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November 17, 2013

Funny Dogs Car Talk Adventures

The first episode of Maya and Pierson’s car travel video is finally done! My dogs Maya and Pierson ride in the car while wearing their pet car restraints and have interesting conversations. In this first funny video from Pet Auto Safety, Maya and Pierson talk about why they wear their dog seat belts. I tried to make it a bit humorous so that it isn’t the same old boring lecture. Watch it and tell me what you think.

So, how do you like it? If you enjoyed it, can you do me a favor and give it a thumbs up on YouTube?

Future videos will be less informative and more fun. Hopefully, the next video will not take 7 months to make. If you’d like to know what making this first video entailed, keep reading. It’s a bit dry, so feel free to skip this next part and leave a comment about the video at the end of the post. You can also leave a comment about the video on YouTube. Thanks everyone! 🙂

SEVEN MONTHS IN THE MAKING

I purchased a nice camcorder and video editing software at the end of March 2013. My camera is the JVC Evirio and the video editing software is the Movie Edit Pro 2013 from Magix. I started using the camcorder right away, but when I first downloaded the software I was greatly intimidated. How on earth would I figure this program out without someone to teach me? I don’t know about you, but reading the instruction manual did not appeal to me one little bit.

So I procrastinated on learning the video editing software. I wasn’t completely putting off this project, though. I started brainstorming video ideas, writing scripts, and trying to figure out how I was going to get a male Australian accent for Pierson.

Once I finally had these things ready, I started playing with the video editing software. I learned by playing with it, and only referred to the manual when there was something specific I really wanted to do but couldn’t figure out how. The first two videos I made with this software are of me drawing the dog Mos and of my dog Maya playing in a public pool.

The next snag in making the Pet Auto Safety video was how to mount the camera in the car. After trying various methods, I finally found a decent car camera mount. The video was now underway. Maya and Pierson wore their pet car restraints and cooperated very well as I drove around town with the video camera set to record. Now that I think I have a pretty good idea of what I’m doing, I believe Episode 2 will take a lot less time to make. Perhaps I can have it ready in January or February. I’d say sooner, except the holidays may hold me back.

Thanks for stopping by and checking out my video! 🙂

Dawn with Maya & Pierson

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November 14, 2013

After months of planning (and with trying to figure out how to use video editing software) our first new funny dogs video is finally here. This video stars the cutest dogs EVER, Maya & Pierson. Join them on their adventures in the car as they talk about various things. Sometimes the topic is educational information about pet travel safety and sometimes it is just fun funny stuff. Here is a very short preview video showing you what you can expect.

Please share and give our funny dogs video a thumbs up on YouTube.

The first full length video of episode 1 will be coming very very soon, possibly this weekend.

Thanks and enjoy! 🙂

Dawn with Maya & Pierson

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Follow Up Friday #11

Author: MayaAndPierson
September 13, 2013

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Welcome to another edition of Follow Up Friday. This week’s event is hosted by Jodi with HeartLikeADog and Flea from DogTreatWeb for Jones Natural Chews.

Comments from Follow Up Friday #10
Sue at Talking-Dogs.com says, “No dog heads out our windows. Ever. Way too dangerous.” Not many people realize there is a danger. It reminds me of the danger of dogs playing with sticks. The activity is just so fun. It’s hard to believe there is a risk to it.

I suppose there is a risk to everything fun. Heck, just going outside can be dangerous. Think of poisonous snakes or, in Hawk‘s case, gators. We can’t eliminate all risks or life will be no fun at all. But we can avoid or minimize some dangers.

Donna’s mom from WeLiveInAFlat and Sue both enjoyed the Pooch Plunge event that Maya got to go to. I posted a photo on the last Follow Up Friday and directed you to go check out my other blog on Saturday for a video. For in case you missed it, here is that video:

Mr. N with TenaciousLittleTerrier asked about the SleepyPod ClickIt dog seat belt. He wanted to know what sizes the ClickIt will come in. The sizes are large, medium, small, and extra small. The extra small, which is what I’m sure Mr. N will need, can fit a dog with both a neck and chest size measuring a total of 31-36 inches. To measure, use a tape measure to start at the top of your dog’s back between the shoulder blades, wrap the tape measure around your dog’s chest, and then bring the tape measure around your dog’s neck, like a figure-8. This is a bit different than measurements indicated for other dog seat belt harnesses.

ClickIt Harness Sizing

BTW, Mr. N your email subscription button isn’t working. 🙁  I’d love to visit your blog regularly but the only way I will remember to do so is if I can get email alerts. If you get the email subscription button fixed, can you let me know by sending me an email at naturebydawn at gmail dot com?

Mollie and Alfie from MolliesDogTreats.co.uk were really glad Jet was found and reminded everyone to buckle up – “remember CLUNK CLICK every trip.”

Comments from The Center for Pet Safety Update
Carol with FidoseOfReality got to meet with The Center for Pet Safety at Blog Paws. How awesome is that! I’ve talked to them, but have not had the opportunity to meet with them face-to-face.

Lindsay with ThatMutt can’t wait for their new report to come out. I can’t either. 🙂

Another comment is from JJ. I’m pretty sure this was a spam comment since the website link was to a blog that looked more like advertising than content (link deleted). But it was a legitimate question. He asks, ” What about cats?”

Well, JJ. It is no secret that most cats hate riding in the car. It reminds me of a funny photo caption where two dogs in the back seat are excited about the car ride, but the cat has a look of terror on his face and says, “We are all going to die”. 😀 It is also highly unlikely that a cat will wear a dog car harness. So what do you do with your cat if you need to drive him to the vet? How can you protect his safety and not endanger yourself by allowing your cat to roam free in the car?

Ask Glogirly! She has two cats, Katie and Waffles. If you’ve never been to her blog, you should go check it out. It is hilariously fun. The recent video of Waffles chasing the red dot had me laughing so hard that I was crying.

Anyway, Glogirly also has her cats ride in a pet carrier when they are in the car. And not just any carrier, the Sleepypod Air pet carrier. This is a really nice product and it comes in a variety of cool colors. It is perfect for cats and small dogs because it is just the right size for them and it is comfortable. The best part about it, though, is that it can be buckled up in the car and it is crash tested. Although Glogirly did not get her Sleepypod from us, we do have the Sleepypod Air pet carrier available on our retail site (click the red link above). Sleepypod saw Glogirly’s post and is offering to give one away through Glogirly’s site. Visit her website to enter and win one. Hurry! The contest ends on September 16th.

Sleepypod Air Pet Carrier OrangeSleepypod Air Pet Carrier with Seatbelt

Comments from the Paw Prints Pet Seat Covers
There were no comments on the post about the paw print pet seat covers because this was more of a promotional post. I’ve been selling (and using) these covers for some time. Now there is something new and exciting about them – they have a lifetime guarantee! They didn’t always have one. Their warranty used to be for only 30 days. This was really irritating if one happened to break. And one did after 45 days. I replaced it for the customer at no charge, but I had to go back and forth with the manufacturer on my end. I almost stopped selling them at that point. However, I realized that one broken seat cover was just a fluke. It happens on occasion with any product. So I still sell the paw print pet seat covers. And I’m even more enthusiastic about selling it now that it has a lifetime guarantee.

Thanks everyone for stopping by. Have a great weekend! 🙂

Dawn with Maya & Pierson

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Follow Up Friday #10

Author: MayaAndPierson
September 6, 2013

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Today I am joining Jodi with HeartLikeADog for the Follow Up Friday blog hop. Thank you so much Jodi for inviting me! 🙂

Comments from Recent Follow Up Friday #9
Flea with DogTreatWeb for Jones Natural Chews says her dog Patches loves to put his head out the window, probably for the extra bug bonus! 😀

Hawk with BrownDogCBR.Blogspot.com says he doesn’t get to put his head out the window. I also noticed on his September 2nd post that Hawk rides in a crate in the cargo area. He’s the perfect dog to show that not all dogs have to wear a dog seat belt in order to ride safe. Give me a high five paw! 🙂

Donna’s mom with WeLiveInAFlat says they had something hit their windshield once when they were driving and it left a dent. She imagined how terrible it would have been if it had hit a dog in the face. Ouch!

Jodi with HeartLikeADog wanted to know if we will let you all know about any new safety test result reports from the Center for Pet Safety. Absolutely! If there are brands they recommend that we don’t currently have, we make sure to get them on our site too. One particular brand that I am super excited about is the new ClickIt from Sleepypod. They are coming later this month. I have already spoken to the people at Sleepypod and they said much of their design is based on information they’ve received from the Center for Pet Safety.

ClickIt from Sleepypod

Coming Soon – ClickIt from Sleepypod

Jodi says she sometimes uses a bar barrier in her vehicle to keep her dogs from getting in the front. She says she is bad about using them, though, and I completely understand. The metal barriers can be a hassle to put up and take down. The Pet Net Brand pet car nets are easier.

The Pet Net Brand Car Barrier

The Pet Net Brand car barrier.

Comments from Pet Safety Saturday – Alternatives to Dog Seat Belts
Mollie from MolliesDogTreats.co.uk says she wears a dog seat belt. Yay Mollie! Hi five paw to you too. 🙂

Jodi says Sampson likes to ride shotgun and will try to sneak up front when the car is stopped. I admit there were a couple of times when Sephi rode in the car and I didn’t put her seat belt on her. She would do the same thing.

Carol with FidoseOfReality thanked us for posting about alternatives to dog seat belts. Thank you, Carol for stopping by. 🙂 And thank you for all the valuable information you have shared on your blog about ACL injuries. I’ve never heard of it before your Dexter. I hear Sherman from MyBrownNewfies has the same injury. It must be more common than I thought.

Donna with DonnaAndTheDogs likes the idea of the Breeze Guard car window screens. And Snoopy with Snoopy with SnoopysDogBlog asks about the Backseat Bridge. He asks if it basically extends the depth of the back seat. Yep, that is exactly what it does. There is more room for a big dog like you to stretch out. Although, if I remember correctly, you feel more comfortable on the floor. 🙂

Kurgo Backseat Bridge

Maya’s Pooch Plunge
After spending a marvelous weekend visiting my mom in Missouri (see my other blog, AmericanDogBlog.wordpress.com), Maya went on her first car ride since our car accident in July. I’m glad the event didn’t scare her from car rides as she was as excited as ever. Where did we go? I took her to the Pooch Plunge here in Lawrence, Kansas.

Every year at the end of summer, the public pools are drained. And the day or so before they are drained our Parks & Rec opens the pool to the dogs. It was just $5 and it was a blast! Here is one photo from the event. For more photos, and hopefully a video too, check out my other blog on Saturday.

Maya Pooch Plunge 2013

Maya at the Pooch Plunge event in Lawrence, KS on September 3rd, 2013.

Recent News Events Involving Dogs in Car Accidents
Three recent news stories brought tears to my eyes. All are about dogs being involved in car accidents. The first one is about a dog named Ily (pronounced Ely). She, her owner, and another dog were involved in a very serious car accident. The other dog was killed. The owner was seriously injured. And Ily ran off in fear. Ily was missing for over two months in the Arizona desert. She lost 25 pounds during the ordeal and was so lucky to have been found.

CBS 5 – KPHO 

The other story is about a dog named Jet. Jet also went missing after a car accident in Pequannock Township, NJ on August 23rd. Jet was found yesterday and is in good spirits. There is an awesome reunion video on a Facebook page for Jet. I’ve also posted it on our PetAutoTravelSafety Facebook page. Be sure you have a tissue handy before you watch it. Also, a Rottweiler named Isa that went through the windshield in a car accident in Howard City, MI has been found safe. The story is covered by Fox17.  

Still missing is a Tibetan Terrier named Monk in Milladore, WI. His story is on the Marshfield News Harold.

That’s all I have for this week. I hope I didn’t forget anything or anyone. Thank you everyone for stopping by. And thank you Jodi for giving me the opportunity to co-hose the blog hop! Dawn with Maya & Pierson.  

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August 17, 2013
Kurgo Wander Back Pack for Dogs

Maya sometimes wears her Kurgo Wander back pack for dogs when she goes hiking.

I don’t know about you, but I tend to be relatively inactive in the summer because it is so darned hot. I still take the dogs out for walks in the morning or evenings, but nature hikes are no fun in the summer. So now that the weather is getting cooler, I’m excited about taking the dogs on an outdoor hiking expedition again.

Here are some outdoor hiking safety factors I think about for Maya and Pierson:

Leashes or Harnesses

I admit, I don’t always keep Maya on a leash when we hike. Maya is very good at staying by my side and has a very good recall. Pierson, on the other hand, has never been off leash except in our backyard. So I don’t trust him to come when he is called if he sees an animal to chase. Know your dogs. If you are not sure if they will come to you in various scenarios, then keep them on a leash. Also, be considerate to other people when hiking in areas frequented by others. Some people don’t like dogs and are even afraid of them. Furthermore, some hiking trails are also frequented by bicyclists or people riding horses. Loose dogs do not always get along well with bicycles and horses.

Dog Tags

Maya and Pierson always wear their collar and tags. Plus, they are both microchipped. Even though I am confident in Maya’s recall and that I have a good grip on Pierson’s leash, the unexpected could happen. What if there is a loud noise that scares them? It might catch me unawares and make me lose my grip on their leash when they bolt. It’s unlikely but if the worst does happen, at least you have a better chance of being reunited with your best friend.

Wild Animals

Beware of wild animals. Small animals like rabbits and squirrels can be very tempting for your dog to chase. Your dog getting lost because he chased an animal is not the only concern. There are many harmful wild animals to watch out for such as alligators (BrownDogCBR has to look out for these), porcupines, poisonous snakes, skunks, raccoons, etc. By the way, another good reason to keep your dog on a leash is so that they don’t eat wild animal feces. Raccoon poop, for one, can be infected with worms or even canine distemper.

Plants & Biting Insects Harmful to Dogs

Some plants can be harmful for your dog too. Look out for poison ivy and poison oak. Also beware of thorned plants. Biting insects are what bothers me the most on our outdoor hiking adventures. Ticks here are really bad. We also need to be aware of mosquitos and fleas. My dogs use Frontline, but this only kills fleas and ticks when they get on the dog. It doesn’t prevent the little blood-suckers from getting on them in the first place. As a repellant, I am considering a new product from Earth Heart called Buzz Guard. Earth Heart is the same company that makes the Travel Calm that I use for Maya when she rides in the car.

Pet Water Safety – To Swim

If you are hiking near water and plan on letting your dog swim, consider a dog life jacket. Also, know the dangerous aquatic wild animals native to your area such as water moccasin snakes or alligators.

Maya and her dog life jacket.

Maya at Clinton Lake wearing her dog life jacket.

Pet Water Safety – To Drink

Water safety also includes making sure both you and your dog have plenty of fresh cool water to drink. If you can help it, don’t let your dog drink from the lake or river water. It can contain bacteria and parasites that will make your dog sick. I like using the Kurgo collapsible dog water bowl when I go hiking with the dogs. We also won the Frosty Paws travel pack sometime back and it has a fantastic dog water bottle.

Dog Pierson Collapsible Dog Bowl

My dog Pierson is drinking from the Kurgo collapsible dog bowl.

Dog Travel Safety

Don’t forget to travel to your hiking destination in safety. Seat belts for dogs, pet travel carriers, or our new K9 Car Fence, are just a few of the options available to ensure your best friend is kept just as safe as every other member of your family.

Conclusion

I like to take Maya and Pierson to Clinton Lake. The Mutt Run off-leash dog park is nearby and even has a place for Maya to swim. And there are a lot of secluded trails around the lake for me to take my dog-aggressive fluffhead Pierson.

Maya Meets Dog Swimming @ Dog Park

This is one of the rivers that feed into Clinton Lake. This particular area is part of the Mutt Run off-leash dog park.

 

I hope I covered everything. Can you think of any other outdoor hiking safety tips? Where do you like to take your dog hiking?

 

Update – First Aid Kit

After reading another blog post on first aid supplies, I realized I didn’t have a first aid kit on my list. Shame, shame! It is a good idea to have one with supplies for both you and your pet when you go hiking. A complete list of ideal first aid supplies can be found on KeepTheTailWagging.com. Thanks Kimberly, for your great post and reminder. 🙂

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Follow Up Friday #7

Author: MayaAndPierson
August 16, 2013

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There weren’t as many questions this week so I’m going to talk about other stuff that has happened on my other blog, AmericanDogBlog.Wordpress.com, and things happening for us on other dog websites.

My Dog Pierson is to be on a Calendar!

I’m so happy that my dog Pierson is to be featured in the That Mutt calendar! Thank you to everyone who saw my post on Facebook and voted. 🙂

That Mutt Talks about Pet Auto Safety

Lindsay with That Mutt also talked about pet auto safety on one of her blog posts. Go check it out – Do Dogs Need Seat Belts? The article is well thought out and covers pros and cons. Feel free to comment. 🙂

Dogs Trapped in Cars After Accidents?

One of the questions Lindsay asked me prior to her post threw me off. She said she knew some people who were concerned about a pet car harness or pet travel carrier causing a dog to get trapped in the vehicle in a car accident. Can you believe that in all my years of running this business, no one has ever brought this up before?

Certainly, it can happen. I think this was a concern when seat belts for people first came out. But after years and years of research, statistics have shown that this risk is small and the likelihood of a seat belt saving a life is much greater.

If anything, I would be concerned about an unrestrained dog escaping from the vehicle after an accident. I get Google alerts for dogs in car accidents on a regular basis and so see a lot of news stories about dogs that went missing because they escaped the vehicle and ran off in terror. Think about it, after a car accident your dog is likely to be completely freaked out. His instinct is going to be to get as far away from the terrifying situation as quickly as possible. When a dog runs in terror, he runs blindly. This means he could run into the street, cause another car accident, and possibly get struck and killed by another vehicle.

Here’s a story with a happy ending. The video automatically plays, so I’m sorry about that. I don’t know how to keep it from doing that.

I understand we all have our different fears. The thing about a car accident is that it is unpredictable. You never know when you will be in a collision, let alone what kind of collision. What may be perfect for one situation may not be for another. Just consider the odds. While the above situation happens all the time, heroes like this aren’t always around to help.

SleepyPod’s New ClickIt Pet Car Harness

Sleepypod is coming out with the new ClickIt pet car harness soon and this design is also based on recommendations from the Center for Pet Safety! They are going to be expensive, but worth it. Keep posted here on this blog and I will let you know as soon as they are available.

My Interview with the Radio Pet Lady

I had an interview about pet auto safety on the Radio Pet Lady Dog Travel Experts show. Paris with Dog Tipper was there too! The show aired last night but will be archived at this link soon. Be sure to check it out. I think Gizmo with Terrier Torrent will be interviewed next week to talk about the fun of geocaching.

Bad Poetry Day

Hop on over to the AmericanDogBlog.Wordpress.com for Pierson’s Bad Poetry Day contest entry. Seriously, it will make you laugh! 😀 Maya will feature her bad poetry tomorrow.

Where is the Pet Auto Safety Car?

As you may have read, Maya and I were in a rear end collision on July 25th. It was bad enough that the insurance company considered my car as totaled, but not bad enough to cause serious injury. Even though the car is considered totaled, I am working with the repair shop to still have it fixed. Hopefully, they can get used parts instead of new and be able to fix it for the check amount the insurance company gave me. But as of today, I still don’t have my car back!!!

How is it that a car can be considered totaled for just a fender bender? First of all, it is a Ford. That should be enough explanation, but in case you’re wanting more… My car is a 1998. Why in the heck would I want to keep such an old car? Believe it or not, it only has 87,000 miles on it and it is still running well. Also, it was more than just the bumper that was damaged. It turns out the frame is bent too, and other stuff.

K9 Car Fence

A lot of you commented on what a great idea the K9 Car Fence is. Pierson didn’t think so, but I thought it was brilliant too! I wish I had thought of it. 😉

Dog Pierson K9 Car Fance

Pierson is testing the K9 Car Fence.

Questions or Comments?

As always, if you have any questions about pet travel, feel free to ask them by commenting below or by emailing me at naturebydawn@aol.com. I’d love to hear from you!

Join the Blog Hop

Thank you for stopping by and reading my long-winded post today! Follow Up Friday is hosted by Heart Like a Dog and co-hosted by Flea with JonesNaturalChews so be sure to go check them out. Other dog blogs participating in Follow Up Friday can be found in the blog hop links below.

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Travel Calm Review for Fireworks

Author: MayaAndPierson
June 27, 2013
Travel Calm from Earth Heart

Travel Calm, a dog anxiety treatment to help traveling pets.

Travel Calm is a great product that helps dogs who are anxious about riding in the car. It helps dogs like my Labrador Maya who is super-excited about riding in the car. And it helps dogs that are nervous about riding in the car. But riding in the car is not the only stressful situation where Travel Calm can help. Here’s what Danielle has to say about it:

“Hello!

    It’s been a while since I won your giveaway but we recently had the opportunity to use the travel calm that I won on your blog.  I have to say that I did not use it when traveling but found an even better use for it.  We have neighbors that are very inconsiderate and shoot off fireworks at all hours of the night.  My Sissy is very scared of them and she feels it necessary to be as close to me as possible…if she could get in my skin, I think she would!  I didn’t have anything to help calm her down so I tried some of the travel calm.  Let me tell you, it worked like a dream!  She stopped shaking and laid down next to me and was just content.  About 10 minutes later, she crawled over to her spot on the couch, got comfortable and fell asleep.  I have used it a few times since and it works great!  Thank you so much.  I have enclosed a picture.
Danielle M”
Dog Sissy and Travel Calm

Travel Calm helped Sissy remain calm while her neighbors shot fireworks.

I’m so happy that Sissy is doing so well despite the fireworks! We only have a little time and limited supply of Travel Calm left. Get yours today or tomorrow and we can ship you a bottle via USPS first class, which takes about 3 business days. If you wait until the weekend, we can ship first thing Monday, but it may or may not arrive by Wednesday, July 3rd.

Please don’t use this product as a way to take your dog with you when you go to see fireworks. Please leave your dog at home, inside, and safe during the festivities.

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June 1, 2013
Dog Bailey Got in Trash

A customer shared this photo of her dog Bailey. Notice that Bailey has a banana sticker on his eye.

I am lucky in that my dogs Maya & Pierson don’t get into the trash. I don’t think it has ever occurred to them. My dog Sephi used to, but it did take some training and preventative measures. Not only is it annoying to have to clean up a trash mess, but there are all sorts of dangers to worry about. And it is a common problem. Look over these dangers, and then consider some pet safety training and prevention techniques.

DANGERS

Head Stuck – This one can be more funny than dangerous… funny for you but not your dog. Check out this hilarious video:

Tummy Ache – At the very least, your dog will get a tummy ache from the trash he ate.

Poison – Some foods are poisonous to dogs. Chocolate, for example, although who would put some perfectly good chocolate in the trash. Onions are not good for dogs either. Here is a larger list at HSUS. Food poisoning can also include salmonella. I sometimes take the skin off chicken before I bake it. If I throw that skin in the trash and my dogs get into it a day or so later, they are in great danger of getting salmonella poisoning. Salmonella poisoning can be deadly. And food poisoning is not the only danger. Have you ever thrown away an empty bottle of cleaner? Perhaps it wasn’t completely empty and there was some residue left over.

Gastrointestinal Obstruction – Also consider the danger of gastrointestinal blockage. This can happen from your dog eating bones, aluminum foil, corn on the cob, or other things that your dog’s stomach can’t digest. Gastrointestinal obstruction can cause your dog great distress and can even lead to death. Read more at PetMD.

SAFETY AND PREVENTION

The best way to keep your dogs out of the trash is to prevent them from getting into the trash in the first place. If you have a pantry where the door can close, put your trash can in there. If not, perhaps you can use a small trash can in the kitchen and put it under the kitchen sink. Put baby guards on the cupboard door too. If neither of those places are convenient for you, get a trash can with a lid. A lid that opens when you step on a pedal might work better than a lid where you push open (as evidenced in the above video).

DOG TRAINING

Prevention may not always be easy. Sometimes there is just no good place to put your trash can and perhaps your dog is smart enough to open any trash can lid. Another alternative is to try training. This may not be easy to do and it is not foolproof, but anything you can do to keep your dog out of the trash benefits both you and your best friend.

Control the situation by leaving tempting but not dangerous items in the trash. Leave the room and listen closely. If you hear your dog trying to get in the trash, come out and say, “No!” in a firm voice. You must catch your dog in the act for this to work. It does little good to tell your dog no before or after the incident.

Does your dog get into the trash? Do you think any of these ideas will help? Does anyone have any other ideas to keep your dog out of the trash?

Thank you for your comments and thanks for stopping by for Pet Safety Saturday! 🙂

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May 4, 2013
"I have idiopathic epilepsy (canine epilepsy) and I am still a happy healthy boy... And cute, too."

“I have idiopathic epilepsy (canine epilepsy) and I am still a happy healthy boy… And cute, too.”

If you read yesterday’s post, you know my Aussie mix dog Pierson has recently had another seizure. No worries, though. He is fine. Most dogs that have problems with seizures have what is called idiopathic epilepsy. This sounds terrible, and it can be for a few. But in most cases, it is mild enough and infrequent enough that medication is not even needed. Most dogs with canine epilepsy live long healthy lives.

I’ve never had a dog with seizures before Pierson. But thanks to the internet and all my dog blog friends, I’ve known about canine epilepsy for some time. Because I had foreknowledge, I was able to remain calm when Pierson had his first episode in January. So that you can have foreknowledge too, read through the following facts:

What Can Cause a Seizure in Dogs:

* Brain injury
* Distemper
* Heat stroke
* Vaccines
* Brain tumor
* Poisoning
* Kidney or liver failure
* Low blood sugar
** All these sound scary. But the most common reason for a seizure is idiopathic epilepsy. Idiopathic epilepsy is caused by none of the above. In fact, the cause is not known at all. Veterinarians generally label a dog with seizures as having idiopathic epilepsy when all of the above possible causes for the seizure have been eliminated.

While it may seem frustrating to not know what is causing your dog’s seizure, at least with a diagnosis of idiopathic epilepsy you will know your dog wasn’t poisoned and that he doesn’t have a brain injury. It may also help to know that it is unlikely your dog feels any pain while seizing.

What To Do If Your Dog is having a Seizure:

* Move stuff out of the way so your dog doesn’t hurt themselves on something.
* Don’t put anything in your dog’s mouth.
* Try not to touch your dog while he is seizing.
* Remain calm.
* Call your veterinarian.
* Go to the vet after you have called them. Don’t talk on your phone while driving and remember to drive safe.

To read about Pierson’s first seizure, check out this article of Pierson’s Seizure on my American Dog Blog. Click the links in that article for more detailed information about canine epilepsy.

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April 27, 2013
Maya by Tulips

My dog Maya stole tomatoes out of our garden last year. Thank goodness she doesn’t like to eat tulips.

Last year, Maya stole a lot of cherry tomatoes from the garden. I thought it was funny. But later I found out that tomatoes can be bad for dogs. Too much tomato and it could actually be toxic. So this year, we are going to be a bit more careful about our garden. Here are some things to think about:

Cocoa Mulch
If you have dogs, don’t use cocoa mulch in your flower garden. Cocoa mulch contains a chemical in the cocoa called theobromine. This chemical is poisonous do dogs. And because the mulch smells so good, dogs want to eat it.

Pesticides
Before putting any pesticides in your garden, check the label to make sure it is not harmful to pets. Consider natural remedies such as non-toxic soapy water sprayed on your plants.

Fertilizer
As with pesticides, check the label of plant fertilizers to make sure it is not harmful to pets.

Plants that can Cause Allergic Reactions
There are several plants that can make dogs itch or have other allergic reactions. Some of these plants include the purple leaf velvet plant, a male juniper bush, and daylilies.

Plants Toxic to Dogs
The ASPCA has a very comprehensive list of toxic plants. It even has tomatoes on it. There are 392 entries so far. So rather than go through one by one, know what you want to plant and search the list for that specific plant – ASPCS Plants Toxic to Dogs

Compost
It’s no secret that dogs love garbage! Make sure your dogs can’t get into the compost. Even if you are careful about what you put in the compost pile, you really don’t want your dog to eat it. Make sure your compost is out of reach of your dogs.

Fleas and Ticks
Since we have wild rabbits living under our shed, it is likely that they carry fleas and ticks too. So I make sure my dogs are protected.

Put Tools Away
Keep your tools put away so your dog can’t get to them. Not only do you not want them to step on them and cut themselves on sharp edges, but you also don’t want them to chew on them.

The easiest way to keep your dog out of your garden is to prevent him from being able to get into the garden in the first place. This year, I am having a fence put around our vegetable garden. Are you going to plant a flower or vegetable garden this year? What does your dog think about it?

 

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