Category Archives: Safe Pets

Leash Your Dog. It’s the Law for a Number of Very Good Reasons

Note: This isn’t my blog. This blog comes from a Trainer on Dogster.com. She makes Excellent Points

  
As a trainer, every day I see the negative consequences of dogs being off-leash when they shouldn’t.                    

By: Annie Phenix

Let me be blunt with you, dear reader. We have a big problem in the canine community, and it’s ruining dogsWe require leashes for valid reasons, No. 1 being safety for all concerned: safety not only for you and your dog but for all of the dogs and humans out and about.  There are leash laws in most cities – you can be fined for not using one in places that require it. And yet … some of you dog owners have decided that this crucial law does NOT apply to your dog.

  
I work with clients to make them better on-leash walkers. (Photo by Tica Clarke Photography)

I read the sad consequences caused by a dog being off-leash every single day on trainer forums. Many responsible owners are walking their dog-aggressive (reactive) dog on leash precisely to keep their dog from having to come face to face with YOUR off-leash dog. You can set such a dog’s training right back to square one if you let your dog greet their dog while off-leash.  This may be breaking news to some, but not all dogs want to say hi to every dog they see every day. Do you – as a verbal human – always want to say hi and hug everyone you see? I didn’t think so.  Also, here are just a few things that can happen to your roving un-leashed Rover:

He can be hit by a car.
He can jump on an elderly person and knock them over.

He can harass wildlife.

He can mow down children.

He can get in the face of every other dog out that day, some of whom will respond with aggression.

He can get in a dog fight that will frighten both dogs and will likely result in an expensive vet bill.

After you pay that vet bill, you may now be the owner of one of those dogs who cannot stand to have off-leash dogs in his face.

He can be shot, even in a city park (it’s happening in Colorado and other places).

He can eat something that may kill him.

  

Even my well-trained dogs, Radar and Echo, must abide by leash laws. (Photo by Tica Clarke Photography)

Yes, my dear dog owner, I understand that dogs DO enjoy and probably need a good run now and again. Just because that’s true, that does not make it okay for you to allow that to happen in a public location where leashes are the law. You are endangering your own dog and every other dog when you do this.

So what can you do to help your active dog out? Here are some solutions:

1). If your dog is truly people and dog friendly, take him to a fenced-in dog park. Most cities have them. Please do not take aggressive dogs there, however. It does no one any good, most especially dogs.

2). Work with a certified, force-free trainer to help your dog learn to walk nicely on a leash.

3). Once your dog is comfortable not pulling you across town on that leash, consider jogging or riding a bike with your leashed dog.

4). Consider learning a sport such as nose work that you can do in your own home and in all kinds of weather. It might be even more fun for your dog than a walk outside.

5). Smelling and sniffing for a dog is incredibly important, perhaps even more so than a good run. Take your dog on neighborhood sniffing walks where you allow your dog to sniff – on leash – whatever he wants to sniff.

6). Use mind puzzles at home to keep your dog mentally stimulated.

  

Leashes keep dogs safe and from being chased by other dogs (Photo by Annie Phenix)

In case I haven’t been clear enough, here is what I will leave you with:

For the love of Dog, do not be that person chasing after your unleashed dog as he gallops right into the face of someone’s leashed dog, calling out as you come panting up: “He’s friendly! He just wants to say hi!”

It is rude behavior, both in terms of canine behavior and human behavior. More than half of the dogs who end up in my reactive dog class are there because they have been confronted, scared, and sometimes physically hurt by on off-leash dog.

Leash. Your. Dog.

It is the law, and for very good reasons.
And yet … so many dog owners have decided that this crucial law does NOT apply to their dog. Why do those of you who allow your dog to run free in cities feel that your dog is above the law?
What do you think about this? Do you agree or disagree with me? Let me know in the comments.

Safety Tips For Our Memorial Day Pets!!

  

Summer is here!  And there’s no better way to kick off the Memorial Day celebrations than having some fun in the sun with a beach barbeque or picnic at the park.  However, before you ignite the grill and start the festivities, it is important to remember the safety of your furry companions!  ASPCA does recommend keeping your pets indoors as much as possible during outdoor parties.  However, if your pet insists on joining you out and about this Memorial weekend, we have provided some safety tips to ensure the day is fun for both pets and people!  

• Keep alcoholic beverages out of the paw’s reach.  Alcohol is potentially hazardous to pets, so make sure your pet does not accidentally consume any wine, beer, or mixed drinks.

• Avoid scraps from the grill. It is important to resist those begging eyes and stick with your pet’s normal diet.  Any table scraps, even in the smallest amounts, can result in upset stomachs and potential intestinal obstructions.  Certain foods, such as onions, avocado, chocolate, grapes, and raisins can even be toxic to pets!

Only use pet-specific insect repellent and sunscreen.  It is imperative to only use products that are intended for those with four legs, such as Epi-Pet sunscreen for dogs.  Avoid human products—ingestion can result in excessive drooling, vomiting, diarrhea, increased thirst, and lethargy.

• Supervise pets around pools, lakes, and oceans. Don’t leave pets unsupervised around a pool or lake (remember not all dogs are expert swimmers).  If you do plan on taking your dog into the water, best to have a doggie life jacket.  Also, beware of the possible chlorine and other toxic chemicals that can cause stomach upset.  Other natural “doggie bowls,” such as puddles, ponds and bay water—may contain parasites.

• Use precaution around the grill. Keep your pets away from matches, citronella candles, and lighter fluid, which if eaten can irritate the stomach, lungs and central nervous system.

• Keep your pets hydrated. Always make sure your pet has plenty of fresh water available.

• Do not leave your pet in the car.  Have you ever sat in a car on a hot day?  Most pets can’t open doors and it only takes a few minutes for the inside of your car to get excessively hot.  Even leaving a car parked in the shade with the windows down is no guarantee that pets will be safe.  Please avoid heatstroke in your pet by never leaving them inside a car on a hot day.

• Keep your pet’s identification handy.  If traveling with your pet it may be beneficial to take all identification and health records with you.  Make sure they are wearing their collars/tags at all times in case they get lost.  You may also wish to consider micro-chipping your pet to prevent such occurrences.  Remember to keep all gates and fences closed and remind your guests as well.  This will ensure that your pet does not go running into oncoming traffic or a busy intersection.

• Hire A Pet Sitter.  If you don’t feel like being responsible on Memorial Day and want a true vacation. Hire a Professional Pet Sitter. You can rest assure, your pet will have a grand, safe time on Memorial Day.

Memorial day can be quite stressful and noisy on your pet so it is important to provide him/her with a safe and quiet place to rest and get away from the crowd.  Taking these simple precautions will go a long way to ensure your holiday is a joyful occasion to remember.

As always, if you suspect your pet has ingested something poisonous from the picnic table, please contact a veterinarian or the ASPCA’s Animal Poison Control Center (APCC) at (888) 426-4435.