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Poison in Green Lake, Halloween Tips

Here is the October newsletter. Enjoy!

Hi folks, we have a few important announcements:

1. Toxic algae in Green Lake (Seattle)

Please do not let your dogs drink from the lake right now. It is poisonous. http://tinyurl.com/8kkgfjj

2. Vote for Ahimsa! Every vote counts. 🙂

We would really appreciate your vote for Ahimsa in the Best of Western Washington Contest. Voting ends very soon, so please vote today. If you have a chance to also leave a comment, that would be great! The more specific, the better. We are close to winning again, but we need some more votes:

http://doggiezen.com/vote
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Is Your Dog at Risk? 8 Important Safety Tips

I’ve gotten a lot of bad news lately. Just in the last few weeks, I’ve had two clients tell me that their dogs were hit by cars, one whose dog died from a routine surgery, a few who were attacked by loose dogs, and several others who tore ligaments in their knees. My wife and I found 3 sets of loose dogs in the last three weeks. A hero dog was accidentally euthanized at a shelter in Arizona last week, when she got out of her yard and was brought to the shelter without tags. It’s been a whirlwind of bad news.

We can’t really prevent all of the problems our dogs encounter. Let’s face it, they don’t live as long as we do, so eventually, we’ll lose the battle. But we can fight for them as much as we can along the way.

Continue reading Is Your Dog at Risk? 8 Important Safety Tips

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Are Sticks Safe for Dogs?

Do you use the carrot, or the stick? In it’s regular meaning, the stick is used to prod the donkey forward, so it’s not the kind of method I use for dog training. But sticks can be used as rewards, too. I use sticks to reward my dog, Peanut, for walking politely. I can surprise him with a ‘treat’ without carrying anything on me at all. Surprise rewards are the best kind to use when training your dog.

But are sticks safe for dogs?
Continue reading Are Sticks Safe for Dogs?

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FDA is not looking into Nutro Dog Food

There’s an article at ConsumerAffairs.com that claims the FDA is looking into claims of several deaths and a lot of sick dogs over the last two years.

However, I went to the Nutro website and they deny that the FDA is looking into their foods. You can read the Nutro website here. I don’t know who’s telling the truth, but if you do feed Nutro, it would be a good idea to look into this. It’s always best to be informed! UPDATE: See video in this post, which says Nutro’s right, there is NO FDA investigation.

Continue reading FDA is not looking into Nutro Dog Food

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Cocoa Mulch – Toxic to Dogs

Cocoa Mulch, which was sold by Home Depot, Foreman’s Garden Supply and other garden supply stores, contains a lethal ingredient called ‘Theobromine’. It is poisonois for dogs and cats. Cocoa Mulch smells like chocolate and it attracts dogs. They may ingest Cocoa Mulch and if they eat a lot of it, they can die quickly.  Just a word of caution, check what you are using in your gardens!

Your dogs may also find cocoa mulch out on walks, so be careful!

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Seatbelts or Crates in the Car

When I was growing up, the concept of having a dog in a seatbelt was never even considered. Even having a baby in a strapped-in secure, safety-tested car seat was a pretty new idea. But now that they are available, would you take your newborn home from the hospital just sitting on the car seat next to you? Or on your lap when you drive? Continue reading Seatbelts or Crates in the Car

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Household Poisons & Toxic Plants (Dogs and Cats)

People often ask what things around the house – and what plants – are dangerous for their dog. The ASPCA has a list of poisonous items. Some of them “just” cause vomiting, others are things that some dogs are allergic to and others aren’t, and some will kill any dog.

The ASPCA Poison Control Hotline is (888) 426-4435. It costs $55. I have also called the regular human poison number. Continue reading Household Poisons & Toxic Plants (Dogs and Cats)

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Recalled Dog Foods – Up-to-date list

I can’t seem to keep up with all of the different foods that have been contaminated with Melamine. I think what this crisis has shown us, more than anything else, is that most dog food manufacturers are relatively the same and treat our dogs as not being worthy of truly good nutrition. Makes you want to cook your own food. At the very least, find a place that is made in the U.S. that offers a balanced diet.

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Collar Warnings, Foxtails

COLLAR & HARNESS WARNINGS
I have some awful news. A dog that took puppy class with me this spring passed away last week. Her harness caught on the exercise pen that she was kept in when her owners were gone for a bit, and she strangled.

The family emailed me because they wanted to prevent other dogs from danger. They asked me to be sure to tell people that it was a Shih Tzu – not the kind of dog one might expect to leap acrobatically into the air and get stuck on something high up.

I had heard rumors of this problem, and put my dogs into breakaway collars, but having never actually known a dog that had this happen, I thought it was very rare and got rid of the collars.

Looking into it, it seems it’s common enough to warrant warning you: 91% of vets say they have had 1-5 dogs in their practice who have strangled in the last year. I have just ordered several KeepSafe breakaway collars, which bust open if the dogs tangle in something but can be clipped to work like a regular collar when on leash. You can get them at the training center starting next week, or you can order them on our online dog store.

If you do get a breakaway collar, or have your dog go collarless in the home, it’s *especially* important to microchip your dog.

Love them every day, and don’t sweat the small stuff. Life is too short for dogs, even if we do everything right.

FOXTAILS – Danger!

Foxtails are a plant seed that land on your dog’s fur and then keep burrowing in, given the chance. I’ve had clients whose dogs and cats have had them in eyeballs, paws, and skin. They are known to go deeper, too, into the animal’s body, winding up in hearts and lungs. The dog parks are full of them and they are traveling now due to the hot weather drying up the plants. I spent yesterday removing as many as I could from the front of the training center.
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