National Pet Poison Prevention Week: Learn How to Protect your Pet. Guest Post

This guest post is brought to you by Lauren Bailey


When I was 15-years-old, my 6 pound Chihuahua Roxie died of anti-freeze poisoning. She got out one afternoon while I was in school and ended up in our neighbor’s front yard—only inches away from where our neighbor was working on his car. To this day I’m certain that’s where she got a hold of the poison that initially tastes sweet to animals. But honestly, I have no one else to blame but myself.  Even 9 years later I know I should’ve watched her better. An alarming 90,000 pets die each year from anti-freeze poisoning alone—these stats do not including pets that get a hold of other toxins found inside and outside of the house.  It’s an animal’s curious nature to want to smell, taste and even eat oddities that it finds interesting. That said, March 18-24 marks National Pet Poison Prevention Week and what better time to learn how to safe-proof your home and extend the life of your beloved pet than right now. To see a breakdown of each individual room to ensure your pet’s safety, continue reading below.
Living Room/Bedroom
·         Keep Purse Out of Reach: It may seem silly, but pets actually like to dig their noses in ladies purses. So don’t keep it in a low area or hanging off a chair—your pet may get a hold of some highly toxic perfume, makeup, or even some simple headache medication like ibuprofen if you’re not careful.
·         Be Aware of Aerosol Sprays: When trying to keep your house smelling fresh, be aware that too much fragrance and disinfecting aerosol can cause damage to small pets like caged birds and hamsters.
·         Do Not Keep Cigarettes Ash Trays in Low Areas: Cigarette buds and other nicotine products are highly toxic to pets. Do not place them in an area that is easy accessible to your pet.
Bathroom/Kitchen
·         Be Aware of Poisonous Cleaning Products/Pesticides: This is one of the more obvious hazards. If your pet is pretty smart and knows how to open lower-shelf drawers with its nose, don’t hesitate to “baby proof” the drawers. Try to keep your pet from the cleaning product/pesticide storage room (even the laundry room) all together if you can.
·         Keep Medications High Up: Like mentioned before, even a simple pain reliever can be fatal to your pet. Don’t risk your pet getting a hold of your meds by keeping them on a counter or table—store it in an actual top cabinet. You also want to make sure you always keep the medication in their respective bottles—it’s harder for animals to chew through the safety lids.
·         Get Trash Bins with Lids, Keep Behind Closed Doors: Not only should you worry about your pet swallowing thrown out bathroom toiletries and bones that could get stuck in your pet’s throat, but you also don’t want to risk your pet consuming human food that can actually kill it, like coffee grounds, alcohol, and chocolate. For a full list of foods that are hazardous to your pet’s health, click here.
Garage/Yard
·         Be Cautious of Deadly Plants: If you have a green thumb, you need to be extremely careful that you yard does not contain plants that are poison to pets, including azaleas, oleander, and Easter lilies (exclusively to cats) just to name a few. For a full list of toxic and non-toxic plants, click here.
·         Store Fertilizer Properly: Plants are the only thing that can be toxic to your pet, but the soil and fertilizer to plant them can be poisonous too. Make sure to store away these products in a shed or other area where your pet does not have access and seal bags up tight.
·         Be Extra Careful of Automotive Products: Oil, gasoline, and the number one killer anti-freeze should really be placed in an area that cannot be reached by your pet. If you happen to spill any of these products on your driveway or in your garage, make sure to thoroughly remove the product by pouring generous amounts of water to wash it clean.
Learning from my mistake, you also want to make sure that you keep a watchful eye on your pet and don’t let it run loose—just because your garage and yard is poison-proof, doesn’t mean a neighbor’s property is.

By-line:
This guest post is contributed by Lauren Bailey, who regularly writes for accredited online colleges. She welcomes your comments at her email Id: blauren99 @gmail.com. 

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Poison Prevention Week and Tales From the Vet Clinic

March 18th through the 24th is Poison Prevention Week.
While much of this recognized week is geared towards creating awareness for parents with small children, we can’t forget about our furry family members.

Our pets are curious by nature just like small children and it is our job to do our best to keep them safe and know what items hiding in and out of our homes could potentially be dangerous to them.

The Pet Poison Helpline has a great site that lists the Top 10 Pet Poisons for dogs and cats. Including the Top 10 Poisonous Plants  and the Top 10 Human Medications that are poisonous to pets.

I highly encourage everyone who owns a pet to check out these all important lists, pets get poisoned more than you think and most of the incidences that I have seen could of been prevented if the owners only know that the item that their pet consumed could potentially be fatal.

Over the years that I have been a vet assistant I have seen at least 2 cats that died from eating lilies, their owners had no idea that these innocent flowers on their table were toxic to their cats.

I have seen a handful of dogs die from consuming rat poison.
Three dogs were from the same family and their owner waited too long before seeking medical attention. The dogs were dead on arrival to our clinic. Do you know what a horrible death that must of been for them?

I also have seen a dog who ate a few pennies. Pennies contain zinc and some pennies are more toxic than others if they were minted after 1982. That dog shall remain nameless. He has rights, you know:)

I have seen a dog who has eaten Gorilla Glue and was rushed into emergency surgery to save his life.

I have seen a pug who got into a child’s ADHD medication. Luckily their owner called immediately and we were able to induce vomiting and found the medication. The capsule lining had already dissolved so all that were remaining were the little balls.

I have seen more than I can count, xylitol poisonings in dogs that have ingested one to three sticks of gum.

I have seen a dog who chewed 2 AA batteries. This is the same dog that ate the pennies mentioned above.

I have seen acetaminophen poisoning too.
Tylenol is a popular choice of medication among pet owners to treat pain in their dog. While this is a perfectly safe drug for humans, that is not so true for dogs and cats.
One little Tylenol can cause damage to a cat’s red blood cells, limiting their ability to carry oxygen.
In dogs, acetaminophen can lead to liver failure, and in large doses it can lead to red blood cell damage.

I’m the first person to admit that accidents can happen, no matter how careful you are, and both Sherman and Leroy have consumed items in the past that were potential poisons, but my quick actions and knowledge may have been the difference between life and death.

Alright…..I’m exaggerating a little bit about that, they weren’t in danger of dying, just of having an upset stomach and some acid burns on their tongues….but still, you catch my drift.

If you think that your pet may have ingested something harmful, take action immediately! Contact your vet or Pet Poison Hotline and if possible have the package or label of the item that they ingested with you, this can save valuable time.

Lastly, always check with your vet before administering any type of home remedy for poison ingestion. Some poisons do not warrant inducing vomiting and can actually do more harm to your pet, and some home remedies that you read about on the internet just plain out do NOT work!

It’s Coming For Me

The stomach flu virus has invaded our home.

It claimed it’s first victim early last week and showed no mercy to her little body.

It claimed my husband’s body Thursday and brought a full grown man to a standstill.

This relentless virus made a statement when it claimed Bobby on St.Patrick’s Day, ruining any hopes of an Irish boy getting out and enjoying time with his Irish peeps.

I have spent the last week caring for the sick, cleaning up things that I would rather not ever touch again in my lifetime, which is just another reason why I am a vet tech and not a nurse.
Lysol disinfecting wipes are my new best friend this week, and  I never touch a door handle, remote control, phone, or computer without one.
The phrase, “Don’t touch it, don’t lick it, don’t breathe on it.” is my new motto.
I have spent the last week making sure all the laundry is caught up, all the blankets are washed, all the bed sheets are cleaned. I have stocked the house with Mortin and Petpo. I have made sure all the dishes are washed and the floors are cleaned. My house is fully stocked for humans and dogs for the next week.

Now I am just left waiting for it to claim its last victim.

It’s inevitable.

Lucky for me I have dogs that are rescue dogs by nature, and when I am knocking on death’s door, overcome with cold chills and hallucinations, they’ll be there to blow spit on my face and drag me away from the light. It’s the only hope I have of surviving.

Monday Mischief Blog Hop. Sleeping On The Table

Last week I was grooming Sherman.
He fell asleep while I was brushing him.

Sherman has not always been this relaxed on the grooming table.
When he was a pup, he despised the table.
After a year of positive reinforcement and repetition he learned that being up on the table wasn’t all that bad. Especially if it meant he could catch some zzzz’s.

Welcome to Monday Mischief Bloghop, the hop that wraps up the weekend!!!
This hop is brought you by  Alfie’s BlogSnoopy’s Dog Blog, and Luna, a Dog’s Life, and My Brown Newfies
From Australia to the UK, to California and Ohio, our dogs all love getting into something mischievous over the weekend and we are sure yours do as well! This isn’t open to just dogs though, because we know that other animals can get into some mischief too! So why not jump on our blog hop and share your tales of mischief, or just wrap up the weekend!
Here’s what you need to do to join the hop:
*Share your Monday Mischief Post on your blog
* Link up your Blog name and URL using the linky tool below
* Grab the Button from any of our 4 hosts and include it in your Monday Mischief Post
* Stop by the hosts of the hop and say hello. 

* Visit the other  blogs on the list and see what they have been up to and say hello 
* But most importantly have fun!! 



A Flexi Leash Review By Sherman and Gracie

Last month I received an email from the editor of the dog walking channel at Dogster.
She was currently working on a campaign with Flexi USA and she wondered if I would be interested in reviewing one of the leashes.

Now let me tell you, I was a bit hesitant to commit to this review because I have never used a Flexi Leash with the Newfs. I have used one with a Beagle but never with a Newf.
Don’t get me wrong I think that Flexi leashes are fine. They are fine when used properly. Properly is the key word. People who do not use their Flexi leashes properly annoy me. People who do not know how to lock their Flexi Leash when entering the vet’s office annoy me even more. People who do not use the lock button in the park when you are approaching them annoy me the most.
Another thing that I question about a Flexi leash is their quality. There are a lot of different knock off versions of the Flexi leash out there that are cheap, and I could never see one of them being able to withstand the power of a Newf. I see a lot of cheap flexis come through at the vet and I don’t trust them.
All I picture is the cord snapping.

Regardless, of my hesitation I agreed to do the review, but not before I specified that I needed one for a dog that was 150 pounds.
When I received the Flexi leash I was quite impressed by the quality of the design.
It wasn’t a piece of plastic waiting to fall apart.
It was strong and durable.

The other nice feature that I really liked was the leash part.
It is a belt, not a cord and it is a strong belt.

Still yet another nice feature of this leash was the safety collar.

The safety collar prevents snap-back if the dog’s collar breaks, or if the leash disconnects from the dog’s collar. It’s a nice safety feature.

The leash also comes with a pamphlet on special precautions and directions. It states that “this leash should only be used by responsible people who have read and can follow all of these precautions. Anyone who uses this leash must be able to control the dog and watch the dog closely at all times to keep it from running off or wrapping anyone in the belt.”
Nice.
I think more people need to read this. Oh… and there is also a video you can watch too! I love the video!

So did I put it to the test with the Newfs? You bet I did. Well I didn’t, I was the photographer, Sherman and Gracie put it to the test, and you know that if I trusted this leash with my 7 year old daughter and my heart dog, that says I had complete confidence in this leash’s safety.

Here’s how they did with the 26 foot leash..

The leash worked great. Now I do have to say in all honesty, that this is not a leash that I would use for our daily walks down the street. I just couldn’t do it with both Newfs and have the control that I like. However, this is a leash that  I would use for a stroll down in the park with Sherman because it gives him more room to explore than our regular 6 foot leash.

Another cool feature with this leash is that you can have it customized with your dog’s picture on it!
You can check that out here. Pretty cool!

Disclaimer
I received a free Giant Flexi Leash from Flexi USA for my honest review of this product. All opinions in this post are mine and mine only. 

Frequently Asked Questions and Petting Leroy

One of the things that we don’t get little of is questions about the Newfs.
Everywhere we go with Sherman and Leroy a small crowd usually forms around them and people flood us with questions.
We have just grown accustomed to it.
When we decided to do the benched show up in Detroit we knew we were going to get flooded, flooded to the point of nearly drowning with questions, I mean that’s the point of a benched show, to educate the public about your breed.
My husband and I were more than happy to be apart of this with Leroy, but since Leroy was feeling a bit under the weather we allowed Leroy to be out where people could meet him in moderation. I mean who wants people to be in their space when they are feeling under the weather? No one, and we respected that with Leroy, but we also wanted people who were there to see the Newfoundland breed, a chance to meet him. He was the only brown Newf there and it gave the public a great chance to see the variety of colors in the breed, and don’t worry Leroy was a perfect gentleman.
We let him greet for about 20 minutes every few hours.

So just to give you an idea of how the benched area was set up here is picture:
There were rows and rows just like this one.

The dog crates were set up behind the grooming tables which made it a bit difficult to see the dogs, so we took Leroy in the middle, between set ups, which is where he greeted people. Leroy actually caused a traffic jam in the aisle on many occasions because people were just so curious about him.
We had a lot of questions but the top 5 were:

1. How much does he weigh?
2. How much does he eat?
3. What breed is he?
4. Does he shed?
5. Can I pet him?

Notice how number 5 is last on the list? This was the least asked question of the weekend. It wasn’t because people didn’t want to pet him, they were going to pet him if they wanted and ask questions later.
Now, don’t get me wrong, I have no problem with people petting Leroy. What I have a problem with is people petting a dog they don’t know, the wrong way. So many people approached him the totally wrong way.
Most people just walked right up to him and rubbed his head, actually it was more like a shake, like his head was a magic eight ball and they were waiting for their fortune to appear.
“Outlook does not look good if you keep shaking my head”

A lot of people grabbed his ears, and some people even touched his paws. More than I can count put their face right in front of his face and that drove me crazy, and some parents even let their kids come right up in his face and didn’t even correct their children, it was I who had to advise them that they should never put their face in front of a dog’s face. More often than not I was putting my hand in between Leroy’s mouth and a strangers face, not because I thought Leroy was going to bite them, but I couldn’t put it past him of pecking someone and breaking their nose. That’s not what I wanted on my conscious.

I can see now why we still read about so many people getting bit by dogs.
I did my best to educate the people who would listen, but after my talk, I noticed that most people just moved on to the next dog and did the same thing.

Now the total weekend wasn’t a loss. I did have one person come up and sit next to me and ask what the proper way was to approach a dog. That was nice. She was a lady who really wanted to learn the correct way to greet a dog. I also had one little girl, about 7 years old, who admired Leroy from a distance for about 10 minutes, then she asked me if she could pet him, then she stood on the side of him, let him smell her hand and she petted his back. I wanted to take her home with me and Leroy wanted to give her a kiss.

I think next year I may bring a flier on how to properly greet a dog and stick it to Leroy.
Or even better yet, maybe dog shows should pass out fliers at the door.

Dog Bite Prevention. A great link for adults and children to learn how to prevent dog bites and how to pet a dog.