Pet Tips

I have a dog which I dearly adore. Here are seven pet tips I believe other dog owners should know about. I am not a veterinarian, just a regular dog owner.

1) Do not let puppies or adult dogs chew on newspaper. The ink could make them sick. Also, get rid of any deadly mushrooms in your yard. And keep your puppy away from deadly plants. Puppies like to chew. This includes cords. Keep plugged in electrical cords away from them.

2) Do not let your puppy or dog chew on things that could become sharp going down their throat (splinters of wood or hard plastic). It could cut into the lining of their throat or stomach.

3) Do not feed your dog chocolate, onions, or raisins. These foods can be deadly to a dog (a Vet told me this). During the holidays make sure these foods are put up away from your dog.

4) Be careful about letting your dog sniff driveways or parking spots. Cars can leak oils and fluids, and you do NOT want your dog licking it. I was told by a veterinarian dogs like the taste of transmission fluid which can be deadly to them. Seek Vet help immediately if you think your dog has licked up oil or transmission fluid.

5) If you live, or hike with your dog, where rattlesnakes live I recommend you ask your veterinarian about getting your dog a rattlesnake shot. If your dog is sick or old your Vet might not recommend it. My Vet told me the best time to get this shot is in early Spring, the beginning of rattlesnake season. He said the first six months of the vaccine is the most potent, but you should confirm this with your own Vet. My own dog has gotten the shot. The first time she got it she had to have a series of two, three weeks apart. After that it is an annual shot. But my Vet told me the shot ONLY buys time if a dog is bit. You must get your dog to a veterinarian as soon as possible for more medicine/additional medical help. Do not be cheap and call around for the lowest priced Vet after your dog has been bit. One Vet told me about a man who did this and his dog died because he waited too long to get medical help. You can also get a trainer to teach your dog to stay away from rattlesnakes. This should be in addition to the rattlesnake shot or if your dog can not have it. I write this because I knew a dog owner who got their dog rattlesnake trained but it did not help them in the end. Unfortunately their dog went to sniff the bushes one day and a snake bit them on the nose. The dog sadly died.

6) Keep old towels. Keep a couple in the trunk of your car if you take your dog to the creek or beach. Additionally, you can put them in the backseat or on the floor for your pet to lie on. This helps with sheddings and for sandy and muddy dogs.

7) Have too many towels, or getting new ones? Then ask your local shelter if they need towels for their dogs. Some shelters do not have enough money in their budget for towels to be inside the cold metal cages for dogs to lie on. I give towels to a pet store who takes them to such shelters.