Archive for October, 2009

Did you know so many things could harm your pet?

Posted on October 26, 2009. Filed under: 3. Trainer On Call | Tags: , |


I went to work last Thursday and noticed the ASPCA delivered a booklet to be handed out to clients.  It was titled “101 things you didn’t know could harm your pet.

Here are some I thought were very important to touch on.

1.) Ibuprofen and asprin- Many owners think if their pet is in pain they should give a tablet of these, it is never a good idea, it can cause serious stomach problems in pets

2.) Any human medications that are prescribed.  There are a number of medications that veterinarians will prescribe for pets but never give anything to your pets unless you veterinarian says it is OK

3.) Insecticides

4.) Cleaning products

5.) Mothballs

6.) Flea and tick products given at higher doses than prescribed

7.) Snail, slug, rat, ant bait and poisons

8.) Tobacco products

9.) Plants – there is a list of plants longer than I could ever list.  Better to be safe than sorry and keep the plants out of reach of your pets.

10.) Foods – avocado, chocolate, grapes, raisins, macadamia nuts, garlic, onion, coffee, alcohol, gum/candy

11.) Small objects like:  batteries, hair ties, twist ties, coins, jewelry, paper clips, string/yarn/floss

12.) Electrical cords,

13.) Antifreeze

14.) Fertilizers

15.) Pools if unfenced…just like kids

These are just a few, the list goes on and on.

For more information about hazards to your pet, visit

On this page, you can sign up for a free Pet Safety Pack that includes a magnet with poison controls number, as well as a sticker for your window stating there are pets in your house in case of an emergency.

For more questions on what to look out for that can harm your pet, E-mail me at

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When is it necessary to visit the vet?

Posted on October 20, 2009. Filed under: Uncategorized | Tags: , , |

I know this is a question that all pet owners have.  When is it necessary to visit the vet, and when is it OK to wait a few days to see if the ailment goes away?  Here are some general problems that pets get, and what my recommendations are.

1.) Vomiting:  If your pet is vomiting, assess how often and what it looks like.  If they vomit once a day or are vomiting intermittently, you probably don’t need to rush them in.  Determine if your pet has had a change in anything, did you switch food too quickly, or did your pet eat something they are trying to get out of their system.   If they are vomiting a couple times a day, but are acting normal otherwise,  I would stop the dog food and fast them for up to 24 hours.  Then introduce bland foods like boiled chicken and rice, or cottage cheese.  Once the vomiting stops, usually I wait a couple of days, then slowly introduce their dog food back in.  Do this slowly over the course of a couple of days to a week.  If they are vomiting more than a few times a day, and they are acting lethargic or sick, I would take them in to the vet.  The things you have to be concerned about include dehydration, or possible obstruction in the intestines.

2.) Diarrhea:  If the diarrhea is intermittent or just a couple of times, and your pet is acting normal, I wouldn’t rush them in.  They may have just gotten into something and it will run its course.  If your pet has blood in their diarrhea, or they are acting lethargic or don’t seem to be feeling well, I think it is definitely a good idea to take them in.  Things you have to be concerned about include dehydration, parasites or Pancreatitis.   You can also use the 24 fasting method with bland food for Diarrhea, that I talked about with vomiting.

3.) Limping: If you notice your pet is limping, give them a couple of days of strict rest.  If it doesn’t get better, I would take them in and try some medications like Tramadol or Rimadyl.  If they continue to limp after a week or two on medications and rest, then some x-rays are probably necessary.

If you have any other questions regarding when it is necessary to take your pet to the vet, email me at


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You can teach an old dog new tricks.

Posted on October 12, 2009. Filed under: 3. Trainer On Call | Tags: , , |

About a month ago I did a tip of the week on socializing your puppy.  I talked about how important it is to socialize your pets at an early age.  It is so important, but you have to do it safely so you don’t expose your puppy and their undeveloped immune system to diseases.  I wanted to share with you this week about socialization for a dog who is older that wasn’t socialized well as a puppy.

A couple weeks ago my neighbors asked if I would help them with their Cocker Spaniel, Cloe.  She is a great dog, perfect for the family, but didn’t get the socialization she needed as a puppy.  Therefore, she barks and lunges at dogs, snaps, and/or shy’s away from them.  Her owners were concerned because when she lunges and snaps, they are afraid she would bite.  Up to this point she hadn’t bitten any other dogs.  They wanted to get her socialized enough that they could walk her with their friends.

It is possible to “teach an old dog new tricks.”  We started by bringing my lab Moose to their house, I showed her owners how to calm her down using praise and treats.  Once she was calmer we moved to the back yard.  Moose is very mellow and doesn’t mind much when other dogs come running at him.  We worked with Cloe to be calm and accept treats near Moose.  If Cloe snapped, her behavior was corrected with a stern “NO” or if she growled we gently grabbed her muzzle and said “NO.”  Cloe responded very well to being corrected, and calmed down a great deal.  We reinforced her for letting her owners pet Moose and her at the same time.

Cloe did very well considering we brought Moose to her territory.  Dogs tend to be very protective of their space and families.  Next we brought Cloe to my house to meet Moose again and meet my other dog Faith.  We kept if brief, but Cloe didn’t bark or snap at all during the encounter.  Again we used many treats and kept it short.  Cloe was definitely calmer when she was out of her element and in another dogs territory.

My neighbors went out-of-town for the weekend and we have been taking care of Cloe.  We decided to see how she would do if she spent the night at our house.  She was definitely nervous the first night, but cuddled up to me and Dylan.  She slept with all of us on the bed and did great.  She has been with us since Friday now and is still a little shy, but is exploring more and getting closer to the other dogs.  She was a little confused when Moose tried to play with her.

Granted Moose and Faith are only 2 dogs, but this is a huge step for Cloe.  The next step is to do the same socialization techniques with my neighbors friends dogs so they can go on walks together.

It won’t happen overnight, but it is possible to train older dogs.  You just have to use the right techniques and be patient.  It helps to have a guinea pig like Moose to use that is calm.

For more information on teaching your older dog behaviors he might have missed out on as a puppy, contact me at

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Don’t Let Your Pets Get Spooked On Halloween

Posted on October 5, 2009. Filed under: 3. Trainer On Call | Tags: |

halloween dog

Halloween is right around the corner and there are some important tips to follow to keep you pets safe around the “Scary” holiday.

1.) Keep your pets confined to an area in your house.  This will keep them from running out the door and running away when trick or treaters come. This will also avoid having kids get scared from barking dogs.

2.) Keep your black cats inside. Seems like a strange recommendation, but there are a lot of weird people out there and Halloween can bring out some strange characters.

3.) Keep candy out of reach of the pets. The cocoa in chocolate can be toxic to pets. The darker the chocolate the more toxic it can be. If your pet does ingest chocolate, call your local emergency vet, depending on the weight of your pet and the type and amount of chocolate they ate, they may need to go in to the vet or have vomiting induced.  Be sure to keep wrappers out of reach as well so your pet doesn’t choke or get blocked.

4.) Also avoid candies with Xylitol, a sugar substitute, many gums have this, it can be extremely harmful to pets.

5.) Be careful of candles.  Even though  they make great “scary” light, they can be knocked over by pets and cause a fire.

6.) Make sure your pets have ID tags on with your contact information in case they do get out.  Also having a microchip implanted is a wonderful idea to help recover any escapees.

Most of all have a Happy and Safe Halloween!

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Don’t forget to care about all creatures

Posted on October 5, 2009. Filed under: 3. Trainer On Call | Tags: |

My Tip this week isn’t so much a training tip, but just some words of wisdom.  My work with different species of animals from dolphins, cats, dogs, rodents, sea lions, to seals has made me really respect all creatures.  Each animal, plant, insect has a place in this world and it is here because it is part of the important ecosystem.  With the world in shambles about global warming, the melting of the ice burgs, endangered species, and carbon emissions, I think it is important to do what each of us can to go green and maybe come up with some “out of the box” ideas to help the planet.  I received this email about a bees hive under a BBQ.  My first thought was oh my gosh, thank goodness no one was hurt.   However when I thought about it more, I realized that bees are very important for this world.  Bees are the main pollinator for most plants and flowers.   This includes tons of fruit crops.  They rely on the pollen and nectar as a source of food.  When the pollen sticks to their feet and they move to the next flower, they pollinate .  Without them, the plants would not be able to reproduce.  Honey Bees are one of the main sources for this.  By killing those bees, thousands and thousands of pollinators are gone.   There is already a shortage of bees, which could be detrimental in the future.  Check out these pictures and decide for yourself if there was another way it could have been taken care of.

My tip this week is to respect all creatures, no matter how big or small.





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