love their animal companions is to treat them with a delicious snack. Our pets appreciate the treats and we get joy from giving them, so what could be wrong with a little extra goodie now and again? 

The problem is that all treats are not created equal, and what you may not know about some treats could put your dog in grave danger.

Over the years I’ve talked to a lot of my colleagues in veterinary medicine about treats. That includes my dear friend Dr. Debra at, who has spent years and years studying the treats on the market. Together she and I have learned a lot about products including what dogs like and what is safe, and some of what we’ve found out is shocking.

As you may recall, in 2007 news broke of the horrific canine deaths and illnesses related to contaminated dog treats imported from China. The terrible situation came about because production standards in other countries are often less strict as they are in the United States. Most dog owners didn’t know this, and didn’t realize that their dogs’ treats were made in a country with lax regulations (such as China). The treats in question were packaged and sold under U.S. brand names but produced elsewhere.

Thousands of animals became sick as a result of consuming contaminated treats, and many others lost their lives. When owners became aware of the issue it led to greater attention to the dangers associated with imported treats. As a result, it also fed into a growing demand for natural treats that are made in the U.S.A. with U.S.-sourced ingredients. Two types of treats became much more popular during this time: rawhide chews and “bully sticks.” Today I’d like to talk a little bit about them and help you understand which is better for your pet. 

Rawhide Treats: Are They Safe?

It seems like rawhide treats have been around forever. These familiar chews come in lots of fun shapes and flavors, and dogs generally enjoy them. They’re also very affordable and they last for a long time. But there are also some health dangers associated with rawhide treats, so make sure you understand the risks before giving your dog this kind of item.

Rawhide is made from animal hide, which is not digestible. If your dog swallows a piece of rawhide whole, it can become a choking hazard. Swallowed rawhide cannot be digested. That means it must travel through your dog’s digestive tract where the sharp edges of the undigested rawhide can cause internal damage. It is not uncommon for veterinarians like myself to examine an x-ray only to find obstructions from rawhide. In some cases they even require a surgery.

Many owners find that rawhide treats don’t fit into their lifestyle of reduced chemicals. Rawhide goes through a lot of processing before it is ready for sale, including a chemical process where it is washed with degreasers and detergents then sterilized in hydrogen peroxide. With these things in mind, you might want to reconsider the use of rawhide as treats.

Bully Sticks: The Healthier Alternative

These strange-looking snacks might look a little unusual at first but trust me: dogs go crazy for them. Unlike rawhide, bully sticks are made with the meat of the cow – not the hide – so bully sticks are more easily digestible. This eliminates the potential choking hazards and intestinal obstructions associated with rawhide chews. Bully sticks are a little more expensive than rawhide, but they are long-lasting and much safer for your dog. Plus bully sticks are natural and do not contain chemicals.

After the dog treat contamination issues began in 2007, there was a growing demand for all-natural dog treats, including bully sticks that were American made. But did you know that most bully sticks are not made in the U.S.A.?

Today I’d like to tell you about a new kind of bully stick that is safe, tasty, long lasting, made in the U.S.A. of all-natural U.S. sourced ingredients… and it cleans your dogs’ teeth as they chew. Merrick Flossies Spiral Chews are a great choice for a high-protein, digestible, long-lasting bully stick. Their unique textured spiral shape cleans the tartar from your dogs’ teeth as they chew. Not only will your dogs get a tasty savory treat, every time they chew they’ll be improving their breath and cleaning their teeth and gums.                 Dr. Jon

Diana Ruth Davidson, Chief Pet Officer and Managing Nanny, Westside Dog Nanny

We offer pet services such as:  Pet Sitting,  In-Home Dog Boarding, Dog Walking, Overnights in your home, Doggie Day Care.
310 919 9372



Lately we have been talking a lot about summer activities which has of course included TRAVEL

What to take, where to stay, activities, food, and dog family attractions are all important and yet there is one especially important topic we should discuss..

Keeping Your DOG SAFE when TRAVELING

Too often we hear reports that a dog in a vehicle that was involved in a collision is thrown sideways, hurled through windows or windshields sustaining serious or life ending injuries.

It doesn’t have to happen

Seat belts, harnesses and specially designed restraints can save Fido’s life if you are in an accident…  Unfortunately, more than 80% of dog guardians don’t use one.

                                                 Seat Belts/ Harnesses


   Dogs ride happy and safe when properly 

fitted in a seat belt or harness

The  AAA  conducted   a study  which not surprisingly found that dogs can be a distraction. It concluded that :

  • More than 1/2 were distracted if there dog was with them when driving
  • 1/3 were distracted if their dog climbed on  their lap
  • 1/4 held their dog when using  the brake
  • 1/5 allow Fido to sit on their lap in the car
  • 1/5 use one hand to keep Fido from climbing and one hand to drive  

Many dog guardians believe that Fido is safe when unrestrained or lap napping… 

But this is not the case


Here’s why you should never give your dog free reign of the car.

  • Airbags CAN BE FATAL A dog sitting on a driver’s lap can be struck and killed by a from seat airbag
  1. “In an accident, an unrestrained 10-pound  in a car going 50mph will fly forward with an effective weight of 833 pounds. An 80-pound dog in a vehicle going only 30mph will have an effective weight of 2,400 pounds – over a ton”. Cesar Milan 
  • Danger to first responders. Scared or hurt dogs may reflexively bite if a stranger approaches the driver
  • Running away. A scared Fido may run off, get lost or become injured by oncoming trafficMany states already have pet vehicle safety laws and others are following suit. States such as :Arizona, Florida, California, Connecticut, Maine and New Jersey hand out fines from $250-$1,000  if you let Fido sit on your lap while driving Hawaii prohibits unrestrained dogs in moving vehicles.
  • Most states have laws prohibiting dogs from riding unrestrained in the back of pickup trucks… It’s a law we wholeheartedly support !

More states are likely to follow suit….but it is really beside the point….

You MUST use a Harness, SEAT BELT or 

Dog Safety Retraint for Fido’s protection…

It just may save his life !

Types of Vehicle Safety Restraints

There are different types of dog seat belts that embrace Fido and keep him safe

Dog Seat Belt (like the ones shown above)

A dog seat belt is made of adjustable straps that fit a variety of shapes and sizes of dogs. Owners can purchase different types of canine seat belt harnesses that wrap around a dog’s body and safely secure them in a seat of the car

If you can’t get one for any reason you can make do with a tether attached to a harness in the back seat. Make sure that it is short enough to restrict activity but long enough for Fido to sit and recline comfortably…. 


What if you don’t want to use a seat belt, harness or tether?

No worries… there are multiple options 

Safety Barriers


Some people use barriers made of steel or other material  that keep Fido in the rear area of the vehicle. You have to decide for your dog what will keep him/her the safest depending on size, typical activity level and length of trip,

Booster Seats  and Crates


Another option is a booster seat designed for dogs, or a seat belt secured around Fido’s crate to prevent jostling.

We’ll be traveling again in a few weeks . About 20 years ago I discovered that seat belts were available for dogs…  

We NEVER leave home without our pack safely harnessed in the back seat.

They are comfortable, safe, happy and enjoy the trip…and we know everyone will get to our destination in one piece.

Doesn’t your best friend deserve the same level of peace and safety? If you already have a seat belt or restraint I congratulate an thank you…           MR Bruno

Adopt a Dog- Buckle Up for SAFETY !

Diana Ruth Davidson, Chief Pet Officer and Managing Nanny, Westside Dog Nanny

We offer pet services such as:  Pet Sitting,  In-Home Dog Boarding, Dog Walking, Overnights in your home, Doggie Day Care.
310 919 9372


Dog Safety: Camping with Dog

 Some of these dog safety tips you will be familiar with but they are especially important when camping with dog and spending time outdoors.

1-While I am not a big fan of vaccinations you should check to see if there are any proof of vaccination requirements at the campgrounds you plan to visit or at any state or national border crossings. Typically a veterinarian issues pet health certificate will suffice if required

Make sure that dogs are permitted at the campgrounds you plan to visit . The National Park System has varying restrictions on access to campgrounds and trails that you must be aware of..

You can search for campgrounds nationwide in the U.S.   by Clicking Here  or visit

2- Make sure that you have an ample supply of the kibble that you use and any supplements or meds that you give Fido daily.

We  carry small bags of Great Life Kibble, supplements and enzymes that make our crew a happy pack 🙂 A change of diet and routine on a sudden basis can be disconcerting to Fido and produce some unwelcome intestinal consequences.



 It’s fun to take Fido boating but we recommend a  life jacket for safety sake

3-Make sure to have a harness or equally safe restraint so that Fido can ride in the 
back seat. Dogs unsecured can easily be propelled thru a window in the case of an impact. The most dangerous place for a dog to be is on your lap or in the back of a pickup with a leash. It can be a virtual death sentence if an accident  or sharp turn is necessary. Just don’t do it

4- If your camping trip involves any boating or water sports, make sure that you dog 
has a life jacket NOT EVERY DOG CAN SWIM fact some don’t at all ! In the case of an emergency even a good swimmer may need life saving protection

5- Jot down the phone number of an emergency 24 hr veterinary clinic in every locale that you will be visiting… it may take a few minutes but sometimes the that can be the difference between life and no life after an accident or incident.  We hear of away 
from home emergencies on a regular basis… knowing what to do and WHERE to go 
can be life saving

6- If Fido is prone to run off and explore make sure that you keep him in harness . 
If absolutely necessary have a crate for short period use for HIS safety. And of course, NEVER lock your dog in a car for any amount of time. Even a few minutes can be fatal from heatstroke

7-Make sure that Fido does not eat strange and exotic things he finds in the brush… 
this includes cigarette butts and thrown away food which may be toxic or cause intestinal distress

8-Make sure to have a First Aid Kit. You may have this list from a previous issue
but just  in case here it is again

 First Aid Kit– Make sure to have a basic first aid kit in the car that includes:

  • Bandages such as gauze pads, cotton gauze, and masking tape.
  • Hydrogen peroxide and anti-bacterial ointment
  • Diarrhea medication (over the counter options available at many pet shops)…ask your vet
  • Scissors, tweezers
  • Eyedroppers for dispensing liquid meds.
  • Syrup of ipecac to induce vomiting in the case of poisoning. Ask your vet for instructions
  • Activated charcoal capsules kelps with poisoning, diarrhea and flatulence
  • Blankets an towels
  • Call your hotel/motel/lodge for dangers such as snakes, poison plants or extreme temps
  • Phone number for your vet and nearby emergency veterinary hospital


7- NEVER leave you dog alone at any campground or place that you visit

9- A word about Microchips-  If Fido is microchipped, is the contact information correct? I always make certain that every harness has its own tag with 2 current cell phone numbers…in case something happens to me when we are out walking…our 
dogs are small and always close..but even small dogs need protection in the event of 
the unexpected.

OK… now that you are well prepared… pack in advance and double check that you 
have everything..then get in the car and hit the road…maybe we’ll see ya’  at the 
next stop !

till next time

MR Bruno

Adopt a Dog- Take him on a Camping Trip !

Diana Ruth Davidson, Chief Pet Officer and Managing Nanny, Westside Dog Nanny

We offer pet services such as:  Pet Sitting,  In-Home Dog Boarding, Dog Walking, Overnights in your home, Doggie Day Care.
310 919 9372


Pet Safety in EXTREME HEAT

Pet Safety in EXTREME Heat

According to composer George Gershwin, summertime means “the livin’ is easy; fish are jumpin’, and the cotton is high”. This special season can also mean we need to protect our companion animals from extreme heat.

Keep in mind that when it is hot for you, it is even hotter for them. Dogs and cats do not sweat through their skin. They cool themselves by panting or rapid breathing, which means animals must work hard to stay cool.

Too much heat can be extremely dangerous or even fatal. If your best friend has a shorter nose, like Persian cats and bulldogs, he is more susceptible to heatstroke than breeds with longer noses.

If your dog or cat begins very rapid, noisy breathing, has trouble swallowing, and looks very distressed, she could be having a heatstroke. Heatstroke is an emergency. Get the animal out of the heat. Apply cold, wet towels to the back of the head. Place cold packs wrapped in towels or plain wet towels between the back legs and on the belly. Cool off your furry friend and then take her to the vet immediately.

The best plan is to keep your dog and cat protected from the summer heat.

  • Always make sure that your dog or cat has plenty of fresh water to drink. A bucket that holds a gallon or more of water will stay cool longer than water in a shallow pan. Some dogs consider ice cubes a treat, and you can add a few to the water bowl.
  • Dogs and cats do sweat a little through the pads of their feet. The cats I know do not appreciate water added to any part of their body, but dogs often enjoy having cool water on their feet. Some dogs enjoy walking through or even lying in a child’s wading pool.
  • It is dangerous to leave your dog or cat in a car for 5 minutes. If he cannot go inside at every stop with you, he is safer at home on hot days! Car interiors heat very quickly in the hot sun, even with the windows open. If it is 85 degrees outside, it will climb to 102 degrees inside your car within ten minutes. In half an hour, it will reach 120 degrees or more! If it is 90 degrees out, temperatures can top 160 degrees faster than you can walk around the block.
  • While walking your dog outdoors, play particular attention the hot pavement or sidewalks that make your dogs walking area hotter and can even burn their feet. Early morning and later evening walks will be more comfortable for you both!
  • Animals who go outside need access to shade. Dark coats absorb heat. Lighter coated animals, especially white ones, are at higher risk for skin cancer from exposure to the sun and they are more susceptible to sunburn.
  • Longer coated dogs and cats who are brushed regularly have natural insulation from the heat. However, if the coat has gotten matted, a summer clip will make your buddy much more comfortable and allow you a new start at keeping him brushed. Remember, newly clipped animals can be sunburned.
  • If your dog spends time in the yard, make sure she has access to shade. Shade trees, a covered patio, or a cool spot under the porch can help keep her comfortable.

Companion animals want to be with you. They will be safer and cooler inside with you, where they can spend their time doing what they do best: being your best friend!
(888) 452-7381

Click here to make a donation for the animals!

Diana Ruth Davidson, Chief Pet Officer and Managing Nanny, Westside Dog Nanny

We offer pet services such as:  Pet Sitting,  In-Home Dog Boarding, Dog Walking, Overnights in your home, Doggie Day Care.
310 919 9372