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Spring into Action if Your Pet Gets into Something Poisonous
Get Outside with Your Dog and Have Fun
Tips to Keep Children Safe around Your Pets

Spring into Action if Your Pet Gets into Something Poisonous

You suspect your pet has gotten into something poisonous. Depending on what your pet ingests, there can be minor side effects, but some can lead to death.

According to “Poisons (Swallowed)” at, watch for certain signs if you suspect poisoning. From general lethargy, weakness, vomiting, diarrhea, drooling and nausea to more severe signs such as agitation, tremors, twitching and seizures, call your veterinarian or the Pet Poison Helpline at 1-800-213-6680 for help.

Remember that dogs are very curious and many will put anything in their mouths, so when poison is ingested, it’s most likely by accident. “Sometimes, owners may self-medicate their pet, only to find out days later, when their pet is symptomatic, that the medication is poisonous to pets due to their altered ability to metabolize certain drugs,” the article said.

If your pet gets into poison, the article recommends the following:

  • Remove the pet from poison source. Before handling, determine safety and if rubber gloves or mask are needed.
  • Identify poison and bring the contents and label to your vet.
  • If your pet vomits, bring a sample. Do not induce vomiting unless consulting your vet or Pet Poison Helpline.
  • Contact the Helpline on the way to your vet.

Some common poisonous household products to avoid include: drain cleaner, oven cleaner, toilet cleaner, kerosene, gasoline, paint thinner and chlorine bleach. If your pet is exposed to any of these products, remain calm and immediately get to the vet.

It is always best to practice prevention in your home and to “treat your dog as you would a young, inquisitive child,” the article said. Pet proof your home, keep chemicals stored away safely, store medication separately from your pet’s medications and administer correct drugs to your pet.

Remember, an ounce of prevention really helps when it comes to keeping pets safe.


Get Outside with Your Dog and Have Fun

Spring is a fabulous time of year to get outside with your dog. There are many things in the Valley to have fun, get exercise and explore the great outdoors. has great ideas from Dog’s Day Out in Phoenix, AZ, so take note:

  1. Arizona Biltmore Fashion Park. If you both love to shop, this is the place. “This outdoor mall is perfect for strolling along and window shopping with your pooch,” the article said. “Select stores even allow your well trained dog to accompany you.”
  2. Cosmo Dog Park. This off-leash dog park in Gilbert has lots to do, featuring four fun-filled fenced acres. There’s nighttime lighting, wash stations, and even a separate space for smaller dogs. “But the main attraction at Cosmo Dog Park is the man-made lake that is a favorite for water-loving breeds,” the article said.
  3. Music on Mill. Music lovers and their dogs can enjoy free music in Tempe’s Mill Avenue district from September through June on Thursday nights from 5 to 9 p.m.
  4. Cupcakes from Sprinkles. This place offers delicious delights for Valley residents, but did you know they have doggie cupcakes, too? Take a stroll on the Soleri Bridge in Scottsdale and exercise before you indulge. Then make sure you take a walk afterward to burn it off.

Surprise Stadium. For baseball loving dogs and peeps, try spring training. “At Surprise Stadium, owners can take in a ball game with their dogs in a specially-designated area,” the article said. It costs $11 for people and $5 for dogs who must be leashed at all times. “Walk-ins aren’t typically allowed during the Bring Your Dog to the Ball Park event, so be sure to register and buy your tickets in advance.”


Tips to Keep Children Safe around Your Pets

A pet can be one of the best things about childhood. With pets come responsibilities, so it is important to ensure children know the rules and that parents are always supervising.

According to the article “Teaching Children Pet Safety Rules,” from North Shore Animal League America, benefits of pets include “increases in self-esteem, nurturing skills, cooperation and, best of all, the creation of an unconditional, loving bond that brings immeasurable joy to your entire family.”

When bringing home a pet, everyone must follow simple rules to help “guard against injuries such as bites and scratches, which are often caused by children yanking an animal’s tail, chasing or cornering it or approaching it suddenly,” the article said.

Dogs are “pack animals” and live by a “social hierarchy,” as explained in the article by Kim Lasek, North Shore Animal League America’s head trainer. It is very important to “establish every person in the family as an authority figure or ‘pack leader’ to the dog by simple, everyday interactions.”

The article offers tips for a safe, happy relationship, including:

  • Accidents can happen, so never leave children and pets unsupervised.
  • Never approach animals while they are eating, sleeping, caring for their babies, in a crate or chewing on a toy.
  • Pet gently. Do not pull or tug or approach from behind.
  • Ask permission from an adult before approaching an unknown animal.
  • Refrain from making loud noises and sudden moves when approaching an animal.
  • Do not make contact with dog or cat waste.
  • Children should not touch or stand near dogs when they are excited, such as during meal time or when someone comes to the front door.

Ensure your children know that pets are living beings with feelings, the article said. They must be respected and cared for with lots of love.

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You and your family want a dog. The thought of a furry family member brings a lot of excitement. What kind of dog should you bring home? A puppy for the kids? A middle-aged dog? An older dog? What breed? Male or female? You want to be sure you bring home the perfect pooch who will fit right in with your family and lifestyle. How do you find the dog who will fit the bill?

Remember that dogs are a huge responsibility and should be treated as part of the family. You will have to take the good with the bad, especially at first since there is always an adjustment period. It’s also a commitment, so you have to be prepared to bring in a dog for life. Everyone has to be on board with the decision and agree to take part in the dog’s care.

A great place to start

Dogs come in all shapes and sizes, breeds (full or mixed) and personalities. The best place to start is at your local shelter or rescue group, according to “Choosing the Right Dog for You,” an article at The Humane Society of The United States (HSUS).

Here are some questions before you bring a dog home:

• What is your lifestyle? Do you live in a house or an apartment? Do you have children? Is the family active? “A dog’s size, exercise requirements, friendliness, assertiveness and compatibility with children should all figure into your decision,” the article said. “Remember, you’re not just getting a dog; your new dog is getting a family!”
• What breed? Do your homework about breeds. Also “visit with animals at the shelter and speak with an adoption counselor for guidance.” You’re in luck as most shelters have purebreds and mixed breeds. Remember: “Mixed breeds are also more likely to be free of genetic defects common to certain purebred dogs because of over-breeding,” the article stated.
• Visit the shelter. Animals at the shelter are often under a lot of stress, according to the article. They may be scared or lonely, too. Speak with an adoption counselor to help choose the right dog for your lifestyle and spend time with the dog first. Ask the dog’s age, temperament and if the dog is good with children.

When choosing a dog, shelters and rescue organizations are great places to turn. Remember that “6–8 million animals end up in shelters each year, half of which will probably not be adopted,” according to “Adopting from an Animal Shelter or Rescue Group,” another HSUS article. Additionally, “25 percent of pets in shelters are purebreds. Breed-specific rescue groups always have purebred dogs and puppies looking for new homes.”

If you don’t find the right dog the first or second time you visit your shelter or rescue group, be patient because “shelters and rescue groups receive new animals every day, so keep checking back with them,” the second article said. “Some groups also keep a waiting list, so they can call you if an animal matching your preference becomes available.”

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With Springtime Comes Allergies: How to Treat Your Pets
How to Humanely Trap and Bring a Dog to Safety
If Your Dog Freaks Out When you Leave Home, You May Want to Read This Nipping Separation Anxiety and Your Dog in the Bud

With Springtime Comes Allergies: How to Treat Your Pets

Springtime means lots of great things. The weather is warmer. People step outside more often for outdoor activities. Then there’s allergies. Humans aren’t the only ones who suffer. Our pets can be susceptible too, making this great season not so great for our dogs and cats.

Many pet parents are not aware that their pets may be miserable due to springtime allergies, according to the article “If Your Dog is Itchy or Your Cat is Wheezy, You Need to Read This,” by Dr. Karen Becker at

The article points to two categories of pet allergies: food and environmental. There are some exceptions, but pets who get itchy in the spring, summer and fall most likely have environmental allergies. Pets whose symptoms are throughout the year are reacting to a “more constant in her environment, or to something in her diet,” the article said.

Watch for these signs:

  • Dog and cat allergies typically are seen by “skin irritation or inflammation – a condition called allergic dermatitis,” the article said, whereby the pet’s skin becomes very itchy.
  • Allergies can manifest with ear problems, more so in dogs than cats. Problems include scratching and shaking the head. With an infection you typically get odor and ear discharge.
  • Pets who are susceptible to seasonal allergies “also develop sensitivity to other allergens inhaled through the nose and mouth,” the article said.
  • Puffy red eyes, red chin, red paws.

Seasonal allergies can be remedied with foot soaks and baths with grain free shampoo. Try to keep your pet’s bedding clean, and vacuum and clean floors with non-toxic cleaners where your pet spends most of his/her time, the article said. Consider an anti-inflammatory diet or supplements. Contact your veterinarian first to get your pet on a regimen to feel better during the spring.

How to Humanely Trap and Bring a Dog to Safety

Do you know about humane dog trapping? Lost or stray dogs may be difficult to trap. In order to catch them humanely and bring them to safety, you often have to implement a tried-and-true method that many animal rescuers have been doing for years.

It’s easier to catch “well-adusted, confident dogs” who go missing, according to “Humane Capture of Skittish Dogs,” an article found at The Retrievers, a Minnesota-based organization offering lost dog support services.

Shy dogs and dogs never socialized from puppyhood in addition to “Dogs raised in puppy mills and hoarding situations are the most difficult to recover,” the article said. “They will bolt in panic when startled, or escape at the first opportunity when faced with a stressful situation. They may run for several miles before slowing down. And then, they will avoid human contact, running away from anyone who tries to approach.”

This can be very dangerous. Even dogs who come from wonderful families, dogs with great socialization may go into “survival mode” when on the streets for a long time. Those dogs may even run away from their own family as they see humans as threats, the article said.

To bring them to safety, it is often necessary to use a live trap, large enough to capture the animal. The Retrievers suggest a trap larger than a typical crate. Generally, traps are “triggered when the dog is lured far enough into the trap to step on a pressure plate, releasing a mechanism that causes the door to slam shut.”

Oftentimes, food is placed inside a trap to lure the dog in addition to being monitored either by live people or with a special camera.

Those who help are diligent in capturing stray dogs and always put the pet’s welfare first to bring the dog to safety.

If Your Dog Freaks Out When you Leave Home, You May Want to Read This Nipping Separation Anxiety and Your Dog in the Bud

Your dog is loving, sweet, cuddly and amazing. However, you’ve noticed that your dog’s personality does a 180 when you leave home. “Dogs with separation anxiety exhibit distress and behavior problems when they’re left alone,” according to the article, “Does Your Dog Freak Out When You Leave?” at The Humane Society of the United States website.

The article said that some of the common ways that dogs exhibit separation anxiety include:

  • Digging and scratching at windows and doors
  • Destructive chewing
  • Urinating and defecating
  • Barking, howling and whining

The reasons for separation anxiety are not necessarily known, but “your dog’s behaviors are part of a panic response,” the article said. Your dog wants you home. Triggers can include:

  • Dogs left alone when their human is typically home 24/7
  • Being alone for the first time
  • A traumatic event such as coming from a shelter
  • Loss of family member or pet or other routine change

You can try to remedy the situation with some simple things. When you arrive home, don’t make a big deal out of the situation and do the same when you leave the house. Leave something familiar with the dog such as an old sock or shirt that smells like you. You can even try an over-the-counter calming product, but talk to your veterinarian first.

For more severe situations, make sure to create a “safe place,” the article said. This will “limit your dog’s ability to be destructive while you’re away.” The place should not be too small and have a window so he or she is not totally isolated. Leave toys and a dirty sock or shirt.

If the situation becomes intolerable and you need help, make sure to contact a local professional animal behavior specialist. Remember, do not punish or crate your dog. It could make the situation worse.