Tag: safety

How to Keep Chocolate Toxicity from Killing Your Dog

Last week, we talked about things that can hurt your dog during the holidays.  With the holidays fast approaching, your home probably has much more chocolate in the cupboards than normal, with more coming in just a few weeks.  Chocolate toxicity is a real danger to dogs, especially small breeds who don’t have enough body mass to metabolize the chocolate before it kills them.

Luckily, most times a dog eats chocolate, it’s both large enough to metabolize the chocolate safely (since it’s harder for small dogs to get on the counters or in the cupboard), and it’s diluted as milk chocolate.  I’m going to walk you through the steps to take if your dog does eat chocolate, and how serious the situation may become.

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9 Things That Can Kill Your Dog This Holiday Season

The holidays are, in my opinion, the best time of year.  You get to see your family, even those from far away.  The food is amazing.  I have a cousin who bakes the most amazing cookies, and dozens of kinds.  She uses my grandmother’s recipes as well as her own, and it’s amazing.  And everyone else makes their own specialty, so it’s all the family favorites at the table.  I also work in retail, and love that the store is crazy-busy, and the customers are stressed but perfectly happy to stand in long lines.

But this season is dangerous for your pets.  Many foods that we enjoy can kill dogs.  Guests inadvertently leave the door open, and dogs escape.  Hot kitchens lead to spills, and winter weather approaches.  Use these tips to keep your dog safe this holiday season.

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Dog Safety: Dog-Proofing Your Child

A few weeks ago, I posted this great article about Baby-Proofing your Dog.  Dog safety is hugely important for me, because even though we can’t have dogs due to allergies, everyone else in our social circle has at least one or two.

Dog safety doesn’t just come from the dog, it’s super important to teach your kids how to behave around dogs.  Your children will have friends and acquaintances with dogs.  They will play in the same parks as people with dogs, and they will meet dogs all the time.

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Why Your Pet Needs a Microchip

The first time I read about microchips, I thought the ethical implications were … questionable.  However, I luckily learned about the more widespread use of the microchip:  to identify animals.

All pets need a microchip.  Microchips identify which pet belongs to who at a shelter, and help locate your lost pet.  Even if your pets aren’t lost, knowing that all strays should be scanned can help you find the owner of that cute little stray that just appeared in your yard.

Read on to learn more about microchips, and how they help keep your pets safe.

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How To Train Your Dog to Tolerate Fireworks

With the Fourth of July right around the corner, everyone is focusing on fireworks and parades and some good barbecue.

What many families aren’t thinking about this week is their dog’s safety.  Unfortunately, many pets will run away this weekend in a complete panic.  Today, I want to talk about some great ways to keep your dog calm this week, as well as during other stressful events (like thunder storms.)

How to teach your dog to tolerate fireworks

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5 Tips: How to Keep Your Exotic Pet Cool

Small animals deserve hot-weather tips too.  Sometimes we forget about them, because most of them come from deserts or tropics, and they don’t always show their discomfort.  If you’re warm, odds are your exotic pet needs a reprieve from the heat as well.  Even when it’s cool outside, direct sunlight can overheat pets.  Check out these five easy tricks to keeping your exotic comfortable in extreme weather.


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Disaster Planning: Evacuating With Small Pets

When, as humans, we think about disasters and preparedness, we think first about ourselves and our families.  Often we include our pets as part of our family, but sometimes smaller pets are forgotten.  Small pets evacuate easily, but evacuating with pets requires care and diligence.

disaster planning - evacuating with exotic pets

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Disaster Planning: Evacuating With Your Cat

A few years ago, I lived in an apartment complex.  I liked it well enough–I was single, so didn’t need much space, and it was near work.  One morning, a few weeks after I moved in, at about 5:30 in the morning, the fire alarms went off.  I had to collect the pets.  The dog was exhilarated.  Snot, the cat, was concerned that we were all going to die and perhaps she should stay under the bed.

Luckily (Unluckily?) a neighbor had come home drunk and started cooking eggs.  When he passed out, the eggs burned and the fire alarm went off.

In the meantime, I spent every fire alarm concerned that this was a “real one” and my home would burn down.  So I began preparing to truly evacuate with my pets.  Evacuating with a dog differs greatly from evacuating with a cat.  Dogs see adventure, cats see disaster.  I developed a few tips for evacuating your cat, both capturing the beast at home as well as travelling with her.

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Disaster Planning: The Dog Bug-Out Bag

This past week, I’ve spent a bunch of time watching the weather channel.  For some reason, they kept predicting thunderstorms in the afternoon.  I think, overall, it rained for about five minutes, and I didn’t see any thunder or lightening.

While I watched, I noticed several areas of the country with major weather incidents.  Tornadoes.  Tropical storm-like things that weren’t going to turn into hurricanes, but would cause bigger thunderstorms than we see here in Michigan.  And I thought about disaster planning.

What would I take for my pets, and what would I leave behind?  If I built a bug out bag, what would I put in it?  Here’s my list of things I would take for my pets if I had to evacuate.

Disaster Planning:  Dog Bug Out Bag Essentials

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Keeping Dogs Safe in Hot Weather

5 Tips to Keep Your Dog Safe this Summer

Thirteen years ago, I had The Dog.  Not just any dog, but the dog that was with me always.  He was a gorgeous fox-red Labrador, aptly named “Rusty.”  He was the best dog.  He could be anywhere and wouldn’t steal or knock people over or do anything else excessively obnoxious.

However, Rusty had one little problem.  In Labradors, a condition called Exercise Induced Collapse can cause them to lose all muscle function when they get overly excited, and Rusty had it.  The disease is genetic, but not all (or even most) Labs are affected.  So not only did I have to protect him from normal hot weather activities, but I had to make sure he didn’t collapse somewhere I couldn’t keep him cool.  I learned a few tips and tricks along the way for keeping dogs safe in hot weather.

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