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Why Your Dog Shouldn’t Travel in the Back of a Pick-up

We’ve all seen trucks flying down the highway with what appears to be a happy dog riding loose in the bed. Those dogs always look like they’re having fun, with their noses pointed into the wind and their hair flying out behind them. Unfortunately, those same dogs often end up terribly injured or dead because of their owner’s habits.

According to a study by the California state legislature, approximately 100,000 dogs are killed nationwide every year because they either fell or jumped out of the bed of a moving pickup truck. Numerous others are seriously injured. Besides the injuries to the animal, there is no reliable estimate on how much damage or how many serious motor vehicle accidents such incidents cause.

Your dog, regardless of size, is like a ball in the back of your pickup. Centrifugal force can send him careening from side to side as you take a corner, and he has no way to grip the bed of your truck or hold on to the sides. He is in imminent danger of falling out if he is not in a crate or cross-tied in the back.

It is also very easy for many dogs to become distracted by something they see on the side of the road and decide to jump out to investigate. Another dog, a person they know, even roadkill — all are reasons your dog might not see the danger of jumping out of a moving vehicle.

Eye injuries are also common, caused by flying bugs, pebbles thrown up by tires, and the everyday dust and dirt of the roadway.

Your dog is also at risk of exposure to the elements by riding in the back of an uncovered pickup. Hot, sunny days can cause your dog’s body temperature to become elevated, putting him in line for heat exhaustion and even heat stroke. If your pickup bed is not insulated, the metal can become extremely hot and burn his paw pads.

In the reverse, you dog can suffer hypothermia and frostbite when riding in the back during cold weather. He has no way of protecting himself from chilly, wet winds, icy conditions, or rain.

Many local and state governments are now regulating how dogs can be carried in the back of pickup trucks. Texas and California, for example, now require all dogs riding in truck beds to be in crates or cross-tied to the truck unless the sides of the truck are at least 46 inches high. At that height, most dogs can’t jump or fall out.

Remember, even if crated or cross-tied, your dog is still at risk of death or injury if you are involved in an accident. The best way to prevent that happening is to purchase a canine seat belt online or at your local pet store and let him ride safely in the cab with you.

Just a couple of examples of Injuries sustained from riding in the back of a truck.  However, most dogs riding in the back of a truck do not survive a fall or being thrown out the the back of a pickup truck when braking quickly to avoid a road hazard to being hit by another vehicle.

People Food That Can Harm Your Dog

What Did He Just Eat?

People Foods That Can Harm Your Dog

While chocolate, avocadoes, and macadamia nuts may sound like good food to you – allowing your dog to have a little nosh on those foods can not only make her sick, it can be fatal if she decides she likes those treats and goes for more. Avoid the following foods when preparing a homemade diet or giving your dog treats:

Yeast Dough

Raw yeast dough can rise in your dog’s stomach, causing painful gas in the intestinal tract, possible blockages and ruptures. Once the dough has risen and is fully cooked, you can give your pet small bites of bread as long as the treats don’t constitute more than 5 to 10 percent of his daily caloric intake.

Grapes and Raisins

According to the ASPCA Animal Poison Control Center, grapes and raisins are known toxins in dogs, having caused numerous cases of poisonings, even though veterinarians have yet to pinpoint the specific toxin involved. Dogs typically experience diarrhea, vomiting, lethargy and eventually kidney failure that can lead to death. While many dogs can eat the occasional grape without incident, the ASPCA recommends never feeding your pet a large amount and NEVER feeding raisins, as even small servings of raisins have been linked to toxic reactions.

Onions, Garlic, and Chives

These vegetables and herbs can cause intestinal distress and lead to hemolytic anemia, a disorder of the red blood cells that can affect your dog’s spleen, liver, and lymph nodes. While cats are more affected than dogs, any animal eating large quantities of these particular foods, or their associated powders, is susceptible.

Chocolate, Coffee, Caffeine

Methylxanthine, a type of stimulant, found in chocolate and coffee can cause severe digestive and neurological problems when ingested by your dog. Both theobromine, found in chocolate, and caffeine, found in coffee, are considered classes of methlyxanthine, and can induce vomiting and diarrhea, panting, excessive thirst and urination, hyperactivity, abnormal heart rhythm, tremors, seizures and even death. The darker and less sweet the chocolate, the more dangerous it is for dogs.

Macadamia Nuts

The macadamia nuts, commonly used in cooking and baking, can cause weakness, depression, vomiting, muscle spasms, and increased temperature in your dog. Symptoms usually appear within 12 hours of ingestion and last approximately 12 to 48 hours.

Avocado

The fruit, seeds, leaves and bark of the avocado can cause severe diarrhea and vomiting in your dog, and can be especially harmful to pets of the smaller breeds. The avocado contains persin, a fungicidal toxin similar to a fatty acid that, while generally harmless to humans, has negative effects on dogs.

Eggplant

The skin, fruit, and seeds of the eggplant contain toxins that can cause severe diarrhea, vomiting, tremors, seizures, and heart arrhythmias in your dog. The seeds are particularly harmful as they contain cyanogenic glycosides that can result in cyanide poisoning.

Alcohol

Dogs absorb alcohol quickly and are prone to toxic reactions including diarrhea, vomiting, central nervous system depression, tremors, breathing difficulties, decreased coordination, abnormal blood acidity, coma and even death. Never give any form of alcohol to your dog, including the kind found in certain food products.

Milk and Milk Products

While milk and its by-products, such as cheese, butter, and ice cream, are not necessarily considered toxic to dogs, canines are lactose intolerant and feeding these foods to your dog can cause intestinal distress, including vomiting and diarrhea.

Salt

Just like it does in humans, eating excessive amounts of salt can cause excessive thirst, increased urination, and possibly sodium poisoning in your dog. Too many salty foods result in symptoms including vomiting, diarrhea, depression, tremors, elevated body temperature, seizures and even death.

Note: If you suspect your dog has eaten any of these foods, please note the amount ingested and contact your veterinarian or the ASPCA Animal Poison Control Center at (888) 426-4435.

Household Chemicals Toxic to Dogs

What’s He Into Now?

Household Chemicals Toxic to Dogs

Many items that we use every day in our homes can be dangerous and poisonous to our furry companions. Without knowing what they are, we can be putting our dogs in danger of severe illness, even death. The following is a partial list of substances that should be kept far from the reach of our dogs and other neighborhood animals.

Antifreeze, containing ethylene glycol, produces increased thirst and urination, vomiting and diarrhea, seizures, panting, loss of appetite, acute kidney failure and possibly death. As little as 2 ounces of anti-freeze can prove fatal to a medium-sized dog within 24 to 48 hours. If you suspect your pet has lapped up any antifreeze at all, consider this a veterinary emergency and get her to your veterinarian immediately.

Because of the theobromine, a type of stimulant found in cacao shells, cocoa bean mulch can be toxic to your dog if ingested. It results in restlessness, hyperactivity, panting, vomiting and diarrhea, irregular heart beat, seizures, coma and eventual death if enough is eaten. 

DEET, or N,N-Diethyl-meta-toluamide, found in insect repellents, was originally developed by the US Army as a pesticide to use during jungle warfare. It can cause tremors, over excitement, vomiting, and seizures if your dog eats any of it. It can also cause skin irritation if it gets on your pet’s coat and skin.

Acids and alkalis, such as those found in bleach, drain cleaners, toilet bowl cleaners,  and batteries, can result in burns on your dog’s tongue and gums, drooling, holes in the esophagus, stomach, and intestinal tract, severe abdominal pain, sepsis, and eventual death. You need to keep these products locked safely away from both pets and children.

Citrus oils, such as linalool and limonene, found in candles, mosquito deterrents, and room fresheners, produce weakness, drooling, tremors, depression, ataxia (the inability to walk correctly), low blood pressure, fevers and possible death.

Human pain medications, including aspirin, acetaminophen, and ibuprofen, should never be fed to dogs, unless recommended by a veterinarian. This includes products containing those medicines, including stomach gas reducers and certain antacids. These medicines trigger loss of appetite, bloody vomit, drooling, stomach ulcers, intense pain and drunken behavior.

Petroleum products, including gas, motor oil, kerosene, turpentine, paint thinner, and lighter fluid, result in tremors, breathing problems, coma, seizures, vomiting, respiratory failure and even death if not treated promptly after you dog ingests them. The old farmer’s remedy of treating mange with motor oil has long been proven ineffective, and can also kill your dog.

Mothballs, containing the chemicals naphthalene and dichlorobenene, are toxic to your dog, and if ingested, cause serious illness. Symptoms include vomiting, diarrhea, abdominal pain, damage to the liver, blood cells, and kidneys, brain swelling, seizures, coma, and even death. If your dog eats mothballs, you should consider this a veterinary emergency and seek immediate veterinary care.

Other toxins found in your home that can make you pet ill or even cause death include lawn fertilizers, the lead found in paint and golf balls (also responsible for intestinal obstructions), pine oils found in cleaning products, poisonous pest baits manufactured with arsenic, warfarin, and strychnine, and pennies made after 1982 that contain large amounts of zinc.

Note: If you suspect your pet has eaten any of these products or chemicals, please note the amount ingested and contact your veterinarian or the ASPCA Animal Poison Control Center at (888) 426-4435.

Concerned About Your Pet’s Safety?

dog chasingAre you concerned about your pet’s safety? Is you pet an escape artist, bitten by wanderlust, capable of scaling walls or fences, likes to dig or jump? Or, worst yet, likes to chase cars or try to bite the tires while the car is driving down the road?

You’ve come to the right place!

We been protecting pets for over 10 years now, and have customized systems on the toughest of properties. We’ve scaled a few walls too, work around pools, ponds, Jacuzzi’s….. even lakes and waterways. We’ve done it all, and we can customize our system to meet your needs while preserving your landscape. We know how costly landscaping can be and how destructive our beloved companions can be.

Whatever you need, we have a solution.

The Pet Stop Pet Fence System is true state-of-the-art technology designed to deliver our exclusive:

  • DM Technology; no AM/FM signal here (no more worries about false corrections or signal degradation due to electronic gates or devices, even wrought iron)
  • Wired or Wireless Indoor and Outdoor Systems
  • Choose from our re-chargeable EcoLite Receiver; or our UltraElite and UltraMax Receivers
  • Omni-directional antenna built-in to every receiver
  • GentleSteps Training: safe, humane and effective to ensure a positive experience for you and your pet
  • Cost Effective (you have control of your system, saving you time and money; no need for costly service calls to make adjustments to your system)
  • FREE Batteries
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  • Lifetime Warranty
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We encourage you to compare our local USA made product against any competitor product and you will quickly learn that our competitors just don’t measure up.

When nothing but the best will do for your pets, give us a call and we’ll take care of the rest.

Winter Paw Care Tips and Suggestions

Tips and Suggestions for Winter Paw Care

If you live in an area with a lot of ice and snow during the winter, or even if you live in a more temperate climate, it only takes a few, simple steps and suggestions to keep your dogs’ paws’ and nails well-maintained during cold weather.

Try clipping your pet’s nails on a monthly basis. Get your dog acclimated to having her feet handled by running your fingers over and under her toes and paws as she is relaxed and sitting by you, or just before she falls asleep. Make sure to separate the toes and trim just the tip every time, so that you don’t cut down into the vascular “quick” of the nail causing her pain and bleeding. If you trim the tips on a regular basis, the nails will never grow long enough to twist the toes or cause her distress.

If your dog is out in the snow or rain, dry her feet with a soft towel whenever she comes back in. This not only keeps her from tracking dirt into your house, but prevents her from slipping on linoleum or hardwood floors and removes any moisture that can remain between the pads and cause possible fungal infections. While drying her feet, you can also check for any cuts or abrasions caused by ice.

Trim the hair between her paw pads and her toes regularly so that ice and snow don’t get trapped there and create cuts and sores. If you find ice in the hair, place her feet in a tub or bowl of warm water to melt it, and gently dry with a warm towel. You can also use a hand-held hair dryer set on medium to get rid of the ice.

Watch for signs of frostbite on her paws and toes. If you notice changes in coloring ranging from red, inflamed skin to blackened areas, blisters, pain, or sloughing of skin on her extremities, she needs immediate gentle warming in a warm bowl of water and veterinary care. DO NOT rub her paws to warm them as any injured tissue can slough off and create more damage.

Dog booties may be your best preventive during snow season, if your dog will wear them. They can be purchased online and at most pet retailers. 

Winter Dog Care

 8 Ways to Keep Our Pets Safe and Healthy

Like humans, the cold weather can affect our dogs in ways we might not imagine. With the cold months upon us, it is imperative that we take extra precautions to keep our family dogs warm, protected, and healthy. 

During the cold winter months, be mindful of the time your dog spends outdoors. Don’t leave your dog outside for extended periods and bring her in if she gets wet or starts to shiver. Shivering means that her body temperature is lowering and the first sign of hypothermia. 

When your dog is inside, allow her to sleep on warm blankets or pads if she stays in a crate or on uncarpeted floors. Keep her bedding and feeding areas away from drafts and take her to a veterinarian if you notice any symptoms of respiratory illness, such as coughing, sneezing or a runny nose. Just like humans, dogs can get colds. 

Supplemental heat sources can burn your dog if you don’t take precautions. Portable heaters should be kept out of her reach, and all fireplaces need to be screened so that she doesn’t get injured by flying ashes. 

Keep her well groomed so that her healthy fur helps insulate her against the cold. Short-haired dogs – or those with coarse coats – have a tendency to feel the cold more than long-haired breeds, so consider purchasing a sweater or coat for your pet to wear when outside. If she gets wet from the rain or snow, use a blow dryer set on medium heat or a towel to dry her off. 

Make sure the hair is trimmed from around her toes and foot pads to facilitate snow and ice removal. You will need to rinse her feet with warm water if she walks on any rock salt used to melt the ice on sidewalks. Rubbing a small dab of petroleum into her pads softens them and prevents cracking in the dry cold. 

If your pet spends a lot of time playing outdoors, or is a working hunting or herding dog, plan on feeding her more calories during the cold weather to keep her body temperature regulated. It takes more calories in cold weather to stay warm for animals as well as humans. Also provide plenty of fresh water. Licking ice or eating snow do not compensate for a lack of water. Dehydration and a lowering of her core body temperature will result. 

Keep your dog away from any suspicious liquids during the winter, particularly any antifreeze that collects on driveways or roadways. Although it tastes and smells good to dogs, the propylene glycol in antifreeze is highly poisonous and can send a dog into kidney failure within 24 hours of ingestion. 

Knowing these handy tips and suggestions for your canine companion can keep her safe and in good physical shape until spring. 

Dogs and Chocolate

Dogs and Chocolate

How Serious Is The Risk?

Most dog owners know that chocolate can make their pets sick. But how serious is the risk? And what can we do if we suspect our pets have gotten into chocolate treats?

The reason chocolate is poisonous to dogs is because of a chemical compound called theobromine, related to caffeine and contained in the cocoa used to make chocolate. While theobromine causes humans to get a slight buzz from eating chocolate that lasts for a relatively short time, your dog’s body does not metabolize the chemical at the same rate. After 18 hours, half of the theobromine a dog ingests is still in his system creating problems.

Even small amounts of chocolate can cause diarrhea and vomiting in your dog. Toxic amounts can result in tremors, high blood pressure, hyperactivity, rapid heart rate, seizures, respiratory failure, and cardiac arrest.

So what is a toxic amount of chocolate for your dog? That depends on the amount of cocoa the chocolate contains.

Unsweetened baker’s chocolate contains about 10 times the amount of theobromine found in milk chocolate and more than twice the amount found in semi-sweet chocolate. White chocolate that is made with little to no cocoa had very tiny amounts of the chemical.

According to the Merck Veterinary Manual, one ounce of milk chocolate per pound of body weight is potentially lethal. And dark chocolate is potentially much worse. Merck reports that dogs have died having ingested as little as one-third of an ounce of dark chocolate per 2.2 pounds of body weight, and, at the least, have suffered serious toxic reactions. 

This means that 20 ounces of milk chocolate, 10 ounces of semi-sweet chocolate, and only 2¼ ounces of baking chocolate can kill a 22-pound dog.

If you suspect your dog has eaten chocolate, you need to consider this an emergency and contact your veterinarian immediately. Your vet may suggest that you induce vomiting to keep as much theobromine as possible from entering your pet’s system — if your dog isn’t vomiting on its own. You can do this by giving a solution of one-to-one water to hydrogen peroxide down your pet’s throat, or having it swallow syrup of ipecac. If that is not an option, your veterinarian can induce vomiting in the clinic with a dose of intravenous morphine.

While there is no specific antidote for chocolate poisoning, your veterinarian will most likely want to place your dog on intravenous fluids along with drugs to protect the heart and limit any possible seizures. Getting immediate veterinary care can save your dog’s life.

**NOTE:  The popular cocoa shell mulches used for landscaping can also pose a serious risk to dogs if ingested. Because manufacturers of the mulch are not required to warn customers of the potential danger to dogs, there is no way to know if the mulch you buy has had the theobromine removed.

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