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The Wag - Archive

General Health Tips

Dear Pet Lovers,

General Health Tips

We may know our canine companions better than anyone else, but it is important to remember most of us are not medical professionals. If you are uncertain how to treat your dog's medical needs or if you have any questions, you should contact your veterinarian immediately. It is important to keep the following information in mind when travelling or being out recreating with nature!

  • Have your dog's vaccinations updated if necessary. Diseases such as rabies, distemper and parvo are ever-present dangers and necessary precautions should be taken.
  • Beware of insect bites. If your dog is bitten or stung, remove the stinger and watch the site for an allergic reaction. If a reaction occurs or there have been multiple wasp, bee or mosquito bites, take the animal to the vet.
  • If your dog is outside A LOT during the summer (camping, beach days, hiking) think about flea and tick prevention medications. There are many on the market that are very affective and many that use more natural ingredients to repel pesky insects.
  • Most lawn and garden products may be hazardous. Make sure that plants and fertilizers within the dog's reach are not toxic. Always read labels on garden products, bug spray, and other outdoor products to make sure they are pet-friendly.
  • The outdoors exposes dogs to the elements. Dogs may need extra brushing and bathing to stay clean and healthy.
  • No matter how careful and responsible you may be, accidents can happen. It’s a great idea to have a first aid kit for your dog to have items that you might need such as bandages, scissors, etc. that can help you stabilize a wound so you can get your dog to the vet if necessary. Make sure your vet's phone number is close at hand and available to all family members.

Summer Safety Concerns

Dogs need protection from the hot weather. Here are some safety concerns for responsible dog owners:

  • Never leave your dog unattended in direct sunlight or in a closed vehicle. Heatstroke can occur and lead to brain damage or death. Signs of heatstroke are panting, drooling, rapid pulse and fever. Immediately immerse the dog in cool water and seek emergency veterinary assistance. Heat prostration occurs when the body temperature is elevated to approximately 106 degrees Fahrenheit and death will occur at 110 degrees Fahrenheit.
  • Never leave your dog unattended in a hot, parked car. When it's only 80 degrees outside, the inside of a car can heat up to more than 120 degrees in just minutes. Leaving the windows partially rolled down DOES NOT help. Your dog is susceptible to heat stroke and possible death in these conditions.
  • Always make sure your dog has access to fresh water.
  • All dogs should have proper identification at all times. A collar with an ID tag, along with a tattoo or a microchip is important when your dog is out in the general population or in a situation in which they could become detached from you.
  • Keep your dog on a leash when he is outdoors to prevent accidents and injuries.
  • Try to avoid strenuous exercise with your dog on extremely hot days and refrain from physical activity when the sun's heat is most intense.
  • Be mindful of hot pavements - dog paws are easily injured on super-hot streets and it is very painful to dogs.
  • There are many dog parks around our country. Rules vary in some, but most are similar. Some things to consider when using a dog park are:
    No aggressive dogs are allowed, no females in heat, and no dogs that may be ill. It’s never a good idea to take human food into a dog park. You could be an attractive snack for a hungry dog. Be sure to read the posted rules of each park you visit.
  • It’s never a good idea to let small children play with dogs that they do not know. Safety is the biggest issue for all.

Beach Tips

Taking your dog to the beach can be a great way to spend a beautiful summer day. However, as a responsible dog owner there are certain precautions you should take:

  • Provide plenty of fresh water and shade for your dog. Dehydration can hit quickly and do much harm.
  • Dogs can get sunburn, especially short-haired dogs and ones with pink skin and white hair. Limit your dog's exposure when the sun is unusually strong, and apply sunblock to his ears and nose 30 minutes before going outside.
  • Dogs are easy targets for jellyfish and sea lice in ocean water. In late summer, some lakes with come alive with micro-organisms that can cause your dog to itch or come down with intestinal issues. Local authorities will usually keep you up to date when there’s unusual or dangerous activity In the water.
  • If your dog is out of shape, don't encourage him to run on the sand. Running on a beach is strenuous exercise, and a dog that is out of shape can easily pull a tendon or ligament.
  • Cool ocean water is tempting to your dog. Do not allow him to drink too much seawater. The salt in the water will make him sick.
  • Salt and other minerals found in the ocean can damage your dog's coat. So, when you are ready to leave for the day, rinse him off with fresh water.
  • Not all beaches permit dogs. Check local ordinances before you begin your excursion to the beach.

Dogs in the Water!

Most dogs can swim . Not all dogs, but most. First time swimmers should be tested before leaving them on their own. Here’s some tips to help your dog safely learn to swim for the first time:

  • Start in shallow water. Call your dog's name. A toy or a treat in hand may give your dog the incentive to get into the water. Never throw a dog in the water. It can scare them and they might never go into the water without great fear.
  • Peer modeling is another great way to introduce a dog to water. If your dog has a dog friend that already swims and is friendly with your dog, let your dog follow his friend.
  • If your dog begins to doggy-paddle with his front legs only, lift his hind legs and help him float. He should quickly catch on and will then keep his back end up.
  • Although swimming is great exercise, don't let your dog overdo it. He will be using new muscles and may tire quickly.
  • Be careful of strong tides that are hazardous for even the best swimmers. . It is never a bad idea to invest in a dog life jacket. Many dogs have been saved from tiring or from a strong current by the use of a life jacket. Life jackets can also give your dog the confidence to get into the water for the first time.
  • Never leave your dog unattended! You should always be in a position to help him get out of the water.

Pam, Krister, Rosanna, Kris, and Emily

The GoodDog Team

October - 2013

Dear Pet Lovers,

Cold Weather Coming

We live in a region where the winters are cold, so you should probably have a yearly routine to prepare yourself and your pets for the season change. You might change out your wardrobe, get your car ready for winter, and insulate your home. Don’t forget to take precautions to keep your dog warm and healthy. There are plenty of winter hazards out there, such as antifreeze and ice. Take steps to keep your dog safe!

Here are some cold weather tips to you and your dog this winter:
·   Do not leave your dog outside unsupervised without a heated shelter. Just because your dog has fur, it does not mean he can withstand the cold. Though some dog breeds (like Huskies and Malamutes) are better suited to cold weather, all dogs should have access to a warm shelter at all times. Most dogs do best living indoors. However, if your dog must live outdoors, provide a heated bed and adequate shelter.
·   Small dogs or those with little to no hair should have sweaters or jackets for protection against the cold. Some of the most common breeds that will benefit from protective clothing are Miniature Pinschers, Whippets, Chihuahuas and Greyhounds. Remember, not all dogs will tolerate clothing, so don’t push it – just make an extra effort to keep them out of the cold. Keep food and water in a place where they will not freeze - preferably inside! A heated dog bowl can help outdoor water and food from freezing.
·   Watch those feet! If your dog will tolerate it, consider foot protection booties. This can keep your dog’s feet safe from harm, such as dangerous objects hidden by the snow or salt on roads and walk ways. Additionally, booties can help give your dog a better grip and prevent slipping on ice.
·   When walking your dog near ice, use extra caution to avoid slipping. Always keep a close watch your dog and be sure he says nearby. If your dog is the type to run around on walks, do not allow your dog to run across frozen bodies of water - he could fall into icy water if the ice is too thin! Might need to keep on a leash around water. Even if your dog is a great swimmer, breaking through ice can present many challenges for you and your pet.
·   If you use an indoor or outdoor fireplace, always keep a safety guard around it in order to protect your dog away from the flames and soot. Do not leave a fire unattended.
·   If your dog is in the cold and begins excessively shaking or shivering, get him back to warm shelter as soon as possible. If you suspect your dog is developing hypothermia, bring him to a vet immediately.
·   Avoid letting your dog eat snow or anything else on the ground. Dangerous objects or chemicals may be hidden in the snow. Also, eating snow this can cause stomach upset and even hypothermia. Always keep fresh room temperature water available at all times.
·   ANITFREEZE! - It is highly toxic! Antifreeze tastes good to pets, but even a small amount can kill your dog. Though exposure to antifreeze is a risk all year, the risk is especially high during the colder months. Keep your eyes on your dog at all times - and keep antifreeze out of reach. If you suspect your dog has had ANY exposure to antifreeze, get to a vet right away.
·   In general, be sure to contact your vet if any abnormal behavior or signs of illness appear. Your vet may have a wonderful ‘Winter Guidelines” to help keep your pet safe and healthy throughout the winter months.
·   Your dog's normal temperature is a few degrees higher than yours? Winter is the perfect time of year to go out and enjoy the weather – then come home and snuggle up!

Be safe out there!!!

Pam, Kim, Krister and Rosanna

The GoodDog Team

July 2013

Dear Pet Lovers,

Paw Care for Your Four-Legged Friends

Summer is finally here and Idaho is having it’s fair share of warm weather! In light of this new and fascinating weather phenomenon, we offer ways to keep your pets paws in good health. The sidewalks and streets are getting very hot and we need to remember to take good care of our best friends!

Your dog’s feet sure are made for walking, but did you know they are also made for protecting? Pads provide extra cushioning to help protect bones and joints from shock, provide insulation against extreme weather, aid walking on rough ground and help protect tissue deep within the paw. With all that work to do, it’s no wonder your pooch’s paws often take a bit of a beating. Keep a spring in your pet’s step with our top 10 paw care tips:

Nail Clipping at home or at Groomer..YOUR CHOICE: Your dog's nails should just about touch the ground when she walks. If her nails are clicking or getting snagged on the floor, then it’s time to clip. Ask your veterinarian or a groomer for advice about what types of nail trimmers are best for your dog and how to use them properly.
Snip and Trim: Trim paw hair regularly to avoid painful matting. Simply comb hair out, especially from between the toes, and trim even with the pads.
Clean In Between: Foreign objects can become lodged in your dog’s pads. Check regularly between toes for stickers, pebbles, small bits of broken glass and other debris. These pesky items can usually be removed with a pair of tweezers.
Help keep Pads Moist: A dog’s pads can become cracked and dry. There are many pad crèmes/waxes for dogs. Avoid human hand moisturizer, as this can soften the pads and lead to injury.
Deep Paw Massage: Similar to giving a human hand massage, a paw massage will relax your dog and promote better circulation. Start by rubbing between the pads on the bottom of the paw, and then rub between each toe. Your dog will be forever grateful for the extra TLC!
Slow and Steady: If you’re about to begin a new exercise program with your dog, start slowly. Paws may become sensitive, chaffed or cracked, particularly when starting your dog out on hikes and runs.
Apply First Aid: It's not unusual for dogs to suffer cuts or other wounds from accidentally stepping on glass, debris or other objects. Wounds that are smaller than a half inch in diameter can be cleaned with an antibacterial wash and wrapped with a light bandage. For deeper paw cuts, see the vet for treatment.
Summertime Sores: Imagine stepping barefoot onto hot pavement. Ouch! It is important to remember your dog’s paws feel heat extremes, too. To prevent burns and blisters, avoid walking your dog on hot pavement or sand. Signs include blisters, loose flaps of skin and red, ulcerated patches. For minor burns, apply antibacterial wash and cover the paw with a loose bandage. For serious burns, visit your vet immediately.
Practice Prevention: To reduce the risk of injury, keep your home and yard clear of pointy bits and pieces. Be conscious to avoid hazards such as broken glass and other debris when walking your dog. And keep this simple tip in mind—if you wouldn’t like to walk on it barefoot, neither will your dog!

Be safe out there!!!

Pam, Kim, Krister and Rosanna

The GoodDog Team

June 2013

Dear Pet Lovers,

IT’S TIME TO THINK ABOUT WATER SAFETY FOR OUR DOGS!

Summer is here and we are all ready to take our dogs for a dip in the lake or in the pool! But believe it or not, most dogs don't instinctively know how to swim!

While some breeds have bodies designed for swimming, others' builds make it a challenge.

"Some dogs don't know how to swim. They will only paddle with their front legs. When this happens, their hind side may sink, they become totally vertical and increasingly frantic, and can actually drown. In addition, some breeds have bodies designed for swimming, while others are built in ways that make swimming more of a challenge.

That said, almost any dog can be taught to at least tolerate the water, and most of the time, really enjoy it. Here's how to help yours do so safely.

Definitely do not just throw your dog into the water! Dogs can drown. Be positive and don't be frustrated if your dog doesn't seem to enjoy the water as much as you'd like him to.

Make it FAMILY FUN! Some dogs will go into a pool, pond or other water body without hesitation the very first time they see one, but many others need a little help from their friends. For some dogs, just letting them play in a sloping pond or pool with steps with dogs that love to swim is all it takes. Other dogs will follow their owner into the water with encouragement, food or toys because they know and trust their human!

Dense-bodied, short-legged dogs such as pugs and bulldogs may have trouble staying afloat. For these breeds and any other dog who's float- challenged, a life jacket can help. Quality canine life jackets provide greater visibility, greater buoyancy and a means to control or lift a dog out of the water in an emergency. Life jackets are also important if you and your dog are boating. If he goes overboard unexpectedly, the handle atop the jacket will help you hoist him out of the water.

A dog may have a great time swimming in a pool but be unable to figure out how to leave that pool. Grab his life jacket handle or direct him to the pool steps or ramp so that he can make his exit. Be sure to watch for signs that he's getting tired, such as heavy panting, breathing or increased splashing while paddling.

And finally…. Your dog's coat and skin may feel icky and matted after his swim. He may also have dry, gummy hair and irritated skin -- if pool, lake or ocean water dries on them. After every dip in the pool or splash session in the ocean, rinse your dog thoroughly and towel him as dry as possible.

At GoodDog, we believe in keeping your pets safe at all times. Don’t forget that when summer comes, also come summer issues like swimming, fleas, ticks, and all sorts of fun adventures!! We carry life jackets and treatments for the pests that invade your dog AND your home!

Be safe out there!!!

Pam, Kim, Krister and Rosanna

The GoodDog Team

April/May 2013

Dear Pet Lovers,

EARTH DAY IS APRIL 22

We are the caretakers of the world. We can make small changes in our lives to help make it a better place for our children, grandchildren, and even for our pets. Here’s a few steps to consider.

  1. Let’s talk about biodegradable poop bags. These bags can decompose in about the same amount of time as an apple. Change bags to help with our massive garbage issues!
  2. Are you thinking of increasing the love in your family? Think adoption! Overpopulation, and consequently euthanization, is the #1 killer of dogs in this country. We have some wonderful rescues and shelters in North Idaho! You can always adopt or volunteer with a rescue group to help as many dogs in need find great forever homes.
  3. Old blankets and sheets may seem like junk to you, but to the dogs at your local shelter, they are beds and comfort. Instead of trashing your old linens and towels, donate them to your local shelter. Call them to see what they need!
  4. Old socks with missing pairs? Make a dog toy out of it! Recycling household products and making dog toys is a great way to re-use, rather than consume
  5. Instead of driving to the dog park, how about rollerblading, biking or just walking instead? It’s more exercise and time for you and your dog to spend together, and it’s not using fossil fuels or spewing greenhouse gases into the air.
  6. Look for more natural flea and tick repellent. There are some on the market that use natural oils to repel. Also, check your household cleaning products and make sure you’re using ones that are chemical-free and therefore, not contributing to harmful runoff into our ground and water sources.
  7. Take your dog on a wonderful nature hike!! Good for everyone involved!
  8. Whenever possible, use toys made of recycled materials. West Paw puts out great tough recycled toys.

Baby Steps are a great way to learn to take giant steps! Please help us take care of MOTHER EARTH.

HAPPY APRIL!

Pam, Kim, Krister and Rosanna

The GoodDog Team

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