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.
Make sure to look at your pet’s fur whenever you come back inside from a walk or play time. Look in the fur and between the toes. Take note of any strange pawing at the ears or an unusual amount of sneezing. One cause of sneezing is that there may be a foxtail up your dog’s nose.
For more info, visit http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Foxtail_%28diaspore%29
And of course, the top of the summer danger list: do not leave your dog in a car during the summer. It heats up much faster than you think, even with the windows down.