Breeder-Judge on how to pet-proof the house, select the right "dog stuff" and resolve fleas, poisons, licking, chewing.
COMMON SENSE DOG SENSE
E. Katie Gammill AKC Judge - May 2010
Safety checklist on collars, bowls, toys, fleas, poisons, licking, chewing - how to protect your dog and pet-proof your house.
There are many situations we experience daily that may, or may not, have an adverse effect on both humans and canines. Here are some “common sense” thoughts to consider that will make your house a safer place for your pet.
1. YOU are responsible for your dog’s actions regarding property damage or bad behavior. Your insurance agent can tell you if you have adequate coverage.
2. Your pet should have identification in the form of a tattoo, micro chip, or tag on the collar. Contact the vet for micro-chipping.
3. Brush your dog’s teeth to prevent gum disease. Most disease is canine specific and not communicable to humans with the exception of rabies. Licking “road kill”, eating fecal matter, and chewing on decomposing articles causes infections due to the bacteria in the dog’s mouth. While there are certain natural antibiotics in dog saliva, do not kiss your dog. (Cat’s mouths are worse due to eating rodents)
4. If you leave the room or house, crate or isolate your dog to a specific area to avoid damage.
5. Many plants are toxic to dogs as are alcohol, nicotine, and chocolate.
6. Buy “pet safe” Ice Melt and Anti-Freeze. Antifreeze can cause fatal results.
7. Keep flea treatment on your dog and yes, squirrels carry fleas.
8. Do not spay or neuter before one year of age as it deters physical development, affects the normal growth pattern, and can cause life-time incontinence.
9. Doors must be carefully attended as dogs tend to “rush through.” This avoids traffic situations as well as damaged tails.
10. Be sure all medication is secure and out of reach.
11. Be aware of what is in the trash and keep it covered at all times.
12. If you have long work hours, do NOT buy a puppy. One must be devoted to house breaking and puppies need attention. Do NOT rub your dog’s nose in an accident that was caused because you were not attentive. Puppies have small bladders and must be taken outside often.
13. Puppies and small dogs like to run and hide under recliners. They may become crushed or tangled in the hardware. Look before you sit down.
14. Large raw bones assist in removing tartar from teeth. Give bones separately and do not feed cooked bones as they will splinter.
15. If your dog makes “chewing motions” with its mouth, inspect the throat and roof of the mouth for an obstruction such as a coin, cardboard, button, or other small items.
16. Under the sink cleaners are highly toxic poisons. Soaps and hand cream causes digestive upsets.
17. Secure dirty laundry. Dogs love panty hose and underwear. Once swallowed, they may cause obstructions that require surgery. (Pick up your socks!)
18. IF your dog stops eating and eliminating, GO TO THE VET IMMEDIATELY.
19. Consider a “break away” collar for home use. Remove choke chains when dogs are crated or alone in the home to avoid accidental hanging or choking.
20. Wash feed bowls and pick up the yard on a regular basis to discourage stool eating.
21. Buy soft toys with stitched eyes. Avoid plastic eyes and any stuffing other than cotton. Dispose of worn toys and wash dirty toys often.
22. Cover electrical cords with clear plastic tubing from a hardware store. Split tubing and fit to length of cord. If cords have chew marks, unplug the accessory.
23. Discourage small pets from jumping off furniture. Puppies have poor depth perception and can easily break something, including themselves.
24. Stagger inoculations and keep your pet up to date. Worm and bathe your pet regularly, and remember your heartworm check.
25. Socialize your pet and attend local classes.
The smarter the dog, the harder it is to keep it secure or penned. Your dog easily manipulates you without your knowing. If your time is limited, do NOT buy a puppy but DO consider an older dog. Retired show dogs adapt and are already trained! Also contact the Humane Shelter or your local vet.
Give your pet a treat when crating it and make large chew bones available for entertainment. Play a radio or TV when leaving the pet alone.
Do not blame the dog for YOUR shortcomings. Being a responsible pet owner means you are one half of the equation that insures a successful relationship between man and canine. Don’t disappoint your pet.