Wednesday, August 20, 2014

Dog Safety for Your Good Buddy

by Carrie Boyko, CEB

Tanner's Favorite Gator Toy
Each year about this time I drop everything I'm doing and write a post about gator safety. It's a passion for me to help you watch out for your dog's safety around bodies of water where gators may be present. Why? I've grown up in Central Florida where lakes are all around me. Every golf course has water hazards and even these often have a reptilian resident that could take your Beagle or bigger down for his last swim. Let's not let that happen.

I'm trying to make this as fun as possible, despite the scary thought of it. If you'll read my tips and enter this giveaway, you can help share these tips via other social media to educate more dog-lovers out there. By paying it forward, you may have the opportunity to win an alligator toy (not the one pictured in this photo) and a bag of Good Buddy treats for your dog. I've got 4 toys and 4 bags of yummy goodies to go to 4 homes that want to help others learn about gator safety. 

Here are my educational pitches and helpful tips. Good luck in the giveaway:
  • During April and May gators become active just before dusk, seeking both food and mating partners. 
  • Breeding and nesting continues through early September, making Summer especially hazardous for our dogs, since gators often mate and nest in shallow water where your dog may love to romp.
  • Gators spend their days hunkering down in the mud or lying in wait in the marshy, weedy areas where they are less visible. This makes the water's edge a less safe place for Fido to play. Be vigilant in your watch and never allow water play after dusk.
  • The erratic movement of a swimming or playing dog attracts the attention of this fierce predator from a fair distance, and he may wander over--under water--to check out what the fuss is all about. When Fido starts to bark, it's all over. Gators may frequently take a dog by surprise, rising up out of the depths near a dog and hauling it away to its 'locker' deep under the water.
  • A small to medium dog is at greatest risk, of course, but larger dogs have been known to be taken by mature male gators, that can reach lengths of 12 feet and weigh nearly half a ton. 
  • If your large swimmer simply must have a dip, the safest place to swim is in the middle of a large lake during midday, where these predators don't venture as often.
  • Your best bet? Leave your fresh water swimming expeditions for cooler weather when gators are not as active. October through March is much safer. 
  • Another extra precaution to take is a super-thick life vest. Although this will not protect Fido from the strong bite of a large gator, it may give him some relief if attacked by a smaller one.
  • If you walk your dog along a fresh water area known to be inhabited by gators, always use a leash.
  • Gators can travel very fast on land; do not approach a sunbathing gator thinking it will be slow-moving; you'll regret it.
  • If you spot an adult gator (more than 3 feet in length), no matter how small, give it a wide berth of more than 15-20 feet, particularly during mating and nesting season. Do not allow your dog to bark at the gator, as this will be perceived as aggression and may provoke an attack. Leave the area if your dog ceases to bark on command.
  • If you notice a gator sunning itself on land, make some noise to alert it to your presence. Generally, this will cause the gator to retreat back into the water, giving you a safer passing.
  • If you are attacked by a gator, fight back. Go for the back of the throat, the eyes, nostrils and ears. Each of these areas are highly sensitive. The back of a gator's tongue has a flap that controls influx of water, allowing them to open their mouth while submerged. If you find yourself in the jaws of a gator in water, summon your best efforts to damage this flap. If this flap becomes dislodged or damaged, a gator will generally release you to protect himself from drowning.
  • Never, ever, feed a gator. No matter how cute or how big, he is not your good buddy. #nuffsaid
  • Finally, get prompt medical attention for any gator-inflicted injury, no matter how minor. Their mouths are heavily infested with bacteria, meaning you are at risk for infection.
Now that I'm all done grossing you out, go hug your dog and promise to always keep him safe.  Armed with this information, I hope your dog will be with you for a long, long time. Enjoy what's left of this Summer and please share the gator safety info as you enter this giveaway.





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The gator toys and treats to be given away will be photographed and shared on my social media and in the winners announcement on Friday, September 6. These toys have been purchased by me in an effort to soften the tough information above and get you to read it and learn. The Good Buddy treats have been provided by my advertiser, Castor and Pollux.
a Rafflecopter giveaway

34 comments:



Kristen said...

I'd like to try the Turkey Nibs.



Elaine said...

Fascinating article. I live in Ohio, so I don't have to worry about gators up here luckily, but we do visit our son in East Texas (Houston area) and our dog always goes along. Gators can be a problem down there, so these tips are great. Thanks!



Shelley P said...

I'd like to try the GOOD BUDDY All Americans Turkey Nibs with my dogs.



RitaMeow said...

I'm not educated about gator safety beyond what you referenced in your article. I never knew about the flap on a gator's tongue...great tip!



RitaMeow said...

I would like to try the USA Raised Pork Recipe. Thanks for the chance!



Shelly Skoog-Smith said...

We'd like to try the pork nibs (because we have poultry allergies!).



bearsbearsbearswoo said...

no gators here in PA, unless someone lets one go that they had for a pet



Tiffany's Diamond Dogs said...

I would watch those shows the included gators (Animal Cops, Fatal Attractions, etc.) and I remember one that showed a clueless person having their dog eaten by a gator (the lady was on the phone and her on leash dog wandered too close to the reptile) *shudder* That is why I had long ago decided I would never live in Florida-that would scare me so much! And gators terrify me in general. I couldn't imagine subjecting mine or my dog's safety to the prehistoric creature.



PUKEFAIRY said...

wow the troubles you have to deal in Florida!! i am hopeful people take aware of the seasons of when these bad boys come out im no expert and dont know nothing about gators...i will be twittering the list on my twitter to help someone from Florida out and be aware for their lives and their furry friends... thanks for keeping us safe!!



PUKEFAIRY said...

the turkey nubs!!! Blue would like a taste of #GoodBuddy All Americans treats!!



Urd-chan said...

I really don't know anything about gators, so what you posted was very interesting to me.



Urd-chan said...

I have hounds, so they'll eat anything that doesn't try to eat them first. However, they do still have favorite flavors and I think they'd really like the GOOD BUDDY ALL AMERICANS PORK NIBS



Kelley Caton said...

I'm an animal control officer in north Florida. I get more gator calls than you would expect. People are always surprised to hear that we have gators too.



Jennifer Dace said...

I think Drago would like the turkey nibs.



Jennifer Dace said...

My gator tip is-- come to Missouri!! Lol! We have lots of rivers, lakes and ponds that Thankfully are NOT occupied by alligators!! We have friends from Lousiana that come up to ride their mules is MO every Fall just for this reason.



Marti Tabora said...

I live in Florida too, but after reading all your tips it seems like you have just about covered everything. The only think I can think of to add is to just be cautious when approaching any body of water. Really great tips.



Marti Tabora said...

I think my dog would like to try the Good Buddy All American Beef Nibs. Thank you.



Paige Boggs said...

I'm not really familiar with gator safety seeing as I live in Kentucky, but I really enjoyed reading your post. I'm glad that I do know more now, in case I'm ever where gators might be near. Thank you for the tips! I bet my furbabies would love to try the Pork Nibs! :)



Rachael H. said...

We would like to try the All Americans Turkey Nibs! Thanks for the giveaway!



Peggy Frezon said...

I think you posted all the gator safety tips except never play alone in the water with a gator. BOL



Peggy Frezon said...

All American Chicken. But Ike wishes they had salmon, because that's his favorite.



Schooner and Skipper said...

When I was in Florida visiting a gator decided to take a nap behind the car so we went back in the house until the gator was finished napping. So I would say let sleeping gators sleep! Do not try to make them move!



ale ol said...

Turkey sounds good



Carrie, with Tanner and Oliver said...

@Schooner and Skipper: Great suggestion! I concur.



Schooner and Skipper said...

SChooner and Skipper would like to try LAMB LUNG FILETS



medicus0911 said...

Our pooch would love all of the flavors but he would probably be partial to the beef. Rene Chartier



medicus0911 said...

Thank you for sharing your expertise with gators and elements to protect our special pals. Extremely interesting. Rene Chartier



Lisa F. said...

I think I would pick the All Americans Beef Nibs first for my dogs. Thanks!



barleecreations said...

My dogs would love the GOOD BUDDY All Americans Pork Nibs.



Four Paw Savings said...

The beef nips for sure



Bryn Nowell said...

We'd love any flavor! We would donate the treats to our local animal shelter if selected :)



Theresa Spaid said...

They love Turkey so the Good Buddy Turkey Nibs would be what they would like.



Marilyn said...

We would like to try the Good Buddy All American Beef Nibs



KateV said...

My dogs would love the lamb lung fillets the best!

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