Archive for June, 2010

Fido And Fireworks
June 25, 2010

Dear Liz; I know the 4th of July is coming up and my brother-in-law always brings his dog to our picnic and then to the fireworks, much to the dog’s terror.  How do I tell him NOT to?

Signed, Tortured in Terryville.

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Dear Tortured:  I’m thrilled that you’re concerned!  And you have every right to be!  Remembering that dogs have hearing that is about 700 times as sensitive as ours, you can see why subjecting the pooch to the noises of fireworks is SUCH a bad idea!

Dogs (or any pets) and fireworks do NOT mix.  Sparklers held at eye level to dogs can injure them (not to mention the kids!).  Cherry bombs or other fireworks can, when set off, damage sensitive hearing.

Pets will often flee (or attempt to) from noises this loud and can be struck by cars or become disoriented and lost.  A panicked dog, still attached to a leash or chain, can also become a biting dog as it struggles to get away from the noise.

Cats, as well as other pets, do not like the noises either, or the smell of the discharged firework.

As well as the firework end of things, cook-outs can be dangerous as well.  Dogs (and kids) like to see what’s cooking on the grill and may jump up, landing tender feet (or fingers) in contact with the grill surface.  Obviously if this happens, have ice and the nearest hospital (vet or regular) number on hand.

People food is also a stomach-upsetting experience for the family pet so make sure to keep all food out of reach.

Pets should be kept in a safe, dark area if they fear the noise.  If your pet runs into the closet or down into the basement, let them stay there.  They feel safe and secure there.

If you usually crate your dog, cover the crate with a dark blanket to make them feel more secure.
So the long and short of it is this:  Tell your brother-in-law that his dog is welcome to stay at your home (have him bring a crate!) while the fireworks are on display but that he is not to bring the dog TO the fireworks.

Good luck and thank you from Fido’s everywhere!!!!

Vectra D
June 11, 2010

Dear Liz; I’ve heard about a new flea and tick treatment that also helps with mosquitoes.  Can you tell me about it?

Signed,

Wondering in Woodstock

Dear Wondering; The new treatment on the market is called “Vectra 3D”…  It’s a topically applied liquid for dogs that targets fleas, ticks and mosquitoes.

It’s applied monthly, like other topical treatments.  It’s reported to kill fleas within 2 hours of application, repels four species of ticks and repels and kills three species of mosquitoes.

Check with your vet on availability and remember it’s for dogs only.

Also, as a reminder, low cost Rabies clinics are being held all over the state this month!  Check with your animal control officer to find out when one is being held in your area.

Lastly, June is the month to renew your dog licenses!  A dog license is not the same thing as a Rabies vaccination.  You must go to your town clerk’s office, with a valid Rabies certificate in hand, and get your dog licensed.  Dogs over 6 months of age are required to be licensed.  If it’s the first time, make sure you bring your spay or neuter certificate as well.

Puppy Training
June 4, 2010

Dear Liz;  We recently got a new, 8 week old puppy and are wondering when she’s old enough to get into training?

Signed, Excited in Essex

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Dear Excited!

Congrats on the new baby!!!

As far as training goes, she can start right away, as long as it’s at home with you!  It is not, however, recommended that she even be allowed to touch the ground where other dogs have been until she’s fully vaccinated.  There are a LOT of germs out there and being so young, it’s very easy for her to pick them up while out walking in the park or other places where dogs tend to be, so keep her at your home until the vet says it’s ok.

Now, as for training at home, here are a few pointers!

  1. Decide on names for commands and make sure everyone uses the SAME words.  Telling your pup to “down” can mean get down, lie down or go down the stairs.  Decide which one it means and make sure EVERYONE uses the same terms.

  1. Decide which type of training you want for your puppy.  There is “clicker training”, food based reward training, praise training, etc., so figure out which one you’d like to use.  Not sure?  Ask around to see what opinions you get…
  1. Decide on a trainer!  You checked out pre-schools for your kids, so why wouldn’t you check out trainers?  Go see a few classes (without your pup) and see who you like.  If you’re going to spend the money to properly train your dog and you HATE the trainer, no one is going to benefit.
  1. Start training now!  Get basic commands started with your puppy.  It’s very easy to do, but don’t expect your puppy to have a long attention span.  Maybe 5 minutes at a time, several times a day.  Or better yet, every time you interact with your puppy, try a command!  Don’t expect a genius at first – puppies just don’t have that ability yet.  Make it a fun time and your puppy will love it.

Remember that training doesn’t just end when the class ends.  It’s an ongoing experience for both you and your puppy.  But make SURE that your pup is fully vaccinated and vetted before you start anything.

Have a blast!!!