Every Journey Begins With A Step and A Story:
By and large my first pet of choice has always been a dog and even to this day as much as I love all animals there is always a very special place within me for dogs. Since I was very young, my family always had several dogs and cats around the house most of which were strays that we had taken in from the neighborhood or had rescued from various local area shelters. Several of these rescued animals we owned for many years and soon they became part of the family as well. I can remember growing up and seeing both puppies and kittens being born and nursed by their mothers for weeks until they were old enough to fend for themselves and leave the nest. When they were old enough, we would often adopt them out to close friends and other family members whom were seeking that “life-long lovable companion”. Sometimes, we would keep a few of these puppies or kittens ourselves and they too would become part of the family real fast. It was great to see that almost all of the pets that we had adopted out had grown old with their new owners and it was great to see some of those pets years later when they became mature adults and stopped by for a visit. As I entered into my teens, I had become interested in snakes and reptiles through a South American friend of mine whom had an entire floor of his home set up like a “mini-jungle”. There were all sorts of exotic plants, tree’s, and pets living in large custom built aquariums and spacious home made cages with waterfalls cascading down the sides leading to lengthy man-made streams lined along the back walls of the house. It was a little strange and yet fascinating at the same time. One minute you would have a bird land on your shoulder, the next a snake cross your legs, and at other times have crickets hop over you to get to another plant in the room. Interestingly, upon looking back at all of the wild animals in my friends home zoo, they were very happy and healthy and did not have a care in the world even though they were living on one floor of an 1800’s era American brownstone in New York City instead of a tropical rainforest in Peru. It was a little extreme for me personally, but eventually I found myself doing a great deal of research regarding reptiles, snakes, and aquariums. Before long I was setting up some rather large aquariums in my house in order to feed my mild infatuation with snakes and reptiles. Soon enough, my snake and reptilian interest would eventually augment itself to include other species such as; gold fish, birds, mice, arachnids, and hermit crabs. Part of this growth in interest was the direct result of several close friends of mine with similar interests whom had opened up some reputable exotic pet shops in town that were primarily dedicated to high-end enthusiasts like ourselves. Again, I found myself setting up several large new aquariums to accommodate my latest pets and although my aquarium set-ups were clearly no match for that of my South American friends overall, all of my pets were equally healthy and well taken care of and lived great lives for several years. At one point in time during this period, I believe I had about twelve custom aquariums set up on one floor in my home which was a little hard to maintain at first but once I got a pattern and rhythm down after the first week the rest was just cake. When I was about twenty five I ended up giving away all of my aquariums and equipment to some local high school kids whom were looking to set up their own aquariums and could not afford all of the new gear themselves. Even though I had permanently given up on one of my favorite hobbies which I had dedicated almost ten years of my life to, I always found myself returning to my roots and continuing to rescue stray dogs and cats. As a matter of fact when I had my aquariums set up I also had three dogs and a cat that were rescued whom had occupied the remainder of my free time outside of reptiles and snakes.
As I entered my mid-twenties, I really started focusing in on rescuing lost or stray animals; especially dogs that I had come across while on patrol when I entered into a career in law enforcement. Many of these rescued animals were abused or neglected by their sick and perverted owners or were being used as fighting or bait dogs by local drug dealers for sport and profit. I remember one time responding to a call of a child yelling for help on a rooftop of a public housing project in New Jersey. When I arrived I quickly determined that it was in fact not a child yelling for help at all but rather a young male pit bull mix that was badly injured and yelping as a result of being tied up on the sweltering rooftop in the hot summer without any food, shelter, or water for days. This poor dog was suffering and was clearly being used as a bait dog for a local dog fighting ring that would usually hold their nightly matches on the rooftops of housing projects in the area a few times a week. I immediately rescued the dog and nursed him back to full health over the following weeks. Eventually, had placed him with a loving family that had adopted him at no cost once he was well enough to be with them. On another occasion, I recall entering a burning building to rescue some people that were believed to be trapped inside and ended up removing an elderly man, a child, and their six year old German Shepherd all of whom were unconscious from smoke inhalation. Fortunately enough for all of us, I was a certified EMT and had my full medical bag and gear with me that day and aided all three victims that thankfully had made a full recovery. It seemed that on average I would rescue about two dogs a month sometimes more that were in danger, injured, or were about to be sent to one of those sadistic “all kill shelters” where they would have been gassed within hours even though many were perfectly healthy and still full of life. Other times I would have people contact me or come to my home or job and offer to bring me their pets or dogs with the hopes that I could take them in or find them a better home. They knew that putting down the animals was not an option for them and certainly they did not want to bring these animals to the “all kill shelters” knowing full well that the poor creatures would be killed within a day or so. I never turned anyone down and usually within a few days would have the animals placed with a new loving home and family. Many of my fellow co-workers in law enforcement would often start bringing me dogs at the end of our shifts that they would pick up on the streets while out on patrol. They did not want to bring the dogs to the local shelters considering that at this time several of the locations most commonly used for animal drop off’s were under criminal investigation by the state for animal abuse and torture. It was bad enough that these poor animals were going to get gassed anyway soon after their arrival at the shelter, but to further have them abused and tortured for fun by the sick individuals that worked there was extremely frustrating. Although I was glad that these targeted locations were being investigated and closed down, it made no sense to me that innocent animals were being gassed without nobody being criminally charged and yet those employees that beat dogs were getting arrested. To me it was clear that beating a dog to death and gassing them were the same animal abuse and torture. On one occasion I remember seeing a state animal control officer walk out of a shelter with a bloodied hand carrying a small dog in his arms. I asked him if he was bit and he said no he was good and got into his patrol car with the tiny dog. As he was about to pull away two other state animal control officers exited the shelter with some employees that were being arrested for animal abuse. One of the arrested employees had a bloodied face and was ranting about police abuse. It was clear that justice was served even though it was small and later I found out that the tiny dog the officer had removed from the shelter was actually rescued by him and his family that day. I also found out that when the officers arrived to arrest several shelter employees for animal abuse the “bloodied employee” was caught hanging the tiny dog from a rope by the neck while the others were about to beat the animal with broomsticks for laughs until it had died. Once this savage had saw the officers enter the shelter to arrest them for animal abuse the employee had dropped the dog and took a swing at one of the arresting officers in a poor attempt at escaping and needless to say that attempt failed. Before the officer with the tiny dog had pulled away I said, “You guys should get medals for this” to which he replied “I already did, two of them” as he raised his bloodied hand in my direction and then pointed secondly to the tiny dog that was now safe. Within days the shelter was closed down, had all of their assets seized, the owners were criminally charged with numerous violations, and the arrested animal abusers that worked there were later convicted for their crimes.
Although I never saw the officer again, what he had said to me had rung true and in retrospect, some of my greatest career achievements personally have always involved rescuing defenseless animals from danger and making them whole again. Interestingly enough, the majority of all public servants usually never receive any awards or commendations for animal rescues and when they do it is very, very, rare. Recently I was watching one of those rescue shows on cable and the episode in question involved an L.A. Fireman that entered into the sewers of the L.A. River to rescue a drowning dog that was trying to stay afloat in heavy rain. After 30 minutes and several attempts by helicopter the fireman had eventually rescued the poor dog even though he was bitten on the face and neck several times by the scared dog and even lost part of his pinky finger in the process. He received an award for bravery from the city and several awards from various animal rescue groups around the country. I was never the type of person to seek out any awards or commendations for anything although I have received many including several medals, and commendations over the years for acts of service that were not even related to rescuing animals. In fact, most of my acknowledgments were the result of actions I had undertaken for going above and beyond the call of duty while helping people in danger without any regard for my own personal safety. All of those merits were great but really not worth the materials they were printed on in my opinion and even to this day they remain tossed away in a box somewhere untouched. My ultimate “award” or should I say “reward” often came in the form of a head nudge, lick, raised paw, or look on a rescued animals face that I had saved when they looked up and knew they were safe. Once I started rescuing dogs and nursing them back to health as often as I had been doing I more or less found myself destined for the most part to stay on that path because one of the most humane and righteous things to do in life is to help defenseless animals and be their voice. I currently have four dogs all of which have been rescued by me and are living out the best days of their entire lives. My one dog Maggie who is the oldest of them all has been with me now for 13 years and the bond that we share is amazing. I rescued her back when I was working the graveyard shift in the county sheriff’s office supervising the 911-command center. One night the Patrol Division had brought her in around midnight as a stray without any tags and were going to have her brought to the “all kill shelter” in the morning about 6 am. I could tell immediately that she was only a few months old, full of life and love and was incredibly playful. About 2 am she somehow escaped from the holding cell area and was running around the department trying to get out and would not go near anyone at all except me. At one point she grabbed my leg while I was doing some investigative paperwork at my desk in my office and made sure that I knew she was there and my friend. I must admit, it was a great hiding place for her. She was far away from all the other deputies that were trying to find her in the building and she was small enough not to stick out from behind my small desk on the opposite side of the communications office. It would be the last place anyone would look for her, and after an hour or so of her sitting there with me I ended up bringing her back up to the holding area temporarily so she could stretch out on the floor in one of the empty cells and get some fresh water to drink. I informed the Patrol Supervisor that I would take her home in the morning when I got off duty at 6 am and to make sure she was not brought to the shelter to be killed. At that time, I was more interested in trying try to find her owner and return her home and if I could not find them, I would make sure that she was adopted out to a safe new home with a new forever family. About 2 hours later she somehow escaped again and ran right to me and grabbed my leg again this time with her two front paws as she looked up at me with her “happy eyes” and let out a barely audible moan. That was it for me, at that point, the deal was sealed and I took her home immediately before returning to back to duty. Over the next two weeks, I tried finding her owner and had posted flyers as well as ad’s in the local newspapers. When I could not find them I really had no choice but to keep her all to myself and for the last 13 years we have had an incredible life together.
In 2003 I rescued a twelve year old female Chihuahua that was tied to a door and left for dead in the South Bronx one night at about 1 am. The poor dog was shaking and starving and looked very thin and neglected. I immediately had taken her home and the first thing she did was go right to sleep on my couch where she remained for the next day and a half refusing to eat or drink any water. I was about to bring her to the vet for emergency treatment and have her checked out when suddenly she got up and jumped down from my couch and immediately squatted down and went to the bathroom on the floor. Then she yawned and stretched her legs just before she went over to the food and water bowls I had set up for her and started eating and drinking like a lunatic. Maggie watched over her as she ate and soon after they both ended up playing for awhile and getting to know each other. When the new pup was worn out she jumped back to up on the couch to go back to bed without any reservation. It was clear to me that this little dog had made her bold statements and was now there to stay and sure enough Maggie had an older sister to play with now all day. I had renamed the new little dog Dingo and over the next six years Maggie and Dingo were inseparable. They were two “bosom buddies” always side by side playing and sleeping next to each other no matter where they went. Unfortunately in 2009 Dingo had passed away at the age of eighteen from congenital heart failure even though I had spent thousands of dollars treating her for her illness for years. It was her time and everything that could have been done by me and the veterinarians to pro-long her life was done and there was truly nothing more that could have been done to save her. After a few weeks, I started looking around for another rescue dog that Maggie would get along with at some shelters in New York City and New Jersey but could not seem to find a dog that was really compatible with Maggie as a sibling. A year later I relocated to Pennsylvania from New Jersey and Maggie seemed a little bored after the move and still a bit upset after losing her sister Dingo the year before so it was time for me to make the commitment and begin searching for dogs in need of rescue again so Maggie would have some friends to play with and keep her occupied during the day aside from just my company. After some looking around and trying to find the right companions for Maggie I ended up rescuing three female dogs from the Lycoming County SPCA. Those rescues included a six and a half year old Husky / Lab that I renamed Morgan who was tied up outside to a post since since she was a puppy by her previous owner and neglected. The SPCA also informed me that she was also abused and the previous owners had provided her with very little food and water and kept her tied up outside all year around without any shelter. When the SPCA animal control officers had rescued her she was very ill and thin. Fortunately when I adopted her the SPCA had nursed her back to health and she was well enough to travel and come home with me and since then she has gained 15 lbs and gets the best of all care and medical treatment and is extremely healthy and well loved. My other rescues include a two year old white Husky that I renamed Maison who has been set free by her previous owner because they did not want her anymore. The SPCA rescued her and I had adopted her shortly after the rescue and she is now three years and a half years old and a real handful. She too has gained about 8 lbs and is completely healthy and one funny thing about her is she is very vocal and loves to “talk” for a better part of the day. It is actually pretty entertaining to see her do this. She also has the best of care and medical treatment and gets undivided attention just like all my dogs do. The last rescue included a nine and a half year old Australian Cattle Dog that was turned in by her owner because they were moving and did not want her anymore. I rescued her and re-named her Marley and she is also very vocal and very funny to be around. Marley is beautiful and well-trained and loves to play around all day and is very protective of her new family and home. After rescuing Marley and seeing her character and how incredible she is the only two things that came to mind were, one “How can anyone turn in a dog after owning them for nine and a half years” and two “Anyone that does turn in a dog after nine and a half years is really a piece of trash and never deserved to own that dog in the first place and says a lot about their character”.
Why I Decided To Write This Blog:
Each pet I had ever owned or cared for in my life has been a learning experience for me. As a result, I had often taken the knowledge I had acquired over my lifetime and utilized it to help other pet owners avoid mistakes with their problems often saving their animals from harm due to inexperience and simple avoidable mistakes and that is what I hope to achieve in this latest writing. Over the past few years, a wide variety of people whom I had come across that have met my dogs (including several friends and acquaintances) have often asked me “How do you keep your dogs looking so great and healthy?” Sometimes that question would be followed up with a comment like, “Your dogs are clearly happier than many other dogs” or “What’s your secret to such healthy and happy pets?”. I could have replied with the old adage, “If I told you I would have to kill you” but that would be too cliché and rather uncouth of me. Usually, I would just laugh and jokingly tell them “There is no secret” nor would I lay claim to being this “great dog expert” or “Dog Whisperer” like Cesar Millan. Certainly I have no veterinary training, but what I do have is a very well rounded lifetime of experience and understanding involving animals that gives me the tools I commonly utilize when properly caring for a pet and especially when caring for dogs in general. As the conversations progressed further as they often did, I simply explained that my “general practices” are nothing more than basic fundamental common sense approaches to daily pet care and that type of care easily carries over to all pets and not just grounded with dogs per-se. I would often be peppered with numerous questions concerning proper pet safety, security, health, dietary practices, discipline, training, grooming, and preventive care measures just to name a few. Many of the answers that I would eventually provide to the questioners were not your basic “yes or no” answers; each question that was asked usually did not have a simplistic answer to spout out and sometimes could only be answered with a question in return. Putting it mildly, there are just way to many factors that come into play surrounding the nature of animal care and in comparison to my practices over the years, to give a simple answer would in effect be “non-responsive” to many of the questions asked. In reality, there are no “simple answers” when caring for a pet and a conscientious pet owner must ALWAYS look at the bigger picture not just the pixels before their eyes although the pixels are equally as important as the bigger picture.
The way I see it, my dogs are my kids and I consider them to be my “immediate family” or as I commonly refer to them as my “forever family”. Proper care for any pet actually comes from the heart and soul of the pet owner period! If that pet owner has no heart and soul then that animal will not be cared for properly and will most likely be abused, neglected, killed, or die. When you undertake the task of taking in a pet you become their parent and like any good parent would do in most cases, they would do just about anything to make sure that their “children” always come first well before themselves. A good parent will always make sure their children have a roof over their head, food on the table, medical attention when needed, and most of all have all of their basic immediate and long-term needs taken into consideration as a way of life. To do otherwise and neglect those parental responsibilities only establishes that one should not be in a position of parent nevertheless a pet owner. One of the biggest misconceptions regarding pet ownership today especially as it pertains to dogs is that pet ownership is not all about the “hugs and kisses” and “throwing a ball around for an hour a day”, that is barely the tip of the iceberg. In fact, those are just the “perks” of pet ownership, a truly responsible and caring pet owner MUST take into consideration the many variables and unforeseen circumstance that take place well beyond just taking in a pet for their own personal entertainment purposes like many people do these days. A truly responsible pet owner MUST provide that animal with a voice and all the proper preventive care, security, medical aid, diet, exercise, safety, and love needed to make sure that the pet in question grows and flourishes and enjoys their lives to the fullest extent no matter how long or short those precious lives may be. So when people started asking me about my dogs and what techniques I use to care for them it was clear to me that people were seeing something that I was doing right that I was missing or not even considering because in essence, I was not trying to do anything specific but rather simply following basic practices which to me were just common sense. So after some self prodding and pondering, it sounded like a logical and good idea to “re-evaluate” what I was doing regarding my pet practices and decided it may be a good idea to share with people what I was doing regarding my dogs day to day care especially if that information can help others become more responsible pet owners as well as benefit the pets in question.
Sometimes weeks or months would pass by after my initial interactions and conversations with people regarding my dogs and pet care in general and to my surprise many had told me that they had heeded my advice and taken it to heart. Some informed me that they had used my recommendations with their own dogs and had achieved a great deal of success, satisfaction, and knowledge from my advice. Others said half jokingly that I should write a weekly column on the subject in a dog magazine or something, to which I laughed and replied “I’ll just write one big article to cover all the basics.” Almost all of the people that have utilized my techniques and practices have said that they now have a much healthier and safer pet and have acknowledged that they themselves had passed on my advice to their friends and family whom in turn have also achieved some success in keeping their pet’s safe and well in various situations. Some people that had asked for my advice ended up never followed through on and after seeing their dogs again it was clear that they were not that happy and actually did not look well at all. Unfortunately however, that is primarily due to laziness and an overall lack of concern on their part for their pets well-being and therefore there is nothing that I can really do about that matter except truly sympathize for them and the animal. Their dogs were not necessarily being abused or overtly neglected, but could have been treated a great deal better in my opinion. I did not see anything warranting my calling animal control on them or anything or move for the removal of the dog from them for safety purposes. With that being said, the following information is basically what I utilize and have utilized over the years to care for my pets and dogs primarily which is what this blog is dedicated to titled; Properly Caring For Your Family Dog – Rescue Advice, Safety Tips, Healthcare, and Much More For Life!
Proper Diet and Fluids:
The key to any heathy pet is through proper diet and fluids. I feed my dogs on average two medium sized meals a day about 8 hours apart with some assorted treats to snack on in between depending on how active they are that day. If my dogs are very active, I will feed them three smaller meals a day in intervals of about 6 hours apart this way they can play and get some exercise in and burn off their previous meals calories before taking in a new meal a few hours before bed. If I feed them three times a day, I will not give them any treats that day because the extra meal balances out their intake and is more than enough to hold them over as a result of the extra sustenance.
I have been using Beneful Dog Food for the last two years including Healthy Weight, Happy Life, and Healthy Radiance without incident. According to some news reports online going back to 2007, Beneful had been recalled and is toxic to some pets but I have done some detailed research and most of what is said in those news reports is just primarily hearsay and there has been no actual factual data on the matter nor has there been any recent FDA certified recalls on Beneful Products. If I had any indication that Beneful was bad or potentially deadly to my dogs I would cease using the product immediately but I have had no problems whatsoever with Beneful at all and I monitor my pets health several times a day without any indication that Beneful is bad for them. In the past had some Beneful products been recalled, yes several years ago but not by the FDA they were recalled as a result of bad product by the manufacturer but then again, so has literally tons of human food including fruits, dairy products, meats, and vegetables. Unfortunately that is part of the living process and no food human or animal can always be 100% ok and safe although it should be but realistically it cannot and never will be.
On occasion I also use Pedigree Canned Wet Dog Food and like Beneful some news reports going back to 2007 and as recent as 2012 claim that Pedigree had been recalled and is toxic to some pets but again I have done some detailed research and most of what is said in those reports is primarily hearsay and there had been no actual factual data on the matter nor has there been any recent FDA certified recalls on Pedigree Products. Again, if I had any indication that Pedigree was bad or potentially deadly to my dogs I would cease using the product immediately but I have had no problems whatsoever with Pedigree at all and I monitor my pets health several times a day without any indication that Pedigree is bad for them. Some days I will switch up the mix with Beneful as the first meal of the day and Pedigree as the second meal of the day. If my dogs get a third meal, it may vary between one or the other or a half combination of both brands of food mixing a little wet and a little dry dog food together with some raw Pumpkin about twice a week to aid in my dogs digestive process. Sometimes my dogs get a little backed up from the dry food about once or twice a month which is why I utilize the raw Pumpkin which actually helps a great deal. Mild constipation is pretty common among dogs considering they defecate about three times a day on average when taken out for walks and exercise so between 6 and 9 slightly harder trips to the bathroom once a month is fairly acceptable within the statistics of things and any reputable veterinarian will confirm this.
Another product I often use is the Purina Brand Moist and Meaty Rise and Shine breakfast meals. My dogs just love the Purina Rise and Shine because it has a bacon and egg flavor to it and it’s a little bit different for them and a rather light meal in the morning just after they first get up. I also use the Purina Brand Burger with Cheese and Purina Brand Steak packaged dog meals. I usually buy my dogs food in bulk and will buy the largest box available depending on how much dog food I have at home already. When I feed my dogs, I will switch the food up so that in most case my dogs don’t eat the same meals all the time. On average I have a large box of the Purina Products, a case of Pedigree Products, and a large bag of Beneful products plus several boxes of assorted treats and snacks that are reputable and healthy. Recently I started using the all Natural Blue Buffalo Blue Wilderness Salmon Dry Dog Food mix which is high in protein and 100% grain free. It took a day or two for my dogs to get used to it being it has a very fishy taste and they never ate Salmon before but they seemed to like it once they got used to it and it was a nice healthy change for them to try out. I’ve done some research on Blue Buffalo and Blue Wilderness Products and although they did have some trouble with the Chicken Meals recently the product was recalled voluntarily and dealt with swiftly by the company. Regardless is you read the animal news as of late, pretty much all chicken products in dog food have been a problem and that includes most chicken treats as well. I now avoid any chicken based dog product and if my dogs do eat chicken it will be the same chicken that I myself eat and cook and can make the determination if it is suited for consumption. If I would not eat it I certainly would not feed it to my dogs thats for sure. But I have been using Blue Buffalo now and am pretty satisfied with the product and I really like the Wolf on the bag being all of my dogs look live Wolves.
Blue Buffalo Wilderness Salmon
As for the dog treats that I use, they usually consist of all natural Organic Pumpkin based digestive treats such as the Wet Noses Brand Dog Treats that come in small cookie forms and are great for any medium sized dog. Wet Noses Pumpkin Dog Treats are made with 100% certified organic ingredients including roasted pumpkin, ginger, cinnamon, and whole oats. These tasty treats are perfect for my dogs as well as for any dog with a sensitive digestive system that needs a little extra digestive support. All Wet Noses treats contain no chemicals, no preservatives, no animal by products, no corn, wheat or soy and this treat contains no dairy products! Wet noses Pumpkin Dog Treats do contain; Organic Rye Flour, Organic Pumpkin, Organic Canola Oil, Organic Ginger, and Organic Cinnamon and are no more than 30 calories per treat. Wet Noses also put out a great 100% certified organic Apple and Carrot Dog Treat made with real Apples and Carrots and come in a small cookie form that is healthy and good for my dogs well-being.
Wet Noses Pumpkin Dog Treats
A couple times a month I will utilize an all Organic Glucosamine based snack pudding to help with my dogs hips and joints which is highly recommended by all veterinarians. In the summer I will freeze the pudding and then give them to my dogs as a frozen treat on hot days. I also use an a all Organic fruit and vegetable based sack pudding to keep my dogs skin and coat looking great. In the summer I will freeze the fruit and vegetable pudding as well and then give them to my dogs as a frozen treat on hot days when they are not getting the Glucosamine snack puddings. Every few days I will change up the treats as well to include some small Milk Bone Dog Biscuits to help keep their teeth clean and breath fresh. I avoid all treats that I have never heard of including any found at the local dollar stores or off the shelves of stores that I never use and I certainly NEVER USE ANY treat products that are made in China. China has a high toxicity rate on international shipments of dog and human products that has resulted in tens of thousands of fatalities in pets over the past 5 years alone and often use the same shipping and factory outlets to make numerous other products resulting in severe cross contamination of animal toys, food, and snack products. Often I will give my dogs some fresh apple slices or chopped carrots to chew on which are healthy for them and are clean and fresh right from the supermarket.
A dog MUST always have a fresh supply of clean water for them to drink everyday and the water should be easily accessible for the dog to get to at any time of the day or night. The average dog drinks between 2 and 4 quarts of fresh water daily and will drink much more water in the warmer months somewhere in the areas of 4 and 6 quarts of fresh water per day. In the cooler months a dog may drink a little less water than average being they are not usually hot and sweating, but regardless the amount of water that must be made readily available for your dog all year around should not change that much and would be consistent with between 2 and 4 quarts of fresh clean water per day. I have four dogs so on a daily basis I average about 2 gallons of fresh water between all of them on a daily basis. In the summer, it could be up to 4 gallons depending on how much they play outside. What I usually do especially in the warmer months is to throw a handful of large ice cubes into my dogs water bowls to help keep the water cold for hours and slows down my dogs water intake process a bit. The reason being is that in the Summer dogs will usually drink more water a lot faster which sometimes results in the dog throwing up from drinking too much water too fast and gas cause some stomach discomfort. Sometimes my dogs will remove the ice and put it on the floor next to the water bowl one cube at a time while others will just chew them up like candy.
About 3 days a week I give each of my dogs a cup and a half of whole milk in between meals. This helps with their digestive tracts and also provides some extra nutritional intake for them as well as helps keep them hydrated and builds stronger bones. The milk is also a nice little treat for them being that it brings them back to their early days when they nursed from their mothers and is actually very good for them as well in moderation. Some dogs may have a bad reaction to milk such as getting a mild case of diarrhea but thats ok if that happens, just hold off on giving them any milk for awhile. Just like humans, some dogs cannot have dairy products but thus far I have never had any problems at all making sure my dogs had some milk a few days a week.
BEWARE OF THE FOLLOWING RECALLED PRODUCTS FOR 2013
Dog Groomers, Dog Walkers, and Doggie Daycare Facilities; BEWARE, BE WARNED, BE CAREFUL!
Abusive Pet Groomer’s Bloody Sink
By all means it does not hurt to ask questions when dealing with people or businesses that may be interacting with your pet in any fashion and in fact it is highly encouraged. One of the first series of questions you should be asking yourself when choosing a dog groomer is “What do I know about this person, their business, or their background?” Remember, your pets are your kids and if you are a responsible pet owner and a responsible parent you would never leave your children with just anyone you knew absolutely nothing about would you? NO YOU WOULD NOT! So it is your obligation, responsibility, and absolute legal right to check out exactly who will be grooming and interacting with your pet not only for your own piece of mind but for your pets overall safety as well. A simple mistake or misjudgment on your behalf could very well result in your pet being injured, beaten, lost, or killed by an unprofessional and potentially dangerous dog groomer.
Schedule A Meet and Greet:
Have the groomer meet you and your pet at their facility at least a week before scheduling any grooming care with the groomer. If it is a private house or an apartment building find out exactly who owns the house or apartment building and if they are permitted to operate a business within the location. Sometimes illegal grooming operations are set up in houses or apartments without the property owners knowledge or consent and that can result in some very serious legal problems for you should something take place at the location that results in the death or injury of your pet or someone else. In other words who do you criminally charge or civilly sue should something happen to your pet as a result of your pet being at the location, is it the groomer or the property owner or both? Well, the answer is both. The groomer can be charged criminally with animal abuse or neglect if the injury was intentional as well as sued civilly for any costs of the animals medical expenses and treatment as well as any emotional losses as a result of the injury or death to the pet in question. If an illegal grooming operation is being run out of a house or an apartment building without the property owners consent and something happens to your pet the property owner is legally responsible being that they should have known what is taking place within the confines of their property and they can also be charged with various violations including but not limited to operating a commercial business in a private residence, operating an unlicensed business unlawfully, and numerous other business, codes, licensing, and zoning violations just to name a few. Every jurisdiction is different but that would be something that you can either deal with after an incident has taken place or be smart and take preventive measures to help you avoid any problem all together by following some of these simple and common sense tips.
See how the groomer interacts with your pet. It’s important that an animal is comfortable with the groomer and at the grooming facility before being left alone there with them for hours. If your pet remains scared and uneasy around the groomer then take your pet and walk away. Pets can often tell when they are in danger or do not trust someone and if you are a keen pet owner and know your pet well like I know all of mine both you and your pet will know right away something is off and that should be the first big red flag. Remember, the key phrase is “WHEN IN DOUBT JUST WALK OUT” and just because your pet may interact well initially with the groomer does not necessarily mean that your pet is safe and comfortable around them. Again it comes down to the variables of interaction and every case is different. Sometimes during a meet and greet interaction things look like they are going well and then go south. The more information you have obtained on the groomer or the business before signing up for any grooming services the better off your chances will be to protect your pet in your absence and yourself down the road from any problems involving your pet medically and civilly.
Groomer Policies and Procedures:
Find out what the groomer’s policy is if an accident or injury occurs involving your pet whereupon they are injured or killed while in the groomers care and/or at the groomers place of business. Request that you be provided with a copy of the groomer’s pet injury or death policy in writing should an accident occur while your pet is in their care. Make sure that the copy of the policy that you receive is valid, dated, and signed by the groomer either prior to the day that you drop off your pet to be groomed or at the time you bring in your pet to be groomed. That document should also clearly establish who will be held legally and financially responsible should something happen to your pet while in their care and control and if a groomer requests that you sign a waiver releasing the groomer or their business of any legal liability regarding your injured or deceased pet while in their care then you should walk away because if something happens to your pet while in their care then you are left hanging out to dry while they get away with wrong doing and that also places any future pets that may be groomed at the location at risk.
License, Bonded, and Insured:
BEWARE OF ANY GROOMER OR THEIR STAFF THAT IS NOT LICENSED, BONDED, AND CERTIFIED TO GROOM IN YOUR STATE!
Unfortunately Pennsylvania, Massachusetts and California have tried to pass legislation for licensed dog groomers in the past, but it always falls apart before it even gets to any assembly. However, that is going to change soon and people like myself are advocating for getting a wide variety of new laws passed making it policy that all dog groomers be licensed, certified, and obtain liability insurance when dealing with others pets in any fashion. Any professional groomer should be licensed, bonded, and insured within the city, county, or state they are operating in and you as a potential client must be provided with validated copies of the business license, bonded certification, and valid insurance policy including any license and policy numbers, contact information of the carrier, and the amount of the coverage under the policy in question. Always call to verify that the groomer is in fact licensed and bonded and that the insurance policy is active and valid. Under no circumstance do you take their word on it or take at face value what is on the paperwork they may have provided to you, it is important that you do your research and validate all information with phone calls or through government records by contacting the municipality or county the business is operating in. Unfortunately some states do not require a private groomer to be licensed and if that is the case then take your pet to a professional groomer such as those operating at Petco or PetSmart or even one that may be operating within a professional veterinarians office. I always take my dogs to one that is operating within a professional veterinarians office this way I know the dog is protected and should any medical issues arise they can be treated immediately by a veterinarian on scene. This also insures that my dogs are also protected under any bonded or insurance policy should they become injured, lost, or killed while in their care. However, I know all of my groomers and their staff and they know all about my dogs and how to properly take care of them and I trust them wholeheartedly. Plus my personal veterinarians are just a door away in the same building so I have no problem at all getting my dogs done.
Bad Practices and Bad Habits:
It’s important to know how many dogs a groomer is seeing per day. Accidents happen more often when a groomer is rushed or unqualified or has no idea what they are doing and that includes a staff member that has no grooming experience or idea what they are doing under the groomer as well. If you happen to go to a private home or apartment or even a shop for a grooming appointment and the place is a mess, smells, and there are kids that look unkempt running around walk away immediately. If a groomer can’t keep a clean home, business, or kids one can only imagine how they will treat ones pet. BE OBSERVANT, BE AWARE, BE VIGILANT. Remember these kids can hurt or torment your pet in your absence and no professional groomer will have kids around while doing business and if they do then god help you and your pet should you choose to use them. Plus you must also take into consideration that should some child do harm to your pet and your pet defends themselves there is a likelihood that you could be sued and even have your pet put down as being violent even though your pet did nothing wrong. Again it comes down to policies and procedures in writing for your own protection and that of your pet.
Know The Groomers Background:
Find out where and how the groomer learned their grooming skills or if the groomer had ever attended a state certified and recognized pet grooming school and had graduated from that school with success. That information is easy to provide upon request and if the groomer is legitimate you should have that information in your hands in about 30 seconds flat. If not walk away no harm no foul. You would not go to a Barber or Hair Salon to get a haircut from a stylist that has no idea of what they are doing right, so the same can be said about a dog groomer that is unqualified.
Find out if the groomer is Pet CPR Certified and if so when was the last certification updated. Ask to see a verifiable and certified copy of the groomers Pet CPR Certification Card and if they do not have one walk away and choose a groomer that does have a valid one. Anyone dealing with pets on a daily basis should have this basic skill.
Find out which veterinarian the groomer uses and contact them. Explain that you were referred to them by the groomer and request if the veterinarian can give you a confirmed certified referral on the groomer or their business preferably in writing. If the veterinarian does not use the groomer or cannot give you a positive referral then you should not use them either and simply walk away. The bottom-line is if the groomer or their staff refuse to provide you with anything you ask for that usually indicates that the groomer has something to hide period.
Do a simple background check on the groomer and their staff if they have one. Usually a simple Google or Internet search of the groomers name will come in handy and just may provide you with some background on the groomer to determine if they have any past criminal background or a history of abusing animals or have even had one or more businesses they had owned or operated investigated and shut down for animal abuse or neglect. We have all heard many horror stories about groomers all around the country that have injured pets either intentionally or accidentally while grooming them with some injuries resulting in the animals death, blindness, heat stroke, or the pet escaping and running off never to be found again or getting killed by a car. I have a friend who a few years ago had her dog lose an eye as a result of an unqualified groomer. The incident could have been prevented had my friend simply done her homework on the groomer and her business prior to bringing in her dog. She went by word of mouth from someone she did not know personally and ended up almost having her dog killed. After a long legal battle my friend was able to win damages and has done her own grooming ever since. I had a relative of mine bring one of her dogs to a local groomer a few years back and when she picked up the dog her stomach was raw and burned from a scalding hot trimmer. Fortunately the groomer paid all the medical expenses but that won’t be the case all the time.
You can also contact your local chapter of the SPCA and inform them that you are choosing a groomer and want to know if this person or business has a history of animal abuse according to their files. The SPCA is usually very helpful when it comes to ensuring that ones pet is safe and will provide that information without delay if available especially if the person you are inquiring about has a past criminal history of animal abuse then that information is a matter of public record. Take into consideration that sometimes groomers that have a criminal past or negative history involving animals including animal abuse and neglect will often use a fictitious name so that is another aspect that you must consider when choosing a groomer. Again, when in doubt simply walk out!
Contact the state office of the Better Business Bureau (BBB) and request a check on the groomer or their business name to determine if there have been any past complaints against them and if so how were they resolved. It could not hurt also requesting a business license if that state requires groomers to obtain them in order to operate a business. That can be done at the local county clerks office usually or with a simple call to the business administrator’s office which should yield you with the results on how to find out if this particular groomer or business is licensed within that state or has any pending cases against them.
Another important note is to determine if there have been any health code violations at the groomer’s location that may have resulted in cross contamination resulting in a pets sickness or injury. Like most businesses dog groomers must also follow a rudimentary set of basic safety and health protocols just like any barbershop or dentist office. You would expect all the grooming items and areas to be clean, sanitized, and ready to be used for the next pet that comes in. Countless times dogs have become ill as a result of negligence or dirty groomers resulting in serious ear and eye infections or skin disorders as a result of using a dirty pair of scissors or buzzer.
Keep Them In The Loop:
Be sure to tell the groomer about your pet’s medical history and personality. The more a professional groomer knows about a pet, it’s less likely mistakes will be made. However, a little time and effort looking into the groomer and businesses history can and often will save you a great deal of heartache, stress, money, and legal problem later should something happen to your pet while in their care.
NEVER GO BY WORD OF MOUTH ESPECIALLY IF IT IS JUST OUT OF THE MOUTH OF THE GROOMER VERIFY, DOCUMENT, AND DECIDE!
AT ALL COSTS avoid Grooming Ad’s from Craigslist, shoddy Internet webpages, or from flyers posted around town on poles and billboards. Usually if a groomer is not licensed, bonded, or certified in the first place they will often post ad’s is on Craigslist, shoddy Internet webpages, or flyers posted around town near where they live.
Take a few pictures and look over your dog before you leave them at the groomer. This way if there are any injuries or mistakes you have evidence that your dog did not go in hurt or messed up. With every cellphone nowadays containing a high quality camera a few shots won’t hurt or take long for both you and your pets protection.
Without sounding redundant, all of the advice I had provided above regarding Dog Groomers completely carries over to Dog Walkers and Doggie Daycare Facilities. You must do the same type of background checks and verifications on any potential Dog Walker or Doggie Daycare Facility you may have in mind to use for services in the future. One of the most recent and biggest scams to date involves fictitious Dog Walking services that advertise online or with flyers whose sole intention actually is to steal your dog and resell them to a an illegal breeder or hold them for ransom. One would be surprised as to how common this scam is prevalent and active in pretty much any area and has cost many animals their lives and pet owners both money and heartache knowing full well that in the majority of cases their pets safety is at immediate risk and they may never see the poor animal alive again. I remember a few years ago watching this Dog Walker that operated in my neighborhood in New Jersey beat several dogs for no reason as she walked them. I just so happened to know a few of the dogs owners and informed them what I had witnessed resulting in them hiring a new Dog Walker or hiring a reputable Doggie Daycare Service to care for their dogs while they worked during the week. I found out eventually that the Dog Walker I witnessed beating several dogs was actually caught on tape doing so by other people that had saw what she did as well at different times and were fast enough to record the incidents on their cellphone cameras. She was charged with animal abuse and had to pay some fines and do some community service.
Remember you are placing your pets safety and well being at risk by not checking out the any Dog Walkers background or history as well as that of any Doggie Daycare Facilities. Many of the same questions should be asked as well as references checked and verified including any said licenses, bonded certifications, and insurance coverage. Again what are the policies, who is responsible for your pet, and avoid at all costs ad’s from Craigslist, shoddy Internet webpages, or from flyers posted around town on poles and billboards. A few extra minutes or an hour or two on one day can and will save you a great deal of stress and aggravation down the road.
Article on Dog Injured At Groomer:
Video Dog Injured by Groomer:
Pet Injured At Groomers – What To Do?
Common Sense Safety Tips For All Seasons, Winter, Spring, Summer, and Fall:
Dog in Winter
Winter is one of the most dangerous times of year for your dog and it is not just the rain, snow, ice, wind, and cold that you have to worry about there are several other major concerns you should take into consideration when caring for your dog in the winter.
First of all, never keep your dog chained up or tied up outside in the winter especially during periods of wind, rain, and snow this will kill your dog and to do so is animal abuse and cruelty. Many times abusers or ignorant people will chain or tie a dog up outside for hours or days in the winter often not caring for the dogs well being and only a sick individual would expose a dog to such cruelty. Dogs are very much like humans and are warm-blooded beings that need heat in the colder months to survive. When a dog is neglected or chained up outside for hours or days they are exposed to the elements and can very easily freeze to death, catch hypothermia, pneumonia, or have their paws, ears, and nose freeze resulting in frostbite and usually amputation and death.
Just because a dog has fur does not mean that they do not get cold and the majority of dog houses are often nothing more than makes shift wood caves that are not clean, warm, or safe for a dog to be left in or tied to in a winter storm. Sometimes people would ask me about keeping a dog tied up outside in the winter or left out in a dog house behind their house and the first question I would “answer” them with would be “How would you like it if I put a chain or rope around your neck and tied you to a post outside in a blizzard for a few hours or a few days with just a thin shirt and pants on?” It was not rocket science, the answer would be the same every time, “I would hate it” to which my answer would be then, “So do dogs”. I would then follow-up with this question, “How would you like it if I took you from your warm house and bed in a blizzard and put you outside a hundred feet from your home in a 4’ ft x 4’ ft x 4’ ft wooden box with no door or pillow to sleep on?” Again the answer would be the same, “I would hate it” to which my answer would be “So do dogs”. Unless the dog house is well built and insulated, with light, a heater, and a door that closes there would be no logical reason to keep a warm blooded sentient animal such as a dog outside exposed to the elements unless it was specifically done so to torture them.
I would both hope and expect that a reasonable minded person would not keep their children tied up outside without clothing in a blizzard, so why would someone want to do that to their beloved pet? If you must let your dog play outside in the winter or in a storm to play or do their business there are many ways to do so without much of a problem. One way is if you have an enclosed yard you can let your dog or dogs run around and play outside for awhile without the fear of them running off. When they are door you can open the door and they will come inside. Another option is a doggie door that lets your pet come and go as they please preferably to and from an enclosed back yard or side yard. This way the dog knows how to get inside and when they are ready and done doing what dogs do they will come inside on their own. One idea is to purchase a 20’ or 25′ ft long metal leash that can be attached to a post and your dog’s collar or harness when they go outside to play for awhile or run around. The metal leash still gives your dog enough free space to play without being confined to one location and when they are done after a little while you can come out and unhook the dog and bring them inside. This way the dog gets some fresh air and exercise without running off and is still near their home and gives the pet owner easy access to their pet when they have to bring them inside. A friend of mine has a leashing system in his back yard that allows his dog to run free in the yard with getting away as long as the dog is attached to the leashing system which is part of the overall hanging post set-up. It is kinda hard to explain really but picture a ski-lift but instead of the seat you have a dog and when the dog gets to a certain section of the yard they can go anyway they want without getting off the property and are safe. In fact the system leads directly into the back door of his house so once he attaches his dog to the leash and harness she runs free and plays without getting away and can come right back in the house when she is done.
The recommended time to permit a dog to be outside in winter depending on the temperature of course and the type of breed the dog may be varies but a good amount of play time would be about 15 to 20 minutes for every 4 to 5 hours that pass in a day. This gives your dog just enough time to play around, get some fresh air, and do their business before they get too cold or exposed to the elements. I walk my dogs daily in the winter and sometimes bundle them up even though they have a good amount of fur but that depends on the amount of snow and this past winter was pretty bad.
Consider Your Dogs Hips and Joints In Winter:
Many older dogs such as German Shepard’s for example are susceptible to Hip Dysplasia and arthritis as they get older but really any older dog just like any older human will get stiff, and pain in their joints and limbs as they grow old and dogs are no different. Usually the cold and humidity will cause your pet to be a little stiff in the hips and joints so to be safe it is always best to take into consideration your dogs well being and take preventative measures. In the Winter especially when there is snow or rain outside I always make sure my dogs have sweaters on or warm shirts to help keep them warm as well as their hips. I also make sure that they have a nice warm bed, couch, or heated area to sleep in when they come inside. I always dry them off with a clean towel and make sure that I rub their hips and joints for a few minutes to stretch out any kinks a couple times a day.
Sometimes if you have a short haired pet you may want to invest in a thick sweater, hoodie, or water resistant rain jacket or coat to help keep them warm. A dog’s average temperature is between 102 and 105 degrees and that can kill a human being pretty fast but is perfectly normal for a dog. Do not over bundle your dog because they will get warm fast and sweat from their feet and mouth and may start to breath heavily especially a slightly overweight dog or one that is older like mine.
My older dog Maggie has some stiffness and arthritis in her hips now for about 3 years but that does not stop her from running around like a puppy and playing. I give her as well as all of my dogs one multi-vitamin a day with their breakfast as well as one Glucosamine tablet to keep their hips and joints healthy and well lubed. In addition to those supplements, I have Maggie on a daily dose of Rymadyl which is a pain killer specifically for pet related arthritis. Dog aspirin can help as well but as the dog gets older they build up a tolerance to the aspirin and eventually it becomes useless. A warm bath will help a dog with stiff hips and a nice massage also works wonders for elderly dogs a few days a week and is a great bonding experience between an animal and their master. Going that extra mile for your pet is the right ting to do and there is no shame in that and they will only love you more for it. Be very cautious on ice or icy paths especially black ice. If you have an older dog and they slip on the ice they can get seriously hurt maybe even break some ribs, a leg, or seriously damage a hip. If possible avoid all ice with your dog. I took a spill one time when my dogs spotted a deer and went to chase it through the yards. I did not see the black ice on the ground in front of us being it was a little after dark and hit the ground pretty hard. I did not get hurt but could have and that would not be beneficial to me or my dogs and they too could have slipped and injured their hips so just be aware of your surroundings at all times.
Avoid Salting and Chemical De-Icing Agents:
Exposure to chemical salting agents and de-icing agents used on city streets and sidewalks can make you pet very ill if ingested and even kill them if enough of the agent in question is ingested. These chemicals are very toxic and poisonous to pretty much all animals but dogs for example have a tendency to drink contaminated water from chemically melted snow and ice or eat snow off the ground that will make them sick if there is any chemical toxins in there such as salting or de-icing agents. In mild doses this exposure can cause vomiting, diarrhea, and gastrointestinal pain and discomfort. At all cost never let you dog or pet drink any water or eat any snow that has been or may have been exposed to chemical melting agents. Fresh clean snow on grass or in a known clean area is ok in small amounts to ingest for a dog. It is no different that eating a snow cone without the flavor really and actually hydrates your dog in small amounts. Many dogs like mine love to play and roll around in fresh snow and one thing for sure is they love to eat fresh snow as it fall from the sky or on the ground that I know is clean. Sometime you get a city worker or property owner that goes crazy with salt and in every snowstorm goes directly into automatic Salt Overload, thus salting everything in site and making the ground a little uneasy to walk on. All that salt poses a danger to your dogs and should be avoided at all costs. There are some nice pet friendly de-icing agents that can be found in certain hardware stores like Lowes or pet stores like PetSmart in the winter and are a little safer but personally I never used them myself as of yet.
Exposing your dogs paws to chemical salting agents has a tendency to be caustic and often burn your dogs paws raw and can be very painful causing your dog to lay down, limp, or start to insanely lick their paws to clean them off in an desperate attempt to stop the pain and burning. I would always recommend never under any circumstance walk your dog in areas where there is any moderate to excessive amount of chemical salting agents and if you do try to keep them out of the path or on some snow or grass that has not been affected to help protect their paws. Winter booties are a good idea but if your dog is not used to them they will be stumbling like a drunken sailor on Mardi Gras that just pulled into port looking for a brothel. Another option is to place your dog into a car or a sled and take them to a safe play location such as a closed in dog park or wooded area and then let them have all the fun in the world without the worry of chemical salting agents.
You must also be careful of snow plows that may get too close to your pet while you are walking them and bury them under snow or strike them with the vehicle killing them. Like I said before avoid patches of black ice if you can and icy paths in general. Aside from your dog slipping and causing injuries to their ribs, hips, or head if you fall you can accidentally let your dogs leash go causing your pet to run off thus placing it in many dangers you were not expecting. If you walk your dog in the winter in an icy area it cannot hurt to lock the leash to your wrist of waist or belt using a large D-Ring with a detachable Velcro strap this way should you fall or slip it helps to ensure that your dog remains attached to you and cannot run off. Avoid letting your dog near any frozen lakes, streams, or areas of water. They can fall through and drown or freeze and if you go to rescue them you both may not come out alive. Last but not least if you live in a larger city that has electrical light poles or underground electrical wiring with metal entrance covers in the street or on the sidewalk that open up avoid them at all costs. Chemical salting agents and water can enter that these units get damaged and will cause a live electrical current to shoot out that can immediately electrocute and kill you and your dog. About ten years ago in New York City several people and dogs were electrocuted in the winter either in rain or snow storms just by passing light poles and electrical grates on the streets and sidewalks. Salt and water corroded the wiring and caused a live current to shoot out several feet and all it took was one person and their pet to pass and get killed. Never let your dogs near light poles in winter especially ones that may not be working or have exposed metal covers and wires sticking out the bottom. Way too many dogs have been killed by licking a light pole or urinating near one and often in each case the shock is just enough to kill your beloved pet immediately before you can act.
Dog in Spring
Fortunately there is not much to worry about in Spring regarding your pets other than making sure that they do not eat any grass or plants being it can make them sick, nauseous, vomit, or get a bad case of diarrhea. Some plants and grass can be highly toxic to a dog so it is best to make sure that they do not nibble on anything you did not bring them to snack on. This is usually a good time to update your pets vaccinations as well as put them on any Heart Worm Treatments as well as any Flea and Tick Treatments that you may use.
Dog in Summer
Summer problems are not much different than Spring, but one vital issue is no don’t expose your dog to excess heat and make sure they have plenty of fresh clean and cold water to drink. Never lock your pet in a hot car it will kill them within minutes and is the equivalent to putting them in an over. A dog will succumb to heat stroke in a matter of minutes and if they survive will have brain and internal organ damage. Also, never keep any dog outside exposed to the sun and heat without any grass or shady cool spot to relax in. Dogs love Summer and Spring and love the sun and to play outdoors but that can be done in moderation especially if you have an older dog or a dog with some medical issues such as heart problems or respiratory issues. I always take my dogs out in the early morning or at evening when the sun is going down and it is cooler outside. The rest of the day they may go out for a bit but I keep them inside in a nice air conditioned home with plenty of water. Beware of hot sidewalks and black asphalt, because for any dog walking on that is like walking in hot coals and will burn their feet and can overheat them. Never let them roll around on hot black top being that sometimes in the heat it can become gummy and that will get all over your dogs feet and if they eat that stuff it is toxic because it is oil based. Let your dogs walk on grass or in the shade if possible. If you do bring your dog on a hot day out always bring a large bottle of fresh water and a small water bowl or one of those waterproof collapsable Doggie water bowls that look like a cap. If you take your dogs swimming like I do in the local lake just be aware of water snakes and potentially contaminated water. Contaminated in the sense of some tiny parasites that can cause a mild stomach virus and diarrhea. Make sure to use Pet Life Jackets and do not over exert your dog in the water, they too can cramp up and drown.
Dog in Fall
Fall is a bit different that Summer and Spring but not very much. One of the main threats to a dog in the Fall are piles of raked leaves. Almost all dogs love to jump into piles of raked leaves and come out the other side I know my dogs do but you just gotta be cautious as to what may be under the leaves such as anything that can hurt the per like metal or broken glass for example. There can be an opening under the leaves for a sewer of collapse section of ground in the street or even an open and covered well. And always make sure that you dog has been treated for pests such as Fleas, Ticks, and Heart worms. If possible just like in the Spring and Summer make sure to be aware and avoid Mosquito’s, Snacks, and Spiders if you live in a wooded area and make sure all your preventive measures are taken all year around regarding hip and joint health.
Saving Your Pet With Pet CPR:
Pet CPR Chart
Poison Control and Other Necessary Emergency Medical Pet Information:
There are several pet emergency numbers that are available online that I have found which are dedicated specifically to animal poison control. However, after doing some research my primary concern regarding these contact numbers are that the numbers in question are a paid for service usually costing the unsuspecting caller $39.00 per call while other similar services can cost an aware caller anywhere between $25.00 dollars a month to $69.00 per year for help. I believe that this service should be free to everyone very much just like the poison control hotline service is free for humans to call and request aid. Nobody wants to deal with an emergency situation involving a potentially poisoned pet where before they can get any emergency help they must go through a whole credit card and billing process. When you have a poisoned or sick and dying pet the last thing you want to deal with is some asshole requesting your credit card information on the phone as your pet lay dying on the floor. It is kinda ridiculous as a matter of fact to have to deal with that nonsense in that situation thus leaving someone without the means to pay for that service empty and vulnerable in a animal poison situation. However, in any potentially dangerous situation where you believe your pet has been poisoned always have your veterinarians emergency contact number ready on speed dial of your cellphone. Be ready to get your pet medical attention as fast as is possible and be prepared to do Pet CPR if need be. I would also recommend having a Pet First Aid Kit that is very similar to a Human First Aid Kit with just some minor additional and different equipment. That kit should include;
- A Pet first aid book
- Emergency contact numbers for your veterinarian, the nearest emergency veterinary clinic (with printed directions), poison-control center or hotline such as the ASPCA poison control center # 1-800-426-4435
- Your pets medical history and paperwork proof of rabies vaccination status, copies of other important medical records, current photo of your pet in case they gets lost
- Nylon leash
- Self-cling bandage (Stretches and sticks to itself but not to fur—available at pet stores and through pet supply catalogs)
- Muzzle or strips of cloth to prevent biting (as long as pet is not vomiting, choking, coughing, or otherwise having difficulty breathing)
- Absorbent gauze pads
- Antiseptic wipes, lotion, powder or spray
- Cotton balls or swabs
- Blanket (foil emergency blanket)
- Sterile saline solution (sold at pharmacies)
- Gauze rolls
- Ice pack
- Sterile non-stick gauze pads for bandages
- Petroleum jelly (to lubricate thermometer)
- Adhesive tape
- Scissors (with blunt ends)
- Diphenhydramine (Benadryl®) if approved by a veterinarian for allergic reactions. Vet must specify correct dosage for your pet’s size.
- Ear-cleaning solution
- Expired credit card or sample credit card (from direct mail credit card offers) to scrape away insect stingers
- Glucose paste or corn syrup (for diabetic dogs or those with low blood sugar)
- Nail clippers
- Over-the-counter antibiotic ointment
- Penlight or flashlight
- Plastic eyedropper or syringe
- Rubbing alcohol (isopropyl) to clean thermometer
- Splints and tongue depressors
- Styptic powder or pencil (sold at veterinary hospitals and pet supply stores and your local pharmacy)
- Temporary identification tag (to put your local contact information on your dog’s collar when you travel)
- Needle-nosed pliers
- A pet carrier
- Non-latex disposable gloves
- Rectal thermometer (your pet’s temperature should not rise above 103°F or fall below 100°F)
- Hydrogen peroxide (to induce vomiting when directed by a veterinarian or poison control)
- A pillowcase to confine your cat for treatment
NEVER EXPOSE YOUR DOG TO ANY OF THE FOLLOWING ITEMS EVER THEY WILL KILL THEM;
Acetaminophen – It is toxic to dogs and can cause liver damage and anemia resulting in death pretty quickly.
Batteries – If your dog gets a hold of a battery they can chew on it and swallow the battery causing burns and poisoning as well as can choke on the battery if it gets lodged in their throat.
Aluminum Foil – Sometimes a dog will grab aluminum foil if it smells food on it and will eat it as is. The foil can get struck in the throat, stomach, intestines, and if passed can cut up the colon and cause internal and partially external bleeding. This type of injury and ingestion can result in death as well.
Chocolate – It is toxic to dogs and can cause seizures and a quick death especially when eaten in large quantities.
Laundry detergent – If ingested can be poisonous to dogs so be aware to keep you laundry detergent up high so your dog cannot gain access to it. That includes pretty much any type of liquid soap product as well.
Ethylene Glycol (aka-antifreeze) – It is toxic to humans and dogs and dogs are attracted to the smell and sweet taste of it resulting in kidney failure. Often dogs will ingest this in a garage or by drinking contaminated street water with this in it that would not be too noticeable especially at night.
Fertilizers – Contain all sorts of toxins and poisonous chemicals and if ingested by a dog can kill them or make them very ill.
Grapes, raisons, and any seeded fruits can cause kidney and liver failure in dogs.
Household cleaners – They fall under the same category as laundry detergents and is exposed to your dog will make them ill or kill them and that includes all insecticides and rodenticides.
Jimson Weed – Is a type of white flower will kill your dog if eaten pretty quickly usually from respiratory failure.
Kerosene, motor oil, brake fluid, windshield wiper fluid, gasoline, and transmission fluid are toxic to dogs and will kill them just like Jimson Weed with similar effects.
Lilies and similar plants are sometimes eaten by dogs outside in a garden or park. They are toxic to dogs and will kill them pretty quickly.
Mothballs , prescription meds, and non-prescription medications are usually found by curious dogs in the house or bathroom and if ingested are poisonous and will kill your dog as a result of kidney failure.
Onions, Avocado’s, and Broccoli are highly toxic to your dog as is Garlic, Queensland Nuts, and Almonds. Avoid them at all costs around your dog because if ingested will kill your pet very fast.
Sago Palms – If ingested will kill you dog and cause serious internal damage. Again watch where you take your dog especially in a warm climate.
Tulips – Can cause major mouth ulcers and gastrointestinal problems for your dog if injected. Keep the dog out of the garden please!
Unbaked bread dough – Can expand in your dogs stomach if ingested and cut off blood circulation as well as produce alcohol poisoning resulting in death and or major surgery on your dog.
Xylitol – An artificial sweetener found in gum, toothpaste, and breath mints that is highly toxic to dogs and will kill them if ingested.
Metal or coins are sometimes ingested in dogs that contain Zinc. This type of exposure can result in death from kidney, liver, and heart failure.
Pet Security In The Home and In Public:
Recently there have been several well known cases of sick people whom have been targeting dogs and pet owners all around the world by leaving poisoned dog treats in dog parks, dog paths, and in public parks and streets with the hopes that some innocent dog walks by and grabs the treat off the floor thus killing or seriously injuring the unknowing animal. Sometimes broken glass, thumb tacks, or nails have been strategically placed in pieces of meat or sausage and left in a public location that would most likely be frequented by a dog and their owner. Once ingested the materials will cut of a dogs throat and internal organs and no doubt kill them and if they survive will require several major surgeries over a short period of time never making that dog the same again. Fortunately for me my dogs are trained to never pick up anything from the street or from strangers and I am always vigilant when I walk them to ensure that there is nothing on the ground or area we are at that can harm them. What is disturbing is that many of these cowards target dogs with toxic treats and then never stick around making it rather harm for them to get caught. There have been some instances in my town on dog runs where meat was found on trails that contained nails and broken glass. It can never hurt to be aware and never take a treat from someone you do not know. When I take my dogs out I always bring my own treats and like I said before my dogs are specifically trained to not take anything from anyone or off the ground without my ok.
Whenever you are out always keep your dog on a leash and be responsible, respectful, and safe. Aways ask permission before you approach a dog and pet them and always make sure someone asks you for permission to pet your dog especially children considering that any running and excited child can run up to your dog and maybe scare or accidentally hurt them while trying to be playful. In turn if that happens and you dog snaps or jumps up to play and the child gets hurt it can be a potential legal problem for you and cause the dog to inadvertently confiscated pending an investigation and tat usually never ends well for the dog. My dogs are trained to never jump on anyone they do not know and I never let anyone near my dogs unless they ask and I do not sense any potential problems from the person approaching. When ever I take my dogs out I always have a video camera on me at all times ready to go in a second flat this way any problem I see coming on I get it on tape and it has worked wonders in the past.
When I walk my dogs at night I use a bright LED light that I always carry that is solid and compact and gives off a great deal of light especially on the darkest of nights and I also have my dogs set up with a lighting system so they can see where they are going and if for some reason get off their harnesses I can see exactly where they go and find them easily. Another good option is the Dog GPS Collar that shows you exactly where your dog is through your cell phone and is very highly recommended by many that have used them whom have had a dog run off.
ID tags, microchips, dog licenses, and 24hr Pet Watch Tags are also part of my arsenal to protect my dogs. I have detailed medical files on all of my dogs including photo’s, all marks and scars, personal identification marks, and DNA samples in the event my dogs are ever stolen or lost and some poor bastard decides to keep them claiming that my dogs are theirs. I’ve seen many stolen dogs in my day resulting in violent conflicts between the true owner and the thief including the latest trend of dog nappings nationwide. ID tags will always help in most cases as will dog license and that is how many lost dogs are found and returned. Microchips are also a great tool to be used at identifying lost or stolen pets, and I use the 24 hr Pet Watch which is also on record at the local animal shelters and veterinarians offices that I use. I also have ready made missing flyers done up that can be edited quickly by adding the date and last seen location that once edited can be mass printed and distributed as needed. Some may say that is a little overboard but that is ok because anyone that has ever lost a pet spends vital searching time making up flyers and finding pictures and getting information ready and that time is key to finding your lost pet. So I took a great preventive step and in the event any of my dogs go missing it will take me about 3 minutes to edit and print all the flyers I need on anyone of my dogs. Videos of your dogs are also great and show characteristics not seen in still photos.
Never tie your dog up outside unattended no matter where you go because many times all it takes is a few seconds for some degenerate junky or piece of trash to walk up or pull up in a car and steal your dog and then take off in the wind. Often they will then wait for you to put up flyers in the area and hold the dog for a few days before they call and ask you for a ransom or try to get a reward out of you as if they are innocent. Believe it or not scumbags make a living off of stealing dogs and cats and holding them for ransoms and big rewards. They know that most people will often pay them in cash and not get the police involved that is for sure and sadly many never get caught and run this racket for years. Never keep your pet far away from you anywhere that you cannot get to fast and never keep your pet out of your site period. I had a great conversation one day with a fellow dog lover and pet owner and we had discussed a recent case of dog napping in the area. Apparently the towns police chief actually tracked down the stolen dog on his own time and found the pooch in the possession of two drug addicts that were holding the poor animal captive in a rundown abandoned house. The police chief got the dog back, arrested the thieves, and returned the dog to its rightful owners without wanting any acknowledgment. I told the guy all about what measures I take to protect my dogs from a situation such as a stolen dog for ransom and he too took similar measures as I did. I must admit, one thing the guy did say that made me laugh was, “I don’t know of any dog napper that can run or drive faster than 1650 feet per second and I got sixteen seconds right here” as he pointed down to his semi-auto loaded handgun on his hip. I smiled and said neither do I…. LOL.
My dogs are very protective of their home and bark at the slightest sound. Often they can hear or smell anything soon as it comes on the property just like they did last week when a black cat walked into my yard without making the slightest of sounds and I would know because I was up. Yet they heard it and went wild forcing the cat to run off. Poor cat I often feed them when they come into the yard. Two of my dogs are potential flight risks so I have to take extra precautions when I have friends over so as to make sure my dogs don’t get a chance to run off and out the door. They are being trained but my one dog Maison will still run if given the chance. I make sure that each of my doors are double locked and if I have company over I will usually put all my dogs into the bedroom where they usually will sleep while I have the TV on for them. Once they settle down after awhile I’ll introduce them to people and from there they often relax. Even in the summer or cooler months when I open my windows I have special hinges that prevent them from opening more than a few inches so my dogs cannot climb out. They never tried but I don’t want to give them any ideas.
End of Part – 1
Well that is it for now in this first part of Properly Caring For Your Family Dog – Rescue Advice, Safety Tips, Healthcare, and Much More For Life! (Part – 1). The second part will be published next week, followed by part 3. I’m also working on two other blogs that will come out over the next two weeks, one regarding the latest in Tattoo trends, laws, and practices and another one on the recent mass killing of America’s Wildlife sanctioned by our own government for sport.
Abusive Pet Groomer Arrested!
© 2013 by layingdownthelawlessness. All rights reserved
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