Archive for December, 2008

WARNING: what you need to know about animal cruelty

This is a very difficult subject to write about especially since it triggers a bodily emotional response of various sorts when writing it, reading it, or telling it, and none of the emotional reactions are pleasant.

Even though it is not a pleasant topic to communicate, the fact that it is being told illustrates there is a need to do so and if it causes you to be more aware and maybe take some positive action when necessary it is then certainly worthwhile.

We are talking about abuse as a result of ignorance, benign neglect or acts of omission, indifference to suffering, and even acts of commission along with the pleasure in inflicting it upon people, dogs, cats and other pets.

The perpetrators of animal cruelty often portray themselves as kindly animal lovers. These people are some of our neighbors, friends of our associates and the people we do business with.

It’s hard to identify a person capable of committing unfathomable crimes of abuse against our voiceless pets. In the extreme case, animal abuse becomes a precursor to human-directed violence, and left untreated or dealt with it can escalate into further horrendous consequences.

We all must be aware of the signs and be willing to take action when it is suspected or witnessed, whether we are capable of doing so ourselves by educating the pet owner and then checking the situation for improvements, or by seeking the help of authorities and professionals such as your local police or SPCA. With your other important phone numbers, keep the necessary phone numbers handy in case you see a pet you don’t know or an animal that needs assistance.

You can help by being observant. Look for these unacceptable common signs of the abused or neglected:

(1) Dogs that cower fearfully or act aggressively when owners come near
(2) People not providing adequate care
(3) People kicking, hitting or physically abusing an animal
(4) Animals left without food, water or shelter, especially in extreme weather
(5) Animals kept under dirty conditions, such as standing in their own urine and excrement in confined areas
(6) Animals left in cars on hot (heat stroke) or cold days
(7) Proper veterinary care is not obtained
(8) Emaciation, no visible body fat, obvious loss of muscle mass
(9) Very thin, top of backbone visible, pelvic bones becoming prominent
(10) Grossly obese, massive fat deposits on chest, spine, and base of tail
(11) Severely overgrown nails curling under or curling upwards
(12) Severe flea or tick infestations left untreated
(13) Signs of ear infection, i.e. excessive scratching of the ear area, shaking of the head, dirt or discharge
(14) Wounds on the body
(15) Swellings, tumors or abscesses left untreated
(16) Limping
(17) Infected eyes left untreated
(18) Allowing a collar to grow into an animal’s skin
(19) Patches of missing hair
(20) Take notice and be aware of barking, whimpering, meowing or scratching from inside a home after the resident has moved

Please help support our efforts by visiting our CalloftheDogShop for all your pet supplies….. at prices that will make your tail wag or a cat purr CLICK HERE

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Your Dog’s Solution for Boredom, Separation Anxiety, and other Benefits

For pet parents whose furry kids deal with separation anxiety, if it is not already known, the destructive behavior that accompanies the pet anxiety almost always occurs in the first half hour after your departure from the home.

If you can occupy your dog with an enjoyable, focused activity, you have an excellent chance of avoiding the panic attacks fueled by the dog’s anxiety and the ensuing destructive behavior. That adds up to a win-win solution. Of course, you would want to avoid any potential destructive behavior, but just as, if not more, importantly you would not want your furry companion to go through the stress if it’s avoidable.

The solution…..Enter the Kong. The Kong is not only a toy; it is an effective training device, used and recommended by veterinarians, dog experts and satisfied customers worldwide.

Let’s focus this conversation on the Kong’s value as an entertainment and anti-anxiety tool.

The Kong is designed to be stuffed through a suitable hole with food or treats with which the dog will be occupied trying to “unstuff” the Kong. Wet food can be frozen over night so it will take longer to eat when placed in the Kong.
If your dog is not yet house broken and is still being crate trained, you can give your companion the stuffed Kong in the crate, occupying your dog’s attention with un-stuffing the Kong. After using the frozen food in the Kong several times, you may find your dog happy to see you go to the fridge just before you are leaving and RUN to the crate and actually not mind that you are leaving. Wouldn’t that be a terrific outcome from an otherwise unpleasant experience for you both?

The Kong is an excellent Training tool as well as an Interactive toy and can save your dog from suffering panic attacks when it must be left alone.

We have made the Kong Pet Toys available through our CalloftheDogShop at excellent prices so they can be had by all.

Super-bouncy and irresistible, Kong’s exclusive super-bouncy red natural rubber compound is irresistible for most dogs. An added benefit is that it promotes a healthy, stimulating “nose-to-tail” workout of every muscle and reflex. Kong’s strong, thick, flexible walls keep springing back for more. It satisfies a dog’s natural need to chew and also cleans teeth and conditions gums.

Black KONG
For tenacious chewers, the Black Kong is the world’s strongest rubber dog toy! The Black Kong is now being used worldwide by police K-9 teams, Schutzhund and AKC competition trainers, and many more. Supervised use is strongly recommended for Power Chewers.








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Holiday Time, Cold Weather and Winter Conditions Pose Dangers for Pets

During the wintertime holidays, our homes are often decorated, special foods are prepared and families reunite to celebrate. Please let us take the time to be sure our homes are safe and we are not creating the potential for crisis for our loved pets.

Pets can be attracted to candles. Do not leave pets unattended in a room with a menorah or candle lit candelabra. A curious inspection or a knock of a table can result in a disastrous situation.

If lights are displayed, let’s be sure the electrical cords are not available for curious pets who may find them interesting and fun chew toys.

Tinsel on the tree is a fun and attractive play toy for dogs and cats, but it can be a serious problem if ingested along with artificial tree parts, decorative ribbons, string, and tree ornaments placed at lower levels or other small toys, parts of small toys or small decorative pieces that might be available to curious pets.

If you are giving toys to your pet for the holidays, be sure they are designed for pets and not children where smalls buttons for eyes and such can become a swallowing danger. (Pet Toys)

Ornaments should be tied with string and not hooks to avoid pets from catching their mouths on or worse swallowing hooks from ornaments that fall from the tree.

Live Christmas trees can become a fire hazard so be sure they receive adequate water and you check the reservoir daily. It is also important that this water cannot be accessed by your thirsty pet, especially if a preservative is used. Be sure the tree stand base is well covered

Amaryllis, chrysanthemum, holly, mistletoe, poinsettias, rhododendron, winter broom as well as Christmas berry, cherry, pepper and rose are all toxic and can cause problems to pets that ingest and in some cases come in contact with them. (Dog Poisons)

Even if your tree is already decorated, P-L-E-A-S-E read the additional hints on a safe holiday tree available by clicking (Christmas tree safety).

If holiday treats are shared with your dog, be aware that large amounts of high fat foods can result in serious gastrointestinal disorders. Chocolate, baking and dark being the most dangerous, even a small amount, can prove to be deadly to a small dog, and alcohol can be toxic to both dogs and cats. (Dog Poisons)

Be certain that leftovers are always out of reach and garbage is secure and cannot be scavenged by pets or other animals. Discarded poultry and other cooked bones can lodge in an animal’s throat and/or intestinal tract.

If your household or the house you are visiting uses space heaters, electric blankets and other such heating products, they must be carefully monitored and not forgotten when in use. These appliances can be the causes of house fires leaving the potential for people and pets to be badly burned and suffer from smoke inhalation.

Pay special attention to your dog’s well-being during the cold winter season.

It is helpful to remind people who are in colder areas that a small amount of car antifreeze is highly toxic. The sweet taste of antifreeze attracts animals and poisoning is a common occurrence in winter that can cause permanent kidney damage and can often be fatal. 1 teaspoon per 2 pounds of body weight is all that is needed to be lethal. (Dog Poisons)

Cleaning pets’ paws when coming in from out of doors is a good idea in any season.

Additional steps should be taken to avoid antifreeze poisoning. Do not let pets or other animals drink from puddles, and it is very important to clean paws when a pet comes in from the outdoors. Rock salt, used to melt ice on sidewalks, may irritate footpads so it is especially important to clean and dry the paws.

Apply a thin film of petroleum jelly to the pads; this is a good preventative against tiny cuts and prevents further cracking.

Frostbite is a dog’s winter hazard.

Guard your pets against the winter chill. Realize that wind chill has the effect of lowering the actual temperatures by up to 20 degrees and exposure to cold for extended periods can result in hypothermia which can interfere with the normal functions of the body and result in injury or death. Our dogs should have the added protection of a properly fitted protective garment such as jackets or coats designed for dogs.

Your dog is just as likely to get dehydrated in the winter as in the summer. Provide plenty of fresh water and do not believe that eating snow is a satisfactory substitute for water, it is NOT.

If your pet spends a lot of time outdoors or is working, it takes more energy in the winter to keep body temperature regulated, so feed your dog additional calories.

Keep dogs off of ice-covered lakes where the possible dangers exist due to under ice moving currents where the dog can fall through the ice and become submerged. Even if the dog does not drown and is pulled from the water, the animal is at extreme risk for hypothermia if not quickly warmed.

In colder climes people often leave pets in idling autos. Don’t leave your dog alone in the car while you do last-minute shopping or errands. Not only does this expose you to car theft with your love companion inside, it exposes your pet or other occupants to possible carbon monoxide poisoning from an engine left running. It is dangerous and it would be a mistake with possible devastating results.

Let’s use a little precaution and enjoy the holiday and winter season.

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Christmas Tree Safety for Your Pets and for All

Don’t forget some basics for a safe Christmas for all.

As sure as night follows day, many are going to look forward to getting the Christmas tree up and decorated.

However, someone has to have the job of passing out the reminders necessary to make it safe for our pets and, so, we volunteer in order that the Grinch does not take away your holiday merriment.

It is important to be aware that trauma can result from trees falling on pets, mouths can become lacerated from dogs chewing on glass ornaments, and surgery could be the result for saving our pet from eating bulbs, garland and tinsel.

If your tree is already up, take the extra time to double check for potential dangers so you have the opportunity to fix them before a problem becomes a tragedy, or at the very least an unnecessary mess to clean up. An excited, curious and/or playful dog or puppy can knock over a tree.

Consider locating the tree in a corner and secure it on two sides to small hooks in the walls using invisible fishing line. Another safety possibility is to use clear fishing line from the top of the tree to a small hook on the ceiling with gentle tension before tying. The clear line is invisible.

Try to place your tree near an outlet so you can avoid running electrical cords long distances and, by all means, hide the cords well or position them high out of reach. Cords can cause electrocution, serious injury or even death especially for curious puppies that tend to chew on anything.

Any ornament can be ingested and cause an intestinal obstruction; however, “safer” bulbs to be around your pets would be plastic or wood. Glass bulbs at lower pet levels are especially dangerous. Please do not learn this lesson the tragic way. Bitter apple can be sprayed on low branches for persistent chewers. Glass bulbs if broken can cut feet or, worse, they can be chewed on, causing them to break, resulting in mouth, throat trauma and bleeding.

Christmas tree tinsel can be a serious problem if ingested. Tinsel on the tree is a fun play toy for dogs and cats. Cats are especially attracted to bright shiny tinsel, so it should really be avoided. Please also be aware that decorative ribbons and string can be ingested by either canine or feline, so please watch those beautifully wrapped gifts left under the tree.

Sweep up the fallen pine needles to help prevent ingestion. Pine needles can cause gastric irritation and vomiting.

Avoid the risk of fire by keeping the tree watered, and keep you pet away from the tree water. Turn the lights on only when you are at home. By turning the lights off when you are away, you are not only safer you but are less of a target for Christmas gift burglary.

Enjoy the time of merriment; reunite with your family with safe celebration.

Warm hearts for cold noses,
Jay & Lisa

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Dog toys are not just toys

Does your dog like to chew, tug, cuddle, fetch? What type of toy does your dog prefer? Fluffy, rubbery, squeaky, bouncy, or rope are the types of options to consider in choosing a dog toy that is a match for your dog’s personality. Observe your dog; determine what it does for fun for clues to what type of toy would be a good fit.

Your dog’s toys play an important part in keeping your dog physically and mentally healthy by supplying an outlet for excess energy and an aid in the prevention of becoming bored and/or depressed. Toys for your dog can present the opportunity to encourage play, exercise, and will help keep your dog physically fit as well as challenge problem-solving skills, and alleviate separation anxiety. The mouthing and chewing activity will help keep teeth clean and healthy.

Without appropriate toys, not only can your dog develop emotional stress, its outlet for psychological relief can turn to chewing or playing with other things such as furniture, woodwork, shoes, or the garbage. Most dogs enjoy chewing and it is a very natural activity for them. If you do not provide the right outlet, they are likely to select their own.

Remember — safety comes first

What is most important is that the toy is safe and if it is not entertaining it will not be of much benefit. Not every toy will be of interest or suitable for every dog. Some dogs will enjoy and be fine with soft toys or delicate, rubber toys while others will destroy and attempt eat them.

The selection

Toys that have removable parts or pieces which could be easily chewed off, or squeakers that can be extracted, can be dangerous. The results in that case can be a dangerous gastro-intestinal obstruction. Be sure your dog is not tempted to be destructive to get to the squeaker. With any toy that you give your dog, supervise, supervise and observe until you have 100% confidence in the toy’s safety and your dog’s behavior is compatible with the toy before leaving your dog alone with the toy. Your dog’s toys should be selected based on your pet’s needs, its size and its preferences.

Can the toy be cleaned?

It is important to wash the toys your dog plays with occasionally to keep your canine healthy. A toy can collect a lot of bacteria from saliva and the ground.

Does your dog like to fetch?

Kong toys, rope toys, balls and stuffed animals are great for the retrieving game, along with ball launchers and floating toys around water activities.

Is your dog a real chewer?

Kong toys are very durable and almost indestructible and available in various sizes and weights. The rubber Kong toys are gentle on your dogs and as an added safety feature pose little risk of causing dental damage.

Is your dog a cuddler?

Stuffed animals are perfect for a cuddling dog; however, get toys designed for dogs and not for children, because they will be made with less removable parts.

Is your dog a tugger?

If your dog enjoys the tug-of-war, Rope toys and rubber balls can be the perfect interactive toy. The tug-of-war is also a good opportunity to teach the “let go” or “drop” commands. It is important that your dog knows these commands so your dog does not become too aggressive and understands the activity is play.

If two or more dogs are playing tug-of-war, they must be supervised until you are sure the activity does not develop into a contest for dominance and a fight.

Is your dog the inquisitive type?

Kong toys that are hollow allow you to stuff a treat inside so your dog can enjoy the challenge of getting them out. It is an activity they love that brings mental stimulation and physical exercise. And, after the treat is extracted, be it a cookie or peanut butter, the rubber Kong can be easily washed with soap and water.

Appreciate the time together

Use the toys to bond with your special furry buddy and not just use them as objects to occupy your pet’s time when you are not around. Play with your dog, and enjoy your time together. The time passes quickly and you will appreciate all the memories of interacting with your dog’s playful spirit.









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